IMF head Christine Lagarde warns of the dangers of big tech's push into finance (GOOGL, AAPL, AMZN, BABA)

IMF head Christine Lagarde warns of the dangers of big tech’s push into finance (GOOGL, AAPL, AMZN, BABA)

This is an excerpt from a story delivered exclusively to Business Insider Intelligence Digital Health Pro subscribers. To receive the full story plus other insights each morning, click here . The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, has warned of adverse challenges resulting from fintech developments, reports Reuters. Business Insider Intelligence Notwithstanding the substantial leaps being made in financial services innovation, the increasing entry of big tech firms into the industry could result in a major disruption of the global financial system, according to Lagarde. Here’s what it means: Big tech firms continue to wade into financial services — and Lagarde’s comments reflect the threat these players pose to the status quo. Growing digitization of financial services has opened the door for big tech firms.Rapid digital innovations within the industry have enabled greater access to financial services, allowing low-income households in emerging markets, where traditional banking infrastructures are scarce, to access cheap payments and settlement systems, for example. However, this has also unlocked a gateway for the biggest tech firms, such as Apple, Amazon, Google, and Alibaba, to disrupt the financial landscape. Big techs’ size means they have all the tools necessary to take full advantage of this access to the finance industry. Fintechs have played a crucial role in transforming the industry, yet their relatively small size means incumbents continue to hold on to their established position. In contrast, big techs have huge established customer networks and brand recognition, vast pools of cash, and deep technical know-how. This can enable them to achieve scale as financial service providers at a pace unparalleled with fintechs, making their threat to the established order substantially more serious. For instance, Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial oversees Yu’e Bao , which manages 1.5 trillion yuan ($216 billion) for over 170 million customers, making it the world’s biggest money market fund. And these players’ entry into the industry opens the system up to substantial vulnerabilities. While innovation may spur modernization within financial markets, it could also result in financial networks, like payments and settlement systems, falling under the control of a few powerful tech giants, according to Lagarde. Pointing to China as a case in point, she noted that such an outcome presents unique challenges to the stability and efficiency of the financial system: More than 90% of China’s mobile payments market is controlled by two firms, according to Lagarde — likely in reference to Alibaba’s Alipay and Tencent’s WeChat Pay. The bigger picture: Amid big tech’s seemingly inexorable foray into financial services, banks could face a reprieve from an unlikely source — regulators. In addition to Lagarde, other powerful voices within the financial services industry have been quick to point to the threat posed by big techs. For instance, at the end of last year, the head of the Bank for International Settlements, Agustín Carstens, sounded the warning bell for incumbent financial institutions (FIs) over the potential competitive advantage tech firms enjoy in their efforts to upend the industry, noting that these players’ vast set of customer data could enable them to assess credit risk for loans better than incumbents. And this February , the Financial Stability Board released a report detailing the impact of big techs’ entry into the industry, saying these firms could introduce new risks by compelling incumbent FIs to take greater risks to keep up. These warnings will likely be a precursor to more stringent regulatory controls on the likes of Google and Amazon with respect to financial services. Although the nature of such an outcome is unclear, we anticipate it would drive a more collaborative approach, with big techs leaning on incumbents’ regulatory expertise and incumbents tapping into the new distribution channels provided by these players. The partnership inked between Apple and Goldman Sachs earlier this year, for example, could become a more prominent model within the industry. Interested in getting the full story? Here are two ways to get access: 1. Sign up for the Fintech Briefing to get it delivered to your inbox 6x a week. >> Get Started 2. Subscribe to a Premium pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to the Fintech Briefing, plus more than 250 other expertly researched reports. 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Postal worker charged for exposing himself to customer in her home

U.S. News Postal worker charged for exposing himself to customer in her home By Blake Alsup 11, 2019 | 11:59 PM Byron Milton A Texas postal worker was arrested for exposing himself to a customer and pleasuring himself in her home earlier this year.
Byron Milton, 30, was charged with indecent exposure for the March 7 incident in Pasadena, Texas.
Advertisement Milton had been asked to hold packages for Tricia Thomas, 59, for several days while she went on a trip. He showed up at her apartment around 5:30 p.m. while he was off duty, but still wearing his postal uniform, to “check to see if she had made it home safely.”
Upon first meeting Milton, Thomas told him she was a massage therapist during a casual conversation. When he first entered her home, he sat on the couch and asked Thomas to give him a massage. After telling him no and that he would have to make an appointment, Milton asked to use her restroom.
She said yes and he went into the restroom, but came out several minutes later with his pants down and told Thomas “that his groin was hurting.” He then went back into the restroom and told Thomas “he could not get his ‘antler’ in his pants to pull them up.”
After walking back to the restroom and seeing Milton still had his pants pulled down, she told him he needed to leave. Milton still didn’t come out of the restroom.
When Thomas asked him what the problem was, Milton allegedly told her to come and see. Thomas “went to the restroom and the door was open and she saw (Milton) sitting on the toilet with the lid closed and (Milton) was masturbating,” according to court documents.
Thomas demanded that he stop and leave her apartment. Thomas told police Milton looked “nervous” as he finally left.
[More U.S. News] Parental lies as marketing strategy: Kraft’s new ‘salad frosting’ helps get kids to eat veggies » After his arrest, Milton admitted to taking his pants off without Thomas’ permission and said “it was possible” he exposed himself to her “by accident.” He also admitted to masturbating in her bathroom.
He told police he used his position as a mail carrier to meet Thomas and admitted he should have never gone into her apartment, saying his actions were inappropriate.
The United States Postal Service told local ABC affiliate KTRK that Milton is “currently in a non-duty status.”
Milton was released last Wednesday on $100 bond and is due back in court on June 20.

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