Fintech Fridays EP36: Techfins with Michael King, Lansdowne Chair in Finance, Gustavson School of Business at UVic

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NCFA Canada | Aug 9, 2019

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Aug 23:  Techfins with Michael R. King, PhD CFA EP36

GUEST:  MICHAEL R. KING, PhD CFA, Lansdowne Chair in Finance, Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria, (Linkedin)

HOST: Manseeb Khan, Fintech Friday's show host

BIO:  Professor Michael R. King is the Lansdowne Chair in Finance at University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business. Prior to joining UVic, he held the Tangerine Chair in Finance at Western University’s Ivey Business School (2011-2019), where he co-founded Canada’s first FinTech research centre (the Scotiabank Digital Banking Lab). Before joining academia, he worked in investment banking in Zurich, New York and London from 1990-1998 (Credit Suisse, RBC Dominion Securities) and central banking in Ottawa and Basel from 2001-2011 (Bank of Canada, Bank for International Settlements). Michael completed his PhD at the London School of Economics in 2001 and his CFA designation in 1999. He has taught finance to undergraduates, MBAs and executives. His research focuses on FinTech, banking, international financial markets, and corporate finance.

About this episode:  On this episode of NCFA's Fintech Friday's Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Prof. Michael R. King PhD CFA, Lansdowne Chair in Finance at University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business. They chat about transformational fintech, big tech vs techfins and fintech 3.0.  Enjoy!

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Transcription of Interview

Intro: Welcome fintech Friday's a weekly podcast brought to you by the National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada and partners.Covering all things fintech block chain be AI and alternative finance.

Manseeb Khan :  Hey Everybody Manseeb Khan here. Thank you for tuning in to another fantastical episode of the FinTech Friday podcast, Fantastical is now in the Oxford Dictionary. It's not. I'm just kidding. I really want it to be. I mean, fantastical. I love using that word. But this week, today, I'm very, very thrilled. I've been sent a message to all my friends of how excited I am for this episode. I got Michael King. Michael, thank you so much for sitting down today.

Michael King : It's great to be with you, man. Thank you for having me on FinTech Friday.

Manseeb Khan : Awesome. Michael, could you just for the five or six people that may not know who you are and may not share the same level excitement that I am currently sharing? Could you tell us a little bit of who you are, a little bit of your background?

Michael King : Okay, great. Yeah. So, I'm a university professor out on the West Coast at the University of Victoria has kept this in school business. This is my third act when it comes to my career. I did my first decade was in investment banking and trading in New York, London, where I got to see what things look like on the private sector side. My second act in the in the 1990s was in the 2000s was with US Central Banking with the Bank of Canada in Ottawa and also with Bank for International Settlements in Switzerland, where I was there during the financial crisis and got to see how regulators look at the world. And since 2011, I've been in academia. I was at Ivey School of Business at Western University, and back in 2016, I was approached to co-found a fintech research center with my colleague J.P. Varian. And we've been following fintech avidly since then. And then I'm actually in the process of writing a book on fintech called FinTech Explain, which should be out later in the year.

Manseeb Khan : That's incredible of why I can't wait for that book. So, could you talk a little bit more of the traditional versus the transformational views of fintech?

