For eons people have been searching for Big Foot, Sasquatch or Yeti, as it is also known. Now it seems researchers have solved this mystery using DNA analysis techniques. Drum roll please - yetis are bears. That's right, after examining 9 different specimens reportedly from yetis all over the world, it was found that 5 were Tibetan brown bears, 2 were Himalayan brown bears and 1 was an Asian black bear. Now that you know this, be sure not to mess with a Yeti when walking in the woods.Another thing community bankers don't want to mess with is their bank's...
History teaches us interesting things, not the least of which is how much things change over time. Look no further than average US life expectancy. It has shifted from approximately 40.0Ys back in 1900 to 69.8Ys in 1960. Roll forward 30Ys from there and it reached 75.2Ys (1990), before moving up to 76.6Ys (2000) and 78.3Ys (2016). Life expectancy at this point is projected to reach 79.8Ys (2020) and then push out to 83.9Ys (2050). Things have shifted in the banking world too over time, as can be seen with cryptocurrencies. These digital currencies are created using computers and...
Psychologists now say knowing someone occurs when that person actively shares information with you that is particularly intimate or private. The difference between this sort of knowing someone and knowing about someone is where the line is drawn. Knowing about someone occurs when you may not even know the person, but you know things about them that make you feel like you might know them, if you met them. The example most often given here is that of a celebrity, where you may know a lot about him/her, but you have never met.Knowing someone and possessing knowledge are very important...
Bankers love numbers and math. After all, how else do you count all that money in the vault? To get your number wheels going this morning we point out that 3 quarters, 4 dimes and 4 pennies is the largest amount of coins you can have without being able to make change for a dollar. If that doesn't get you going, we note that back in 1830 an eagle swooped into the US Mint building in Philadelphia and was used as a model for coin engravings for years; the TSA collects about $775,000 in loose change at airport security checkpoints...
Parents used to tell us as kids that it was impolite to spit, while older siblings would give it a whirl when mom and dad weren't looking. Now it seems Penn State College of Medicine researchers want all kids to spit. You see, the researchers found a saliva test can surface five small molecules that could identify concussive symptoms in children, teens and young adults with 85% accuracy. That is amazing and sports teams, coaches, parents, and kids everywhere are celebrating. It just goes to show that things keep changing and mostly improving over time. That is why we focus...
We were interested by work completed by scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It forecasts which cities will be impacted if and when various ice sheets melt around the world. Suffice it to say that if the top tip of Greenland melts, it would get redistributed into London, while if the top half melts, water would find its way into New York. Finally, if the top part of the Antarctic ice sheet melts, it would be redistributed into Sydney. Strange but true, so now you know these frozen tundra areas really matter when it comes to the rest of us...
There are all sorts of interesting things going on around us every day. For instance, NASA says there are about 1,800 thunderstorms in progress over the Earth's surface at any given time and lightning strikes hit about 100x each second. As if that weren't enough to get your brain going this morning, consider that The Atlantic reports astronauts can tear up in space, but they can't cry because they are in zero gravity (your eyes make tears but they stick to you as a liquid ball). Bankers are always thinking about how to keep up with shifting customer interests and...
Many of our readers claim we must have placed eavesdropping bugs or some sort of cameras in their offices based on what you read here. While that isn't true and what you read here is the result of research and hundreds upon hundreds of conversations with community bankers and regulators, it does get us thinking. So, for sport this morning, you can be our eyes and ears. You may not know it, but it is physically impossible for humans to lick their elbow. So, keep watch out the window of your office, around the lunch room and when you see...
Everyone is watching to see what the Fed does with rates and that seems to hinge mostly on inflation. That is why we took a closer look at the subcomponent inflation data mix recently released. On a YoY basis, areas where inflation has jumped include: bacon (+11.8%); fuel oil (+11.7%); gasoline (+10.8%); watches (+8.3%); motor vehicle insurance (+8.2%); lettuce (+7.8%); cigarettes (+7.7%); delivery services (+6.5%); cable, satellite TV (+6.2%) and moving, storage, freight expense (+5.9%). Perhaps equally interesting, the biggest YoY declines came in televisions (-10.3%); toys (-8.0%); other household furnishings (-7.2%); other recreational goods (-6.5%) and video/audio products...
