20764
Anton Chekhov’s Six Rules for a Great Story
QUOTE
1. Absence of lengthy verbiage of a political-social-economic nature
2. Total objectivity
3. Truthful descriptions of persons and objects
4. Extreme brevity
5. Audacity and originality: flee the stereotype
6. Compassion
zed  meta_6P 
12 days ago
Lynn/Nelson - When they lay me down
I raised my head and set myself
In the eye of the storm, in the belly of a whale
My spirit stood on solid ground
I'll be at peace when they lay me down
When I was a child, I cried
Until my needs were satisfied
My needs have grown up, pound for pound
I'll be at peace when they lay me down
When they lay me down someday
My soul will rise, then fly away
This old world will turn around
I'll be at peace when they lay me down
This life isn't fair, it seems
It's filled with tears and broken dreams
There are no tears where I am bound
And I'll be at peace when they lay me down
When they lay me down some day
My soul will rise, then fly away
This old world will turn around
I'll be at peace when they lay down
When they lay me down some day
My soul will rise and fly away
This old world will turn around
I'll be at peace when they lay me down
When I was a child, I cried
3do  zed 
17 days ago
An effortless way to improve your memory
QUOTE A surprisingly potent technique can boost your short and long-term recall
zip  zig 
4 weeks ago
Ireland, 1946
US film about Eire and Northern Ireland
zed  isles 
4 weeks ago
Latin proverbs
QUOTE This is a list of Latin proverbs and sayings.
F185 
5 weeks ago
Create engaging digital stories for the web | Shorthand
Web storyelling digital tool. Used by BBC and stuff.co.nz eg
meta_net 
6 weeks ago
How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies
QUOTE The [hardware seeing] attack by Chinese spies reached almost 30 U.S. companies, including Amazon and Apple, by compromising America’s technology supply chain, according to extensive interviews with government and corporate sources.
3PW  RL 
6 weeks ago
Songwriting Masterclass with Eleanor McEvoy
Songwriting Masterclass with Eleanor McEvoy
€12.00
Saturday 26 January 2019
10.30am–1.30pm
irish Writers Ctr
3do  zed 
6 weeks ago
Leonard Bernstein - Songfest
For two mezzo-sopranos, tenor, baritone, bass, and orchestra
I. "To the Poem" (Frank O'Hara)
II. "The Pennycandystore Beyond the El" (Lawrence Ferlinghetti)
III. "A Julia de Burgos" (Julia de Burgos)
IV. "To What You Said" (Walt Whitman)
V. "I, Too, Sing America" (Langston Hughes) / "Okay 'Negroes' " (June Jordan)
VI. "To My Dear and Loving Husband" (Anne Bradstreet)
VII. "Storyette H. M." (Gertrude Stein)
VIII. "If you can't eat you got to" (e.e. cummings)
IX. "Music I Heard With You" (Conrad Aiken)
X. "Zizi's Lament" (Gregory Corso)
XI. "What Lips My Lips Have Kissed" (Edna St. Vincent Millay)
XII. "Israfel" (Edgar Allan Poe)
isles  stripes  meta_music 
7 weeks ago
Fill out £ exchange form
[ ] banknotes
[ ] photocopy photo ID
[ ] photocopy proof of address
[ ] Department NEX, Bank of England, Threadneedle Street, London EC2R 8AH

QUOTE We can pay your money into a bank account (normally within ten working days), by cheque or, if you live in the UK and your exchange is worth less than £50, in new banknotes. We do not send banknotes overseas.

For payments to an overseas bank account, please provide the BIC/SWIFT Code and IBAN number. Please note we can only pay into accounts that accept sterling (GBP). We do not charge for this service, however your bank or their intermediaries may charge you.
2do 
7 weeks ago
SUSI (Student Universal Support Ireland): Students Studying Outside the State
Income eligibility:
QUOTE Income:
Who is included in the calculation of your income for grant purposes depends on which class of applicant you are, dependent or independent. Please note that applicants who apply under the incorrect class will have their applications cancelled and will need to apply again.
Your reckonable income (income calculated for grant purposes) must fall under the specified thresholds. This income will be a factor in determining what type of funding you could receive.
edu  zed  zip 
7 weeks ago
Student Awards Agency Scotland: Full Time Student Information
information about the funding available for non-UK EU students coming to Scotland to study an eligible full-time undergraduate course

* The Eligibility section provides information about the conditions you must meet to be eligible for funding.

* The Funding area explains what funding is available in session 2018-2019.

* The How to apply zone explains how to submit an application for funding and contains useful tips to help you submit your application correctly.
edu  zed  zip 
7 weeks ago
EU citizens studying in the UK
QUOTE You can apply for a tuition fee loan which you only have to repay after you have graduated and are earning over £21,000 sterling a year.
zed  zip  isles 
7 weeks ago
Nearly 1,500 students use grants to study abroad
QUOTE Almost 1,500 third-level students from Ireland in receipt of State-funded grants are studying in colleges abroad. Under the Department of Education’s student grant scheme, eligible candidates may receive funding provided they are attending an approved course at a publicly-funded institution within the European Union. The vast majority of students who qualify for grants for college abroad are attending colleges in the UK. However, growing numbers are heading further afield to countries such as Poland, the Netherlands, Sweden and Hungary for reasons including lower costs, easier entry criteria for medical courses or higher-ranking universities.

