Just when you think you are good to go in life, you can get a curve ball thrown your way. Look no further than the data around lottery winners that finds a whopping 70% of these folks end up going bankrupt within 5Ys. Financial planners say that is because these winners can tend to feel invincible, leading them to give away too much money too fast. That is really rough when you consider the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are a paltry 1 in 292mm. It won't be lost on community bankers that it appears the real issue here...
People like to talk to each other and apparently to their devices as well. For instance, comScore finds 40% of adults now use voice search at least 1x per day. Meanwhile, MindMeld research finds 60% of those surveyed say they started using virtual assistants in the past 12 months. Maybe that is why comScore projects 50% of all searches will be done by voice in the next 3Ys and Mediapost projects 30% will be done without using a screen of any sort over the same period of time. It is time for community bankers to talk about this shift in...
Bankers are surrounded all day long by money, so we know our readers will find it interesting to know the odds of becoming a millionaire. The St. Louis Fed recently did some analysis here and broke it down by age, education and race. Here is how things stack up. The research finds the odds for middle aged, college educated Americans by race are: Asian (22.3%), White (21.5%), Hispanic (6.8%) and Black (6.4%). Meanwhile, across all groups the more education one has, the better the chances of becoming a millionaire. So, encourage your friends and family to get their master's degree...
WebMD reports 20% of people in the US have allergy or asthma symptoms of one sort or another. Still, that is low compared to the 55% who test positive to one or more allergens. Interestingly, 15% of people believe they have a food allergy, while only about 4% actually do. We surface this because it is no sneezing matter that adults miss 5 days of work each year on average due to issues with asthma/allergies. Speaking of things that are nothing to sneeze at, today we explore loan concentrations at community banks. Bank loans have been growing at a rapid...
Research by Stanford University Medical Center finds wearable sensors that monitor the heart rate, skin temperature and other variables can actually do a pretty good job in identifying when someone is about to get sick. By monitoring people over time, a baseline of health is established. Once that is collected, biosensors can then check ongoing health factors against the baseline to surface patterns of deviation. Then that information can be leveraged as a good predictor of oncoming sickness when correlated back to specific health problems. If this all works as the testing seems to show, people could be alerted to...
It takes guts and grit to start a business. After all, Inc. reports 25% of new businesses don't make it past the first year and 50% fail within 5Ys. In addition, founders of a previously successful business have a 30% chance of success with their next business. Finally, growing too fast is cited as the top reason most new businesses fail. Hey, maybe this is why so few De Novo banks have been opened since the crisis (sic). The good news is that no matter the reason or reasons, community banks are slowly rediscovering the joys of the start-up experience. In...
Leave it to the crazies out here on the West Coast to come up with a sustainable angle on beer. Don't get too grossed out when you hear a Southern CA brewery has launched a beer that is made exclusively from wastewater. The beer reportedly tastes just fine and the water has been purified to a level even higher than local water, but it just sounds nutty if you ask us. It seems the brewery in question adapted due to the water crisis in CA. This is very much like the way community bankers are adapting to deal with pressures...
Most people know ocean tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun. That said, surfers will tell you that the sun's gravitational force is only 46% that of the moon, so the moon is really the single biggest factor here. They will also tell you the highest tides in the world are found in the Bay of Fundy in Canada, where the difference between high and low tide can be taller than a 3 story building. Scientists will tell you that tides are essentially really long waves that move through the oceans. As you bob...
Depending on where you look, you can often find an ant hill or two as you walk along. As those ants toil tirelessly away, new research shows their work has incredible extra benefits too. That research from China finds ants help increase the level of air and water flow in soil, along with the amount of organic matter. That is good for the earth and ultimately good for farmers as it positively impacts the soil where ants are busily working. For their part, community banks sometimes feel like ants in the great big world of the top 5 banks lumbering...
A recent poll finds 54% of Americans believe intelligent alien life exists out there somewhere. Even more specifically, about 65% of men believe so compared to 46% of women. By age, those 30 to 44Ys old are the most likely to believe, while those over 65Ys are the least likely. Even stranger perhaps, a National Geographic survey done 5Ys ago finds 77% of Americans think aliens have visited Earth. For bankers closer to home, there is a new alien reporting requirement about small business loans pending before the CFPB. If adopted, it could increase the workload of community banks and...