Some community bankers have been keeping a close eye on 3D printing because as it continues to evolve, it is likely to eventually impact lending opportunities. These printers have already "printed" such things as apartment buildings and houses, for instance so the idea is interesting. MIT now reports they have found a better way and have announced a 3D printer that can print 10 different materials all at once. Even more amazing - it does so while auto correcting and auto calibrating itself along the way. That means we will soon be able to embed complex things such as sensors
A new study by UCLA finds a lack of sleep and drinking too much have the same negative influence on the human brain. Sleep deprivation makes it more difficult for the brain to work, leading to lapses in judgement, memory and perception. Now you know, so get enough sleep and everything in moderation.When it comes to loan loss reserves in banking, many bankers we know say they sometimes wish for more moderation from regulators and accountants. It doesn't look like that is going to happen with the new current expected credit loss (CECL), but there are some interesting things to
Pew Research reports some interesting things about employees in this country. For instance: there are more than 150mm employees in the workforce, membership in unions has declined from a peak of 35% back in 1954 to only 11% today, 71% of people work in the service sector, 10% of the workforce is self-employed, and median annual earnings of full time workers ages 25 to 34Ys old is about $50,000 for those with a bachelor's degree or more vs. only $30,000 for high school graduates. When it comes to the workplace, bankers know there is a lot to think about to
You may not have known it but the face reportedly has more than 40 muscles linked to facial emotions, facial expressions are innate and universal to humans, it takes 12 muscles to create a genuine smile, facial hair grows faster than any other type of body hair, and your lips are red because they have tiny capillaries of blood just below the skin's surface. In banking, the latest biometric technology to gain some traction is facial recognition. According to results from a recent Juniper Research study however, more than 40% of Apple users in the US
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure as they say. Seeing bad signs on the horizon, doctors are urging people to get a flu vaccine this year. Whatever you decide to do, we are reminded that things can change rapidly so being prepared is a good idea. Look no further than recent devastating storms around the country. These examples and lessons learned from prior storms have made today's banks more resilient and definitely more prepared. Here are some tips learned from these events in the event your bank or your customers at some point in the future
You may not have known this, but the US Energy Information Administration reports US energy consumption by energy source, as of the end of 2016 was: petroleum (37%), natural gas (29%), coal (15%), nuclear (9%) and renewable (10%). Of further interest perhaps, the renewable energy piece of this pie breaks down as: hydroelectric (24%), biofuels (22%), wind (21%), wood (19%), solar (6%), biomass waste (5%) and geothermal (2%). Finally, we all used those energy sources for electric power (39%), transportation (29%), industrial (22%), residential (6%) and commercial (4%).As you consider this today, we point out that other research indicates that
Ok people, we only have 600Ys to figure out how to get off the Earth. Renowned mathematics genius Stephen Hawking says that is all the time we have, if we want to survive. We don't know if he is right, but it does provide an opportunity for bankers perhaps, as all of those space ventures will certainly need some funding.As can be seen above, it sure seems mathematics can sometimes get in the way of fun. This is especially true these days in bank M&A deals, when calculations are applied to BSA/AML by the regulatory community. Indeed, some recent bank
Are machines better than humans? You probably heard that the very first driverless shuttle bus, on its very first day of operation in Las Vegas, got into an accident. What you may not have heard was that police blame a delivery truck for the accident. The issue - the bus had no driver, while the truck did. Something to ponder as you sip your coffee this morning.Another thing to ponder in banking relates to providing international services to your business customers. Many of these customers may not intuitively know they need such services, so it may not be top of
A University of Toronto study finds a strong correlation between career accomplishments and depression in lawyers. This finding seems to go against the general trend of greater success leading to lower depression. Maybe that's because one of the main drivers was the lack of work-life balance from long hours at work. Many bankers work long hours too, but maybe the idea of working with money every day will help you ease the burden a bit.To help protect your bank and its money, we point out that while things still look good out there, it has been a long recovery cycle
