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Wednesday, 15 October 2014

#AskTheRightQuestion My challenge to Paypal Mafia to fix the capital market worldwide! Comments on Redefining Capitalism by Eric Beinhocker and Nick Hanauer McKinsey, Will Novosedlik Anyone interested in the future of capitalism should read this. This particular discourse is gathering steam, and I would love to hear what commentators like Hilton Barbour, Ashley Konson, and Mitchell Osak have to say about it.

Article|McKinsey Quarterly

Redefining capitalism

Despite its ability to generate prosperity, capitalism is under attack. By shaking up our long-held assumptions about how and why the system works, we can improve it.

September 2014 | byEric Beinhocker and Nick Hanauer


My comments added to this thread: Network Update Discussion | LinkedIn:




Rory Sutherland Will Novosedlik there is not any easy answer, as I have done an executive MBA in finance, and now claim to have contacts (& even few friends) in senior positions in Banking/investment banking/ insurance/ stock markets/regulators/brokers/pension funds/family wealth/HNW/UHNW/billionaires to family dynasties to ultra poor and middle class people.. everyone has their own view of good/bad capitalism.. of course, John Kay  as quoted by Rory is one of the best guy.  but none encapsulate better than Clayton Christensen in his church of new finance slide:  capitalist dilemma/economic engine or lack of that makes like of Koch brothers richer,capitalist dilemma/economic engine or lack of, and encourage the rich in keeping the money (over re-investing) :



I have also read most of Peter Thiel's book and listen to his talk:  I am all for his idea of investing in and creating new monopolies (that fixes things), but surely if his comment that night (I'm paraphrasing here) that he kept 3/4 of his net-worth in Silicon valley as he does not trust the treasury bond bubbles.. read into that!  I would have thought with his billions, he could take the plunge and try to fix the treasury bond bubbles!?



Dominic Barton has given many great speeches worldwide . I totally agree with Dominic that we need to focus on fixing energy food and water problems of our world.. (see his speech via his picture above)


Fact of the matter is, there are a lot of talks (not much actions sadly!) about fixing capital market with multitude of "new terminology" from "Inclusive Capitalism" to "Intelligent Governance" etc. sadly no one talks about the fundamental problems, namely (across the board, from companies to governments) too much focus on creating unnecessarily and trading of debt (corporate to personal), glad we have finally the book of #HouseOfDebt by 2Profs Atif Mian and Amir Sufi:   #MustListen @GarethWong @BBCRadioCA @peston w @AtifRMian & @profsufi  #HouseOfDebt http://t.co/MZ1HNPofhi Cash&Equity

see: Where #HouseofDebt meets wealth inequality: a fabulous chart from Saez and @gabriel_zucman showing saving rates
Embedded image permalink

Our whole world from news to governments are now driven by this endless "Growth at all cost" (as mentioned in the article, GDP is not a good nor ONLY measurement, but we need solution! See Diane Coyle's book @diane1859, summary here on IMF website's "The Price of Everything and the Value of Nothing".), and our world is not rewarding people/firms that make value and punish those that destroy value. CSR AND how we measure/reward the performance data will all need to be redefined.

Even if capital market is fixed (I have not touched on any solution as yet!), if people do not share the a common goal across different verticals, the whole system will still fail! (as it is much easier to have the status quo of  "them and us" mindset and make as much money as one can and retire and become tax exile! nothing wrong with that!?)

I propose that we need something more than the CSR.  As implementation of CSR is not fundamental enough, not much emotional/dedication/self-less inspired to ensure people/firms are on the same page (share the same goal), therefore, I propose we need a new way of looking at CSR, as explained to Rory before at our lunch, it is called Corporate Parenthood (it is a form of ideology/application of what we know best, family value but applied to business. I need help/constructive feedback though, from Professors to story teller, and even film makers to make it happen & #FixTheWorld).