Hey, if you want to be happy in life, there are some things research shows you should do. These include spending 25% of your time each day socializing with friends and family; staying healthy (about 20% happier than average); spending 20 minutes outside when the weather is good; exercise; trying to eat poultry, fish, bananas and drink milk; getting enough sleep and trying to have 5 positive experiences for every 1 negative experience. Now that you know what to do to be happy in life, we pick up where we left off yesterday to try and keep your team happy...
A strange statistic that caught our eye comes from research by the University of Scranton that finds 92% of people don't achieve the New Year's goals they set each year. While reasons vary (we won't get into that today), we look instead to the 8% who did achieve their goals. Here, research by Locke and Latham finds that when people do two things in particular (set specific and challenging goals), they will achieve success (in the form of better performance) 90% of the time. As you read further today, think about a few specific and challenging goals you want to...
Water is constantly flowing all around the world, which is why we found some statistics about this very subject quite interesting. At the highest level, about 71% of the Earth's surface is water-covered vs. 29% covered in land. Also interesting, of the portion that is water, about 96% is in salt water in our oceans vs. about 4% that is fresh water. Of the fresh water portion, man uses about 70% for irrigation, 20% for industry and 10% for domestic purposes. Now that you know the flow of water around the world, we focus in today on the impact...
Did you know that people with green eyes are the rarest in the world? That's right, only 2% of the world's population has green colored eyes. When you also consider that there are only about 10,000 fashion models around the world, the percentage of that percentage of green eyes is indeed a rare sighting. On the other end of the spectrum meanwhile, about 55% of people worldwide have brown eyes, ranking it as the most common color. Speaking of models, the business model of the community bank is both rare and common, we might argue. To understand how, let's zero...
If you thought scientists were stodgy types who don't know how to have fun, you were wrong. We laughed when we heard a group of Belgian scientists that discovered a planetary system recently named it after their favorite beer. This group of dedicated researchers were probably toiling away late at night, and when they made the discovery they named it TRAPPIST-1 after beers that have been brewed for centuries by monks in monasteries. We wonder if they celebrated so heartily after finding the planetary system that the janitors found them passed out on the floor the next morning. Who knows,...
To keep the bots at bay on the Internet, developers years ago came up with the CAPTCHA - technology that asks users to key in distorted text to prove they are real. Now, some years later, Google said it has come up with a way to do that automatically using machine learning and advanced risk analysis. It is termed reCAPTCHA and it uses machines to challenge suspicious activity and/or users. If it works as well as billed, it could be used by banks for fraud detection, to authenticate users of online and mobile services and a host of other things. Technology...
Google announced its team has developed and will release later this year the first wearable smart jacket. That's right - a jacket you can wear and even wash that is connected to the internet. The jacket, known as Jacquard will be available in the fall and will allow users to control certain actions on their smartphone as they walk around town. It was co-developed with Levi's, is a dark color of denim and has a USB stick that slides into it and snaps into place as a button. It allows users to play, start and stop music; check the time...
LinkedIn research finds people who said their company had started a project in the past 12 months that ended up a failure indicated the following as the biggest reasons: change in organization priorities (40%), inaccurate requirements gathering (38%), change in project objectives (35%), opportunities and risks were not identified (30%), inadequate or poor communication (30%) and inadequate vision or goal for the project (30%). This is important to community bankers because projects are happening at nearly every bank nearly every day. Speaking of planning, community bankers these days are really focused on succession planning. This remains a big issue and can...
Let's face it - Google does some amazing things. Whether it is search or driverless cars, they seem to be constantly tinkering. We bring this up to alert you about some things Google does that you may not know about. For instance, did you know: if you type in any crazy number in the search bar it will spell it out for you; it has been acquiring about 1 company every single week for the past 7Ys; it is also a wedding planner at Google Wedding; Google has a T-rex in front of its headquarters to remind employees not to...
