Preparing physics students for 21st-century careers

Are universities teaching physics students the things they need to succeed in the real world? The vast majority of physicists don’t work as physics professors. Jobs outside of physics departments often require skills that are less important for an academic career.

In Physics Today (open access during November 2017), professors Laurie McNeil and Paula Heron discuss how universities can teach relevant business skills, without neglecting the physics curriculum. Based on statistical data and interviews, they show that there is much room for improvement. Continue reading “Preparing physics students for 21st-century careers”

Definitely not a bubble

Calling bubbles in real time is hard, but come on:

This company added the word ‘Blockchain’ to its name and saw its shares surge 394%

and

How Floyd Mayweather helped two young guys from Miami get rich

“The boxer’s endorsement of Centra, along with a similar endorsement from the popular rapper DJ Khaled, lent a patina of credibility to a project that has ended up with more than a few problems, including a chief executive who does not appear to have been a real person and a shaky, fast-shifting business plan.”

and Continue reading “Definitely not a bubble”

#FinanceQuiz

If you’re on Twitter, please join my #FinanceQuiz. I’ll post one question a day (not during weekends). The answer will be posted the following day. The quiz covers anything money related: history, banking, famous bankers, technology…

Further reading on Blockchain and all that

There is a lot of hype surrounding blockchain1, ICOs, crypto assets, etc. You can find thousands of articles on distributed ledger technology and its potential applications.

As usual, the quality of these pieces varies greatly. Few are worth your time. Below are some links to explanations that I found useful. Continue reading “Further reading on Blockchain and all that”

Only the paranoid banks survive

“Sooner or later, something fundamental in your business world will change.” – Andrew Grove, Only the Paranoid Survive

Everyone hates banks. This has created an opportunity for business gurus, futurists and charlatans to proclaim the imminent death of banks. Stories on how technology will make traditional banks obsolete are eagerly picked up by the media. Continue reading “Only the paranoid banks survive”

Shameless self-promotion

As announced, I’ve picked up the pace of blogging. Since I’m really proud of Bankers are people, too, I’m going to add a reference to my book under every post, whether the post is directly related to the book or not.

If you don’t have the time to read, you can also hire me for lectures. Short courses include the basics of banking1, risk management2, knowledge management3 and central banking/monetary policy4. The courses are based on years of experience.

Furthermore, I give presentations to bankers, investors or students on the psychology of investing, financial technology (past, present and future), macroeconomics, and science versus economics.

Contact me at bankersarepeopletoo@gmail.com for more information!

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You might like Bankers are people, too because it doesn’t contain any self-promotion.

My beef with bitcoin bulls

Everybody has heard of bitcoin by now. The price of the cryptocurrency is hitting all-time highs. John McAfee has bet that one bitcoin will be worth $500,000 in the year 2020. Bank chief Jamie Dimon called bitcoin a fraud. His statements were (predictably) followed by articles saying that bankers should be afraid of cryptocurrencies.

It seems there are two bitcoin camps: the true believers and the naysayers. Izabella Kaminska from FT Alphaville in particular has been explaining for years why cryptocurrencies are not the utopia some imagine them to be. In this post, I summarize my own reasons why I don’t think bitcoin is a credible threat to the banking industry.1 Continue reading “My beef with bitcoin bulls”

Geldvragen? Zoek op wikifin.be

Iedereen heeft wel eens vragen over geld, bijvoorbeeld over een beleggingsproduct, verzekeringen of je pensioen. Maar waar kan je best terecht voor meer informatie, onafhankelijk van een commerciële bank of verzekeraar? Continue reading “Geldvragen? Zoek op wikifin.be”

Europe and Japan: Monetary policies in the age of uncertainty (notes)

On 2 October, think tank Bruegel and Kobe University organized a conference on monetary policy in Brussels. The speakers compared the challenges faced by the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of Japan (BoJ). This post is a reminder to myself based on my notes. I don’t cover the contributions of all participants. Don’t expect a story or a conclusion 🙂 Continue reading “Europe and Japan: Monetary policies in the age of uncertainty (notes)”

Two publication cultures: economics versus physics

In a recent blog post, professor Roger Farmer comments on the publishing process in economics. He writes that economic journal publishing is “a process that is highly centralised around five leading journals. These are the American Economic Review, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Review of Economic Studies, Econometrica and the Journal of Political Economy. For a young newly appointed lecturer, publishing a paper in one of these top five journals is a pre-requisite for promotion in a leading economic department […]” Continue reading “Two publication cultures: economics versus physics”