However, biggest problems for our generation and the the millennial are just engagement with the right thing, they are engaged but sadly with the wrong thing (snapchat!?), how can googlebox be a "thing"? we need to have everyone engaged, but they can only engaged if they challenge themselves.. and sadly me included, not challenged enough! I have solution for that, it is called non profit @Be_Champion Movement (would be great to have some great minds' constructive feedback/help to make it a reality)

That must be the reason why Jean Tirole won his Nobel Prize!

(RT @GarethWong great summary @titonka Understand the research that just won @Jean_Tirole the economics Nobel Prize on Vox via @voxdotcom), we need to measure firms and industry differently, create a new financial ecosystem from ground up.. The solution would be worth a book, or a series of blog post.. not sure if I have time to write it. .. would be great to hear your thoughts.


Talking about Peter Thiel, with is Paypal mafia's help, it would be just lifting the fingers if they wanted to fix the capital market worldwide (OR just capitalism), I would like to challenge them to do so, would they like to accept?


Before they do that though, they must #AskTheRightQuestion!  For example, is Cow worst to our environment than Cars?


pls see: RT @cxoasia: @RupertSoskin @creesfoundation @chamiltonjames I referred to "Cow vs Car" which is worst for the environment http://t.co/AE8CBOHyq0 by @davetrott

+#AskRightQ RT @GarethWong http://t.co/SMgyH61WlM in respond to @skottr's post discussing the state of philanthropy in the Silicon Valley. http://t.co/FESj9Ctzcb

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

My Short comments re Marc Andreessen on Finance: ‘We Can Reinvent the Entire Thing’ - Bloomberg

Marc Andreessen on Finance: ‘We Can Reinvent the Entire Thing’ - Bloomberg:









Brilliant that Marc is making such sweeping statement.. but
given 90% of FX market is speculations as per Prof Guillen's
lecture (likewise for most stock exchanges) and I guess Marc
is still using banks to keep his drawn down billions .. !?
All these means he is still very much subject to the overriding
systemic risks which is the biggest elephant in the room that is
either invisible to him or he is using bitcoin ventures to distract
the world...(whist he is really creating something to fix it all)!?
No doubt he must be clever and visionary one..
May we live in interesting times,
BR

    Tuesday, 7 October 2014

    RT @GarethWong: #WellSaid my comments re RT @skottr: My latest LinkedIn post discussing the state of philanthropy in the Silicon Valley. http://t.co/8LOOaIxPyd

    What Silicon Valley can learn from Goldman Sachs | LinkedIn:



    you are spot on Scott Roberts.



    IMHO, there is enough competitions between the eBay Mafia (for good I hope) in funding startups, but not enough top initiatives like Skoll Foundation & Omidyar Network... yes we have many family foundations (most charities seems to me focus on 'raising funds' rather than fixing the problems)..



    Come to think of it, I probably tweeted this at same time as your post above:



    RT @GarethWong RT @be_champion: #I_Admire 1.) Charities that aim to make its own job redundant 2.) Family foundations that focus on doing good without needing to raise fund


    I admire @PeterThiel 's sound bite, Lets set a goal that is not easy, even Hard but not impossible .. your KPI of percentage of pretax income is a good start from a Corporation's perspective. of course likes of Gates and Warren Buffet could set great example from billionaire's personal point of view.  IMHO, if all corporate start acting like they have a soul, not from a corporate personhood but from a "Corporate Parenthood" perspective, we might be able to fix the soft challenge. (still need to be refined and a book written, need some professor/researchers' help, pls see initial thoughts on http://www.CorporateParenthood.org )



    Even if all worldwide corporations pay 10% to charity..  knowing WHAT to support is also key, therefore one MUST take time to investigate the 'context' & spend time in understanding further. One must learn what initiatives really need their help and whether the charity/initiative is really fixing the issue or just fixing the symptoms.. Please see great post by Tom Murphy @viewfromthecave Why I'm not doing the #icebucketchallenge or donating for ALS - http://www.humanosphere.org/social-business/2014/08/im-icebucketchallenge-donating-als/

    Credit: Vox

    Many wealth managers has also great philanthropist initiatives, Nina Hoas  &amp ; Jamie Broderick are running a brilliant UBS Philanthropy Compass [Pdf eReport] We just need more transparencies and get the Corporations, HNWs, UHNWs to challenge themselves to get to know the inssues, what needs to be done (how & with whom), even if they are already offshore and enjoying secluded lives.. ( http://www.BeChampion.org )



    I should follow your footstep and finally finish & publish my first linkedIn article, titled: " #HowToFixOurWorld #FixAnyProblems, 1 Simple Question: WHO #AskTheRightQuestion? Whom Should #DoTheRightThing?" fancy reading my draft before I publish it?