Michael King : Yeah, I mean, I as somebody who's been coming at this from the banking side, from the financial services side for a long time, I shared the same skepticism as most people did that fintech is just the application of technology to financial services. Banks have been doing that for decades, ever since they made the transatlantic cable, the telex, the fax machine and the A.T.M. So, what's so new about fintech? And it really started to dawn on me, you know, as I was writing my book, that there's really two views about fintech. And there's one view that it's evolutionary. And this is the sort of traditional view that we're using technology to reduce costs and to automate back office and digitize a lot of processes. But there's also a transformational view, and that's more of a viewing fintech as a reason, a revolution that's coming out of, you know, the application of technologies in many different industries, consumer products and cars, automation and that back to fintech is really redesigning or reimagining financial services as part of a larger product offering. So, the traditional view is very product centric. We're going to offer customers a loan. We're going to offer them a wealth management product. We're going to offer them a means of payment. And that's kind of the way that traditional financial intermediaries are set up. If you look at the big banks there, they have divisions with names like capital markets, personal and commercial banking, and insurance. And people in those divisions tend to have titles that sort of say what they do. Mostly focused on the product. But when you start looking at a number of these new marketplaces, these multi sided platforms that are being set up and in particular by a techfins  like Ali Baba and Tencent you see that they're looking at this really from the customer's point of view. And it's very customer centric. They're saying, what does the customer want? What's their pain point and how can we provide them with, you know, a great experience? And that great experience may be social networking and maybe ecommerce and maybe gaming, but there is typically a financial service product that makes its way in there somewhere. And so financial service products are being bundled along with other customer products in a new and imaginative ways. And that's where I think the real revolution, or the transformation is taking place right now.

Manseeb Khan : I couldn't agree with you more. I mean, I'm just explaining what fintech is. A lot of you know, a lot of people may think, oh, yeah, it's a very product focused thing. This is just okay, you know what? We are just going to digitize the loans. We're just going to digitize mortgages. We're just going to digitize X, Y and Z payment method. It's very product focused and a kind of I mean, it's a little heartbreaking because. FinTech, it's so much more, right? It has the capability. I mean, you've been hit on the fact that you're having tech companies like Apple that recently released a credit card. These guys are very customer focused, customer centric, right. Because there is around. We've recently had on the on the show a stat that there's 2 billion people that are under serviced and you're having fintech companies come in and service is under serviced, under banked individuals. Its very customer focused, is very good. What do the people want? How do we build a product around the people? Not a product for the people or like a product that the people who just give it to them.

Michael King : Yeah, I'm. And Manseeb. I don't want to say that all. But these two types, traditional and transformational fintech, they kind of co-exist in this ecosystem. And you look at some of the startups that we have here in Canada and abroad and really, they're focused entirely on the customer and on how to make that experience great and simple and less costly. Or as he pointed out there, they're trying to serve customers that have been ignored or underserved or under banked. And that's true both in the United States but also in emerging markets, places like Kenya and Africa. But there are a lot of fintech that are basically just trying to automate what's already out there. And you know, I would say that There is a twist on the existing business model. But, you know, if you look at balance sheet lending online, that's pretty much the same thing as what banks have been doing for a long time. And if you look at electronic banking, well, we've had digital banks since the 1990s, and that's not particularly new. It just may be a better experience that they're getting now.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah. No, I couldn't agree with you more. So, could you talk a little bit more of the main differences between fintech and techfin and essentially like our data? And like, you know, just like the contrast and I guess the similarities between the two?

Michael King : Yeah. This term tech fin, actually, I only heard it about a couple of years ago and I got curious about it. I wondered where does this term come from? They've basically just taken fintech and turned it on its head. It turns out that it was first used by Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, back in 2016, to describe his company Ant financial. Where Ant financial is the formerly known as Ali Pay and was spun off prior to Ali Baba's IPO on the US stock market in 2014. And he said Tech fins are basically technology companies that are trying to provide financial services to underserved customers. Jack Ma, he kind of is critical of the existing financial system, probably looking at his home market in China, which was very undeveloped. It's all state-owned banks and state-owned enterprises. So, keeping that in mind, he said, you know, a lot of these fin techs are simply using technology to make a profit by selling financial products and services to customers. And tech fins are really trying to help people that are under banks, whether it's small businesses, whether it's in emerging market countries or whether it's some individual customers. Now, tech fins are really that term is really stuck for Ali Baba and Tencent in their financial service arms. When we go to North America, we tend to use the term big tech, where big tech is Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. The big U.S. headquartered technology companies that are also moving into financial services slowly but surely.