A breakdown of figures shows England is the most popular location for grant-holders (783), followed by Northern Ireland (328), Scotland (172) and Wales (146). Significant numbers are also in Poland (95) and the Netherlands (63), while smaller numbers are in countries such as Hungary (12), Romania (8) and Slovakia (7).

While Ireland has “free fees” at third level, the €3,000 student contribution charge is greater than the cost of many courses in Europe. In Austria, Switzerland and Belgium, fees are usually less than €1,000 a year, while they are mostly free in Scotland, Sweden and Germany.

Fees of just under €2,000 apply in the Netherlands where a student loan scheme is available, allowing graduates to pay back their fees over the longer term. In central Europe, however, fees for courses such as dentistry, veterinary and physiotherapy are often as high as €10,000 per year. Guy Flouch of Eunicas (European University Central Application Support Service) said more than 1,000 degree programmes are on offer through English in European colleges.

“What Irish students are doing is exercising their rights as EU citizens; whatever these universities have for their students, we can access it as well.”

EG
Scotland
University of Stirling: 26 Irish students receiving Irish state aid
Edinburgh Napier University: 20
University of Edinburgh 14
University of Aberdeen 11
University of Abertay Dundee 11
University of Dundee 10
University of Glasgow 10
University of Strathclyde 7
University of St Andrews 7

N Ireland
Queen's University Belfast 56
University of Ulster 199

England
Middlesex University 27
University of Southampton 27
Canterbury Christ Church University 26
Coventry University 22
isles  edu  zip  zed 
7 weeks ago
UCAS: UK University applications for EU Students
QUOTE
**How to apply to study in the UK**
*University applications for International Students*

You do all your research and applying for courses online through the UCAS website.

Firstly, the way that UK higher education works means there are different rules for UK, EU and international students. We’ll highlight the similarities and differences throughout ucas.com, but it might be worth checking our guide to UK higher education terms too.

1: get started on what to study, when to apply and how to get a place and a visa.

2: Then find a course, and look out for our advice on how to choose a suitable course and university.

