I used to commute to Brussels by train. The usual experience: full compartments, sometimes people had to stand if they didn’t want to wait for the next train.
When I went to a conference about the financial crisis (slides) last month, the train was almost empty.
As recently as five years ago, few companies allowed telecommuting. If your supervisor was OK with it, you were lucky to work from home once a week.
Nowadays, almost everybody realizes that a lot of jobs don’t need the physical presence of workers in some central office. With just a laptop, a VPN, and a headset you’re ready to collaborate with your colleagues from the kitchen table.
Credit where credit is due: banks were among the first to institutionalize telework.
Want to be a lawyer? Go to law school.
Want to be a doctor? Go to med school.
Want to be a banker? Go to… bank school?
You don’t have to study economics to get into banking. Many bankers have degrees in philosophy, geography, mathematics, civil engineering, law, or history.
Bank managers don’t care that their employees have studied Old French poetry or Kant’s Kritik der reinen Vernunft. To employers, a university degree indicates perseverance and an ability to learn new things.
However, there are some specific things you can learn to get ahead. The following four skills will boost your career in finance. Continue reading “So you want to be a banker”
The ten year anniversary of Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy is fast approaching. Some quick thoughts on what has changed and what we’ve learned over the past decade, with a focus on Europe.
- Banks are much safer now than they were in the summer of 2008.
- There’s a remarkable lack of entrepreneurship in banking. A few fintechs offer payment services, but payments are only a small part of banking. Where are the new banks?
- Related to point 2, and something I’ve changed my mind about over the years: bailing out the banks was the right thing to do. I highly doubt that we would have experienced much creative destruction by letting the financial system collapse. That being said, the way the bailouts were done was horrible.
- The way the European establishment handled the euro crisis was an abomination. Fiscal and monetary coordination across Europe would have resulted in lower unemployment, lower debt, lower taxes.
- Notwithstanding the importance of money in people’s daily lives, financial literacy is still limited.
Some years after the crisis of 2008, Dutch journalist and anthropologist Joris Luyendijk set out to learn more about the people in the financial industry. Through a series of interviews with bankers, he was able to paint an impression of what it’s like to work in London’s banks. Continue reading “What type of banker are you?”
Can we avoid another financial crisis? Ten years after the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), we’ll hear the opinions of countless pundits about the likelihood of a new crisis. However, few commenters will be able to answer the question as profoundly as professor Steve Keen. Keen elaborated his views in the 2017 book with the appropriate title Can we avoid another financial crisis? Continue reading “Can we avoid another financial crisis?”
To be fair to Mr. Decressonnière, most bankers don’t understand money creation.
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)”
When people ask me what I used to do before I became a writer/consultant, I usually tell them that I was a risk manager. That’s also the description I use on the cover of Bankers are people, too. Continue reading “What I used to do”
This is a review of a book written over 50 years ago by a central banker.
Based on that introduction, even most finance geeks will probably think “boring!” or “irrelevant!”. Until you learn it has Nazis, hyperinflation and the Nuremberg trials in it. And those are not even the interesting parts. Continue reading “The Magic of Money”