Manseeb Khan : So, should fintech’s be afraid of the big tech companies and the techfin companies, or should they see this more as an opportunity of, you know what? Hey, now that we have these bigger tech players coming into our space, should we start creating partnerships or should we be a little bit more averse to them?

Michael King : Yeah, you've hit it. You've hit it right on the nail there because it can be these tech fans in the big tech are a real threat to incumbent financial intermediaries such as banks, insurance companies, wealth management. But they could also be an enormous opportunity for fintech who are partnering with them. I know on one-year earlier podcasts back in September, you had Paul Schulte also talking about Alibaba, Tencent, and Wal-Mart in India. And what we've seen there is that these companies are really opened to partnering and helping other fintech to basically provide their customers, their users and their ecosystem with the products and services that they need. So, I would say that tech fins and big tech do represent a threat to incumbents, but I think they also represent an opportunity for partnerships with startups in fintech.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah, I mean, but if you have the financial incumbents adopting the mindset of like, you know what? Hey,  let's start transitioning from the traditional view of how we see fintech into something transformative. Then like the partnerships are just going to be astounding, right? Like if we have just one of one of the big five banks partnering up with Apple, you know what? We're to start backing Apple into the credit services or just whatever the case may be, that in and of itself, they'll be very, very interesting to see.

Michael King : Yeah, it's become a really fascinating landscape because there's a lot of things going on. And as you point out, some of the big banks are really forward looking. They've really caught on to this kind of customer centric point of view. I'd highlight Royal Bank of Canada at home here at JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs in the United States. They those big players are recognizing that these partnerships with these fintech can really deliver a great experience to their customers. It can give them an edge over other incumbents. And it's the way of the future. In particular, with the development of these marketplaces. No bank is going to want to be on a dropdown list on Amazon when it comes to offering a mortgage or a loan. But that seems to be at least from looking at what's happening in China in some other countries. That seems to be the direction we're going, where it's coming very. You know, banks backed loans and mortgages were very commodities, financial products. And it's going to become even worse if these ecosystems come between a bank and their customer. So, some of these banks are developing these marketplaces themselves or they're partnering up. And that's, I think, the way to go. And you mentioned Goldman Sachs is actually backing Apple with their credit card yet to be launched. It was announced with a lot of fanfare, but it's not out there yet, but it's a retail credit card. MasterCard and Apple have said specifically, we do not want your data. And Goldman Sachs has said data privacy is going to be key to our customer offering. Right. They seem to be taking a swipe at Facebook and at Google and their ad-based business models. So just showing that you can't just lump all these big players, big tech, and thin tech fans together into the same bucket. They're really pursuing different strategies.

Manseeb Khan : Of course. I mean, because now you're seeing how the consumer and just, I mean, not only our audience, but just like everybody else is starting to realize how important their data is and how powerful their data is. Right now, you're seeing how there's been this really big push for digital identity and digital privacy of just kind of, you know, hey, I should be able to pick and choose what and how much of what of information I get to give out to companies like Facebook, to Apple or to any of the companies. And the fact that Apple is taking a swipe and taking a stance of like, hey, you know what, we don't really, we don't want your data. We want you to be in charge of your data as much as you can. And that's kind of helping build that, I guess, like future brand equity.

Michael King : Yeah. Ownership of data is going to be central to competitive advantage of any kind of financial service company or non-financial service company. But customer trust in how you treat their data. Maintaining privacy and ensuring that you're a good custodian of that data is also going to be central to claim financial services. So, I think most people agree that more data that the competitive advantage, the big tech companies like Facebook and Apple is really they get to see so much of what customers are doing online and understand them in better ways. Amazon is certainly using that data to try and understand, hey, what kind of new products do our customers want? And it can be a great benefit to consumers if by understanding this data they can provide you with a product that you didn't even know you wanted. But on the flip side, if they go around and they sell it and they monetize it and there is a cyber hack or breach where your identity is stolen. That is a nightmare scenario and one that consumers, regulators, everyone is focused on.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah, that's definitely a very scary, scary situation of getting all of our data hacked. I mean, I mean, speaking of Apple and just the big five banks, this is slowly but surely moving towards open banking, which has been a theme on the show time and time again. This is like I'm a huge advocate for it. I mean like open banking it's a very bright future. It's a very exciting future, because now with Apple announcing their credit card, that's just one of the first of many steps towards, hey, you're looking for a mortgage. Well, you know what? Hey. Amazon actually has amazing rates on mortgages in Waterloo. So, once you get a mortgage to Amazon, right. You don't have to go through TD or RBC or anybody else. You can get it from a tech company. Right. Like in the next five to 10 to 15 years, getting a car loan from Facebook is not going to sound as crazy as it is today.