In case you haven't heard, a team of physicists have figured out how to encode data on single atoms. Using some super brains, super cool magnets and some super elbow grease they got it to work. By the way, an atom is about 1mm times smaller than a human hair, so this is really, really small. Pretty neat trick and it shows what one can do by attacking a problem head on. Speaking of attacks, there is a new sort of cyberattack going on that bankers should know about. According to CIO, hackers call the customer service line at hotels or
Experts now predict that giant private space station refueling depots could orbit the moon in the next 3Ys. Private companies are preparing to launch rockets, orbit the moon, land on it, explore and even put in place living habitats. That's right, it might be only 3Ys until you can jump on a spaceship perhaps, jet set to the moon and hang out with your friends or family. While strategic planning for banks may not be as difficult as going to the moon, with all the regulatory burden, competition and changing industry landscape these days, some might argue that. When it
We came across an interesting study that finds businesses that offer great service will see 86% of their customers pay more and 40% will buy more. The flip side is also true, where the study found 78% of people walk away from buying something due to poor service. Clearly service still matters to customers, which is great news for community banks across the country that deliver top notch service time and time again. In yesterday's BID on asset liability management (ALM) modeling, we focused on a number of assumptions bankers should think about related primarily to the asset side of the
We note that studies find the probability of selling something to an existing customer is about 60% to 70%, while doing so to a new prospect ranges from 5% to 20%. In addition, it is about 7x more costly to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. Finally, you should know that existing customers are 3x more likely to buy from you than new prospects. We bring this up to help your sales efforts, while shifting gears today and tomorrow, as we zero in on helping you better manage risk and boost profitability with improvement tips around
Did you know that research finds 85% of successful data breaches target the top 10 known vulnerabilities? That isn't the news here though. What is news is that all of those breaches could have been prevented because patches were available. The companies impacted had not updated their patches. Now you know why regulators are focused on something as mundane as asking about patch updates during IT exams. Educating employees and customers about the myriad common cybersecurity threats that community banks increasingly face is critical. According to Chicago Fed research, there are 7 cyber threats or cyber-related risks that are the most
When you dig into the fields of the agriculture industry, a whole lot of information can be found. For instance, did you know that farming began in 10,000 BC, figs were one of the first cultivated fruit crops, bananas are the #1 fruit crop in the world and 4th largest behind wheat, rice and corn. Also of note, the US government defines a farm as any establishment that produces and sells (or would have produced or sold) $1,000 or more of agricultural products during the year. Finally, for every $1 spent on food, farmers take home 12 cents for the
Research by Venture Beat finds 51% of people now say a business has to be available to them 24 hours per day and 7 days per week. They want their questions answered when asked. Further, almost 46% of people these days say they would rather contact a company using messaging than email. People want direct, 2-way communication. Finally, consider that eMarketer predicts that in the next 2Ys, 65% of the global population will be using messaging apps. This is why we plan to discuss chatbots in more detail today. First, a chatbot is basically a software program that has a conversation
Research by McKinsey around how workers communicate and collaborate using social technologies designed to boost productivity and interaction is quite interesting. It broke down the average workweek by percentage and found the top three were role specific tasks (used up about 39% of the time), reading and answering email (28%) and searching and gathering information (19%). Coming in dead last at only 14% was communicating and collaborating internally. Imagine the impact on your bank if you could get collaboration moved higher on this list. Running any business, including a bank, is a collaborative effort. That is why it is a
Bankers are painfully aware that the Dodd-Frank Act (DFA) is 2,300 pages long. Those resulted in 400 new rules and mandates, which, if history is any guide, average somewhere around 20 to 25 pages each. So, all told the burden to bankers who had to read the Act and all of the new rules/mandates, along with changing policies, procedures, adding employee training and dealing with a host of other issues around this has been about like a small bug being stepped on repeatedly by a large herd of elephants. That is why community bankers, who have limited staff and resources,
Bankers love money because it is deeply embedded into the business of banking itself. Things you may not have known about our US currency are: the $10,000 bill is the highest denomination ever circulated by the federal government; the very first US coins were made in 1792; about 94% of bills are contaminated with bacteria; the $1 note makes up about 45% of currency production; and a $1 bill has 13 arrows, 13 leaves (in the olive branch), 13 stars and 13 stripes (on the shield) - all there to represent the original 13 colonies. The US dollar (USD) has