We found out an interesting and odd fact to share. Fredric Baur, the inventor of Pringles potato chips, liked his invention so much that when he passed away his ashes were buried in a Pringles can. That seems a little extreme to us, but you have to give him points for dedication. Lately, bankers may find that they are more dedicated to loan loss calculations than before, as everyone tries to get their hands around the Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL) standard. As you work toward the end of the year and ponder the best way to incorporate CECL into
Research by Counterpoint Technology Market projects that in only 3Ys (by 2020), over 30% of all smartphones will be natively artificial intelligence (AI) capable. That means the brick in your back pocket will soon be able to analyze your behavior patterns and help you make decisions quickly - not just tell you the closest gas station or cafe. It will also be able to more easily detect malware or unusual behavior based on better data analytics. That is something bankers will generally look forward to.Technology advances are happening everywhere, as wearables, virtual reality, smart homes, drones, digital assistants and even
It hopes the tree offices will increase employee creativity and satisfaction. After all, they are equipped with Wi-Fi, sky lights, meeting rooms and even a gas fireplace. The only catch could be the risk of what might happen if an employee who is deep in thought and looking at their phone or tablet forgets they are also 12 feet in the air. Let's hope the architects designed good guard rails too!Your bank may not yet be ready to build a tree house in the main branch, but this unique solution to an issue may help open your mind to options
Beer lovers will be excited to know scientists have recently discovered the missing parent of the hybrid yeast used for brewing. This yeast lives on trees in sparsely populated Patagonia, South America, sitting between Argentina and Chile. The good news for beer drinkers is that in 2Ys, the yeast will make its debut in limited supply through the Heineken H41 beer. Before H41, there were only 3 categories of beer brewing yeast which made beer brewing more limited. But now, with this new wild lager yeast, 5,000 breweries in the US can look forward to even more creative brewing. Just
The origins of sleep are interesting to ponder. Humans are generally supposed to get 7 to 9 hours, while teenagers should be around 8 to 10 hours and older adults are supposed to be more like 7 to 8 hours. Sleep is important and it was believed to only occur in organisms that have a nervous system. A new finding blows that away, as scientists have found a certain kind of jellyfish with no central nervous system appears to "sleep". This means that the evolution of sleep in organisms may be much earlier than previously understood. Whether this will change
It may not be obvious until you think about it, but intelligence and critical thinking are not the same things. This is why smart people can also do dumb things. Definitionally speaking, intelligence is the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills, while critical thinking is all about using objective analysis to evaluate something and form a judgement. Put another way, intelligence is mainly inherited, while critical thinking can be learned. The expectation is that both provide you not only with success but wellbeing. Yet, several studies have shown the two do not fair equally here as critical thinking
Scientists are working hard to reverse paralysis, which affects an estimated 5.4mm people. Through a device that is smaller than a postage stamp and sits on the brain's motor cortex, scientists hope to wirelessly communicate with electrodes placed below an injured area of the spinal cord. They call this a "neural bypass" and have had success testing it with animals and even a quadriplegic middle-aged man, most recently. Imagine the possibilities around mobility if this all works out as scientists hope. While certainly not as interesting as that sort of breakthrough, bankers are dealing with their own issues around the
As three Americans were recently honored with the Nobel Prize in physics, we thought we would look at the origins of this impressive acknowledgement. Alfred Nobel, the Swedish scientist who invented dynamite, willed his fortune of $9mm in 1896 to establish awards for those doing work to help mankind in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and peace. Economics was later added and 585 prizes have been given out since the first award in 1901. It is believed that he had a Nobel had a conscience about the damaging use of dynamite and wanted to leave a gentler legacy. Times of