    Thursday, 3 July 2014

    Opportunity lost!? My @Be_Champion challenge for @Mashable @PeteCashmore & others, @Twitter Users Demonstrate the Power of #1Connection



    Twitter Users Demonstrate the Power of #1Connection:



    This is interesting & cool but some might argue that it is opportunity lost. (no doubt it was fun!). 

    Just like 'click through', it does not mean anyone bought anything nor have taken any action (other than tweeting).. (fact click-through made Google billion as a near monopoly is important but different point.) 

    Given the power of social media, in 2014, I would have thought more thinking about how to harness social media for "Action & Impact" could have been done, especially given the enormous 'reach' by @mashable & @petecashmore  

    Therefore, I would have love the campaign a lot more if you guys had taken the next step, e.g. "to challenge people" to do something good/better for themselves or others!?? 

    might be worthwhile to change ourselves and thus maybe play a role (cool or not) in fixing the world!? see @Be_Champion 

    As Stan Lee's Spiderman once said, "With great power comes great responsibility"! Lets' start something that has true impact, one tweet at a time!

    peace out


    Thursday, 5 June 2014

    Must watch & my short blog re, Steven Chu (ex US Secretary of Energy) Presents "Energy and Climate Change: Challenges and Opportunities" "We are keep loading bullets & playing Russian roulette with our grandchildren lives!"

    Steven Chu Presents "Energy and Climate Change: Challenges and Opportunities":



    Must watch video presentation from ex US Secretary of Energy Dr. Steven Chu , especially for Climate Skeptics and Climate novice..



    Indeed, we need a new business model for energy.



    If you need any incentive to invest time further, one of the best analogy by Dr. Chu, used:

    "We are keep loading bullets & playing Russian roulette with our grandchildren lives!"



    We do need to act to protect our future generations, but relying on a a chance that a bi-partisan solution coming about (from decision makers/political leaders who don't really see this as high priority) is futile.. we need re-engineering of the goals /KPIs of firms and governments with long term view.. the only solution is for consumers to "educate" themselves and "demand" the right solution..



    Problem is that most people (rich or poor) do not ask themselves too many questions, let alone 'big question' like climate change or even their grandchildren's lives!  We need people to challenge themselves (whether their are rich or poor.  www.BeChampion.org )



    if you don't have time for the full presentation, you owe it to your family, kids and grandchildren, make time to watch at lease Carl Sagan's The pale blue dot:










    I will implore you to watch the full lecture/talk, it takes less time than a Hollywood movie!





    Sunday, 6 April 2014

    My comments re meaningful jobs, Financial KPIs/market challenges & what our kids and the world might need.. inspired by story of Marina Keegan, Her First, and Last, Book http://nyti.ms/1lHTIli A Posthumous Triumph - NYTimes.com



    Must read! Marina Keegan, Her First, and Last, Book http://nyti.ms/1lHTIli



    A Posthumous Triumph - NYTimes.com:



    It is indeed a tragic and poignant story. Very brave and forgiving by (the no doubt distraught) loving mother, many lessons we can derive from this story (#please each take 5mins silence). our sincere condolences & our prayers are with Marina's family & friends.



    I personally look forward to the Marina's book and will ensure that my children will read and share with their contemporaries.



    It is indeed very worrying that not only is Finance (money) but short term fame (celebrity/notoriety) is now worshipped by Marina's and future generations.



    Can we blame them though?  When western (& most eastern) culture/media/entertainment are all focusing on short term gain, and wanting to be billionaires/celebrities (but not mentioning the hard work and unlikelihood of success).