Today is St. Patrick's Day, so be sure to wear blue. That's right, an interesting fact we dug up was that St. Patrick was partial to a light shade of blue. The color green only showed up after this event was linked to the Irish independence movement in the 18th century. If that isn't weird enough for you, consider as well that St. Patrick wasn't even Irish, but was British. Now you know. As your banking team gets ready to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, we take a moment to talk about how the industry is using biometrics. While no one is
Ok, we don't want to freak you out, but we came across an interesting story about researchers at MIT who have created a robot controlled by human thoughts. That's right - this robot responds to commands triggered by thinking alone and does not need electronic or voice commands. Given all the weird stuff people think about during the day, we wonder how these robots will someday respond. While not as cool as think-moving a robot perhaps, almost all community bankers we know are worried these days about how best to respond to the risk of cybersecurity. If you are leaving this
New things are launching all around us all the time it seems. Point of fact is the latest update for Google Assistant. This voice enabled software now reads your text messages, reads the names of senders, manages conversations and even replies to conversations. Speaking of new launches, consider that in a good news story for community banks, new businesses (particularly small ones) are being launched at a rate not seen since before the last recession. According to data from the Kauffman Foundation, the US produced 330 new entrepreneurs for every 100k people, as the nation recorded the 2nd year in
There is an old joke about time that we modify here for bankers. Why did the banker put a clock under their desk? They wanted to work overtime. While that is a sad joke at some level, perhaps some of you cracked at least a bit of a smile to start your day. Speaking of time, we take a look today at what happened last year in banking from the perspective of the latest financial data. We did some analysis using Q4 data recently released by the FDIC to give community bankers more insight. The FDIC headlines pointed out that the
Research by McKinsey finds the typical personally owned car sits idle 85% to 95% of the time. Given the average cost of a new car is about $34,000 that is a huge asset to just leave sitting around. Also of interest perhaps, in the next 10Ys to 13Ys (by 2030), it is estimated driverless cars could account for up to 20% of total passenger miles globally. We just found all of this interesting so wanted to share it with you this morning. Speaking of interesting changes happening now that will impact the banking industry in the near future, bankers are closely
Research by SuperOffice finds the top benefits businesses said they hoped to achieve using a customer relationship management (CRM) solution were: improve customer service (74%), improve customer satisfaction (66%), improve customer retention (56%), increase sales (54%), generate new business (53%), share and distribute data (48%) and market products/services more (37%). As with these businesses, bankers also want to track their customers and market to them more effectively. That is why CRM solutions have grown over the years. Although the financial industry has lagged other industries in some cases, that may soon change. That's because JPMorgan, one of the giants in
JD Power looked at what mobile banking features deliver the most satisfaction to customers. Their research found those things that had the biggest positive impact were: special offers (54%), person to person electronic payments (47%), banking alerts (42%), paying bills (37%), checking balances (35%), transferring funds between accounts (35%), finding branch or ATM locations (24%) and depositing checks (15%). Now you know what to talk to your core provider about the next time you bring them in for an update on system enhancements. Community bankers hear day in and day out about the benefits of mobile banking. Yes, it is what
Here is an interesting statistic by Cisco - 60% of consumers in the US would ride in a driverless car and 48% would let their kids ride in such a car. Meanwhile, research by NerdWallet finds the main reasons men don't like driverless cars is because they are too expensive (63%) and they take the fun out of driving (44%), while women are also concerned about them being too expensive (64%), closely followed by not being safe (55%). Google started the autonomous car phenomenon some years ago and through 2016 had clocked over a million miles. Many other players have
We are intrigued by science and technology, so today we lay some info on you around artificial intelligence (AI). For starters, AI is growing very quickly and there are some things community bankers might want to know about it because it will definitely impact banking. For instance, a survey of corporate executives found 32% say voice recognition software is the most used type of AI in their workplace. Research by Gartner projects AI bots will power 85% of all customer service interactions by 2020 and 20% of business content will come from AI by next year. Now that we have
Fake news is all the rage right now as a discussion point for the media. That's why we found research by Stanford that looked at this very subject so interesting. It evaluated the ability of students to assess information sources, distinguish ads from articles and separate neutral news sources from biased or fake ones. Some of the most shocking results: 80% of middle schoolers believed sponsored content was a real news story, 80% of high schoolers found it extremely difficult to determine whether a picture without attribution they were shown was legit or fake (they simply accepted it as fact)
Snails sure are weird looking critters. We all know that, but you may not know they are related to shellfish, there are about 150,000 species of them, they are not the same thing as a slug (which has no shell), and they speed along in your garden at a whopping 50 yards per hour (so it would take them 35 hours to go 1 mile). We bring this up not only to educate you about snails, but also because the banking industry has been traveling along at a snail's pace toward faster payments. Along with a group of the largest global
