Best Banking Reads of 2014

What a year it’s been for the banking industry! From threats from outside the industry by Apple and Wal-Mart, to questions on whether Colorado and Washington banks should work with legal marijuana businesses, to regulatory shenanigans at the New York Fed, 2014 has been memorable. As the holidays approach and I think back on the year that was, I thought I’d take a few minutes to share some of the banking-related stories I enjoyed in 2014.


  • Banks given the go-ahead on working with marijuana businesses: Marijuana may be legal in some states, but that doesn’t mean banks are ready to work with marijuana businesses.
  • How to Punish a Bank: This is from National Public Radio’s Planet Money, so it’s more of a listen than a read, but delves into the problems of effectively punishing the big banks.
  • Bank of America Adds a Mortgage Settlement to Its Collection: Bloomberg’s Matt Levine (also cited in the NPR segment) provides the data on (at the time) Bank of America’s $68 billion in mortgage settlements, and asks how effective these penalties and fines are when they become business-as-usual.
  • Inside the Emerald City: Jack Milligan, editor of Bank Director, delved into the culture of the NY Fed following concerns that regulators got just a bit too cozy with the big banks they oversee.

NonBank Competition

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Is it time to love Bank of America?

Bank of America held their annual meeting yesterday, and according to many sources — including the Charlotte Business Journal’s Adam O’Daniel, who has a great account of this story — there was a Brian Moynihan super-fan in the house:

You are the finest CEO in America and the hope for America, Mr. Moynihan.”

“Up the stock to a million and I’ll marry you in the morning!

According to O’Daniel, Peggy McMahon has 22,000 shares of BofA stock, which is currently trading at just under $15 per share. Bank of America will need to make a lot of gains for McMahon to see her million. But Bank of America has put a lot of work into turning the company around, as Bank Director Editor Jack Milligan details here, and is poised for a “return to mediocrity”:

Meanwhile, JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon told the audience at Euromoney Saudi Arabia conference in Riyadh that he sees unregulated, non-bank companies like Google and Facebook as potential competition, echoing the thoughts of 58 percent of bankers at Bank Director’s Growth Conference that said they were ‘very concerned’ about non-bank competition entering financial services.