    Question raised by Marina is absolutely correct, our future generations should challenge themselves to learn/engage/practice in many fields, rather than focus on money (& consume blindly).  By doing that, everyone has more likelihood of finding a passion/job that is meaningful & impactful, & hopefully bring some true fulfilment. (what I called a @Be_Champion life.)



    Relating to sustainability of high pay in finance? No it will not last (in the long run, say, I hope in 50yrs) but only when a "viable alternative financial/capital market" arrives.. (such alternative ecosystem will need to focus on long term viability of companies rather than short term trading or extraction of cash for "shareholders" & turn them into zombies). Meanwhile the salary re-adjustment will only be done by pockets of great corporates, but many can still use perfectly legal ways (e.g. transfer pricing) to mitigate any likely regulatory changes that might affect them.



    [ RT @GarethWong #MUSTRead/Watch @nxthompson Michael Lewis: Rigged stock market on @NYTimes http://t.co/09wpFws4Up & @charlierose http://t.co/IocaptKWlp ] & CBS 60Minutes: http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/is-the-us-stock-market-rigged/



    Let me frame this properly: as highlighted by Michael Lewis and Brad Katsuyama highlighted regarding the public exchange market, it is highly complex, and that is ONLY 50% of the equity "traded" public market.. similar complexity runs through other part of financial & capital markets (from insurance to pension fund and even offshore trusts), therefore rapid change/fix would only happen if we had Brad & Michael-clones for each of those distinct verticals to arrive at the same time (likely?).



    It is indeed very easy to point fingers at any particular section of the finance industry (in Brad's case, only HFT/High frequency trading).  Many also point fingers at government and/or even political parties.  Almost all think short term (2-3years are already long!).



    However the challenge some might argue is that the finance/capital market is so complex that even top leaders are indeed NOT fully aware of the systemic issues spanning their industries (as mentioned by Michael's interview), let alone the systemic issues spanning other sectors!  (think about it, what type of assets do the multi-trillion dollar asset manager hold, how do they mitigate problems created with HFT (if the allegations is indeed correct)!? WHO keep their trillions? how about the billions from the pension funds, who keep that!? Most of these funds are richer than most government right?) 



    Therefore, I would like to caution solely blaming Finance or Payscales/Bonuses, but would like to suggest that time/effort should be spent looking into what are the real issues (problems and maybe even solutions!). Leverage/Cash extraction and Carried interest are key challenges that are in the fore at present and do play key roles, however, sadly the present finance/capital market is entrenched to use credit/debts mainly, and as pointed out brilliantly by Prof Clay Christensen, it is a "Systemic Problem" of the finance/economic value chain/system that it is chasing the wrong KPIs (as he called it the church of new finance! and I shall explain my solution of "republic of common sense in future blogs), I cannot put it as eloquently as he has done:



     


    [ MUST LISTEN: His brilliant speech with Q&A, with 1 question from me.. bit.ly/18ANQl2 ]



    As Jack Bogle pointed out (ref book "Clash of Cultures") eloquently that equity market might be more for the rent seekers rather than value creators.. In addition, I would agree that the moral need/directions as proposed by Prof Colin Mayer (book "Firm Commitment") where firms might need to be punished if they veered away from the committed course (I am paraphrasing, hope I have understood correctly, if not it is my 'interpretation' that I am quoting!).



    I am all for people using hard word to earn millions, but great money and power MUST comes with greater responsibilities (not only for spiderman!) AND punishment (if they have mis-used their position to extract too much cash for example).  Some might suggest all business leaders should sign some kind of moral code, whereby they will use their money for good/greater purpose...if there is such a code, how many of them would publicly do that? and how would they be held into account!?  Of course, first step is to fix the ecosystem/break the "church of new finance" as described by Prof Clayton.