There is a western joke that goes "A cowboy rides into town and shoots an artist." The sheriff asks him, "Why did you do that?" The cowboy answers, "I thought he was going to draw." Now you know why we are bankers and not comedians, but hopefully you enjoyed this bit of humor. The growing importance of financial technology (fintech) in banking has given rise to partnerships between banks and fintech firms. While these firms can deliver some slick new services, some are lightly capitalized, may largely ignore banking regulations, are brand new companies without a track record or may change
Managing cashflow is something banks and businesses do every day. That is why we were surprised to see research by PYMNTS.com that found 90% of companies across Europe, Middle East and Africa regions do not have a transparent view into their cashflow. Meanwhile, back here in the US, research by Atradius finds 33% of companies in the US carry invoices in accounts receivable that are 90 days past due. In banking, cash management products and services generate as much as 33% of overall revenue, but until recently, some community banks have been remiss in measuring or closely monitoring such programs. Most
Everyone wants to do things better and more efficiently, as we all seek ways to get more hours out of each day. One thing that might help bankers comes from IBM. Its research found that when it comes to email, you are better off not sorting messages. That's because searching your inbox these days is about 42 seconds faster than looking through folders. We just timed it and that is enough time to walk from the office to the kitchen and fill a cup of coffee. Now you know. Speaking of increasing efficiency, we note the largest banks have really
The ubiquitous cell phone is now making its way into the world of credit risk analysis. In some countries, cell phone activity is now being used to assess how well a borrower might repay a loan. The idea is interesting, as it expands the list of potential data points community bankers may soon be collecting, in a never ending quest to get beyond simple existing credit scoring. Consider a recent study by economists at Brown University and the Entrepreneurial Finance Lab (EFL). They wanted to know whether a person's phone habits could correlate with creditworthiness. They analyzed more than 3,100
For those who enjoy a good weather story, we note the Saffir-Simpson scale measures the intensity of a hurricane. Wind speed is measured on a scale of 1 to 5, with Category 1 winds between 74 to 95mph and a Category 5 blasting along at 155mph or more. While we have yet to see how powerful the blast of the Brexit will be on US community banks, we thought it was time for an update. The British government has finally laid out details for its departure from the European Union (EU) in a 77 page white paper. This moves the Brexit
NASA has found an ancient volcano on Mars that is the largest in the solar system and reportedly erupted non-stop for about 2 billion years. That is certainly a lot to deal with for the Martians living there. While perhaps not as sizeable an eruption, back here on Earth community bankers too are dealing with explosive advances in technology that are significantly disrupting the business. From mobile banking, to robo-advisors and even biometrics, technology has made many aspects of banking far more convenient and less time consuming for customer and bankers alike. Nonetheless, we strongly believe that technology will never
Despite the hype around mobile payment services, the majority of the population still relies heavily on traditional credit cards and has yet to embrace it. However, with the volume of mobile payments expected to reach $503B by 2020, according to Business Insider Intelligence, that is about to change. Two of the biggest mobile payment platforms are aggressively working to ramp up the number of customers who use their services by adding things customers want most - such as loyalty programs and the convenience of one stop shopping. It's no secret that people love loyalty and rewards programs, and Apple Pay is
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN) occasionally will issue reports around the work depository institutions and others are doing to protect the country in this area. For 2016, the data is in and you may be interested to know depository institutions filed a whopping 2.67mm suspicious activity reports (SARs). Wow. It can be comforting to think that most financial crimes happen in big cities, at banks with international connections and vast service networks that can be compromised. Bad guys just don't waste their time laundering their loot through friendly community banks. It may seem unlikely, but when it comes to criminals,
Community banks are very active in their communities and small businesses in particular have come to rely on that activity to support their businesses. Community bankers commonly contribute to local causes and organizations, while executives also serve on local boards. These are all important and effective ways to stay connected to a community and build deeper ties. When it comes to marketing, there is another way of engaging with a community that can provide significant benefits to a community bank's store of good will. Known as "experiential" marketing, it has become a significant tool for community banks. For those who
How cool is this? Scientists have just discovered a new super antibiotic that blows up drug resistant super bugs. It literally tears the bug's surface right off it and then kills it. Now that is a big deal indeed. On the banking front, we are always looking around for big things and these days one of them seems to be a banking antibiotic focused on dealing with regulatory overload by leveraging technology. It is a simple fact that regulatory challenges can be found across the community banking landscape. It is also true that many of these issues have been created or