Michael King : Yeah. And I think open banking is really it's coming. It's coming to Canada. It's already presents in Europe, the U.K. and in some ways,  it's coming into the United States. But it's inevitable that we are going to own our own data and have control over it. And that whether it's held by a bank, whether it's helped by a social media company or by a utility, could be your Rogers could be your phone company. That data belongs to us. And we should be paid or at least given service for the access to that data. I think that forward looking companies are now recognizing that they've been able to use it as without compensating us for it. But at the end of the day, competition in the marketplace is going to lead people to focus on the ones that are best custodians and provide the best service. And I think bringing incisive that of that data is going to help consumers. You mentioned also that, you know, Apple is trying to really distance itself from that ad base, business models of Google and Facebook. It's going to be interesting to see how they have to pivot to address all the concerns that consumers have, although a lot of people seem to be favoring convenience over security when it comes to those to their data. By the way, a big shot up for one of Canada's best fintech companies, secure key. I think they in the realm of digital identity, are doing a fantastic job and really leading in terms of looking after consumers.

Manseeb Khan : Awesome shout out to secure key, you did mention a really good point of view. You know, it should be really interesting to see how Apple is going to pivot. I mean, you know, convenience over security. I mean, that's just kind of what that has been the norm for. I mean, forever now. Right. No one like when it comes to terms of services, everyone really laughs because no one's really reading them. I don't I'm in this space and I don't I don't either. I don't like any app that I download. I'm like, screw it. I'll be fine. I'm not going to whatever. I'll be OK. I'll have I'm not that crazy yet. But, you know, it should be really interesting to see how in the future companies not only like Apple, but all the big tech companies, how are they going to monetize or what does this pivot going to kind of look like? Because right now, the landscape has been very like ad focus. AD revenue focus. Right. That's what you're seeing. That's how traditional media has been. When it comes to TV and newspapers. That's now how you're seeing Facebook and Instagram and all these other social media platforms make money. It should be really interesting to see how the heck are these companies going to make money in the future if they're not selling me ads?

Michael King : Yeah. And I think Facebook, most recent announcement about its it's backing a stable coin, a digital cryptocurrency called Libra is a really fascinating look into potentially where they're going to see some more revenues in the future. As you know, and probably your listeners already know, they launched they announced this this plan to use this coin. That's basically going to be backed by. It's going to be held in by a consortium of companies at arm's length from Facebook announced with initially 27 partners. Not a single bank was in the initial group of partners, although they do envisage having banks and other companies there later. They did have a ride sharing on, you know, food companies as well as Visa, MasterCard and other kind of consumer products are there. But it's going to make payments, electronic payments free using WhatsApp and Facebook messenger. So, then the question is, if you're offering me something for free, how can you make money off of it? Clearly, by seeing all the ID that the spending payments is such a rich place to find out customer insights. You know, they must be believing that by seeing all that spending, they're going to be able to. On financial services where they make money from that, right?

Manseeb Khan : I mean, like you said, right. Like right now, they're not partnered up with any banks or anything based on our spending habits and based on where we're sending money, where we're receiving money, they're just going to add more and more players to the Libra ecosystem, right?

