A collection of stories from SmartBrief publications and around the web…

Wait … Derivatives are good for the economy?: With all the bad-mouthing out there about derivatives, you might be surprised to learn that the very smart people at the Milken Institute have completed a study that found derivatives are actually a net positive for the economy. “This study charts the benefits to the wider economy from the use of financial derivatives and is a first-of-its-kind examination of derivatives’ quantitative impact on economic growth. It charts the positive effects in the U.S. economy from their use, both in the financial and non-financial sectors.”

Explaining last year’s Nobel winners: Count me among the people who struggled to connect the dots between the work of the three winners of last year’s Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences – Eugene Fama, Robert Shiller and Lars Peter Hansen. This Harvard Business Review blog post nails it. (read more…)

A collection of stories from SmartBrief publications and around the web…

Gold? Silver? Or Bronze?: From a commodity standpoint, which type of Olympic medal would you prefer? As the medal count keeps climbing in Sochi, OpenMarkets offers an analysis of which medal … err, metal … is really most valuable.

When Wall Street helps: Great story about a former JPMorgan hedge fund banker halting his finance career to lead the charge in funding research to cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy to save his son. Ilan Ganot did what any dad would do; and his friends in finance have stepped up to help.

Branding and fees breed breakage: Consumers have not forgotten the financial crisis. And traditional banks increasing fees for basic services like checking and ATMs equates to inviting customers to leave. So when beloved, non-financial brands like Starbucks and Google unveil financial services offerings, it is no wonder they capture market share. (read more…)

A collection of stories from SmartBrief publications and the world of finance…

Lots of great insight from the speakers and panelists at the SIFMA Annual Meeting this past week in NYC:

Jeb is running in 2016, right?: Aside from some opening jabs at financial regulatory reform aimed at pleasing the Wall Street audience, Jeb Bush’s speech had all the trappings of a stump speech. Endless money and a jump start on Florida and Texas in the Electoral College would make Bush III an incredibly strong candidate. They say being an ex-president gains you admittance to the most exclusive club in the world. Obviously there are four such individuals in that club right now. If Jeb decides not to run, he’d join an even more exclusive club: Individuals who turned down the chance to embark on a seemingly easy path to the White House. Right now, that club has a membership of one: Colin Powell. (read more…)

Terry Duffy is the Executive Chairman and President of CME Group, which is hosting its annual Global Financial Leadership Conference next week in Naples, Fla. Mr. Duffy chatted with SmartBrief and shared more background on the GFLC.

1. What is the goal of the GFLC? How did it get started?

The Global Financial Leadership Conference is an exclusive event that brings together decision-makers from the world’s leading financial institutions to discuss emerging geopolitical trends, debate critical economic issues and share perspectives on future developments in the financial marketplace. Our goal in developing GFLC was to provide a venue for some of the brightest minds in business, economics, media and politics to have a dialogue about current issues and risk in our global economy. As our record attendance this year demonstrates, we’ve been very successful in doing that. Since our inaugural conference in 2008, GFLC has established itself as the “Davos of Derivatives,” becoming one of the most important events for our industry leaders. (read more…)

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink was a featured speaker at the SIFMA Annual Meeting Tuesday in Manhattan. During his appearance, Fink shared numerous nuggets of wisdom with the audience, including these 10 key takeaways:

  1. If it wasn’t for Washington, the U.S. economy would be stronger and there would be more foreign investment in the U.S. “Our economy is based on principles … one of those principles is strong government. The dysfunction of Washington has created uncertainty that is playing out in the job market and capital expenditures.”
  2. On how history will view the Dodd-Frank Act: “Looking back at Sarbanes-Oxley, boy did we yell about that.” Sarbox slowed IPOs and foreign investment, but only for a short period of time. “We create a law. … We all adapt. … Everything with Dodd-Frank will work itself out. Does Dodd-Frank make society safer? Yes. … We’re better off.”
  3. Fed tapering – “I would begin tapering in December, but also make clear that rates will stay at or near 0% until 2016.”
  4. The growth countries of the future won’t be those with cheap labor.
  5. (read more…)