A Former Top Wall Street Regulator Turns to the Blockchain

A Former Top Wall Street Regulator Turns to the Blockchain Photo Gary Gensler, a senior lecturer at the M.I.T. Sloan School of Management, at the M.I.T. Media Lab. Mr. Gensler, once one of the top financial regulators in the Obama administration, will teach a class on the blockchain in the fall. Credit Kayana Szymczak for The New York Times SAN FRANCISCO — Gary Gensler was one of the top financial regulators in the Obama administration, the finance chief for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and, before both of those jobs, a partner at Goldman Sachs.
Now, like many other big names from business and government, he is plunging into the world of the blockchain, the data-tracking technology introduced by Bitcoin.
Mr. Gensler, 60, has recently gone to work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he will write and teach about the potential he sees for blockchains to change the financial world.
He will also use his position to warn about how many of the current projects..

Amazon’s Critics Get New Life With Trump’s Attacks on the Company

Amazon’s Critics Get New Life With Trump’s Attacks on the Company Photo President Trump’s attacks on the Amazon and its chief executive, Jeff Bezos, have opened the door for the company’s critics. Credit Jason Redmond/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images One of Amazon’s antagonists seized the moment last month with an unusual newspaper advertisement addressed to President Trump. The ad, from a nonprofit that advocates less government, attacked a Defense Department technology contract that Amazon intends to bid on, calling it a lucrative handout for the company.
A top think tank critic of Amazon’s market power also credited Mr. Trump on Twitter this month for blasting the internet retailer’s relationship with the United States Postal Service. And the head of a leading labor union said more Americans in both parties should speak out, as Mr. Trump has, about Amazon’s harmful effect on jobs.
As Mr. Trump has become Amazon’s basher in chief with his frequent Twitter attacks on the company an..

Zelle, the Banks’ Answer to Venmo, Proves Vulnerable to Fraud

Zelle, the Banks’ Answer to Venmo, Proves Vulnerable to Fraud

Big banks are making it easy to zap money to your friends. Maybe too easy.
Zelle, a service that allows bank customers to instantly send money to their acquaintances, is booming. Thousands of new users sign up every day. Some $75 billion zoomed through Zelle’s network last year. That’s more than twice the amount of money that customers transferred with Venmo, a rival money-transfer app.
But the same features that make Zelle so useful for customers, its speed and ubiquity, have made it irresistible to thieves. Hackers and con artists have used the system to steal from victims — some of whom had never used Zelle or even heard of it until someone used it to clean out their bank accounts.
Interviews with more than two dozen customers who had their money stolen through Zelle illustrate the weaknesses that criminals are using in targeting the network. While all financial systems are susceptible to fraud, aspects of Zelle’s design..

Tariff Dodgers Stand to Profit Off U.S.-China Trade Dispute

Tariff Dodgers Stand to Profit Off U.S.-China Trade Dispute SHANGHAI — Want to avoid American tariffs? In China, a company called Settle Logistics says it knows a way.
Specifically, that way goes through Malaysia — a 4,600-mile diversion compared with sending a shipping container from China straight across the Pacific to the United States. But when those Chinese products arrive at an American port, they will look as if they had come from Malaysia, according to the company, and will be spared tariffs aimed at Chinese goods.
“For those unfair trade barriers targeting our industries from certain countries,” Settle Logistics says on its website, “we can adopt other approaches to bypass those trade tariffs in order to expand markets.”
Such zigzagging routes are called transshipments, and President Trump has used them to justify the trade fight he has picked with a number of countries. They could also take on new relevance should the United States and China carry out their threats to levy a ..

Business leaders who want to succeed need to embrace their human side

Sometimes company bosses need to scrap the expensive advice
One of the questions I’m often forced to ponder in the course of my work is why some companies succeed and others do not.
I don’t mean financially, although that helps, but in the reputational sense. They appear to have an easy rapport with the public, with their shareholders, with the business media, with politicians and with regulators. When things sometimes go wrong, as they inevitably do, they can easily be forgiven. For others, by contrast, an error is widely regarded as another negative, sometimes fatally so.
For the first group, they can turn even the very worst into good, not cynically and exploitatively, but naturally. For the latter, it may prove to be the final blow, for the senior management or the brand, or both – the executives destined never to recover their personal reputations.
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