Just wrapped up a week in sunny San Diego covering the SIFMA Ops conference. Hours and hours of great speakers and insights. A few observations:

SEC Commissioner Kara Stein is ambitious: As covered earlier this week on this site, Stein wants to revolutionize the way data is gathered and analyzed at the SEC. She sounds a lot like Scott O’Malia did during his days at the CFTC. O’Malia didn’t bring the CFTC up to speed before he left for ISDA. Given the budgetary and political landscape, the odds seem long that Stein will have any better luck at the SEC before she departs for her next gig.

If Richard Berner shouted in a forest and no one was around, would he make a sound?: Berner and the team at the Office of Financial Research are doing tremendous work. They produce great research and analysis, but I am just not sure how many people are reading it.…

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As marketers, we gather an abundance of data from digital interactions every day. A “like” on Facebook, a “retweet” on Twitter, a click-through on an e-mail — all of these interactions offer insight into our customers’ preferences. Oftentimes, the data we gather is siloed into an individual network, unable to communicate with the other data sets we collect. Additionally, since there is an immense amount of data to sort through for even just a single customer, the amount of noise a marketer has to experience can be overwhelming. To effectively make sense of all this data and be successful at their jobs, marketers need to break through these social silos and have access to a holistic customer profile, created through thoughtful connections between multiple data sets.

This level of insight across channels is an invaluable asset for marketers. When we draw smart connections between individual networks, we can begin to produce multi-dimensional affinity models.…

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It’s no surprise that many consumers adhere to gluten-free diets due to gluten allergy or intolerance, but a growing number of consumers are turning to gluten-free products as a way to live healthier lifestyles. The gluten-free market is already a significant one, and it is poised for even more growth in the coming years. While entering the gluten-free market carries a lot of benefits for manufacturers and retailers, there are certain risks companies should keep in mind when trying to capitalize on the gluten-free craze.

The gluten-free diet is one of the most popular diets in the U.S., Alessio Fasano of the Center for Celiac Research said during a webinar this week. The gluten-free market rakes in about $10 billion in annual sales, and while some of that comes from consumers who eat gluten-free for health reasons, a significant amount is due to consumers choosing a gluten-free diet because they think it is healthier.…

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According to Richard Berner, the director of the Treasury Department’s Office of Financial Research, the financial crisis exposed critical gaps in the data, analysis and policy tools required to ensure financial stability. Berner should know, because his office was created via the Dodd-Frank Act to provide a place where varied research related to financial markets could be collected, studied and shared.

Berner took to the stage this week at the 42nd Annual SIFMA Operations Conference and Exhibition and highlighted one specific initiative he deemed “critical” to enhancing financial stability: the global adoption of legal entity identifiers.

“The global LEI is the cornerstone for financial data standards,” Berner said. “Had the LEI system been in place in 2008, the industry, regulators, and policymakers would have been better able to trace Lehman’s exposures and connections across the financial system.”

As a tool, Berner said LEIs represent a key starting point for the OFR as it works to better understand the complexities of financial markets.…

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“Do what you love, and the money will follow” is seductive advice, especially when wealth is scarce and jobs are few. The millennial generation has clung to this credo since the Great Recession, hoping the pursuit of passion would offer a roadmap to success in an uncertain economy. It helps explain why many juggle careers instead of vying for a corner office. After all, when your job is a moving target, it’s harder to downsize.

This line of thinking is why millennials may one day find themselves working for Generation Z. This is humbling to admit, because I am one of the former.

While my generation was busy making meaning, the parents of today’s teens were quietly raising a cohort more concerned with making money. The oldest among them will soon be entering adulthood, and new research from The Cassandra Report suggests they possess key traits that will help them thrive in the business world.…

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