Opinion

Time to up your security game with a password manager

Consider a test run by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2011. Thumb drives were scattered around the parking lots of government and private buildings. In this test, curiosity led to 60 percent of the devices being plugged into office computers, giving DHS access to systems and entire networks. If a company or government logo was on the drive that level hit 90 percent. [Continue]

March is for recognizing directors

My hat’s off to all directors, especially outside directors — the folks who bring experience and knowledge from other industries to the enterprise of banking. For the fifth year in a row, we are devoting our March edition to recognition of outside directors. Our Amazing Outside Directors program, this year sponsored by CLA,  features four accomplished business leaders. [Continue]

Losing sleep but not heart

Revenue related to mortgage refinance is likely to be less this year than it was last year. A decline in rates motivated homeowners to refinance in 2020, but there’s really no room for rates to drop more. Federal stimulus makes it difficult to assess true credit quality. Businesses, particularly small ones, that seem to be skating through the pandemic may actually be operationally stressed. [Continue]

Experts see economy taking flight with federal help

We can all be excused for feeling déjà vu — 2021 does feel a little like 2009, the last time a new administration came into the White House with the votes to move legislation through both the House and Senate. Both years represent periods of economic uncertainty, and a national health crisis, although the coronavirus pandemic is much more serious than the swine flu turned out to be.  [Continue]

Fast cash, dirty money and the barriers that keep people out

In the COVID-19 era, the merchants I frequent or the coffee shops that dot my commute have gone all-in on cards and touchless payments. Cash is increasingly being rejected by stores for its “filth.” The other day, I placed a $20 bill on a counter to buy a $5 coffee. When the cashier saw the bill, he audibly sighed, slipped on a nitrile glove and picked the thing up like it was a dead mouse.  [Continue]