3: Then start applying, submitting your application before 15 January (18:00 UK time) if possible, (or 15 October 18:00 UK time the year before for Oxford, Cambridge or most medicine, veterinary and dentistry courses).
Then look at finance and support, if you’ll need to arrange visas and to pay course fees or adjust to life in the UK.
isles  edu  zip  zed 
7 weeks ago
Germany: Potential Deutsche and Commerzbank merger finds FinMin support
"The ECB has made clear it would welcome consolidation because it would breathe life into the euro zone's banking union, the plan launched in 2012 to reduce financial risks through common supervision, a privately funded winding-down mechanism for ailing banks and a common bank deposit insurance scheme." German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz gave this mad scheme a boost, reportedly telling an audience this week that he could envisage a tie-up between Deutsche and Commerzbank. Mr Scholz also envisages Frankfurt becoming the headquarters of European banking.
3PW  RL 
7 weeks ago
India: MSME sector loans to trigger banking crisis?
As India and its banks grapple with a high proportion of non-performing loans, the former Reserve Bank governor has warned that the country's next financial crisis will emerge from over-enthusiastic lending to the MSME sector in the last three years. "Raghuram Rajan has warned that the next crisis involved the country's banking sector could come from MUDRA loans i.e. loans given to micro and small businesses," reports DNA India. The PMMY scheme (Pradhan Manrti Mudra Yojana) was launched by the Prime Minister in April 2015, "for providing loans of up to Rs 10 lakh to the non-corporate, non-farm small/micro enterprises".
3PW  RL 
7 weeks ago
Irish banking market needs further competition
A cross-party delegation of Irish politicians is in Germany this week, looking at ways to avoid a repeat of the banking crisis in Ireland. The politicians were examining the day-to-day operations of Germanys' Sparkassen, the local-authority owned banking system that underpins much of Germany's SME sector, and some believe that credit unions could take the German model to heart. "They undercut traditional retail lenders, providing low-cost loans and mortgages to companies and households. They offer SMEs a 3 per cent rate of interest for long-term loans (the rate in the Republic is higher at 5 per cent on average) and home mortgages at 1.1 per cent fixed rate of interest over 10 years (the rate here is typically treble that)." Fine Gael senator Kieran O'Donnell told the Irish Times: "I believe that the Irish banking market needs further competition. The purpose of this fact-finding mission is to see the German public banks model Sparkassen in operation on a day-to-day basis."
3PW  RL 
7 weeks ago
US: Stablecoins to be approved?
Federal regulators continue to turn down bitcoin ETFs but have shown interest in supporting what are called 'Stablecoins', one of which is the Tether asset, which is supposedly tethered to the price of a US dollar, and is therefore 'stable'. The omnipresent Winklevoss twins, who have symbolically set up an arsenal outside the New York regulator's office and are firing in new proposals daily, have gained the regulatory stamp of approval for their Gemini coin, which is pegged (apparently) to the price of a dollar. Meanwhile, Citi is exploring offering custodial services for cryptocurrencies and will offer DARs or Digital Asset Receipts, and register that receipt at the Depositary Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTTC). Bloomberg's Matt Levine sums up Citi's proposal: "Yes, sure, bitcoin is great, but what Bitcoin investors really want is to hold Bitcoins in the form of a receipt issued by a giant bank and registered at DTCC."
3PW  RL 
7 weeks ago
Everybody looks at India as a data goldmine
We've noted Facebook's missteps in India, where its 'Free Basics' initiative was greeted unenthusiastically as digital colonialism. Google is treading more carefully, as this Guardian article illustrates. In fact, almost all of the world's digital giants are competing in India and using the billion-plus population as a way to tailor services, as are local players. Mukesh Ambani's Rio telecoms business now offers Indians a gigabyte of data for the equivalent of 16 pence, the cheapest in the world. "How technology companies will store and use such a vast reservoir of information is still unclear, says Osama Manzar, whose Digital Empowerment Foundation works to bring the internet to the country's furthest villages. 'Everybody looks at India as a data goldmine, so the government needs to see how it can protect its people at the policy level,' he says, according to the Guardian.
3PW  RL 
7 weeks ago
CFO of ING resigns
It seems bank executives can gambol freely in Europe without fearing anything more than losing an annual bonus. Koos Timmermans, CFO of ING, has resigned following news that the bank agreed to pay a fine of €775 million to settle charges including money laundering. Dutch prosecutors investigating a variety of criminal cases kept running into the ING name, and charged the bank with violating money laundering, and financing terrorism. While the settlement agreement prevents the embarrassing situation from reaching a courtroom, the ease with which ING has deflected the case is astonishing. Remember: ING has voluntarily settled the case rather than being dragged through a court over financing terrorism, but has escaped with no admission of criminal liability. Yet the resignation of the CFO was so unusual that it made front-page news on the Financial Times this morning. The City of Amsterdam is now re-thinking its long-standing custom with ING. Will ING get ahead of itself and fire Hamers? It may be necessary, with Thomas Borgen's continued tenure at Danske now in doubt.
