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Showing posts from April, 2015

Fintech is Coming

I recently was invited to participate in a conference in NYC covering the burgeoning yet still nascent Fintech industry, which is essentially comprised of non-bank lenders emphasizing technology in their business strategy.   The conference was organized by a group called Lendit, and this was their 3rd annual such event.  I was told that attendance approximated 2,500, which was up from 800 last year and 300 the year prior.   I was there to moderate a panel that was comprised of the founders of five Fintech mortgage finance companies, all aiming to disintermediate the more established non-tech channels, each with a focus upon a niche of the industry from which they hope to grow.

Greed With No Fear

Last week I read a blog written by my friend Brian Schwartz that dealt with the issue of fear and greed in financial markets, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.    I think that the policies of the last three Fed chairmen have inadvertently contributed to the dissolution of fear as a counterbalancing element, and this has placed the financial world (and thus the world itself) deeply into uncharted and dangerous territory.

The Limits of Libertarianism

I recently watched an excellent movie called “Fed Up” with my family and friends.  The movie is a must-see for all families as it explains very clearly, in a manner accessible even for young children, why obesity is so prevalent today, and it dispels numerous falsehoods that lead so many down the wrong path.  In short, sugar is the main culprit.  It is apparently 10 times more addictive than cocaine.  The worst offenders are sugary drinks, which enter our bodies with nothing to slow down the liver’s insulin response, thus translating into immediate creation of fat in our bodies.  Food companies that want to continue to sell their products with impunity have paid for studies that blame the obesity epidemic on the sedentary nature of kids today and shift the blame away from their sugary products.  I won’t dwell more on the science, but instead strongly suggest that each person view this film and if you have kids watch it with them.

When a Nation Goes Bad Everyone’s To Blame

The Nazi’s of Germany are broadly considered to represent the extreme evil that humankind can embody.  In response to this evil, military efforts led by the U.S. and Western Europe destroyed much of Germany.  Bombing raids destroyed civilian life in many of Germany’s largest cities, and death and destruction was visited upon its population.  Surely not every German was a Nazi, and many were likely opposed to them.  The bombs, however, did not discriminate between the true believers or those opposed, and the destruction of everyday life affected all.