There are lots of reasons why a bank would change its core system. Here’s my top five. Legacy constraints This is the most obvious one, but it does not create a reason for changing a core system in or of itself. After all, I know of plenty of banks that continue to operate processors and applications developed in the 1960s and 1970s because the view is: ‘if it ain’t broke, leave it’.
Bringing to you the top finance and business news stories of the week. This week, Spain's successful bond auction, more talk of currency war, and eastern promise in the eurozone.
The interrogation of Barclays' newly-installed chief executive Bob Diamond by the Treasury committee of the House of Commons last Tuesday was an unsatisfactory affair. The two and half hour session gave the politicians the opportunity to “grandstand” and channel popular anger about bankers’ bonuses, tax avoidance and reluctance to lend to SMEs.
A car accident, a plane crash, or Jane Fonda’s workout, perhaps, but ‘impact’ is not a word one might typically associate with investing. Especially in the context of alternatives, using ‘impact’ could be construed either meaning augmenting returns in a broader portfolio or potentially hitting the deck as the market is crashing.
A resurgent oil price is likely to be one of the biggest threats to global economic recovery in 2011, especially if the price per barrel breaks back through the $147 peak seen in July 2008. Anything above the $100-barrel mark can be expected to have harmful side-effects, including squeezing industry margins across most sectors and driving up inflation, which would become especially toxic if accompanied by the inflationary effects of surging food prices.
There's a highly enjoyable, marvelously disingenuous article in the London Telegraph newspaper about how a study showed that "relations between female workers and their bosses deteriorate dramatically when profit sharing schemes are introduced."
Australia started 2011 with a tract of territory larger than Germany and France combined under water. Initially, before deaths started being reported in the worst flooding Australia has seen for decades, the initial concern was damage to property and infrastructure.
The US has benefited enormously from the use of the global reserve currency as its domestic currency and from the blindness of most bond investors to the true scale of the fiscal mountain that Washington must climb, in terms of the country’s unsustainable deficits.
As we move into 2011 the world is rapidly polarizing into those who think that the Eurozone is going to disintegrate or fragment this year and those who believe it can muddle through, given enough good will. In the latter camp, not unexpectedly, is Jean-Claude Trichet, the President of the European Central Bank.
Despite the self inflicted public relations disaster of the second Khordokovsky trial, with its absurd guilty verdict, the Russian Federation is still rated a good bet by both the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.