Michael King : Yeah, they will. If they've said they're going to basically expand it to at least 100 partners. And by the way, when you say that payments are free. We're talking about cross-border payments. So, there may not be a charge for actually sending the money, but there is a foreign exchange conversion. And typically, you know, PayPal and others, they add a two to three percent charge when converting currencies. Not to mention making a bid ask spread on that foreign exchange transaction. And that can be that can add up when it's billions or trillions of dollars of volume that can create a lot of profit for whoever is managing it.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah. It should be really interesting to see how Facebook handles that. And on top of that differentiates it from that. Right. Because if they're going to if they're going to still charge that 2 to 3 percent charge fee, it should be interesting to see how they kind of market it and how they kind of present it to the customers of like, oh, yeah, yeah. You want some money to Kenya for sure X amount of charge, but we'll try to like jazz it up.

Michael King : Well, it's instant and it's easy and it's convenient. So, you know, most people probably wouldn't think much about paying like 2 percent on a as a service fee.

Manseeb Khan : Yes. No, I actually agree with you. I like to throw it you what are you mostly excited about when it comes to I mean, like everything that we kind of talked about, what are you most excited about and what should I guess the audience and everybody keep in mind or keep top of mind when we're looking at Apple and all these big tech companies moving into financial services?

Michael King : What I'm most excited about is what this means for us as consumers or as customers and whether it's individuals or retail or it could be small business. I think we're going to just have a much better experience when doing our living, our digital or e-commerce lives and as well as offline in the physical commerce world. We're going to see that financial services are going to sort of fade into the background. They're going to not become front and center like the way or the way they are now. Nobody wakes up in the morning saying, hey, I can't wait to go to my bank, you know, pay those fees, or engaged with that individual and the bank. Most people would rather get on with their lives. They want to focus on their spending. They want to focus on their travel, their savings, meeting their friends. And I think financial services are going to become just the way that Jack Mind and Ant financial, they talk about it. They say it's just like tap water. You turn on the tap and water come out. You don't have to worry about where the water is. Is it clean? What's the source? It's available when you need it. You probably don't turn on your light and ask yourself, well, is this Ontario Hydro That's providing this electricity to me or who is. Where's this coming from? You just assume that the electricity is available. And I think that's what's going to happen with financial services. So, we're going to have a reimagined experience. It's focused on us. I would say that institutional markets, institutional clients have been getting a much better service for decades. And now it's the retail consumer and the small businesses turn. That's what fintech is going to deliver to us.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah. That's. That should be really exciting. I can't I can't wait for that future. Michael, is there anything else you want to share with the  audience before I let you go?

Michael King : Yeah, I would say that the model that we're seeing. I mean, we've talked about big tech. We talked about tech fins. There are some really interesting fintech companies that are actually building up marketplaces very similar to what we're seeing. You may have seen that Borrowell, for example, as has pivoted from being a platform providing loans to consumers to now being a basically a financial marketplace, offering at least products from 40 or more third parties. That's kind of the way that we're these multi sided business models are really going to become much more prevalent. I think we're going to get away from having individuals fintechs and seeing instead collaboration between them to offer us a variety of products and services. So, I don't know whether people call that fintech 3.0 or 4.0. I'm losing track, but I do think that this is a fast-moving industry and there's lots of innovation going on.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah, no, I'm super excited to see the future of fintech and for it to be just as background as turning the latter turning on the tap. Michael, thank you so much for sitting down with me today. What would the best way for the audience to either reach out to you personally if they have any more questions about the book, if they want to pick your brain out? If you have a new research paper like this through email, Snapchat, Twitter,

Michael King : They say they can certainly find me on LinkedIn, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn or to email me at michaelking@uvic.ca. And once the book's out, I'll set up a Web site as. To add to advertising, to share the content with people for free.

Manseeb Khan : Perfect, can't wait to have you on when the book is officially launched. Michael, again. Thank you so much for joining me today and can't wait to have you on next.

Michael King : Thanks, Manseeb.