If you sometimes find the competition running so high you worry about the competition taking your customers, take heart that at least your bank isn't operating in China. In that country it seems bankers have it really bad. There, a Gallup poll found bank customers seem to be some of the unhappiest clients in the world. Only 8% of bank customers in China, in fact, consider their primary bank to be the "best" bank and almost 50% see their primary bank as no different from any other bank. That is brutal, so today we seek to uncover any lessons US
Do you ever find it hard to buy gifts for some people? Are people returning your gifts more often than not? Although this may not happen when you give chocolates or flowers, there is a new study out that addresses gift giving and the way to do it successfully. It notes that the biggest discrepancy between the gift giver and the gift receiver is in perceptions. You see, the giver often thinks of the moment the gift is received, while the receiver's experience is with the gift itself and how useful it is to them. When you are giving your
The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) indicates the global payments infrastructure around the world is built on a complex linkage of domestic and cross-border payment systems that each has a multitude of regulators overseeing the functioning of their individual networks. Millions and millions of international wire transfers go through this financial web each and every day. To avoid issues, knowing best practices is one way community bankers can leverage this opportunity, while keeping things secure for the bank and its customers. International transactions are similar to cars on a freeway. There are literally millions of them speeding around relatively uneventfully. But,
Over a 10Y period, British researchers followed the migration of insects to see what they might see. Their findings are detailed in a study published in the journal, Science. Their data showed 3.5T insects actually migrate every year to and from the UK. This is a total biomass of 3,200 tons! That is 7x larger than the 30mm birds that leave the UK for Africa each year. It also seems this insectoid migration is critical for pollination, food sources for birds and bats and agricultural pest control. This massive bug migration reminds us of social media and how some
As technology becomes more central to banking, a new competitive issue is also emerging for community banks: A lack of strategic technological know-how at the top. The banking industry is more reliant than ever on technology expertise to upgrade back office operations, improve customer-facing retail delivery, protect systems and mitigate the risk of intrusion, meet new compliance requirements, and basically carry financial institutions into a new and more efficient future. With worldwide IT spending expected to reach $3.5T in 2017, the global economy seems driven by technology. Additionally, the financial services industry is one of the biggest spenders on IT,
A major breakthrough has been made by two Harvard scientists. They have turned hydrogen into metal. For those science aficionados out there, you know that this can only be done by cooling liquid hydrogen to absolute zero and crushing it at thousands of times the earth's atmospheric pressure. Now that this small feat has been done, the real trick is to slowly bring the hydrogen metal to room temperature to see if it will stay in its metal form. If it does, then the applications could be far-reaching. This combination could produce a superconductor of energy that could be stored
If you love hamburgers, you may be shocked to find out that one seller on EBay is looking to sell bottles of McDonald's Big Mac special sauce for $100,000. It seems McDonald's is running a program offering only 10,000 bottles to select restaurants worldwide starting January 26th. That apparently led a few opportunistic burger sellers to look to resell the bottles. Crazy yes, but it reminded us how crazy some of the research is around younger workers and their corresponding impact on community banks. To set the record straight, data from the Labor Department (as of 2015) finds the following approximate
If you have ever tried fly fishing, you have a better idea of what it takes to lure a trout - fake insects with feathers and fur. This may be changing though, as another type of bait seems to be working better - mop threads. We are not sure who tested this first and fully understand some fishing purists may not be willing to entertain this change. Nonetheless, fish seem to love the "mop fly" so change is afoot. Every industry sees changes, and banking is one that has seen more than its fair share. This has left management teams
Inflight entertainment is changing. American Airlines is the first to eliminate the inflight screen on the seatback as a cost-saving measure on its new 737 MAX domestic planes. Instead, it will offer inflight entertainment on your own tablet, laptop or phone through the newly installed Wi-Fi system. Considering that it costs $3mm per plane to wire and set up an inflight system, not to mention the fuel costs with a heavier equipment load, other airlines may be going the same way soon. In a similar way, community banks may be able to refine their approach to cut costs by streamlining
There are apps for everything these days and if you live in Lapland, Finland you know they can be quite practical. We are talking about the savvy app developer who looked at the problem of regular truckers hitting wandering reindeer along dark and slippery roads. To solve the problem, an app shows any reindeer on GPS within a 1 mile radius so drivers can slow down and be more alert. Given there are more than 300,000 reindeer wandering around this part of the world that is a big risk, so this technology solution is an interesting one indeed. While kids today
