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Fiduciary is the New Black
Tuesday, July 13, 2010 (1107 reads)


Not too long ago, the events described in the next paragraph would have been unthinkable.
Warren Buffett said he didn’t see the housing bubble coming, he told the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission at a June 2 hearing. Buffett had been subpoenaed — Warren Buffett! Subpoenaed!! — to appear before the panel investigating the causes of the financial crisis. The panel wanted his insight, and was willing to demand his presence in order to get it. At the hearing, Buffett defended bond-rating practices by Moody’s Corp., and opined that Moody’s had made the same mistake everyone else did — including himself.
The public firestorm that followed cast Buffett as aiding and abetting the worst practices of Wall Street, but it obscured how unusual a revelation this was for someone who has consistently made and maintained a fortune based on a combination of common sense, shrewd intuition, and sufficient resources to take advantage of any opportunity. If Buffett didn’t know what was coming, imagine how the average high-net-worth individual feels right now.



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Sustainable Banking in Changing Times
Tuesday, July 13, 2010 (1090 reads)


This lingering recession is a time of change, both for families facing economic pressures and for organizations that support sustainable communities. I believe that to capture this moment and harness it for progress we must address the gaps in access to affordable financial products and services. These gaps contributed to the foreclosure crisis; when banks are absent from a community, non-banks or even predatory lenders may fill the vacuum.  Lack of access is only part of the problem, however – we also need innovative products and services tailored to the needs of currently unbanked or underbanked consumers.



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Long Island Waits for the Other Shoe to Drop
Tuesday, July 13, 2010 (1065 reads)


A recently released study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York called attention to an analysis that indicates that, despite a strong state-ranking of New York, nearly two dozen towns on Long Island rank among the nation’s most distressed zip codes. Its report in Facts & Trends, titled “Long Island Mortgage Distress: Analysis at the Neighborhood Level” and released in early May, presented an analysis that Suffolk and Nassau counties have an estimated 50 percent of its combined nonprime loans in jeopardy – loans either already in default or foreclosure, bank-owned or with underwater mortgages.



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Branching Law and Business Plans
Tuesday, July 13, 2010 (1283 reads)


Recent financial market turbulence, aggressive regulation and proposed legislation have consumed the attention of community bankers. When this crisis passes, community banks can emerge with renewed focus on customer service and franchise value. As bankers redial into a more orderly environment, they will face the challenges posed by lending, deposit taking, operations and other core functions, as well as strategic planning. Here, we look at branching law developments that can significantly affect New York banks’ growth plans.



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Wealth Management Comes to the iPad
Tuesday, July 13, 2010 (3561 reads)


As the corporate world goes gaga over Steve Jobs’ latest gadget, button-downed financial planners may be the next to hop on the iPad love train.



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Mystery Boxes Create Unhappy Renters
Tuesday, July 13, 2010 (2088 reads)


An individual enters a financial institution with the intention of renting a safe deposit box. This person has certain expectations. By the very nature of the term “safe deposit box,” he assumes that he is renting a box in which he can deposit his valuables in a safe place within this facility. Since he is renting from a financial institution, he expects ethical, highly trained personnel who will do their utmost to protect his valuables with dedication, integrity and professionalism. He also should know that, although his box contents are not insured, the financial institution must meet specific state, federal and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency safe deposit regulations, guidelines, and nationally accepted procedures, all designed to safeguard his property.



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DIY Disaster Recovery
Tuesday, July 13, 2010 (1518 reads)


Some banks attempt to provide their own business continuity and disaster recovery by purchasing redundant hardware and installing it in a branch or remote location other than where the bank’s main system is housed. This do-it-yourself (DIY) disaster recovery methodology has some perceived advantages and realities that bankers should consider before taking disaster recovery into their own hands or contracting with a professional disaster recovery service provider.



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