3PW  RL 
7 weeks ago
Germany: Deutsche being allowed to access deposits at Postbank unit
ith Deutsche Bank gradually losing access to cheap funding as the German state tries to put some distance between itself and the bank, the ECB decided earlier this year to allow Deutsche Bank to access deposits at its Postbank retail franchise in order to fund its corporate and investment operations. Is this the opposite of ring-fencing, set to come into full force in the UK in 2019? Will Brexit hasten a rapid unwinding of ring-fencing in the UK? What banks will prefer to operate under the UK's ringfenced regime when they could be skipping gaily across the EU banking landscape?
3PW  RL 
7 weeks ago
EBA to tackle money-laundering, it says
The European Banking Authority announced that it will take on greater powers to tackle money-laundering following yet another week of revelations of failure to tackle the issue. (We wondered last week if there was any money left in Russia.) As the FT reports this weekend, the EBA has the equivalent of 1.8 full time staff working on money-laundering, which seems to be the regulatory equivalent of looking the other way. With two out of every hundred dollars in the global banking system being laundered, is this being accepted as the price of doing business, by banks and regulators? The EBA seems to have accepted that national regulators can barely seem to keep track of what's going on in their own countries, never mind tracking cross-border flows inside the European Union and with third countries such as Russia. But will Brexit pose a fatal challenge to this ambition? It's well known that London is the global capital of money-laundering. Will it prove even more attractive after Brexit, and once the EU gets its house in order? Perhaps there's a reason that the EBA only has 1.8 people working on money laundering.
3PW  RL 
7 weeks ago
India post bank issuing QR cards rather than debit card
Want to know how cryptocurrencies will work in the real world? It pays then to watch the shift is happening in places such as India, where The India Payments Postal Bank has the mandate — and slogan — for 'Doorstep banking to the unbanked & bridging the last mile gap', which is a major concern not just in India but more broadly across emerging economies. Increasingly, we're seeing QR codes being deployed at the 'last mile' because of their ability to cross media, working equally well on printed cards, smartphones or tablets. (Think of your boarding pass, which you can print or use from your phone.) The India Payments Postal Bank, licensed under the relatively new payments banking regime, is issuing QR cards rather than debit card. This means the card is cheaper to manufacture and has no embedded chip. Looking for cash? You can get it from your postman, who scans your QR code and your fingerprint. "The QR card, on the other hand, is very simple to use. You don't need to remember your account number or any password," according to Livemint. "The postman will simply scan your fingerprint, QR code and make the payment."
3PW  RL 
7 weeks ago
Summers mocking Fed reports on bank stress tests
When the consummate insider and former World Bank chief economist, Harvard President and Obama-era Treasury official Larry Summers starts publicly mocking Fed reports on bank stress tests, there's got to be a problem. During the summer, the Federal Reserve gamed a scenario of 10 percent US unemployment, falling house prices, and a 65 percent drop in stock prices, and declared: "The nation's largest bank holding companies are strongly capitalized and would be able to lend to households and businesses during a severe global recession." The Fed report added that even with banks paying out capital in dividends and share buybacks, "none would have any capital deficiency." Financial reporters have also generally accepted this claim that US banks are far better capitalised than for example their European counterparts. Summers suggested instead that this is a "comically absurd conclusion that is belied by the most elementary analysis of the beta of those major financial institutions. And the fact that that assertion continues to be made has to undercut whatever credibility one would otherwise attach to the very substantial efforts that have been made to strengthen financial regulation."
3PW  RL 
7 weeks ago
UK: Lloyds feeling heat from Goldman Sachs' Marcus
Marcus, the Goldman Sachs bank for non-millionaires, has opened in the UK and Lloyds Banking Group, feeling the competition getting a little too hot, dropped Goldman from the auction of a hundred-billion-dollar investment contract. "A person close to the auction — codenamed "Project Swift" by Lloyds — said the UK launch of Goldman's retail bank, Marcus, had raised competition concerns for Lloyds, the third-biggest UK bank by assets."
3PW  RL 
7 weeks ago
UK: RBS to use Starling for new digital offering