You would not want to come across a hungry coconut crab. It measures 3 feet wide, can lift up to 62 lbs and has a crushing force stronger than the bite force of all land animals save the alligator. These crabs can climb trees, crack open coconuts and live on islands in the Pacific and Indian oceans. Although Airbnb has no claws and is not able to roam tropical white sand beaches, if it did, it would most likely be considered a coconut crab given the way it is crushing the sharing economy. While most community banks may not be huge
When you find out you will become a mother or a father, there is great exuberance and a sense of responsibility too. That responsibility seems to have become larger these days as the latest figures were just announced - it now costs over $233,610 to raise a child through age 17. The heftiest cost is housing, with 33% of the total (the cost of an extra bedroom), and urban moms and dads will pay more than their rural counterparts. If you have three or more kids, though, there is good news - you pay an average of 24% less per
The typical bear trap is about 44 inches long, weighs about 45 pounds and has a jaw spread of about 16 inches. These traps are so strong they can snap a 2x4 piece of wood entirely in half. Suffice it to say, you have to be careful when wandering around the woods to avoid stepping on one as it would certainly be a very painful encounter. Speaking of the pain from stepping into a bear trap, our discussion this morning we believe is an interesting one and particularly so, as it is true. It ended with a large $6B community bank
Most people have at least some fear of technology and robots eventually turning against us some day. For a man in AR that reportedly killed someone, perhaps that day is today. Here, AR police seized the suspect's Amazon Echo and sent a warrant to the company to hear what it had recorded. However, just as Apple rebuffed law enforcement last year, Amazon also did not see justified cause for the information request. We wonder what Alexa thinks about all of this, but for now privacy appears to still be in the hands of the owner. In banking and other industries,
Science finds your brain will shrink unless you feed it good stuff. A diet rich in olive oil, fish, fruits and vegetables can help. This is detailed in a study published in Neurology, which shows, not only the overall health benefits of these foods, but also that your brain actually shrinks less on such a diet. It found that over a 3Y period, a subject group in their 70's had 50% less brain shrinkage than those who consumed normal foods. To avoid a shriveled brain over time, that is something worth noting. Could this be similar to choosing a healthy
If you are like us, you have no doubt sometimes felt like you are hitting all of the red lights when want to get somewhere quickly. Well, one Uber driver in NYC seems to have found a "green wave" of 240 lights. He beat his last record hitting 186 green lights from 2Ys ago. He videotaped his drive at 3:30am on Dec. 6th for verification, which shows how he slowed down or turned right when necessary to continue driving for his new record. Somewhat similarly, M&A deals can seem like a green wave of lights at the start but may
First sold in 1935, the classic Monopoly board game lately has been getting trendy. Although Hasbro, which owns the game, recently replaced the iron game piece with a cat, this is the first time they are using crowdsourcing and potentially replacing all pieces. There is a list of 64 suggestions to choose from including the obvious hashtag, emojis, a thumb's up, flip flop, airplane, computer and even a rubber duck. After Jan. 31st, they will tally the votes and release the results of the "popular vote" pieces to be used as permanent additions in the upcoming game. This game will
Expanding from its flagship roastery cafe in Seattle, Starbucks recently announced that it would be rolling out 100 more high-end "tasting room"- style cafes, as a vehicle for its small batch cups of coffee. Leather chairs, gold leaf accents and table service all play into the enriched experience for a $10 cup of Starbucks' special reserve coffee. Not only will these new fancy cafes appeal to the coffee elite, but they will also help Starbucks' bottom line. Community bankers may want to take note, as you try to appeal to your largest customer segment - seniors. According to the
Should you wear gloves while napping? The mom of a six year old shopping aficionado now thinks so. While she was sleeping on her living room couch, her daughter took her thumb and gently opened the Amazon app on her phone. Apparently, she couldn't rely on Santa for her wish list and ordered $250 worth of Pok?mon gifts for herself. After receiving 13 order confirmation notices, the mom thought her Amazon account had been hacked. Little did she know the hacker was her little Pok?mon princess! What people don't know can hurt them and that is the case in banking
There will come a day when we must explain to young people why there are so many businesses that start their names with a series of "A"s, such as AAA Pest Control or Aardvark Window Tinting. Well, it all gets back to those days of yore before the Internet and Google. Back then there was a paper thing known as the yellow pages and people would flip through it to find a business. These were organized in alphabetical order and it became known that some of us were too lazy to call anyone past the letter "A," apparently. Things have changed
A recent study found a strong connection between caring for others and living longer. A group of 500 people aged 70 to 103 were studied for 20Ys. The researchers found that those who took care of grandchildren or even adult children had a higher incidence of life longevity. Most were still alive 10Ys after the first interview. On the other hand, 50% of those who did not provide any care to others died 5Ys after the study commenced. Even those who took care of people in their social network outlived those who didn't. We knew that it was admirable
