While You Were Working - May 3

Programming note: WYWW is off tomorrow and Monday to tackle a European assignment and then celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Publishing will resume Tuesday.

Bank of America vs Bank of Germany

There is an interesting bit of juxtapositioning going on in this week’s issue of The Economist.

First, the mag looks at how Bank of America is crushing it. Chairman and CEO Brian Moynihan has pushed all the right buttons to optimize the bank and now has BofA outperforming many of its peers.

Then the mag looks at the curious case of Deutsche Bank. Deutsche has long aimed to pretty much be every kind of bank for every kind of customer – a true universal bank. But that hasn’t worked out too well for Deutsche.

The Economist’s analysis of Bank of America highlights all the moves Moynihan to trim the fat from BofA and focus almost exclusively on its customers in the US. It is virtually a playbook for the exact course new Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing would do well to follow. But will he?

Stealing computer code is still a crime … for now

The long and twisting court journey of former Goldman Sachs programmer Sergey Aleynikov took another turn today.

More on Mnuchin and jobs

Dan Primack over at Axios has expanded on what I noted in Monday’s edition of WYWW about the curious comments from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin about the jobs landscape in the US. Mnuchin claimed he hasn’t heard any business leaders in the US say they are having trouble finding workers with the right skills to fill job openings. I said Monday how that sounds insane because just such complaints have been widely reported.

Today, Primack noted how this isn’t the first time Mnuchin has staked such a claim.

The more and more I think about it, the only logical explanation for Mnuchin’s comments is that they are based on politics rather than facts on the ground. Mnuchin is very dialed in to the business community, so there is no way he hasn’t heard about the skills gap issue. However, Mnuchin is also part of an administration that promised its base it had all the solutions to their employment woes. It would be political suicide for him to turn around now and tell those same voters the problem isn't a lack of jobs, but their lack of skills. 

RIP Fiduciary Rule

The fate of the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule was decided the day Donald Trump won the White House. The only odd thing about the rule’s demise is how it took so long to find its way to the grave.

Now the SEC steps to the fore with its own proposal for investment advice. I am not too sure the SEC will ever get that initiative anywhere near something resembling implementation, but if it does it will definitely lack the teeth of the DoL’s attempt. Maybe we could call it a “re-balancing” of the DoL’s effort.

WYWW Appetizers