Digital banks are clearly starting to muscle in on established banks, and not just by offering alternatives to people and small businesses, but in some cases by offering digital infrastructure. Along with the news that OakNorth will licence its software, we noted recently that RBS will turn to Starling Bank for its new digital offering rather than risk making a mess of the process itself.
3PW  RL 
7 weeks ago
UK fintech firing on all cylinders: eg, OakNorth
KPMG's fintech co-leader Anton Ruddenklau told the FT that early adoption by the UK regulators of the EU's Open Banking regime was helping the fintech industry greatly. That, and the closing of the Vantiv takeover of Worldpay, helped the UK to outrank the US and China in fintech investment in the first half of 2018. A further boost is expected with the assignment of £775 million to small business by RBS, under orders by European regulators. Then there's the success of businesses such as Transferwise and Revolut along with second-tier innovations now starting to emerge from the fintech industry, such as new core banking systems. "You have got phenomenal fintech innovation in China and India - China is doing things the rest of the world hasn't even realised yet and India is copying them quickly," OakNorth CEO Rishi Khosla said. "But if you take out those two markets then I would say the UK is far ahead of the rest of the developed world." Indeed, new UK banks are finding that their core technologies are in demand by other lenders. Please, no seed funding jokes here, but British business bank OakNorth is launching its own AI-based lending software under the name Acorn OakNorth. We had lots of fun writing about OakNorth in our recent report on Banking Fintech Partnerships, because OakNorth was the first non-US bank to employ the lending software nCino. (Encino is the Spanish word for Oak.) The bank has raised $100 million to fund the new project. "The fundraising," writes the FT, "which was announced on Thursday, would value the company at 170 times its pre-tax profits of £10.6m last year. That makes Acorn OakNorth one of the most highly valued of Britain's new breed of fintech start-ups that have sprung up to challenge the country's dominant retail banks."
3PW  RL 
7 weeks ago
Canada's banks performing - but US banks drawing investment
Canada's banks are delivering record profits and racing ahead of their US counterparts on profitability and dividend yields, according to Bloomberg. But that's still not enough to draw investor sentiment away from US banks, which are also delivering record profits, helped along by US tax cuts. "Lower tax rates helped the six giant U.S. banks — JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp., Wells Fargo & Co., Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley — churn out more than $29 billion in net income in each of this year's first two quarters." According to Tony Scherrer, director of research and portfolio manager with Seattle-based Smead Capital Management, US investors are also poised for a resurgence in mortgage lending as Millennials enter their housebuying years. With the average US Millennial understood to be deeply in debt from college fees, and working a precarious bike-delivery job, it's not entirely clear if this will play out as understood in the minds of bank analysts.
3PW  RL 
7 weeks ago
BTC-e bitcoin exchange used in cyberattacks on US
theft of 850,000 bitcoin from MtGox in 2013 and 2014 continues to play out, as former FBI Director and now US Special Counsel Robert Mueller appears convinced that Russian hackers known as Fancy Bear used bitcoin exchange BTC-e to acquire bitcoin, which was then used to rent time on servers in order to launch cyberattacks on America using fake Facebook groups and Twitter accounts. Back in 2014, when cryptoexchange Kraken went to work for the Mt Gox bankruptcy trustee and took the job of tracking the missing MtGox bitcoins, it traced missing tokens to Eastern European exchange BTC-e, allegedly operated by a Russian man called Alexander Vinnik. Vinnik was arrested while on holiday in Greece and remains in a Greek jail, but Mueller's campaign took a blow on Wednesday when a Greek court ruled that Vinnik will be extradited to Russia. Kraken subsequently spun out its bitcoin detective unit into a separate business called Chainalysis, whose chief economist Philip Gradwell will speak at the Lafferty events in London in two week's time.
3PW  RL 
7 weeks ago
Varo Money set to become first all-mobile digital bank in US
after receiving preliminary approval from banking regulators. It will be run by Colin Walsh, "[an] industry veteran who previously worked at Wells Fargo, American Express and on the board of Visa Europe." Varo will work with Bancorp Bank to provide current accounts and will dispense with cheques, which are still widely used in the US. It also plans to launch its own bank and will decamp from San Francisco to Salt Lake CIty for that purpose. "Varo Bank, which will have no brick-and-mortar branches, plans to add several new products after it opens, including offering certificates of deposit, credit cards and home equity loans, Walsh said." Other US fintechs such as SoFi and Robinhood are expected to follow suit now that the doors have opened for digital banking.
3PW  RL 
7 weeks ago
Lowering homocysteine
QUOTE Homocysteine level in the blood plasma is a risk factor and predictor of Alzheimer’s Disease. Therefore if you scored low in the Cognitive Function Test, it is advisable to follow this up with a homocysteine test. Tests can be obtained via your GP or home testing can be undertaken as below:

In the UK a home-test kit is available from www.yorktest.com

In Eire a home-test kit is available from www.yorktest.ie
3do 
8 weeks ago
Ten richest countries in the world - 2017
Per IMF QUOTE Ireland is the fifth richest country in the world with GDP of $72,630 per person. Spending, investment and construction drove GDP growth in Ireland in 2016, the IMF reports.
isles 
10 weeks ago
createspace cost/royalty per copy RNG
e8.36 per copy on 180p @ 5"x8" if RRP is set at e14
meta-6P 
10 weeks ago
Use of Trademark Symbols
QUOTE In written documents – articles, press releases, promotional materials, and the like -- it is only necessary to use a symbol with the first instance of the mark, or with the most prominent placement of the mark. It is a common misconception that each and every instance of the mark should bear a trademark symbol. Overuse creates visual clutter and may detract from the aesthetic appeal of the piece. Provided there is at least one conspicuous use of the TM, SM, or ® on the face of the writing, do not be afraid to eliminate superfluous markings.
nine 
10 weeks ago
Who is the Trump staffer who penned the New York Times anonymous op-ed?
QUOTE the incredibly leaky Trump administration also has a tic that could rule [Mike "lodestar" Pence] out: some leakers like to borrow other people’s favorite expressions in order to “cover their tracks,” as one told Axios this May. “I usually pay attention to other staffers’ idioms and use that in my background quotes. That throws the scent off me,” he or she said.
stripes 
10 weeks ago
TSB chief Paul Pester steps down after IT meltdown
MP Nicky Morgan, chair of the UK's Treasury Select Committee said the committee had lost faith in Pester: "Since the IT problems at TSB began, Paul Pester set the tone for TSB's complacent and misleading public communications. The Treasury committee, therefore, concluded that it lost confidence in Dr Pester's position as chief executive of TSB. In this light, it is right that he is stepping down." TSB was extricated from the failing Lloyds Banking Group as part of the UK government's rescue of the bank. Spanish bank Sabadell acquired TSB and planned to replace the legacy infrastructure, which was bodged together from old bits of the TSB, Halifax and Bank of Scotland systems, and rented back to TSB for a year while it managed the migration to Sabadell's system.
3PW  RL 
10 weeks ago
Denmark: Auditors Warned Danske Bank About Dodgy Clients, Money Laundering
Chief executive Thomas Borgen is toughing it out, but not for long. Long-time business customers are leaving the bank after another money-laundering scandal. Mr Borgen was head of international banking at Danske from 2009 to 2013 while 30 billion euros was passing through the single Estonian branch in one year alone. It seems clear that some people at the bank did know what was going on. "Reporters at [Danish newspaper] Berlingske obtained a letter sent in February 2014 by Danske Bank's internal auditors to two members of the bank's executive board. The letter reportedly states that the Estonian branch of the Danske Bank had acted in clear breach of money-laundering regulations. According to the Danish newspaper, Lars Mørch, the head of business banking, and Robert Endersby, chief risk officer — who has now left the bank — were told that the Estonian branch's staff had failed to identify the true owners of a number of companies whose accounts were channeling large amounts of money." We expect Borgen will be out the door in a matter of weeks.
3PW  RL 
10 weeks ago
Netherlands: ING reach €675m settlement agreement with prosecutors
A press release on the ING site yesterday announced the bank has reached a "settlement agreement" with Dutch prosecutors on "regulatory issues". This is all intensely political, as Dutch prosecutors clearly don't want to put Dutch banks out of business. But the "settlement agreement" of €675 million is the largest ever imposed on a business by the Dutch public prosecution, which found that "clients were able to use accounts held with ING for criminal activities for many years, virtually undisturbed" from 2010 to 2016. The clients included a Venezuelan lingerie company and a Russian mobile phone operator. The agreement means the alleged criminal charges and culpable money laundering that included breaches of anti-terrorist financing will go away, and no-one will be prosecuted. ING executives will lose their 2018 bonuses. ING said it will be taking robust measures.
3PW  RL 
10 weeks ago
Prepaid accounts and innovative thinking
We've been following the work of Niti Bhan of the Emerging Futures Market, who writes insightfully about, for instance, the value of prepaid accounts, which is a worthwhile read for bank workers who are trying to figure out financial inclusion and cannot compete with local, ground-up institutions. Michael Kimani's work with Chamapesa touches on the same issues, and moves to the concept of collective rather than individual credit, a radical solution already employed widely in Africa. We've noted separately that there's a rush of new digital banking solutions being offered in wealthy countries to freelancers and the self-employed, who live and work in the often precarious 'gig economy'. Another case of 'first the rest, then the west?'
3PW  RL 
10 weeks ago
TSB CEO leaving post
"TSB was last month forced to delay a long-planned shift of millions of its Visa debit card holders to Mastercard," notes the FT. "The move was originally set for later this year but has been pushed back to 2020."
3PW  RL 
10 weeks ago
Bank of England set to offer governor extension
As reality starts to sink in that Britain's Brexit will not be a smooth and orderly transition, the Bank of England appears set to offer an extension to governor Mark Carney, who is currently signed up to lead the bank until June 2019. The BBC claims that it's not so much a matter of Carney staying on in order to re-assure the markets, but more a case of finding someone brave enough to take over the reins at the UK's central bank just as the UK is crashing out of the EU, and banks based in the UK are hotfooting it across the channel. Frustrated business leaders from Europe and beyond have long decided that the risk of waiting for some kind of clarity on post-Brexit rules is too great, and many are already putting moving plans into action, especially as risks to supply chains become clear.
3PW  RL 
10 weeks ago
Abu Dhabi bank mergers in the works
For places such as Abu Dhabi, there's simply no going back to an oil-dominated economy. Instead, the Emirate is pushing ahead with consolidating its banking sector. More than 50 banks, national and international, serve the UAE, which has a population of around nine million people. Last year, Abu Dhabi's First Gulf Bank merged with the National Bank of Abu Dhabi to create the First Abu Dhabi Bank. Now there are rumblings of a three-way merger of Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Union National Bank and Al-Hilal Bank.
3PW  RL 
10 weeks ago
Alibaba turning its focus towards Russia
Another trail on what the company is now calling the 'Digital Silk Road'. Reports today indicate that Alibaba is about to launch a joint venture with Russian internet giant Mail.ru and Russia's sovereign wealth fund Russian Direct Investment Fund. Unlike India, which has welcomed foreign competition, Russia has not ceded commercial space to the US tech giants. "Alibaba has long seen Russia as a key growth market, where major western online retail giants have little or no presence. Although e-commerce lags behind the rest of Europe, hampered by the preponderance of cash transactions, there is great potential." Martial arts fan Vladimir Putin and Tai Chi master Jack Ma appear to have something in common. Speaking in Russia last year, Mr Ma encouraged Russia to pay attention to people under 30, and to realise that the technological revolution would change the dynamic of global power.
