Saturday, 8 August, 2020 – 08:00
In this newsletter:
Hello. I had hoped that, by now, we would be able to move on from the immediate fears and disruption caused by the Coronavirus CoVid-19.
But apparently not. There has been some respite but a global catastrophe has not been averted. Melbourne, Hong Kong, Manila and many more that thought they′d cracked it haven′t. T
We remain in a state of ignorance about so much to do with the virus despite the extraordinary resources being thrown at research into controlling its spread, prevention of infection and treatment. Each new discovery soon turns out to have been speculation.
There is hope that at least one of several vaccines that are in or about to enter the testing phase will have some effect but even then no one knows how long the recipient will be protected for.
We have had the prospect of a person who has apparently recovered suffering the same symptoms: it is not clear from the handful of cases of this type whether it is reinfection, relapse or a different strain. Indeed, opinion remains divided as to whether there is more than one strain.
Against this background, everyone is trying to work as normally as possible. You don′t need me to catalogue all the problems that has brought. All the excitement of the first few weeks, the delight some people had in finding remote meetings technology has worn off. The problems it brought when trying to integrate family life and work life in a home where several people, used to being out and about, were, essentially, imprisoned has not. It turns out that Zoom, etc. are not the social success that its fanboys were chattering on about only a few weeks ago.
The phenomenal growth of podcasts, virtual seminars, virtual conferences and exhibitions is also becoming tiresome. Well, almost: Roger Waters, long ago of Pink Floyd, has an excellent series of music videos where his band created a virtual studio and recorded several songs, including video. After all the utter failure of TV companies to create virtual studios and the rubbish presentation and even sound quality, Waters′ material is a demonstration of how it can be done.
I don′t do podcasts*. For me, they are old hat: I recorded lectures for sale on cassette in 1997, using a professional studio and mates moonlighting from the jobs at the BBC. By 1998, I was recording lectures that were placed alongside the text of e-learning material for distribution on CD and – even – the nascent internet for a couple of start-ups which were ahead of the game.
I′ve stayed away from vox because, although I have a nice voice, I don′t think audio lectures or on-line seminars are a good way for people to learn. And those risible scenario-based videos that began life in the 1990s? I wonder if those producing them ever sat in a room at a bank and watched the staff laughing at them because they were so awful.
I′m still a big believer in books. And I say that as someone who has spent long periods as an advocate, done loads of telly and radio and too many seminars to count. For me, the best way to teach, even better than face to face lectures, is with the printed word. But that requires skills of engagement that are not easily developed. That advocacy, telly and radio has come in very handy over the past 18 years since we launched the original e-learning system: engagement is almost like autopilot.
In the past few weeks, I′ve launched three new text-based e-learning courses.
The first is case studies. These are not the kind of PR summaries that you ordinarily see. They are carefully researched studies. In many cases, I have gone back to the original judgments and, even, the prosecution papers filed at Court. It′s been a long project: one of the case reports has taken me almost 25 years to track down and it′s a vitally important case because it sets the scene for so much that is troublesome today. Cases are added as something worth attention crops up. That course is exclusively for criminal cases.
The Deutsche Bank case re Jeffery Epstein has been splashed across the media, mainly because of its salacious nature. But much of the reporting was wrong and most of it missed what is actually very important about the case. Now, there is a micro-course analysing the case, the failures at Deutsche and drawing attention to both a significant change in the interpretation of some law – and a surprising benefit that the case demonstrates.
The big project, released today, is
Essentials: Correspondent Banking, Value Transfer Systems and Remittances.
If it was a book, it would be over 200 pages.
Some of the readers asked why I had only touched on the Westpac case and the answer is simple: while the failure to report happened in the Correspondent Banking division, it′s not a correspondent banking case. Yes, like the Duetsche case there′s a tabloid interest factor but from a true financial crime risk and compliance perspective, it′s actually about the outsourcing of a compliance function to technology and a failure amongst management and internal and external audit to identify that that outsourcing wasn′t working. So, the case will be in the course that deals with those issues.
Back to the new course 🙂