    All these are sadly too complex (I don't really understand it all!) and we have not even covered major macro issues that will affect our kids and their kids, namely the challenges the world really is facing: Food, water, to energy issues.. (Must see lecture link as explained by Dominic Barton, Global Managing Director, McKinsey & Company  Link to videos on @CIMA website: The city and capitalism for the long term bit.ly/11iTBBl




    Using the Matrix analogy, maybe it is indeed time for everyone (especially the young) to take the Red pill and start trying to understand some of these issues AND figure out likely solutions first.. (before they go and join any of the movements that just shouts and demand AND affect changes.. sometimes too quick a change might be a much worst scenario as the outcome will not be as expected, Life is NOT a chess game with fixed rules but with people's money/real lives at stake. )



    Be safe and hope we all find our direction/passion as suggested by the brilliant Mariana. Hope other youngsters would challenge themselves to achieve as much as Mariana has done. 



    Have a great Sunday wherever you might be.  



    BR

    @GarethWong









    Saturday, 1 February 2014

    My comments, NOT for long.. and full of danger still! Bitcoin’s Emerging Price Stability | TechCrunch

    Bitcoin’s Emerging Price Stability | TechCrunch:



    Alex



    brilliant that you predicted the price becomes stable.. what other predictions do you have?



    Mark my word, as soon as another 'country' jump on the 'bandwagon' (probably TV program or news report on easy money from investing on Bitcoins).. the price will become volatile again.. What might be worst? when certain hedgefunds might decide/find ways to 'play' this market.. that would put it in the news again and again..



    as mentioned before ( as per my comments on Marc's post: @GarethWong: re "It does matter" but Bitcoin is a Dangerous Non Asset and Non currency! NYTimes.com http://bit.ly/1dhvO6z ) might be better to use Berkshire Hathaway's shares as the price of that might be much less volatile (as long as Warren is healthy & alive! fingers crossed for all.)   However, this is much less 'sexy' and transparent and not much secret source required, consequently it is much less attractive for creating new ventures (with big multiples) for short term return/exits..



    Investors, do buy if you 'must', but just keep your nest eggs untouched.


    Friday, 31 January 2014

    My response re Orange & RED pill of life, the steps before finding a truly Meaningful (dare I say Impactful) Job

    The #1 Feature of a Meaningless Job | LinkedIn:



    In response to another comment..



    Jeremy Russell

    Student at Idaho State University
    Sounds like you have a great sense of humor. A very long winded ( but interesting ) way of saying: you become your environment; If you want to change you, then change your interaction with your surroundings. People, places, and things all change when you apply (keyword) the force to change it.


    I tried to clarify further what I meant in my previous post on Linkedin:



    +++




    kinda. 


    Meaningful job: nice to have but most are too busy/consumed with "going through the motion", 

    and would not take time to 'ask' nor 'search' what 'true meanings' are for them. 

    Hence by challenging themselves, and testing/learning more, they should then be able to get to know 

    1) what they really want/would like to achieve (meaningful job might just be one of 
    them) 
    2) set goals and concrete steps to achieve them. whether it is new skills to a meaningful job or indeed impactful life,

    this would be the Orange pill of life (matrix analogy). 

    Of course next step would be to take the RED pill, & (challenge oneself to) learn more about the whole world and its global challenges of Food, Water, natural Resources, & systemic problems of the finance world... 

    and get mightily depressed.. 

    If there is enough GRIT applied.. then maybe work towards a viable solution.. on that happy note, back to my work. 

    Question: Would you dare to take the Orange or RED pill? (Congratulations btw, as its a given that you are not taking the blue pill as you would not have taken the time to read Prof Adam's post and my long-winded reply!) 

    Good luck to us all! 

    BR 


    Would totally recommend reading @AdamMGrant 's original post that sparked these comments: The #1 Feature of a Meaningless Job | LinkedIn:

    seen this fantastic initiative to help find a meaningful job?  http://80000hours.org/

    Wednesday, 29 January 2014

    2 Stupid Simple tests and Actions as first thing to do to get to The #1 Feature of a Meaningless Job | LinkedIn

    The #1 Feature of a Meaningless Job | LinkedIn:





    Great insights Prof Adam as ever!  how could we survive without you in all the years before 2013/4!? ;-)



    Our reality of life (rat race?) means that everyone need to find a balance between their



    1.) physical needs (money for home/warmth/food) &



    2.) higher faculty needs:

    a.) educating themselves (probably at the same time as 1.)),

    b.) for those that are brave enough to self taught or go to night schools (as its much easier to just sit and consume, from junk food or reality TV)



    therefore, (terrible generalisation here, pls forgive me) a big proportion of the population would find it easier:



    A.) to whine and complaint .. but go back to doing same thing/nothing changed



    B.) to consume than asking themselves some higher questions (unless you are religious, or well read, & not only addicted to/feast on tabloids news)..