3PW  RL 
10 weeks ago
Line announces own cryptocurrency
Line finally announces its own cryptocurrency, a token to be known as Link. The business plans to issue one billion tokens, and users can earn tokens for completing tasks and helping to incentivise the network. The Japan-based messaging app and home of pop characters Brown Bear and Kony has more than 150 million users across Japan, Indonesia, Taiwan and Thailand. Line is backed by Japanese investor Softbank. US tech site The Verge claims that Line's timing is off, calling its attempt a mixture of "hype and nostalgia". Line, incidentally, acquired its own cryptocurrency exchange, Bitbox, back in June of this year.
3PW  RL 
10 weeks ago
Japanese telecoms businesses acquiring digital asset infrastructures
Tracking development in Japan's mobile and e-commerce space, Lafferty News notes that Japanese telecoms businesses have been quietly acquiring digital asset infrastructures such as cryptocurrency exchanges. This may be a world currently defined by stickers and tokens, but that doesn't mean it's not serious. Japanese e-commerce business Rakuten is buying cryptocurrency exchange Everybody's Bitcoin in order to stay on trend with developments in online payments. Rakuten said it believes "the role of cryptocurrency-based payments in e-commerce, offline retail and in P2P payments will grow in the future." It will pay 265 million yen, or $2.4 million, for the business. "In order to provide cryptocurrency payment methods smoothly, we believe it is necessary for us to provide a cryptocurrency exchange function." Earlier reports suggested that Rakuten was planning to launch its own cryptocurrency, and ownership of the exchange could make this easier.
3PW  RL 
10 weeks ago
CBD
Non-psychotropic cannabis extract QUOTE In addition to that good old “melting into a lawn chair” feeling, CBD’s reported benefits include relief from anxiety, joint pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, menstrual cramps, insomnia, nausea, seizures, bowel inflammation, and plain old moodiness.
zed  health 
11 weeks ago
Google and Mastercard Cut a Secret Ad Deal to Track Retail Sales
QUOTE Google found the perfect way to link online ads to store purchases: credit card data
3PW  FK 
11 weeks ago
Google Location tracking might sidestep user opt-out
Last year, Google announced a 'Stores Sales Measurement' programme to link online clicks to offline sales, saying it had access to data covering 70 percent of credit and debit cards. Google then used Google Location Tracking to link clicks on online ads to later visits to physical stores. Today, courtesy of Bloomberg, we know that Mastercard is providing much of that data. According to Bloomberg, "Google paid Mastercard millions of dollars for the data, according to two people who worked on the deal, and the companies discussed sharing a portion of the ad revenue, according to one of the people. The people asked not to be identified discussing private matters." Both companies insist that the data is anonymised. The company said people can opt out of ad tracking using Google's "Web and App Activity" online console. "Inside Google, multiple people raised objections that the service did not have a more obvious way for cardholders to opt out of the tracking, one of the people said." As users, we bear some responsibility for our data and whom we chose to share it with, and over the past several years, many users have switched off Google Location tracking, so although your phone naturally travels with you, it need not broadcast your location to Google at all times. However, last week an investigation by the AP found that Google is tracking your locations whether you like it or not. "An Associated Press investigation found that many Google services on Android devices and iPhones store your location data even if you've used a privacy setting that says it will prevent Google from doing so."
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11 weeks ago
India: less black money in the economy than previously thought?
India's central bank published its annual report on Wednesday, suggesting that 99.3 percent of the money withdrawn from circulation had been returned to the bank. This suggests that there was less black money in the economy than previously thought. The demonetisation process is thought to have cost one percent of the economy's GDP; it also caused the loss of 1.5 million jobs. Author Gurchuran Das told the Guardian: "It has helped India move faster towards a digital economy. It will result in India actually skipping the branch phase of banking. But this was not the way to do it. The cost to the people was high, and we lost about a year of economic growth by my estimates. And to solve the jobs problem of India you need to grow at about 8 percent for about 20 years." The demonetisation process inadvertently resulted in the accelerated rise of Paytm, which counts Ant Financial and Softbank among its existing investors. Paytm's latest investor is Warren Buffett, whose Berkshire Hathaway vehicle made its first direct India investment this week.
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11 weeks ago
Wonga no longa
Once a sponsor of Newcastle United, payday lender Wonga has collapsed into administration following a rise in historical compensation claims. The company has been in hot water before. "In 2014, the firm introduced a new management team and wrote off £220m worth of debt belonging to 330,000 customers after admitting giving loans to people who could not afford to repay them," reports Sky News. The payday lender to the smartphone generation charged high interest rates to people whose credit did not invite lending from banks, but began to hit the buffers back in 2015 when the UK government capped interest rates on payday loans. Now, the increase in historical claims, where people can claim against Wonga if they were offered more money than they could afford to repay, is driving Wonga out of business.
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11 weeks ago
Nigeria: Will MTN manage an IPO this year?
The Central Bank of Nigeria yesterday tweeted that it "slams" fines to Diamond Bank, Stanbic, Stanchart and Citibank for working to move MTN money out of the country in breach of regulations. "Standard Chartered PLC was fined 2.4 billion naira ($7.86 million), Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC 1.8 billion naira, Citibank 1.2 billion naira and Diamond Bank PLC 250 million naira," according to Reuters. The CBN said it had ordered MTN and the banks to repatriate to Nigeria $8.1 million that was sent abroad in contravention of foreign exchange rules. MTN generates a third of its revenues in Nigeria, its biggest market.
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11 weeks ago
Stripe's own Stripe of Africa
Now comes Paystack, which [like Flutterwave] is also describing itself as the 'Stripe of Africa' with the added bonus of having Stripe itself as one of its investors as it raised $8 million. "The Paystack founders are highly technical, fanatically customer oriented, and unrelentingly impatient," says Patrick Collison, CEO of Stripe, in a statement. "We're excited to back such people in one of the world's fastest-growing regions."
