Latest Commentary

O'Malia signs off with warnings to correct roadblocks to liquidity

Last week, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission's soon departing commissioner Scott O'Malia gave a frank assessment of the obstacles to robust liquidity that the newly electronic swaps market faces. Speaking to an audience of financial lawyers, he warned about fracturing of liquidity between US and non-US markets, and the lowered liquidity in some commodities markets that is making hedging costly.

 

The rise of RIAs takes center stage

The recently released results of Charles Schwab's 2014 RIA Benchmarking Study show record growth among independent registered investment advisors. In fact, registered investment advisors had the highest profitability of any year since the inception of the study in 2006.

 

Who owns an email once it is sent?

It came to light last week that Google helped Goldman Sachs avoid a "needless and massive" security problem last month.  Those are the adjectives Goldman Sachs used in court papers to describe a situation that occurred in late June when a contractor working with Goldman Sachs accidentally sent an email to an address that ended @gmail.com instead of one that ended @gs.com.

 

Google data analysis sheds new light on consumer lending process

Last week there was news that a KPMG report warned that companies like Apple, Google and Amazon could bring about radical disruption in investment management. This week, a group of former Google technologists are promoting a new lending platform that applies data-driven analysis methods honed at Google toward assessing the credit worthiness of borrowers.

Mobile payments await the future

With a couple taps and a wave of the cellphone at checkout, your items are purchased, receipts are electronically received and stored and expense tracking applications are adjusted to incorporate the latest purchases into the monthly budget. That is the future that banks, wireless carriers, retailers and online powerhouses like Google and PayPal are jockeying to define.

Senate 'conflicts of interest' hearings draws conflicts of opinion

The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations is holding a hearing today on the topic of "Conflicts of Interest, Investor Loss of Confidence, and High Speed Trading in U.S. Stock Markets." The six panelists scheduled to testify will probably put forth a variety of opinions. On blogs, media sites and newspaper columns, others are already weighing in.

Will Apple disintermediate banks from mobile payment?

For a while now, parties interested in mobile payment have been eyeing the space to see what will be the catalyst to take mobile payment to the next level. Apple, because of the iPhone's dominance in the mobile phone market and the loyalty of its user base, is viewed as having the potential to be that game changer.

Data analytics and a lopsided 80-20 rule

In making the case for why data analytics is essential, Accenture's global managing director for financial services analytics says many banks reap benefit from an even smaller percentage of their customer base than popular conception suggests.

 

Andreessen sees bitcoin as the 'big breakthrough'

Is Bitcoin a currency of thieves or a potentially game-changing foundation for future ecommerce? Marc Andreessen, the tech entrepreneur who rose to fame as one of the founders of Netscape, takes the latter view, going as far as to say that in 20 years we will be talking about bitcoin the way now talk about the Internet.

 

Are there too many regulators in the kitchen?

Beginning even before a certain best-selling book hit stores, the issue of high-frequency trading seemed to interest a broad spectrum of prosecutors and regulators. N.Y. Attorney General Eric Schniederman made it a pet cause and the U.S. Attorney for New York has filed charges. Meanwhile, there are financial regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission and, in the futures and options market, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, to name a few.