Thursday, May 24, 2012

Economist Takeaway

The demise of the public company. Could Facebook be the last big IPO? And the recent distinctions between voting/non-voting shares seem to matter, from a collectivist, share-the-wealth perspective.

Africa is experiencing some of the biggest drops in childmortality ever seen, anywhere. Economic growth and bednets seem to be the major contributors.

Our once-favourite airline, Makedonski Avio transport is bankrupt, and has been for some time (haven’t flown them in awhile); and the other Balkan carriers are next.

  • The Internet has not eliminated retail banking, as many predicted, but it has made it much more convenient. I am rarely inside an open bank.
  •  Basic retail banking accounts for more than half of banks’ revenue worldwide.
  •  For big retail banks, renting, operating and staffing branches accounts for 40-60% of operating costs. Computer systems make up the rest.
  • Expect banks of the future to look more like Apple stores
  • Citigroup has hired Watson, of Jeopardy fame, to crunch its data. They know everything.
  • The term “Riding Shotgun” comes from the banks' habit of sending an armed escort to ride alongside the stagecoach driver to keep an eye on the strongbox used to transfer money between branches. 

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