Outro : you've been listening to fintech Fridays brought to you by NCFA and partners. Tune in weekly for the latest fintech Friday podcast by subscribing to this channel. The National crowdfunding and FinTech Association of Canada is a non-profit actively engaged with social and investment fintech sectors around the globe and provide education research industry stewardship services and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers. For more information please visit and see if a Canada dot org. Oh yea.

 

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Technology risks in the Financial Sector - Fintech Fridays EP36:  Techfins with Michael King, Lansdowne Chair in Finance, Gustavson School of Business at UVic
Wealth Professional | James Burton |Sep 23, 2020 Robo-advisor trumpets easy-to-use, transparent and safe product, which is now open to investors Weathsimple Crypto went live yesterday, with more than 130,000 Canadians having signed on to the waitlist since the product was announced last month. The digital platform is offering commission-free trading of the two largest cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin and Ethereum, through a mobile trading app. The robo-advisor believes it will make a largely complex and inaccessible asset class more inclusive and easy to use. There is no minimum account size, no charges for deposits or withdrawals, and no extra hidden costs. Wealthsimple CEO Mike Katchen told WP that its primary arim is to be simple and accessible. He said: “You don’t need to be an expert in cryptocurrency or blockchain to use this platform. It’s geared toward people who are interested in learning more or dipping their toes into crypto trading. The other big one is that the pricing is transparent. The price you see when you tap buy is what you pay — no extra hidden costs. There’s no minimum account size, and we don’t charge for deposits or withdrawals. Watch FFCON20 Video:  Wealthsimple's Road to Regulatory Crypto Approval and What it Means ...
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crypto - Fintech Fridays EP36:  Techfins with Michael King, Lansdowne Chair in Finance, Gustavson School of Business at UVic
Global Risk Institute | Markos Zachariadis, University of Manchester | Sep 24, 2020 Executive Summary:  Data-sharing frameworks in financial services:  Discussing open banking regulation for Canada  Data-sharing frameworks in financial services are becoming increasingly prevalent with the potential to shape drastically the future of banking and finance. As data assets are of strategic importance to financial institutions and central to their ‘datafication’ and digital transformation processes, sharing and accessing new data can alter the dynamics of competition and lead to the emergence of new players as well as nascent markets. Innovative technologies such as application programming interfaces (APIs) can help simplify data communication between systems and thus standardize the exchange of information between organizations allowing them to experiment with new, more open, business models. APIs also give the ability to effectively control openness and orchestrate ecosystems of third-parties that can add value to organizations’ supply chain and end users. Having said that, the deployment of open APIs in financial services raises numerous questions regarding the appropriate regulatory (or not) framework and infrastructure for opening up data in the banking sector. See:  Open Banking – North American Style Explore Fintechs in Canada Sign-up for NCFA's Weekly & Insights Newsletter The current ...
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Data sharing frameworks and APIs - Fintech Fridays EP36:  Techfins with Michael King, Lansdowne Chair in Finance, Gustavson School of Business at UVic
Betakit | Meagan Simpson | Sep 23, 2020 Neo Financial, the new Canadian FinTech startup focused on challenging the status quo in banking, has begun rolling out its services in Western Canada. Neo Financial is a Prairies-based startup created by SkipTheDishes founders Andrew Chau and Jeff Adamson, alongside Kris Read. It is the newest challenger bank entrant into the Canadian financial market and is on a mission to re-imagine everyday banking. After spending the first year and a half of its existence building out its tech and banking infrastructure, Neo has officially brought its financial services offering to market. Over the last couple of weeks, Neo began offering its savings account, Mastercard, and merchant rewards program to a select number of individuals on its 30,000-plus waitlist. With a current focus on Western Canada, Neo hopes to have its products available across Canada later this year. See:  Open banking would help the recovery Refusal to embrace open banking puts Canada behind yet another curve C.D. Howe Institute Report: Open Banking Holds Promise, Risks for Consumers Rebank Podcast: How to Build a Profitable Digital Bank with Tinkoff Chau, Neo’s CEO, recently spoke to BetaKit about the startup’s go-to-market strategy and its goal ...