The brain is a curious thing. Look no further than a study from New York University. It found the brain automatically decides what is important as you interact with the world and it will forget details to make sense of a bigger picture, as it largely ignores the small differences that surface on a day to day basis. It then updates the information during sleep by assimilating specific memories into broader knowledge. Community bankers continually test the full extent of their brain capacity - especially given so many cross currents impacting the industry these days. Perhaps that is also one
When your car broke down in the old days as a banker, you walked to your appointment. Since you are a banker, you probably did so back then wearing Hush Puppies. Believe it or not, a saying making the rounds in trendy circles is to take the hush puppies highway when you do this. Guess all things old are new again every so often.Signatures have been around since the Stone Age, but electronic signatures are becoming more central in helping banks increase efficiency for loans and account-opening procedures. They also allow you to automate a growing number of processes and
How sad is it when you hear technology has gone so far, and human interaction has pulled back so much that people are willing to go on virtual dates. In short, this means watching a movie on your laptop with someone who is somewhere else and talking with that person at points during the movie when it makes sense on the cell phone.As you ponder where the world has gone when it comes to digital things, consider bank customers rely more on digital banking so the employment needs of banks have also changed. As a result, community banks may want
Did you hear that an 83Y old grandfather climbed onto the roof of his home and shoved a man off it into the waiting arms of the police? It seems the man had been jumping on roofs in grandpa's neighborhood and he just got sick of it so he got a ladder and pushed the man off to end the police standoff. And you thought banking was weird - try being a roofer.Speaking of tough things in banking, let's look at changes to lending operations. Specifically, the new data collection and reporting requirements under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA)
It's Halloween so we thought we would bring you into the online dating world where terms such as benching (when you keep someone on the back burner as an option), submarining (person you are seeing disappears and then reappears randomly as if they had been just below the surface), ghosting (ceasing all communication with someone you are dating), stashing (person you are dating refuses to introduce you to anyone in their lives) and zombieing (when someone disappears from your life and then comes back from the dead with a text or social media interaction) can all happen. When it comes
If you are worried about colon cancer, perhaps you should start munching on purple potatoes. It seems Pennsylvania State University researchers have found doing so might reduce proteins linked to the growth of cancer cells in the colon. More work needs to be done, but maybe restaurants will start offering them soon if people start asking. Who knows!In the competitive world of small business lending, colorful things have little to do with knowing and understanding your potential customers. Interestingly, banks often think more in terms of customer demographics or small business industry than business size. This is weird because not
Everyone these days seems to be trying to stay healthy. That is why we were surprised to read on AJC that a bottle of Naked green machine juice smoothie has more sugar in it than about 5 Krispy Kreme original glazed donuts. Yum!In banking, there are many surprising things bankers will tell you that have happened in their branches over the years. That is perhaps because the branch is both the most dependable and traditional of community bank delivery channels. It is also arguably the most slow-growing channel for banks.Though many branches can hold their own, all bankers know that
If you have ever tried feeding vegetables to kids with a dose of reverse psychology, you may or may not be surprised to hear that this age-old tactic has a scientific foundation. According to a professor of social psychology at the University of Arizona, reverse psychology is part of a phenomenon called "reactance." When people think someone is taking away their ability to make their own choices, they react against that threat and then try to reverse it. Just as a 2Y old is told they can't eat the broccoli on their plate, telling your customers that they should be
