Abu Dhabi steps up fintech activity

Finextra

I get articles from Finextra every day, they fill up my inbox. This one interests me because of the way it categorizes Fintech activities:

Financial and investment management
Financial inclusion
RegTech
Trade finance
InsureTech
Private capital markets

It also mentions a

Responsible Finance & Investment Foundation “to bolster the growth and sustainability of the fintech ecosystem through financial inclusion and ethical and responsible finance practices”.

Sounds like hype to me. Whenever I see ethics being promoted I suspect the worst.

In short, Fintech aims to change Finance entirely, and also the Economy it controls!

Bad times are ahead!

The Collapse of the Great Society

I lived through this, in the Seventies – and never noticed it happening!

This was the era of LBJ – who was responsible for Civil Rights in the South, an amazing accomplishment – and the Vietnam War, another amazing accomplishment, of the opposite kind.

We saw the Civil Rights disturbances, and the Vietnam War protests – without understanding what was going on. The final collapse of Enlightenment hopes for a better world.

This was such a huge disappointment, we could not believe it was happening – and still cannot believe it. We keep telling each other “We are going to come out of this!” But we never do. Building a better society is a far more difficult task, than we ever imagined.

And we have never been able to recognize this – a simple fact, that we cannot recognize.

Beneath a Scarlet Sky

I am listening to this audio book, with my Amazon Fire tablet – and enjoying it immensely. The title is misleading – it is about the adventures of a 17-year old boy in WWII, in Italy. Who went through more than any boy should of.

The Italians made the huge mistake of following Benito Mussolini (as some American poets did, also). Some of them, however formed a resistance movement, that has been forgotten – by everyone, including the Italians – and this book tries to revive this history.

Microsoft has the Answer

And they are: Visual Studio (its IDE), F# (its Functional language), and Azure (its cloud).

I have all of them, and am busy reading all about them. One example, is this posting on a Microsoft blog .NET Microservices: Architecture for Containerized .NET Applications. The buzzwords here are Microservices and Docker Containers – hot stuff! The link here will not work for you, you will have to download it for yourself.

Right now, I am downloading Visual Studio Preview 3 – the very latest one. Microsoft knows none of its products is perfect – and it is continually improving them.

Microsoft wants you to spend so much time with it, you will ignore the competition – Amazon and Google. So far, I am willing to do this.

What is the Place of Man in the World?

The usual reply to this question is “I don’t want to think about it!” The person making this reply, is stating that the proper response to this question, is to deny his responsibility to respond to it.

This is a strange situation for the descendents of the Reformation – who considered this question essential, and responded to it, in great detail.

Something happened to them, that changed them fundamentally – what was it?

Whatever it was, it happened in the 19th Century. And the likely culprit was Industrialization. A huge event so comprehensive it, almost defies our understanding of it.

But its results were easy to see – the American Civil War, WWI, the Depression, and WWII (with its Holocaust). A series of huge disasters.

Instead of analyzing this (as many people have done) I will point to my hometown of Ft. Madison, Iowa, in the Fifties. It was an Industrial town, with the Santa Fe Railroad on the West End of town – and the Sheaffer Pen Company on the East End.

It was typical of the Industrial Midwest – the huge area that produced most of the world’s products. Which is now part of the Rust Belt – where nothing is produced, and from which – ambitious young people, such as myself, fled.

The people still there, have no idea what happened to them. They only know, whatever it was – it was bad, and was somehow the result of mistakes they made – that they don’t want to know about.

Their solution (their reaction to this) was simple – destroy everything!

And they have elected Trump, to do this for them.

The Enterprise is Finished

The Industrial Revolution was the huge event of the 19th, and 20th Centuries. This was also called Capitalism, and was responsible for the creation of many Companies (or Organizations) – both big and small.

I will lump all of them under the umbrella term – the Enterprise.

Which always meant people in a hierarchical organization, working together to make money. Even the schools, which were for education, also had their administrators, who dished out the money – and ruled the roost.

To put this another way – this was a vast social machine, with people functioning as its parts.

This was nothing new – organizations like this built the pyramids. But Industrialization introduced new machines, energy machines that ran on fossil fuels – and made power (and powerful organizations) possible on a much larger scale.

And also a new idea – absolute social power, based on Manufacturing. This brings us up to the middle of the 20th Century.

Then something else came along, that changed everything – the Computer. At first, this made no difference – it was quickly adopted by Business. The Computer was the servant of Business – and made it Global Business.

It could do this, because of its Software – that was smart, and able to do many human tasks – and do them cheaper.

The Enterprise had been made of people – but now it could be made of computers.

Computers will now be in control.