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Make Banking Boring Again

I couldn’t agree more with Bill Harris, who wrote about how fintechs have made life too complicated (Opinion, FT Financial Literacy and Inclusion Campaign,October 13).

In the graduate course on emerging markets finance that I taught during the2000s, I suggested to my students that people would not be able to sleep peacefully at night until “banking becomes boring again”. The kind of boring I had in mind was what I saw in the 1950s and 1960s when my father was a lawyer with Citibank in New York checking the fine print of loan contracts with Greek shipowners.

The opposite of boring was what my son was doing in the 2000s with a hedgefund based in Greenwich, Connecticut. We can only hope that cryptocurrencies are the last of this madness.

Lex Rieffel

Former US Treasury Department Economist; Former Brookings Institution Scholar, Washington, DC, US


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