If you suffer from high blood pressure, you might want to read up on a new study that finds taking sauna baths could reduce the risk of hypertension. Scientists in Finland who track such things found during a 22Y follow up that the risk of hypertension decreased 24% among those who bathed two to three times a week and 46% for those who bathed four to seven times a week. We are more of the showering types, but it is interesting nonetheless. When it comes to interesting in banking, look no further than online powerhouse PayPal. They are rapidly becoming a
As people age they begin to worry about things such as dementia. After all, Alzheimers is the 56th leading cause of death in the US. Early detection is critical, which is why the findings of University of Chicago researchers are so interesting. They report a simple test smelling 5 different odors of peppermint, fish, orange, rose and leather may help. It seems about 80% of people who only detected 1-2 scents in the research were diagnosed with dementia when tested 5Ys later. When it comes to banking, there is also plenty of research going on - perhaps not as earth shattering
Even in California with all the surfing going on, people get scared by sharks. There are 470 known species of sharks in the world and an estimated 1B+ roaming the oceans. As if that weren't enough to think about, scientists have now determined that some species of sharks live 2x as long as previously thought. As you chew on that, consider that community banks have plenty of sharks swimming around them in the online world too. Attacks come in the form of online breaches, phishing, malware and cyber-scams. As such, banks are trying something new. For years, technology and software firms
There are a few different studies on banking apps out there. While some of the numbers may vary, most of them point to these key attributes for app success: ease of navigation, app appearance, suitable range of services and quick access to relevant information. Customization of features and the use of biometrics to secure personal information are also important elements. Community banks may want to consider these attributes when developing or updating your apps. Interestingly, a recent report by Malauzai Software finds new app growth rate among banks and credit unions has slowed to 8% this year. It suggests
If your bank is anything like ours, you have about 1 or 2 audits going on every single month. Some are large audits and some are small, but they generally seem to be continual. To name just a few, banks have operational, financial, regulatory compliance, information technology and a host of other audits every single year. Perhaps that is why PwC research finds 48% of stakeholders want the internal audit function to be a trusted advisor to the business. If yours is like most banks, you have limited resources to devote to compliance monitoring and audits. One consideration may be to
The number of cards compromised at US ATMs and merchants rose 39% in the 1H 2017 vs. the year-earlier period according to FICO. The firm also tracked a 21% rise in compromises of ATMs and point-of-sale (POS) devices in the US in the 1H 2017 vs. the same period in 2016. This report highlights an intensifying problem for consumers, business customers and for community banks. Consider that the number of compromises is on track to set a new high for the FICO(R) Card Alert Service, which monitors hundreds of thousands of ATMs and other readers in the US, according to the
Forrester research is forecasting online holiday sales will increase by 12% this year. On average it also expects holiday shoppers will spend $689 for online gifts - an 8% increase over last year. While bankers still have plenty of time to shop for the holidays, you may want to compare these numbers with your own shopping habits for fun. Bankers are always looking at the habits of their customers so today we examine Generation Z to see what surfaces. A recent study by The Center for Generational Kinetics gives several insights into how Gen Z (1996 to somewhere
If you want to target rich bank customers, you may want to see what devices they use. In a recent Global Web Index study of tablet users, 44% were more likely to be in the top 25% for income. They were also more likely to be parents and fall into the age category 35-44. It is pretty amazing what you can find out when you crunch the data. Artificial intelligence, or AI, is basically data crunching on steroids. It is used today for a wide range of tasks including medical diagnosis, electronic trading and aviation. It's even quickly becoming a game-changer
Scientists seem to be near a cure for the common cold. You heard us right - the cold may be on the way out. For eons, scientists have tried to get rid of this annoyance, but the issue has always been that the virus for the common cold mutates quickly so it has been difficult to target. Now, scientists are targeting the actual genes of the virus, which appear to have the same decoding mechanism in all strains. Hope is near that this discovery will lead to an effective drug in about 10Ys. Imagine never having a cold again!