Dr. Henry Heimlich, inventor of the Heimlich maneuver used to help choking victims, passed away in December of last year. He was 96Ys old. Given there are 4,000 choking fatalities each year, Dr. Heimlich realized something needed to be done. He developed the Heimlich maneuver in the 1970's and eventually, its success paved the way to a new standard procedure throughout the US. Ironically, Dr. Heimlich only used the procedure once to save an 87Y old woman and that was just last year. Just as the Heimlich maneuver saves people from small mishaps turning into big consequences, looking at credit
You probably saw the story about how researchers at UCSD analyzed the molecules left behind on a cell phone and found out some interesting things about the user. In it, the researchers were able to determine things such as whether the owner was male or female, drinks coffee, eats spicy food, wears high end cosmetics or sunscreen, and is being treated for depression. Some hailed this as a way to help solve crimes where fingerprints are not available, leverage when doing environmental exposure studies, or perhaps even help with patient compliance. Speaking of compliance, today we focus on employee compliance
The US government defines marijuana as the dried leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds from the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. The government also indicates the plant contains the mind-altering chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and other related compounds. As things stand today, marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, despite recent moves by some states to legalize it at the state level. Given FDIC insurance is at the federal level, banks throughout the country risk a lot if they decide to do business with such customers - even if the state in which the bank is located has legalized it. Despite a boom in new
You may be surprised to find out that a new poll by Intel Security finds the average person now has 27 discrete online logins and more than 1 in 3 people forgets a password at least 1x per week. Maybe that's why studies find about 60% of people reuse passwords when going online. Even if community banks could solve this problem in its entirety within their own organization, their own customers would still introduce significant potential cyber risk to the bank. This is one reason why regulators are highly concerned and have ramped up reviews and expectations for banks worldwide. One suggested
Did you know that when it comes to sleep, Americans get the following: 5 hours (12%); 6 hours (24%); 7 hours (30%); 8 hours (20%); 9 hours (4%); less than 5 hours or more than 9 (10%). Now that you know how you rank when it comes to hours slept, we thought you might also be interested to know that studies find 52% of Americans sleep partially clothed, 31% sleep fully clothed and 17% sleep naked. We wonder what these results look like when you go around the world. Speaking of going around the world, today we take a look at
A polar bear plunge of sorts has been going on for 8Ys in Anchorage, AK. More than 1,000 people jumped, stepped or were pulled into the freezing cold water of an ice-covered lake to benefit Special Olympics in December. Some consider it a rite of passage; others say they think the jump is "lots of fun;" and still others think it is nuts. Around 5,000 native Alaskans and transplants alike have taken the plunge since the first of the year and raised over $2mm for the Special Olympics. This reminds us of the plunge many doctors must make into
The American Psychological Association reports 80% of Americans have confidence in their ability to manage their money. Yet, Time reports the top 5 money arguments between couples are due to frivolous purchases (46%), household budgeting (33%), credit card debt (26%), insufficient emergency savings (25%) and insufficient retirement savings (22%). Something about this picture doesn't compute, so in 2017 community bankers can lead their customers to good standards of money management. Speaking of leadership, we look to recent comments by Mark Olson, Chairman of Treliant Risk Advisors. He notes that true leadership is earned as others see you lead and describe you
Studies find about 7% or so of people are afraid of needles. While that pales in comparison to the percentage of people afraid of public speaking (74%), death (68%), spiders (31%), darkness (11%) and heights (10%), good news is at hand for the needle sufferers. That's because research by Northwestern University finds sensor stickers and wireless technology that use sweat may soon take the place of poking needles in arms for blood tests. This medical advancement reminds us of another called "selfie banking". Selfies are no longer just for teens and vacationing families, but are for bank authentication too. At the
Is blue the new white? Since 2011, white has been the top car color according to PPG Industries, a 131 year old supplier of paint for auto manufacturers. White was popular due to its association with trendy and prestigious Apple products. But, now it seems that blue has a chance to reign. A color expert from PPG believes all the signs are there for blue to eventually take over. After all, 10% of this year's models are blue and multiple variations of blue make it easier to differentiate even within the blue color palette. But, just because you drive a
About 20Ys ago, we had the idea to create a daily publication designed specifically for community bankers. While it has been refined over the years, it has stood the test of time. In fact, each week we add a few hundred new bankers or regulators to the distribution list of the Banc Investment Daily (BID) and readership is now over 75,000. Given that growth, every few years we stop to take a moment and explain the intent of each specific area within this publication. We do this to help make sure all of our readers can effectively utilize everything the