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11 weeks ago
Square all set to add cryptocurrency to POS system
Jack Dorsey's Square POS system is set to add bitcoin and cryptocurrency payments after news emerged that the US Patents office has approved the payments business's system which "allows merchants to accept cryptocurrencies alongside conventional payment methods and cash out in their currency of choice. The San Francisco-based firm first filed for the patent in Sept. 2017." Square POS systems are already in wide use in the US, and the Square app has already enabled payments in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. "However," as CCN.com notes, "Square already has tremendous market penetration, so adding cryptocurrency payments to its present POS system would allow millions of merchants to accept bitcoin without having to onboard to another payment processor or manually convert cryptocurrency funds into fiat."
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11 weeks ago
Deutsche blames regulators for growth woes
In a bid to restore the status quo of "Too big to fail" banks, Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing claimed yesterday that fragmented European regulation is standing in the way of the emergence of strong European banking champions. He was speaking at a banking conference in Frankfurt organised by German daily Handelsblatt. Mr Sewing indicated that Deutsche Bank could be that champion, saying that he would not stand in the way of the bank's investment and corporate banking division. As a twenty-five-year veteran of Deutsche Bank, Mr Sewing knows that bank's unmatched record of fines (totalling over $10 billion) for charges including tax evasion, sanctions violations, mortgage mis-selling, money laundering, and manipulation of LIBOR rates and commodities prices, among other things. That's where the bank has been caught. The idea that European regulators are holding back Deutsche Bank's grand ambitions is comical. Mr Sewing's stitch in time will not save Deutsche Bank.
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11 weeks ago
India: Google making moves in loans sector
Facebook once looked to dominate India, until its Facebook Basics "free internet" service attracted negative sentiment, and a recent controversy over Whatsapp put the business back in a bad light. There was also a sense that Facebook's strategy was driven from Menlo Park rather than India. Google, meanwhile, is powering ahead in India, with its Google Tez app now being renamed as Google Pay. Google is also working to help install free public wifi on trains and in villages. Yesterday, another step as Google announced that its renamed payments service will work with four banks to deliver pre-approved customer loans. @Using the Google Pay app, customers will soon be able to get loans from HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Federal Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank. "In the coming weeks, these customers will be able to use Google Pay to take out a customised loan amount from their banks, with minimal paperwork, and once they accept the bank's terms, the money is deposited securely and instantly by their bank, into their bank account," Google's general manager (payments) Caesar Sengupta said," Livemint reports.
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11 weeks ago
FT on culture in banking [video]
Gillian Tett has a short film looking at culture in banking. Has it changed since the crisis? The instrumental reggae clip playing over the intro tells you the answer immediately: no. Ms Tett's interviewees, which include Alan Greenspan and Bob Diamond — have a more positive answer. Alan Greenspan chuckles through an interview where he acknowledges that there was a "flaw" in his thinking as the US's chief financial regulator, because he thought human beings were rational economic actors. That's not a flaw: it's a massive hole in the middle of what passed for standard economic theory over the course of Mr Greenspan's reign from 1987 to 2006, when the Fed installed his disciple Ben Bernanke. Ms Tett fails to tackle him on this question. However, the look on her face as she tries to take Bob Diamond seriously is worth watching. The only negative note is expressed by a former whistleblower from the US bank Countrywide, a prime contributor to the misselling of subprime mortgages, who notes that another crisis is completely certain to happen. Ironically, Mr Winston, formerly chief leadership officer at Countrywide, appears to be the only one in the film who saw the 2008 crisis approaching. He was fired. Andrew Bailey, please take note.
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11 weeks ago
FCA CEO reflect on 2008 crash, blaming banks not regulators
As we approach the tenth anniversary of the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers on 15 September 2008, which helped accelerate the crash of the financial system, regulators, banks and reporters are looking back at the disaster and asking if anything changed. Mostly, however, they are looking to write a history that absolves themselves, with a lot of ruminations that "no-one saw it coming", which is errant nonsense. The regulators are first out of the traps to insist that their responsibilities were minimal. In the UK's Mail on Sunday, chief executive of the FCA Andrew Bailey fumes about the lack of accountability for wrongdoing in the aftermath of the crisis. Mr Bailey reserves particular ire for Fred Goodwin, former head of RBS, who Bailey imagines is out on the golf course enjoying his pension. "I met Goodwin a few times. He was openly contemptuous of regulation. He may have been an extreme case but he wasn't unusual. Attitudes are very different today." Mr Bailey told the Mail on Sunday he did not fear a repeat of the crisis, and notes that there was a degree of complacency about regulators prior to the crisis.
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11 weeks ago
Ecollege 6150: Print & Digital Media Publication Using Adobe InDesign
6150 -  Print & Digital Media Publication Using Adobe InDesign
2do 
11 weeks ago
UK payday lender Wonga close to collapse
QUOTE following a surge of customer compensation claims in recent weeks that could cause it to call in administrators
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11 weeks ago
Germany: Deutsche and Commerzbank to merge soon?
According to the FT, "banking cognoscenti" in Germany expect Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank to merge. Analysts argue that Germany's retail banking sector, largely driven by community-style banks known as Sparkassen, is ultra-competitive: Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank are lumbering giants with outsized political influence. Deutsche Bank is still in the process of integrating Postbank, which it failed to offload last year. Commerzbank's IT infrastructure has benefited from external investments such as Poland's mBank, but still, memories are short when it comes to IT merger problems. (TSB, anyone?) Fee-hungry investment banks and advisors are pushing hard for a fast merger of the German giants, but as one insider told the FT in a moment of frankness, "Lumping together two sick men doesn't create a healthy one".
3PW  RL 
11 weeks ago
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