Bankers’ guilty conscience

The Vatican recently published a document on the economic-financial system. The Church notes “the irreplaceable social function of credit” and that “most of [the financial industry’s] operators are singularly animated by good and right intentions”. However, the text mainly condemns all kinds of “immoral behavior”, ranging from credit default swaps to offshore banks. Continue reading “Bankers’ guilty conscience”

What has Big Tech ever done for me?

There’s a scene in Monty Python’s Life of Brian in which rebels conspire against the Roman occupation. They ask themselves “What have the Romans ever done for us“.

Upon reflection, they realize that the Romans brought them sanitation, medicine, education, irrigation, public health, roads, a freshwater system, baths, public order, and peace.

I get the same feeling when I read articles about Big Tech. Continue reading “What has Big Tech ever done for me?”

The best compliment on ‘Bankers are people, too’

The Dutch translation of ‘Bankers are people, too’ was released last week. A guest remarked that he liked the unconventional order of the topics. The fact that I wasn’t formally trained as an economist undoubtedly helped. Because I didn’t start from a mental template of how a book on banking should look like, I had to figure out the best way to present my ideas in a coherent way.

Question for readers who did study economics at university: did your textbooks discuss central banks and macroeconomics before explaining commercial banking? What would you change to the curriculum? Let me know in the comments!

The original introduction of ‘Bankers are people, too’

Writing a book involves a lot of deleting, shifting, and rewriting. The recent IT problems at Argenta bank reminded me of the original introduction of Bankers are people, too.

The introduction in the published version of my book is based on the old intro, plus pieces that were originally at the end of Part III. The editor convinced me to integrate them into the beginning.

So without further ado, here is the old intro: Continue reading “The original introduction of ‘Bankers are people, too’”

Two year anniversary

My first long blog post was published two years ago on this day. A couple of weeks earlier, I had decided to quit my job in order to write Bankers are people, too.

I want to use this anniversary to thank you for reading my work. Who could foresee then that I would make new friends because of this blog?

There is more to celebrate. The Dutch translation of Bankers are people, too will be released on April 12. Check out the invitation (pdf, in Dutch). Send me a message if you would like to attend the book launch party in Brussels!

I also have a favor to ask if you have already bought Bankers are people, too. Please consider writing a review. This will help other intelligent readers like you to find the book.

Crooks with books: Laundering money as an “author” (part 1)

Createspace enables independent authors to publish their works and to distribute them through Amazon.

Amazon takes care of the printing, shipping, and payments. The author receives a monthly royalty payment. I used Createspace to publish Bankers are people, too.

Unfortunately, criminals have also discovered that they can use the platform for money laundering.

Brian Krebs explains how it works on his blog, KrebsonSecurity. Someone publishes a bogus book and sets an extremely high price for it, e.g. $555. They use stolen credit cards to buy the book. Amazon pays the “author” about 60% of the retail price in royalties. This money looks like a legit income. The stolen money has been laundered. Continue reading “Crooks with books: Laundering money as an “author” (part 1)”

The crucial part missing from the preview of ‘Bankers are people, too’

If you haven’t already, please take a look at Bankers are people, too on Amazon before you buy the book. The Look inside! feature gives a preview of the table of contents and part of the introduction.

However, you should know that as the author, I don’t have control over what is displayed on ‘Look inside!’. Prospective readers might get the impression that Bankers are people, too is yet another book that blames the banking sector. But that’s only because the last two pages of the introduction are missing from the preview.

So here are pages 17 and 18 (I put some text in bold and added links to related blog posts): Continue reading “The crucial part missing from the preview of ‘Bankers are people, too’”

Why the pension fund report of the OECD is bunk

Click on the blue bird (top right in the tweet below) to read the whole thread on Twitter. It also works if you don’t have a Twitter account.

I know that life insurance is important in France thanks to my research for Bankers are people, too.

From page 92:

“In France, the reserves in such insurance savings vehicles make up the largest component of household financial assets.” – Jan Musschoot in ‘Bankers are people, too’