Using something known as paper spray mass spectrometry, researchers from the University of Surrey have developed a new fingerprint test that will accurately detect cocaine usage and identify the user within seconds. It even works after handwashing, which makes the test even more robust and effective. Technology breakthroughs are happening everywhere and the banking industry often seems like ground zero. Interestingly though, a study finds this may not be the case with many banks. When it comes to data analytics, for example, many banks are sorely missing the mark. Just 13% of senior executives and independent directors responding to
Good news! Scientists from MIT and University of Leeds have found the ozone hole is actually decreasing and is expected to close entirely by 2050. Their research attributes the decrease to the ban of chlorofluorocarbons from aerosols, but it was still a big surprise, since there had been spikes in ozone depletion recently. Those spikes were later attributed to volcanic activity vs. aerosol use. Just as the ozone hole has been getting smaller, so has the pool of bank directors in recent years, as expectations placed on them have intensified. To help alleviate some of the burden, the Fed recently sought
We found research by the US Sentencing Commission on recidivism among federal offenders interesting. It looked at offenders who were either released from federal prison after serving a sentence of imprisonment or placed on a term of probation in 2005 to see how many of these people reoffended. It found about half (49%) were rearrested within 8Ys for either a new crime or for some other violation of the condition of their probation or release conditions. If you are wondering how we can improve this, consider another study that found there is a 25% decrease in the likelihood of re-offense
A recent review of national survey data by SDSU and Bryn Mawr College finds 18Y olds are waiting to engage in adult behaviors such as driving, getting an after-school job or drinking alcohol. Only 67% of teenagers say they tried alcohol between 2010 and 2016 vs. 93% who did so between 1976 and 1979. The influence of the virtual world has no doubt influenced some of this behavioral change, but some experts believe an increasing affluence has facilitated this trend as well. As these young customer behaviors and preferences change, bankers now realize that banking channels need to change too.
Lately, it seems everyone is binge watching something. Whether you are churning through Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, or something else it can be fun. In fact, according to Deloitte, 73% of people have binge watched and the average time they spend doing so is five hours at a clip. The bad news - other studies have found the more you binge watch, the lower quality of sleep, greater symptoms of insomnia and higher fatigue. The way people behave is interesting and perhaps that is one reason behavior analytics are being used more in banking and the broader corporate world. Many
Novartis recently received FDA approval for the US market's first gene therapy - where immune cells are taken from a patient, reengineered and then reintroduced to fight their cancer cells. Novartis' Kymriah helps to fight acute pediatric lymphoblastic leukemia. Although this approval is seen as an important milestone in clinical medicine transformation, there are still questions to answer and the price tag of $475,000 for one course of treatment is not feasible for widespread use. However, it does point to important progress here perhaps. In banking, digital payments are also making progress. Here, community banks are beginning to offer mobile wallets
Being popular in high school can take a toll later in life it seems. Consider a study by the University of Virginia that found people who were considered popular in high school had greater social anxiety than those with a smaller group of close-knit friends (also had higher self-confidence). It goes to show you that being cool can occur in many forms and over many time periods and each one can impact the trajectory of one's life. Speaking of trajectories and being cool, at least when it comes to the corporate world, look no further than Amazon. More specifically, community banks
Credit card skimmers are becoming more tech savvy but also more lazy. They are using Bluetooth technology to effortlessly capture lists of credit card numbers as they are often swiped at gas stations and outside ATMs, but more often than not, they are also using the default device name and passcode. This makes the skimming device easy to identify - with a new app. Of course, the smart skimmers will soon rename the device and choose a new passcode. The skimmer risk game is always changing. Similarly, the credit risk management landscape is ever-changing. It would be tempting to get
The latest census data shows that both men and women are getting married later in life - men are waiting until they are almost 30 and women are delaying marriage until 28. This trend has economic ramifications as people usually get married, then buy a house and after that, have kids. Getting married also combines household resources and provides a buffer for unexpected financial downfalls, such as job loss or house foreclosure. This reminds us of the relationship of community banks with commercial real estate (CRE) lending - deeply committed but with many seeking a buffer. The OCC's latest report