    Therefore, the question of Meaningfulness and Impactfulness of one's life/work would be much easier to chat/think about it than doing something dramatic to change one's behaviour (if it needs to be improved)!



    Therefore, some might argue that if there is a well paid job that is meaningful and paid well, they would do it.. just like being served the best meal on the plate when they get to a restaurant or fast food joint.. We know that is not the case as we have to work hard even "to find" the best restaurant.. yup we will travel 1-2hrs or wait in the queue for an hour to join the best restaurant right?



    1st Acid Test: have you spent 1-2hours to challenge/improve yourself this week?



    You are absolutely right that people need to "search for meaning'.. (thanks for the tip, I shall buy that book to read!) but once again that might be too high a question to ask, and it would just get back to the Wish list.. (alongside with fixing the door/changing the light bulbs or the night school to learn another language or go to do GMAT & wishing to enrol on an Executive MBA course)..



    IMHO, I would therefore argue that people should be able to do something simpler, easier to do, just like David Allen Company Dave Allen suggested, something under 2minutes initially..



    2nd VERY Simple TEST: take a pen & a piece of paper: Ask yourself this: what did you 'learn' last week!? (compare your written answers again at the end of next week)



    Just for fun, for 2minutes daily, challenge yourself to learn a new skills, like learn how to use chopsticks, or if you already know how to, teach the other hand! .. once finished, congratulate yourself and set yourself another challenge. see how you feel!



    Therefore, as we discussed Prof Adam, re "Intelligent giving", I would like to argue people need to adopt "Intelligent Self-help", as per my to be launch movement called @Be_Champion, people just need to challenge themselves on a daily basis. WE all need help, from Ultra-high-net-worth (who don't know what mortgage is) to those below the poverty line, and especially the middle class.. We ALL need to challenge ourselves to be more impactful and meaningful.. but need to do something simple first.



    Finding our life goals and making our life impactful & meaningful whilst having enough food on the table would be wonderful. Happiness will no doubt follow!



    Some food for thoughts maybe.



    BR

    @GarethWong


    Friday, 24 January 2014

    My comments re "It does matter" but Bitcoin is a Dangerous Non Asset and Non currency! Marc Andreessen tells Why Bitcoin Matters - NYTimes.com

    Why Bitcoin Matters - NYTimes.com:

    Media coverage does funny things to people, it empowers public but amplifies exponentially that of millionaires and perceived successful people (Marc of course is the former!)... This type of posts is dynamite, and not in a good sense!

    We are now in 2014 and trust is at an all time low... People are looking for alternatives... could Bitcoin be that alternative? I would argue NOT. Wisemen say don't get involved with things you don't understand, and this is true for bitcoin! 


    Bitcoin means a total lack of what I call the much needed 'TAT' (Transparency, Accountability and Trust) ie the lack of which led to the downfall of the banking system! 


    Fact: Even major value adding enterprising firms that are Rated, Listed AND Audited can still go bust by 4:45 pm any afternoon (consequently, their shares mean nothing and all creditors loose out..with no recourse.. directors might get a bad name for a short period of time). Surely it is madness for anyone to argue how some encryption codes are changing everyone's lives as a currency that has no visible people behind it, let alone any supporting 'underlying asset' or any promissory note from any government!? 


    Yes, bitcoin may be a great technology and it signifies a major goal posts..I agree with Marc.


    But how would this be different (take the much touted technology encryption aside) logistically to using GE shares for transaction, or indeed using our own portfolio of shares.. I would argue using Warren's Berkshire Hathaway shares would be 100x better! 


