The economy is on the mind of virtually every American these days. CME Group Managing Director and Chief Economist was on hand Tuesday at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, Calif., to participate in the “U.S. Overview: Will Recovery Prevail?” panel (scroll down for video of the session). SmartBrief caught up with Putnam after the panel to talk commodities and other factors that are bound to impact the U.S. and global economy.

What impact will the strategic plan released recently by Saudi Arabia have on global oil markets?

What we are learning about the Middle East is that they planned for $80-$100 per barrel oil prices forever. Now with prices at $40 or $45, they are really hurting. The Saudis actually had to go borrow money, and that hasn’t happened in forever. These countries are basically producing flat-out and we are going to see even more production with Iraq and Iran coming into the market.…

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Technologies like blockchain and artificial intelligence were hot topics at the Milken Institute Global Conference this week in Beverly Hills, Calif. The “The Transformation of Finance: Technology’s Impact on Wall Street” panel featured Nasdaq President and COO Adena Friedman (scroll down for video of the panel discussion). SmartBrief chatted with Friedman after the panel to hear her thoughts on how certain technological advances are changing the way Wall Street does business.

What did you think of the discussion during the panel about blockchain; particularly the concern about public blockchain vs private blockchain?

I was on the same panel last year and all the focus was on robo-advisors. I mentioned the topic of the blockchain once and people didn’t know what I was talking about. One year later, everyone knows about it. It is really interesting to see how quickly the concept of the technology has been adopted and turned mainstream. Now it is about turning that concept into a reality.…

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Broadridge Financial Solutions is making news at this week’s SIFMA Ops conference in Miami with the unveiling of its Global Post Trade Management solution, a tool that enables investment banks and broker-dealers to standardize post-trade processing via a consolidated platform. By doing away with duplicative operations and connecting information that was previously siloed, GPTM helps banks and broker-dealers reduce costs. A major investment bank has already adopted GPTM.

“Financial institutions globally are adjusting to a new market and regulatory landscape that requires more information and increased transparency for regulators, clients and their risk and finance functions,” said Celent analyst Arin Ray. “As a result, standardized and streamlined post-trade processing and management across all capital markets functions is increasingly critical. The GPTM solution is an innovative platform built on Broadridge’s proven technology capabilities and decades of expertise and is designed to meet banks’ current needs as well as provide a model for future strategic business growth.”

Using GPTM, banks and broker-dealers will be able to realize operational efficiencies and reduce costs by streamlining operations across markets, asset classes and businesses globally.…

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SmartBlog on Education this month is covering topics related to educating the whole child. Join us for original content highlighting tools, trends and best practices.

Research shows that students who participate in extracurricular activities have better grades, better behavior and better graduation rates. While this is the accepted norm, Greenville County Schools, where I am the director of athletics, wanted current information on participation and performance. We believe in the value of extracurricular participation in all areas of athletics and arts, but we also wanted to look at protecting our students from being overstressed, overworked and injured.

One barrier to getting a complete picture of participation and performance had been that each individual school only knew about what was happening at that school; there was no coordination or understanding of what was happening elsewhere. The effectiveness of our efforts were also limited by formatting irregularities, different styles of record-keeping and paper versus computer records.…

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Each month, When Growth Stalls examines why businesses and brands struggle and how they can overcome their obstacles and resume growth. Steve McKee is the president of McKee Wallwork + Co., an advertising agency that specializes in working with stalled, stuck and stale brands. The company was recognized by Advertising Age as 2015 Southwest Small Agency of the Year. McKee is also the author of “When Growth Stalls” and “Power Branding.”

SmartBrief offers more than 200 newsletters, including SmartBrief on Leadership and newsletters for small businesses and marketers and advertisers.

Parenting profit

Profit isn’t an option. Not only is it management’s obligation to shareholders, it’s what enables reinvestment, retooling and continued growth. And some say it’s the ultimate scorecard of how well a company pleases its customers. The trick, of course, is “parenting” that profit. Like an unruly child, profit isn’t easy to raise.

Believe it or not, the key to parenting — companies as well as kids — is by focusing on the heart.…

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