Community bankers should note that robots can now form teams. Researchers worked on a solution to give robots not only a central-processing unit to problem-solve, but also censors that allow one machine to take over leadership for a team of robots to work together. Doing so gives the team flexibility in that if one breaks down, the others can still continue on. There are many potential applications for this technology, from business logistics to military operations. While we don't necessarily think a bank board comprised solely of robots would make much sense, some bankers we know might say something else
A potential new hack nicknamed DolphinAttack has been found by researchers in China. It reportedly records and sends unauthorized commands to digital assistants at an ultrasonic frequency. Just like dolphins, such frequencies are not detectible to humans but are easily heard (transferred) by devices. Researchers found they could give high frequency commands to most digital assistants including Alexa, Siri, and Microsoft Cortana. How this plays out with all the work going on in the biometrics space is yet to be seen, but it is interesting. As the banking world looks to biometrics as a way of eliminating passwords, pin numbers
New research in Scientific Reports indicates there may be a health hazard from tattoos that has not previously been observed. It seems researchers have found high levels of metals circulating in the body and concentrating in the lymph nodes that can be traced back to tattoos. Under the research, scientists observed stained lymph nodes in two tattooed cadavers and found heightened levels of several metals, including toxic mercury in one of them. The next step is to study the actual health effects of this residual ink from tattoos. Community bankers don't need to get tattoos to feel the potentially toxic
A new type of "pen" produced by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin has been shown to detect cancer in 10 seconds with 96% accuracy. This amazing pen does so in lung, thyroid, breast and ovary cancer cells. It provides critical information to surgeons in real time to more accurately remove all cancer cells. Researchers say the next step in this evolution is to decrease the allowable sample size to make surgery more precise. Maybe regulators have been reading this too, because the FDIC has moved to add more precision to its instruction book. It updated its FDIC Risk
Scientists have found that the Zika virus can be used to combat brain cancer cells in adults. You heard right - a particularly aggressive form of brain cancer known as glioblastoma seems to be attacked by the Zika virus. So far, this otherwise deadly virus has successfully diminished these aggressive tumors in mice, while leaving other brain cells untouched. Human trials are still at least 18 months away but tests in the lab show early promise. To be sure, the difficulty for bankers in deciding on a payments strategy pale in comparison to curing brain cancer, but it is still
The top 10 most expensive homes for sale in the US add up to almost $2B. The home that tops the list is worth $350mm in Bel Air, CA. It is on a sprawling 10.3 acres and its claim to fame is that it served as Jed Clampett's home in the television show The Beverly Hillbillies. But, one of the most interesting listings was a home in CO that boasted "real dinosaur footprints" on the property. No matter what size home you live in, you might need to move to something more expensive when it comes to protecting your bank
Just recently scientists came across some 6,000 year old terracotta jars with dried up wine at the bottom. These were found in a cave in Sicily and look to be the oldest evidence of winemaking. It would seem the Italians even beat out the French, earning their reputation as the first Europeans to produce wine. For those interested in buying wine, payments were no doubt made a lot less expeditiously back then than they are today. After all, how many sea shells can you put in your pockets? Today, strives are being made for even greater efficiencies with the continuing
You may not realize it but research now finds people check their phones 47xs per day. That much touching also provides many opportunities for germs to accumulate on our phones. In fact, a new study finds phones can have 10xs as many germs as a toilet seat! Yuck. The good news is that most of these germs are not harmful, but some are. Of course, experts say keeping your hands clean is the best germ prevention. So, as you read our update on the OCC's semiannual risk report, you may want to reach for the antibacterial bottle and give it
Being a workaholic is bad, right? Well, a new study recently reported by the Wall Street Journal finds the problem is not necessarily working long hours, but working a lot and not being engaged. Researchers presume that workaholics who enjoy their work reach out for support when needed, which helps mitigate health risks such as high blood pressure. This is a good thing since bankers may find themselves working longer hours due to ACH and wire fraud. Schemes to perpetrate ACH or wire transfer fraud, including corporate account takeover, are a big concern because they tend to have a greater impact
A new study by John Hopkins gathered tracking device data from 12,500 people for a week. It found 19Y olds have the same activity levels as 60Y olds. That's right, younger people these days are sitting around playing videos or doing homework, rather than getting out and running around. The research finds it isn't until the 20's that activity levels increase, only to then decline again at 35. Since physical activity is known to reduce stress, you may want to think about initiating a company baseball team or running club for financially stressed employees. We bring this up today because