    Note to other Tech Entrepreneurs or eBay mafia: might be an idea to create #StockKASH as a product? paying using shares in escrow but it would have to have some tangible underlying instruments?


    Any share price that is highly volatile means that something is wrong with the company/asset... or it's a sign of a bubble. How does one rationalise the volatility of Bitcoin?  How can we be sure that there is only a 'limited' supply of such coins!? We can be sure re physical assets or the issue of money by a Central bank through an official announcements (i.e. QE). But where is the Trust and Transparency regarding Bitcoin?


    Why not spend Marc's $50m on something more important and long term, which would help fix the systemic issue of finance (although I appreciate this would take time and huge amount of money), as reported during FinTech City events this week in London. Almost all of the FinTech ventures worldwide are concentrating on doing something better/different, and also mainly towards B2C or B2SMEs.


    The crowd lemming bandwagon behaviour of VCs that invest in firms that don't add real value to our world is just astounding. Their shackle of 5/10years return structure means sadly these types of bubble ventures like Bitcoin are perfect for creating firms for exit. 


    Strangest thing is that most FinTech firms are not really disruptive at all.  In the most basic form, all the FinTech firms still use banks, payment processors (paying similar fees) and no one (sadly) is working on fixing the broken 'plumbing' of Finance nor fixing the mid-market plus value chain... 


    The multi-million, billion, trillion pension/insurance/rating/auditing markets are ripe for disruption and unless fixed there will be many bitcoin type firms that turn up and confuse the heck out of most people, professionals included!


    Reality: All these types of 'good press' for bitcoin will hurt those consumers that end up losing badly in such high stake "pass the parcel game", which could 'explode' at any time.


    I am glad that China took lead and banned the banks from transacting on bitcoin related trades (Dec.2013).  Let's see which other country has good sense... Kudos that Alibaba follow suit


    But don't listen to me, listen to Nobel Laureate Robert Shiller, and Jamie dimon of JP Morganboth calling bitcoin a bubble... 


    I just hope the public will not spend all their savings for the supposedly short term gain... $50m might be short change for Marc and ok to gamble, but the rest of us should stop and think twice when it comes to Bitcoin!


    @GarethWong


    Wednesday, 15 January 2014

    my short blog re Disaggregation of a Bank - Fermi.VC

    Disaggregation of a Bank - Fermi.VC:

    Hi Zander

    great start of a conversation regarding a very important area of startup.

    Almost all however are mainly looking at doing the same thing better/different. As many great entrepreneurs have show from Steve to Bill, the biggest opportunity lies with a firm/product that

    1.) disrupt a market or

    2.) changes the value chain or

    3.) create a new business model (ideally all three!)

    Therefore, IMHO, biggest potential startup opportunity is area(s) in finance that needs fixing. Banking is one important vertical but there are many other players from insurance/re-insurance firms, to asset managers/pension funds, as they need each others' support in the very complex & intricate finance/capital market. 

    First lesson from any entrepreneurial professors and even entrepreneurs turn guru would say what are the problems, and how do you propose to fix them!  Given the dire economic situation of the world right now, no doubt we can all think of something to fix?

    a good example is, what "really" went wrong before the credit crunch? is it fixable? some might argue that the real fault lies with the value chain, how information is used, valued and maybe in fact the process of 'securitisation' itself.. ?

    e.g. from fund management startup like Nutmeg to any future startups that can augment/change/fix the systemic financial/capital market risks would be the next iPad of finance. (look at it from billion pension funds, Family foundations' perspective)

    so, yes, disaggregation is key but probably providing a solution that would fix the broken part(s) of the financial/capital market could very well be the lowest hanging fruit/holy grail.

    Technology will play key part but substantial capital will also needed to buy a seat at such a table and sadly the 6/7 figure sums of typical VC investments sadly might fall short; as big corporates would pay more than that per project just for opinions!? equally, likely return would also be substantial and of course barrier to entry!

    not a game for the faint-hearted.

    BR

    @GarethWong

    Must check out his slides (suggest full screen and download if you figure out how!):


    View Disaggregation of a Bank v1.pdf and other presentations by alexander33be.