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NEO - Fintech Fridays EP36:  Techfins with Michael King, Lansdowne Chair in Finance, Gustavson School of Business at UVic
MarketWatch | Jonathan Burton | Sep 18, 2020 Veteran hedge-fund manager says capitalists don’t divide the economic pie well, so the system isn’t working effectively for all Ray Dalio certainly is no radical idealist, but in his frequent writings and media appearances the veteran investor consistently calls for Americans to rewrite their longstanding contract with capitalism so that it is fairer and more generous to more people. Otherwise, he predicts, life in the U.S. could become more difficult: mountainous debt that stunts economic growth; fewer opportunities for ordinary citizens to get ahead financially; and a worldwide lack of trust in the U.S. dollar that diminishes Americans’ purchasing power and could lower their standard of living. Dalio is the founder of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge-fund firm, which has made him a billionaire. So it’s not surprising that he champions capitalism as a proven way to expand economic growth and living standards. “Capitalism and capitalists are good at increasing and producing productivity to increase the size of the economic pie,” he says. Then Dalio stands this tenet on its head. Capitalists don’t divide the economic pie very well, he says, and so today the capitalist system, the foundation of the ...
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Ray Dalio at world economic forum - Fintech Fridays EP36:  Techfins with Michael King, Lansdowne Chair in Finance, Gustavson School of Business at UVic
Investment Executive | James Langton | Sep 21, 2020 Sweeping recommendations to reform Ontario’s securities laws are facing a barrage of criticism from certain corners of Bay Street. The Ontario Capital Markets Modernization Taskforce, which began its review of the province’s securities laws in February, published its draft recommendations in July. The task force aims to deliver its final recommendations to the government by the end of the year, despite conducting most of its consultations amid a global pandemic. The task force’s work has been remarkable for both its speed and its ambition, but critics say the group’s recommendations are ill-conceived, threaten investor protection and could undermine the province’s efforts for more vibrant capital markets. The task force’s July report proposes a series of reforms largely designed to stoke growth in the capital markets. In addition to the Ontario Securities Commission’s (OSC) traditional priorities of investor protection and ensuring fair and efficient markets, the task force proposes expanding the regulator’s mandate to include an obligation to foster capital formation and competition. The task force also recommends overhauling Ontario’s existing regulatory structure, easing a variety of constraints on raising capital, remodelling proxy voting and corporate governance, and revisiting enforcement and investor ...
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Ontario government building 1 - Fintech Fridays EP36:  Techfins with Michael King, Lansdowne Chair in Finance, Gustavson School of Business at UVic
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Press Release |  Sep 21, 2020 WASHINGTON—The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) today published a letter clarifying national banks' and federal savings associations' authority to hold "reserves" on behalf of customers who issue certain stablecoins. Stablecoins refer to cryptocurrency backed by an asset such as a fiat currency, including U.S. dollars or other foreign currency. "National banks and federal savings associations currently engage in stablecoin-related activities involving billions of dollars each day," Acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian P. Brooks said. "This opinion provides greater regulatory certainty for banks within the federal banking system to provide those client services in a safe and sound manner." See:  Stablecoins: Experience the Stability Visa’s digital dollar concept opens a door to central bank currencies FFCON20 Video: Future of CBDCs, Digital Assets and Trading Virtual Panel via Toronto Centre (Apr 17): Using Stable Coins to Facilitate Financial Stability and Inclusion Under Unprecedented Times The letter responds to questions regarding the application of stablecoin-related bank activities. It concludes national banks and federal savings associations may hold "reserves" on behalf of customers who issue stablecoins, in situations where the coins are held in hosted wallets. The ...
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Stablecoins   - Fintech Fridays EP36:  Techfins with Michael King, Lansdowne Chair in Finance, Gustavson School of Business at UVic

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