Iceland is looking at the possibility of changing modern banking as we know it. Stung hard by the financial crisis of 2008, Iceland commissioned a report suggesting that the country’s banks stop “creating money” (when banks loan money that fuels transactions in the marketplace and is deposited back into the bank and loaned out again.) Instead, according to the Washington Post, the report suggests Iceland’s government essentially run savings and loan programs with the mandate that no loan could be made without the funds coming out of another account ahead of time. The report argues this would prevent further asset bubbles forming or reckless speculation in the market. Critics say Iceland is drawing the wrong conclusion from the crisis and that mandating a Soviet Union-style “mono-bank” is not the answer.
While many investors analyze a company’s market value based on their financials, that doesn't provide an edge given how detailed a company's report are, according to the Harvard Business Review. But leadership is another factor that affects a company’s performance; 30 percent of investors’ make decisions based on the quality of a company's executives, HBR argues, a much more subjective excercise. There is a need for a "leadership index," similar to those put out by Standard & Poor’s or Moody’s, HBR says, that would bring some objectivity to the evaluation.
Focus Financial Partners recently brought onboard The Fiduciary Group, a Savannah-based independent registered investment advisory firm with over $600 million in assets under management. The firm manages the assets for over 400 individuals, families, and trusts and over 30 company 401(k) plans, and provides fee-based planning. “Focus has the proven ability to help family-owned firms like ours move forward into the next stage of evolution and realize their full growth potential,” said Malcolm Butler, president and CEO of The Fiduciary Group, in a statement. Butler took over the firm from his father, Lee Butler, who founded the firm in 1970.
Do money lessons in the classroom actually change student behavior? A new study from PwC tries to evaluate how effective financial education is for kids. According to a report from Money Magazine, the accounting firm made a $30 million commitment to the effort. They want to find out what teaching methods result in lasting changes among students who study personal finance. Critics say this will be a waste of resources, but two major universities have signed on to the initiative. PwC will also explore the effectiveness of mobile technologies in speeding up financial education.