You may not have thought about it, but astronauts in space need to be very resourceful. After all, you can't just open a door and take out the trash in space. Gross but true, urine is already recycled for drinking, but there are now efforts to incorporate yeast with it to provide nutrients to astronauts and even form a type of polyester for 3D printers. Makes you want to jump on a spaceship and head to the stars! In banking things can be tough, but at least you don't have to turn urine into polyester like Buzz Aldrin. That said, the
A link between yoga mats and infertility was implied through a Harvard study that evaluated flame retardant exposure in women at a fertility clinic in Boston. These toxins can be absorbed both through the air and by touch. While yoga may not be your thing anyway, cyber threats are computer toxins that affect everyone. When people talk about protecting their bank's information, they usually talk about technology--firewalls and secure software and encryption and the like. But according to Alex Stamos, one of the most prominent chief information security officers in the high-tech industry, enterprises should be focusing more on the "human"
A new study published in the National Bureau of Economic Research addresses the "mid-life crisis" that has become somewhat clich?. Based on surveys from 1.3mm people in 51 countries, this clich? may have scientific grounds. The study found that the lowest point of life's satisfaction comes around 50, with the high points around the early 20's and then again at retirement. Regardless of your age, you don't need to feel unhappy about the end of the LIBOR, as there are alternatives which could prove even better. You've probably heard the chatter about replacing LIBOR as the benchmark for financial transactions.
The Fed New York recently reported that we have officially surpassed the US household debt record from its height of $12.7T during the 2008 recession to $12.8T in 2Q 2017. In case you are wondering, the main drivers of this climb were student and auto loans, while mortgage and credit card debt both decreased in the same timeframe. This may give you food for thought while contemplating lending activity including credit card offerings. While many community banks currently offer credit cards, it could be argued that this hasn't been a hot area of focus. But, as the economy rebounds, this trend
A Bloomberg analysis of company earnings calls and other corporate events for the most recent quarter shows the top 3 things executives are most worried about based on analyzing the transcripts. It finds the term Amazon was mentioned the most by far. Over the past 90 days in the analysis, Amazon was mentioned almost 400% more often (635x) than President Trump in second position (at 162x) and wages in the third position (at 111x). No matter how often you mention things at your bank, as an industry, bankers talk a lot about cybersecurity risks. That is because it is scary and
A small clinical trial in Australia could have large ramifications for the peanut allergy population. In a trial performed by the Murdoch Children's Research Institute, 48 children were given increasing amounts of a probiotic along with peanut protein once daily for a year and a half. At the end of the test, 82% were deemed tolerant and 70% had long-term tolerance 4Ys later. This brings us to another issue that seems to require the tolerance of bankers. Late last year the OCC said it planned to issue special purpose national bank charters to fintechs that seek them. That lit
Did you hear about the "brain-eating amoeba"? This may sound like something out of a 1950's science fiction movie, but in fact, it has shown up in real life. An LA teenager was the latest case last year. Often found in southern states, the amoeba comes from warm, freshwater bodies of water. Once inhaled through the nose it is very difficult to detect. The good news is that only 40 cases have been reported in the last 10Ys. Something that doesn't have to be as bad as the "brain-eating amoeba" relates to employee assessments. Although many people struggle to find the
Since you are most likely drinking a cup of Joe this morning, we thought we would update you a little on the price of that cup of coffee. This year's El Nino and its increased rainfall - up to 400% over normal in some areas - have greatly affected the top coffee-producing countries. As a result, coffee (currently at $1.30/lb) is believed by some experts to possibly hit $3.00 later this year. If this directly translates to your cup of coffee, that could mean your $3.00 cup of coffee could hit $6.90! This may lead you to savor your
Interesting research by the National Bureau of Economic Research reveals that children born in September excel over their August-born peers. It was reported that September-born children were 2.1% more likely to go to college and 7.2% more likely to graduate from a competitive college on average, than those born in August. We thought this knowledge was interesting and may be useful to you at a future point in time perhaps. Along these same lines, if you find yourself (and your bank) in need of a way to store other important information to use later, we might suggest considering