While You Were Working - March 12

Programming note: Greetings from 35,000 feet, where I am on my way to the 43rd Annual International Futures Industry Conference. Watch this space all week for daily recaps of all the news from FIA Boca.

BIS warns on central bank cryptocurrencies

The Bank for International Settlements says central banks around the world should exercise caution before getting into the cryptocurrency game. The fear is that a panic in the markets could see investors flee to the safety of central bank cryptocurrencies and that the speed of such a "digital run" would de-stablize private financial institutions.

Not so much with the palace intrigue at Goldman Sachs

The Bloomberg team musta loved the feeling of penning an analysis piece about the looming palace intrigue in the C-suite at Goldman Sachs … only to have said palace intrigue end an hour or two after they published their piece. Ouch!

About that Saudi Aramco IPO

I written in this space before about how I am not quite sure the Saudi Aramco IPO is ever going to happen. News like this is why.

Microsoft … the #WeCanDoThatToo company

It is sometimes hard to believe Microsoft once held such a dominant position in the tech landscape that my sage uncle, who was an R&D exec at Unisys at the time, once proclaimed, “We should just give them all our money now, because they are going to get it sooner or later.”

That was the 1990s. Nowadays, Microsoft has become a company that sees Google, Apple, Amazon, etc launch cool new products and technologies and says, “We can do that too!”

Google and Yahoo! were dominating search; Microsoft said “We can do that too” and launched Bing.

Apple unveiled the iPad; Microsoft said “We can do that too” and unveiled the Surface.

Google Drive caught on; Microsoft said “We can do that too” and developed OneDrive.

And now Slack has changed the way people work, so Microsoft is saying "We can do that too!"

Banks continue push into mobile

Speaking of companies saying, “We can do that too!” … this Wall Street Journal piece looks at the progress big banks have made in the mobile payments space as they try to catch up to the likes of Paypal. Customers will likely be migrated from each bank’s individual platform to Zelle; and that will be a game-changer. 

However, the big banks need to make sure the user experience is air tight. I recently downloaded Citi’s mobile banking app and it worked great … until I went overseas and the app crashed incessantly. Call me crazy, but overseas travel is exactly the time when I want to be able to keep a closer eye on my credit card transactions … not be bothered by an app that crashes so much I have no choice but to uninstall it.

WYWW Appetizers