Enabling international trade – technology and education

Michael Backhouse Whilst it is a very modest improvement on the previous year's figure of $1.6 billion it does emphasise the work required to unlock the potential for the financial community and ultimately for society.Much is being done by the ICC andmany governments to rectify this current position, but the enhancements in technology and greater education can also play their part in enabling international trade and the financing of it.Re-evaluation of technologyIf you go back 10 to 15 years, there was enormous enthusiasm about how electronic documentation would revolutionise the operations of international trade by lowering costs, improving speed and reducing risks. The development of technology did not materialise in the way many would have liked and that is perhaps why many trade practitioners today are sceptical of ...

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Securing an Early Retirement: The Blogosphere's 7 Best Lessons

At a time when many struggle to save enough for a comfortable retirement, there are a few people who can not only retire comfortably but can do so earlier than the expected 65 years old. As part of my job at Personal Capital, I have been lucky to get to know today's top personal finance bloggers. The expertise and success that the most sought after ones have achieved has allowed them to do what some have deemed impossible – retire in their 30s. Not surprisingly, the rest of us regular folks follow their journeys to be inspired and learn. How did they do it Here are some of the most important lessons I've learned from a few of the top personal finance bloggers on how to fast track your ...

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IT'S TIME CONSUMERS STOPPED WORRYING ABOUT ONLINE PAYMENTS

Ecommerce is now two decades old – online consumers deserve smoother, more advanced payment methods says Andy Khawaja, CEO, Allied WalletModern life can be stressful. A new survey has revealed that, as well as fretting about our future career prospects, our ageing appearance and whether our children will ever afford to leave home, many of us still worry about security of our payment information even though we continue to shop online.The online retail sector grew by 18.6% in 2015 and is expected to rise by around 17% in 2016. In contrast, growth rates for retail as a whole range between 1.5 and 3.5% per annum. So it's clear these concerns aren't driving anyone away from buying online and that shopping this way is now entrenched in our lifestyle. ...

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Michael Lewis Explains the Unlikely Bromance That Shaped the Way You Manage Money

Most people know Michael Lewis as the author behind such best-sellers as Moneyball, The Blind Side, and The Big Short, which focus on Wall Street or sports, or a combination of both. His latest, The Undoing Project, takes his storytelling in a different direction by focusing on two brilliant Israeli psychologists whose collaborative research into the quirky and irrational way our minds work radically changed economics and finance. These two psychologists, Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman, were outsiders, very much in the mold of other Lewis underdog characters. But it was the power of their ideas and personalities, rather than a financial collapse or game win-loss records, that ultimately won over academic and industry critics. Tversky passed away in 1996, but Kahneman went on to win a Nobel ...

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How global fintech trends will impact your banking

Fintech startups around the world are changing the way people manage their money. Apps are reshaping entire payment systems, people are learning to live with chatbots, and innovative interfaces are challenging the way banking gets done. Much is happening abroad, but the impact of these trends on the U.S. market is very hard to predict. Our financial system is far more complex and well entrenched than systems in other countries, with thousands of institutions and a complex regulatory environment featuring countless state-level authorities and multiple federal agencies. U.S. banks tend to be slower to adopt technology, in part because of the gargantuan task of updating old, siloed systems. As a consumer, you've experienced this if you've ever been transferred from a rep who only handles checking accounts to someone who can ...

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Tipping etiquette: How it varies from country to country

When Kurt Stahura lived in Singapore, he often traveled to Malaysia, China and Indonesia to play golf. "Caddies carry your clubs on foot and management at the golf course pays them $7 a round," Stahura says. Stahura would tip them generously because his wife Kim had been a waitress. "I give $40 because golf workers are from the local community, and their earnings depend on tips," he says. Stahura is like the 60% of U.S. respondents to a 2014 TripAdvisor survey on tipping who said they always tip for service on vacation, compared with an average 27% of respondents from 7 other countries, including Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain and the United Kingdom. Although Stahura chooses to tip, in many parts of Asia such as China and Japan, gratuities aren't expected. Tipping varies ...

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How to prevent identity theft: 2 strategies

Niko Miaoulis /EyeEm/Getty Images Identity theft has given plenty of consumers reason for concern. More than 13 million adults in the United States were victims of identity fraud in 2015, according to Javelin Strategy & Research. The total fraud amount was $15 billion. Identity theft can take many forms, but one type of fraud occurs when an unauthorized credit account is opened. A pair of major tools — fraud alerts and security freezes — can help consumers fight back against such an action, says Tod Burke, a criminal justice professor and associate dean at Radford University in Radford, Virginia. Prevent ID theft with a: Fraud alert: Ask one of the 3 credit reporting companies to put a fraud alert on your credit report. It requires potential creditors to verify your identity before any ...

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$100 MILLION SPREADSHEET MISTAKE PUTS A SPOTLIGHT ON SPREADSHEET MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS

By Diane Robinette, CEO, IncisiveThis past October during a sale to Vista Equity Partners, Tibco Software suffered a costly, $100 million, spreadsheet mistake. Goldman, Tibco's adviser in the deal,used a spreadsheet that overstated the company's share count in the deal. This error led to a miscalculation of Tibco's equity value, a $100 million savings for Vista, and a slightly lower payment to Tibco's shareholders.While it is too soon to know if this mistake was fraudulent or if it was a simple “fat finger” error, this blunder confirms enterprises continue to struggle with spreadsheet management. It is unclear who created the spreadsheet and who changed what; however, had spreadsheet management software been in place, these answers would have been easily obtained.Manually double checking numbers in complex and critical spreadsheets ...

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