Captains of Finance Dismiss Bitcoin at Their Peril

The financial industry today looks stable and boring, with a few megabanks ever-more entrenched and markets that may not offer the same risks and rewards as before the 2008-2009 financial crisis but which remain highly profitable for incumbents. That stasis, however, masks looming challenges to the sclerotic incumbents. Two such challenges were much in evidence this past week: Bitcoin and China.

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Are Companies Thinking for the Long Term Again?

Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, recently penned a letter urging a fundamental shift in corporate thinking. Dispatched to the CEOs of the world’s largest companies, Fink’s letter criticized the relentless pressure of “activist” shareholders who push for immediate returns. He wrote, “More and more corporate leaders have responded with actions that can deliver immediate returns to shareholders, such as buybacks or dividend increases, while underinvesting in innovation, skilled workforces or essential capital expenditures necessary to sustain long-term growth.”

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