FinTech has metathesized throughout all banking discussions. This is our reality. Eye-straining technology will be the main way that we are able to manage our finances. FinTech has the classical Silicon Valley syndrome: FinTechies talk to each other. Occasionally, they deign to ask the rest of us what we think. I have tried to map our mutual problem set:

Figure 1: Miscommunication

With Saudi Arabia following Bahrain, Malaysia, the UK and others into the world of open banking, I am curious. Is open banking something that the people at the top decided is good for us? Or do we seek it? In the…


On July 1, 2021, Xi Jin Ping hopes to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party of China (CPC). Here are two contrasting sets of observations about why there isn’t as much to celebrate as Xi hopes.

What will Winnie the Poo do about burnt polyester?

I ordered a new hoodie on a link via Facebook. I bought the beautifully presented story of Chloe, Lauren & Phil starting their high quality fashion business in Birmingham. I ignored the url which didn’t show .co.uk. And, I didn’t dig into the Legal Notice on the website that a random company in Zhejiang would fulfill my order. I liked the story…


Some things belong in the dustbin of history.

The star of Social Darwinism was Herbert Spencer. The British writer authored The Man versus The State (Indianapolis: Liberty Press, 1981 — ISBN 0–913966–98–3) and The Principles of Ethics (Indianapolis: Liberty Press, 1978 — ISBN 0–913966–34–7). The works are turgid. When Spencer wrote about man, the state and freedom, he was not universally inclusive. As with Burckhardt, his concept of freedom is exclusive to the man he believed to be superior.

Spencer derived a simple Darwinian proposition:

“…each individual shall reap the benefits brought to him by his own powers, inherited and acquired, is to enunciate egoism as an ultimate…


From: https://www.communicationtheory.org/social-darwinism/.

One or two terms, Trump is likely the end of the most recent forty year experiment in American Social Darwinism. This gradual program is ending in a devastating crescendo. Forty years ago, its pollinators including the Kochs had intellectual fellow travelers in the likes of Liberty Press (now Liberty Fund) and The American Spectator (TAS). Like’s its British inspiration The Spectator, TAS was irreverent, funny, and libertarian. As a university student, I enjoyed it. I found Liberty Press through it and stocked up on books. Then, I matured and put aside TAS. …


When I reviewed Prof. Robert Kuttner’s Can Democracy Survive Global Capitalism, I fretted about America’s bad situation. I needed to get away. Lucky for me, I had at hand Charles Fishman’s One Giant Leap (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2019 — ISBN 978–1–5011–0629–3). To my surprise, Fishman had a bit of everything, even an answer for Kuttner. Fishman’s prose is often inspiring. The anecdotes that he has collected range from terrifying to engaging. And, it is all relevant to our current situation.

How do I connect these books? In the half century since the United States put twelve men on…


If you are thinking about the world after this bout of COVID-19, then I recommend taking insights from Prof. Robert Kuttner. In his 2018 book Can Democracy Survive Global Capitalism (New York, W.W. Norton & Company Inc, ISBN 978–0–393–60993–6) , Kuttner blends history, policy, and prognostics. Global capitalism is built on a number of potent myths. These have created a corporatist system that subverts states, reduces workers into “human capital”, and spawns Neo-Mercantilist competitors like China. Adam Smith’s invisible hand has been crushed by corporations without borders and mercantile states.

And, so we entered the pandemic with price gouging private…


Source: Financial Reporting Council frc.org.uk

Introduction: The Wates Principles (Wates) are the UK’s pyramid of large company governance. Increasingly, Wates is being applied to private and public companies alike. Indeed, Wates is viewed on the global stage as a clear summary of best practices. In three parts, I would like to examine Wates in the context of recent business events as well as in view of peer guidance for corporate governance.

The pinnacle principle is Leadership and Purpose. One imagines that leadership drives governance and purpose flows down. Yet, one might also consider that a pyramid is only as sound as its base. …


Introduction: This topic has been on my mind for some time. In the United States, the Republicans have made healthcare an ideological issue. It is part of the chimera of big government. Progressively for more than 20 years, Republican lawmakers and presidents have sought to reduce the government’s already limited role in American healthcare. There is some irony here as it was President Nixon who was instrumental in establishing some of the existing healthcare safety net.

As a citizen, I often wonder with amazement that private equity firms buy parts of the healthcare value chain. I did not understand the…


I have questions about sustainable finance. When I read Larry Fink’s letter to CEOs (see https://www.blackrock.com/corporate/investor-relations/larry-fink-ceo-letter), I wonder what would happen if institutional investors withdrew from the hydrocarbon sector?

The first big questions are about whether or not the role of hydrocarbons in our lives would change? And, would the shift help to alleviate climate change?

If one divests from hydrocarbons, then how easily may one make investments in clean, green alternatives that pick up the slack?

Consider two data points: According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), there are about three million electric cars on the roads today compared…


Richard M. Nixon was an intellectual. He was on the way to building a remarkable legacy as president. But, President Nixon was also paranoid. Faced with an election that he couldn’t possibly lose, he decided to make sure of victory. Dirty tricks and the Watergate burglary ultimately put President Nixon on the path to impeachment.

adapted from https://www.economist.com/leaders/2018/04/19/the-republican-party-is-organised-around-one-man

My family had a role in a number of Nixon sagas. My grandfather was a Republican party leader in Orange County, California. He progressively promoted Nixon’s political career from congress to the senate to the vice presidency. And, then the presidency, twice.

But, then Watergate…

Abdulkader Thomas

Raised in Southern Ohio to become a globe trotter,…

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