operational risk

Barcodes of Finance 4

7.      Will blockchain technology affect the drive toward barcodes? It most definitely should—and in a positive way. The maintenance of a distributed database of identifiers, both for participants and products traded throughout the global financial supply chain is the easiest global blockchain infrastructure application to be developed. A global database of all the world’s participant and product identifiers, maybe a half billion records, is limited in scale, both as to data recorded in its distributed ledger and in its limits of processing speed—seconds required, at the most. Both parameters of speed and scale are well within the boundaries of current […]

Barcodes of Finance 3

5.      Great, the G20 set up the Financial Stability Board to set things straight. So, what’s the problem? It was thought by all that “regulatory compulsion” at such a global level, overseen by the world’s most prominent collection of leaders of the largest economies, would finally solve the collective action problem that stymied the industry from doing this on their own.  Industry members could not justify stepping aside from each firm’s own self-interest in maintaining the status quo. It would be costly to re-engineer legacy systems built in convoluted increments over the previous six decades. Everyone without exception wanted to […]

Barcodes of Finance 2

3.      What allowed non-standard transaction date to persist and what was your response? I had spent my whole career in various sectors of finance and as an advisor to many financial institutions as a consulting Partner with PwC, responsible for the Financial Services sector. I saw the same sets of transaction data described differently in each firm, even though they would need to match perfectly between firms in order to confirm the transaction with the counterparty and either receive payment or pay for it.  This disorder was managed by delaying the payment until all the details were reconciled, first by […]

Barcodes of Finance 1

After the holidays, Morty was bragging he’d been out to a new, very swanky seafood restaurant. “The maître d’ said they’re planning to bring in seafood barcodes.” I immediately pictured a slab of fish on Styrofoam with the price barcode sticker on it—straight from my local supermarket. “And this is at a high-end place?” I said skeptically. “Yeah, but it’s an identifier code, not a price sticker. It’s so the customer can verify they’re getting what they’re paying for,” he said. “Apparently there’s a big push to identify species, and make the information available.” Talking about fish barcodes reminded me […]

Shifting Energy Markets

How are strategic priorities in energy markets shifting? What are the risk management implications? “Geopolitical risks have worsened and technological innovation is causing more disruption,” said Medy Agami, senior partner and vice-chairman at Ben-Roz and Associates and co-founder of the consulting firm Opimas. He was the sole presenter of the webinar “Energy Market Strategy and Risk Playbook: How to prosper amid a wave of disruptive innovation, geopolitical uncertainty, market volatility & exponentially growing risk landscape in 2018 & beyond” sponsored by the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP) on August 7, 2018. “There are five main forces acting on fundamentally shifting markets,” […]

Geopolitical Risk

What’s with Russia and cyber-hacking? How did it happen, and why? Geopolitical risk threatens the very fundamentals of market stability and the world order. The Global Association of Risk Professionals treated its members to a “big picture” risk topic during the webinar on November 1, 2017. Former senior US intelligence officer Jack Thomas Tomarchio, who is now a principal with the Agoge Group, LLC, described the current geopolitical risk due to Russian cyber-attacks. “Russia was declared to be responsible for leaks at the Democratic National Convention in 2016,” Tomarchio said. “The DNC is supposed to be neutral, but the leaks […]

Central Clearing Design

If you had to design a central clearinghouse for transactions in financial markets, what size of guarantees should be offered? And what percentage fees should be charged? “The central clearing modifies the market,” said Andreea Minca, “because the old network structure [of one-to-one] is changing to a new ‘star’ structure.” Minca is Assistant Professor at the School of Operations Research and Information Engineering at Cornell University and was the sole presenter at the December 6, 2016, webinar on systemic risk and central clearing design to members of the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP). Under new US legislation, all over-the-counter […]

Avoid Jekyll and Hyde

Accurate price determination for commodities means that data must be gathered, processed and analyzed. What, then, are current best practices for data management? “Organizations are beginning to recognize their current solutions are no longer meeting current needs,” said Michal Peliwo, Vice President of Business Solutions at ZE PowerGroup.  He was the third and final speaker at a webinar on August 24, 2016, sponsored by the Global Association of Risk Professionals, titled “The Price is Right? Strategies for Market Discovery & Optimum Pricing Challenges.” Peliwo described the fragmented world of data management as it exists at most companies. “MS Excel is […]

Optimum Price a Moving Target

How was risk-taking originally priced, and has this changed over time? Centuries ago, mercantile economies used to pool risk for the trading ships that were sent out. Over time, this “big chunk risk” has given way to increasingly more precise ways of determining risk, and is now down to individual financial transactions. “Pricing is the centre of gravity of this operation,” said Robin Bloor, Chief Analyst at The Bloor Group. “For every product theoretically there is an optimum price.” Beginning with this historical comparison, he was the first of three speakers at a webinar on August 24, 2016, sponsored by […]

Fast Turnaround of Complex Math

Imagine you are driving your brand-new mini-van, the latest Drake album cranked on high, the windshield wipers at top tempo, and the heater keeping things toasty. You go to switch the headlights to high-beam—and you are suddenly hit by the unmistakable odour of melting circuits…. Not a happy situation. It’s one that automotive designers the world over try to avoid by extensive testing of many different usage scenarios. Problem-solving tools have dramatically changed the way engineers advance their knowledge, for financial, automotive, chemical, and other sectors. Many products and technologies we take for granted—such as the electronic circuitry in a […]