See things clearly
I used to think that we were good at designing systems. We would phase test them, user test them, stress test them and more, and eventually we would roll out the system and it would work. And life was good.
In his blog, “Bank systems are not safe (anymore)”, Chris Skinner reflects on the reliability of financial systems,
“...It used to…
Added by Paul Wallis on September 5, 2013 at 6:32 — No Comments
In addressing, “Cyber Security and Global Interdependence”, Dave Clemente of Chatham House discusses the ‘security implications emerging at the intersection of cyberspace and infrastructure’. One of his conclusions is that,
“Meeting these security challenges requires better shared understanding of what is critical between those who protect an organization and those who set its strategic…
Added by Paul Wallis on May 10, 2013 at 4:28 — No Comments
On New Year’s Eve 2012, late afternoon, customers of three of the UK’s largest banks were unable to withdraw cash or use internet banking - some complaining that account balances were incorrectly showing ‘00.00’.
There can’t be many worse times for such a “glitch” to occur, and the (further) damage to those banks’ reputations must have been considerable. The financial cost was also considerable with, for example, Lloyds Bank setting aside £125 million to “compensate…Continue
Added by Paul Wallis on February 14, 2013 at 2:39 — No Comments
During July we attended the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, for the formation and launch of the Financial Stability Board’s (FSB) Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) Private Sector Preparatory Group.
The group was created by the FSB in response to a call from the leaders of the G20 countries to proceed with development of a, “unique identification system for parties to financial transactions.” […Continue
Added by Paul Wallis on January 24, 2013 at 3:35 — No Comments
“Assets will always fail at some point, and with any asset failure there is a chain of consequential loss which is triggered by an originating event.”
Last year, I discussed the vulnerability of the modern city to interruptions in the various critical supply flows that keep it going.
When key flows – water, electricity, natural gas or sewage – are…Continue
Added by Paul Wallis on November 22, 2012 at 3:42 — No Comments
Over at the FSClub Blog, Chris Skinner summarises a discussion he had with a senior manager in finance about bank operations. He writes,
“...most firms struggle with enterprise management.
It is down to the very nature of fragmented structures, legacy systems, merged and acquired operations, that make the enterprise view hard.
Hard but achievable, so why is it not…
Added by Paul Wallis on September 14, 2012 at 9:24 — No Comments
Three assertions that I hold to be true:
Added by Paul Wallis on July 18, 2012 at 4:00 — No Comments
The citizens of both California and Japan live in the shadow of ‘The Big One’ – earthquakes of catastrophic and devastating power that will inevitably occur, one day.
Before these events, numerous ‘foreshocks’ will take place, smaller earthquakes, associated in time and space with the ‘mainshock’.
Unless things change, the finance sector will one day suffer its own ‘Big One’ – a combination of events that will cause…
Added by Paul Wallis on July 4, 2012 at 4:18 — No Comments
As I walked away from the bank HQ 6 years ago, Han Solo’s famous Star Wars quote came to mind,
“I got a bad feeling about this”
During the meeting I’d just attended, a manager from the bank had explained how some transactions with other financial institutions occurred. The transactions were very valuable, worth millions of pounds, and happened regularly. To paraphrase,
“...basically, traders transact deals, each using their own…
Added by Paul Wallis on June 14, 2012 at 5:04 — No Comments
Last week, in “Systems Thinking, Safety and Risk Management”, IBM Fellow Irving Wladawsky-Berger discussed a round table breakfast about, ‘Protecting Financial Markets in the Age of the Cloud’
“...Several participants cited the sharp rise in volume and speed of high-frequency trading over the past decade as an example of a current practice that is…
Added by Paul Wallis on May 10, 2012 at 14:06 — No Comments
It’s hard to imagine a group of people less likely to go on strike than the floor traders at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. But, a few weeks ago, brokers in the Eurodollar options pit did just that.
They were protesting because they were unable to participate in the pricing of ‘block trades’ in Eurodollar futures, believing the system is ‘…Continue
Added by Paul Wallis on May 3, 2012 at 12:30 — No Comments
The dubious events at brokerage MF Global demonstrate yet again how vulnerable investors are in today’s data flow-reliant financial markets.
During late 2011, MF Global had been losing money on its currency market bets, and, to stay afloat, it delved into customer accounts and used customer money in attempts to cover its precarious financial position.
The attempts failed and the company had to file for bankruptcy.
According to the liquidator’s…Continue
Added by Paul Wallis on February 17, 2012 at 9:20 — No Comments
In my last blog about data flow and the development of ‘autonomous vehicles’, I argued that,
“...while the dream of a safer, and more efficient, road transportation system is worthy, it won’t be happening on a large-scale anytime soon...
...computers aren’t yet intelligent enough to reliably make safe, on-time decisions about everyday driving…
Added by Paul Wallis on February 3, 2012 at 4:31 — No Comments
For some years now, technologists have been developing ‘autonomous vehicles’ - cars which will be driven by computers, without direct human intervention.
Google, for example, is a pioneer in the industry. In road trials, the company’s computer controlled cars have racked up 200,000 miles without any accidents.
Real-time flows of data will be critical to the operation of such vehicles in a…Continue
Added by Paul Wallis on January 27, 2012 at 3:40 — No Comments
During the last 15 months, here at OBASHI Think we have written a few blogs about IT in today’s data flow reliant finance industry. For example,
If a data flow is interrupted or compromised, it can cause chaos in the financial markets.
Added by Paul Wallis on November 18, 2011 at 11:30 — No Comments
Researchers at Ruhr University, Germany, recently informed Amazon Web Services (AWS) of security holes in the AWS cloud architecture, enabling AWS to fix them before any “customers have been impacted”.
The research team believes similar flaws exist in many other cloud services, potentially enabling, ‘attackers to gain administrative…Continue
Added by Paul Wallis on October 28, 2011 at 10:24 — No Comments
In July, Information Age ran a roundtable debate with IT leaders to discuss various bank industry issues. Here are comments made by some of the delegates:
“We still don’t understand what the exposure of the banks is to each other.”
“Some retail banks are running on 40-year-old…
Added by Paul Wallis on September 8, 2011 at 16:05 — No Comments
Somebody asked the other day what the difference was between OBASHI and UML. Here’s our answer.
While OBASHI wasn’t created to compete with UML there are areas where the two methods overlap, and in these areas it’s interesting to explore the different emphasis of the two methods, in capturing and portraying information.
First, a bit of background on ‘Unified Modeling Language’ (UML).
UML is usually adopted by technical IT professionals,…Continue
Added by Paul Wallis on August 17, 2011 at 22:22 — No Comments
Here at OBASHI we believe that there is a pressing need for finance to “understand precisely how its product [money/data] flows and interacts with people, process and technology”.
This belief was further reinforced recently by the BBC’s ‘Business as Usual’, a radio documentary about continuing complexity in the financial sector.
The programme demonstrated that,…Continue
Added by Paul Wallis on July 22, 2011 at 11:00 — No Comments
Formula 1 racing is one of my favourite sports.
From a technical standpoint, what is really interesting about F1 is how data intensive the industry has become during the last 10 or so years.
Today, the driver, engineers and car never stop communicating with one another. Everything the driver does with the car on the track, in testing or during a race, is monitored and recorded using telemetry: a data transfer system that allows remote measurement and…Continue
Added by Paul Wallis on July 15, 2011 at 9:30 — No Comments