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Jo Ann Barefoot discussion disrupting innovation in the financial services sector and beyond.

Jo Ann Barefoot discussion disrupting innovation in the financial services sector and beyond.
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Boston, MA


Jo Ann Barefoot discussion disrupting innovation in the financial services sector and beyond.




Joseph Otting, Comptroller of the Currency

Joseph M. Otting was sworn in as the 31st Comptroller of the Currency on November 27, 2017. The Comptroller of the Currency is the administrator of the federal banking system and chief officer of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). The OCC supervises more than 1,200 national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches and agencies of foreign banks operating in the United States. The mission of the OCC is to ensure that national banks and federal savings...


Leapfrogging to Leadership: Abu Dhabi Global Market’s Richard Teng

Richard Teng is the CEO of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), an award-winning International Financial Centre (IFC) in Abu Dhabi. Richard spearheaded the establishment of the financial regulations and financial centre, leading up to the successful launch of ADGM in October 2015. He oversees the whole spectrum of financial services spanning the banking, insurance and capital market sectors with integrated prudential and conduct supervisory...


Congress’ Physicist: House AI Task Force Chair Rep. Bill Foster

We have the perfect show to kick off the new year and new decade in 2020. This is one of the most interesting conversations we’ve ever had, in our hundred-plus episodes of Barefoot Innovation. My very special guest is Congressman Bill Foster, who represents the 11th District of Illinois. He is a member of the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services, and was appointed by Committee Chair Maxine Waters to lead the special task force she set up to examine how artificial...


The Future of Work: Joust CEO Lamine Zarrad

Lamine Zarrad is the co-founder and CEO of Joust. He began his entrepreneurial journey as a refugee, going on to serve in the U.S. Marines, and then building an expertise around banking regulations and financial services. With Joust, Lamine combines his passion for inclusion with his banking skills to create the nation’s first, all-inclusive banking services app for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and the self-employed.


The Central Bank of the Future

Today’s show is a bonus episode, giving a glimpse of an important project that’s underway. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have funded an initiative to think through the future of central banks and how they will, and should, advance the goal of financial inclusion. To lead the work, the foundation selected two leading thinkers in the space. Michael Barr is the Dean of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. He was previously Assistant Secretary of the...


The Long Game: Talking Financial Inclusion with CGAP CEO Greta Bull

Today’s guest leads one of the most important institutions in that movement. She is Greta Bull, a director of the World Bank and CEO of CGap, the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor. In our conversation, Greta describes the progress and also the daunting work ahead. She talks about challenges in cyber-security. She talks about interoperability -- how to address fragmentation within and between markets, since digital finance is all about scale. She explains the role of e-commerce in...


Decentralized Identity: Civic CEO Vinny Lingham

Today’s show zeroes in on the most foundational question facing us all, not only in financial innovation but in our whole new world of ubiquitous data. That challenge is, how can we gain the benefits of this huge new universe of digital information, and at the same time, prevent it from hurting us. My very thoughtful guest on this dilemma is Vinny Lingham, CEO of Civic Technologies. Vinny’s story is fascinating. A star on Shark Tank South Africa, he immigrated from that country to Silicon...


Reaching New Heights: The FCA’s Nick Cook and Francesca Hopwood Road

I think this is my all-time favorite episode of Barefoot Innovation. We have two guests. Nick Cook has been on the show twice before in his former role as head of regtech at the UK Financial Conduct Authority. He now leads the FCA’s newly-created division-level unit on innovation. I believe this model is unique in the world-- a financial regulatory agency establishing a high-level unit that, when staffed out, will have 200 people. Reporting to Nick are two groups. One is the group called...


Crossing Lines: Aspen’s Ida Rademacher and Prudential’s Jamie Kalamarides

Today’s show is amazing on two levels. First, my guests, Ida Rademacher and Jamie Kalamarides, explain new frontiers of thinking about how financial services, including insurance and retirement funds, can promote real financial health and inclusion. And second, the whole conversation is permeated by a critical theme, an insight that needs to be elevated from the background to the foreground in every discussion of how to do better for financial consumers. That second theme is that we are...


A Bright Future for Small Business, with Karen Mills

This is the second time I’ve sat down with Karen Mills for a conversation on Barefoot Innovation. Karen is a Senior Fellow at both the Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School (where I got to know her), and previously was the head of the US Small Business Administration. She is also probably the foremost expert, and most eloquent voice, anywhere, on using technology to strengthen small business. We got together, on a very rainy day on the Harvard campus, shortly after Karen...


Small Business Lending: Rob Frohwein and Kathryn Petralia of Kabbage

In our conversation, Rob and Kathryn tell their story, on how they’ve built a company that has extended $6 billion in credit to 165,000 people in the United States. They explain how they started with e-commerce companies and now service all small businesses. They describe their gradual realization that their loans can help these businesses manage cash flow -- a critical need. And they share their thinking on the regulatory challenges ahead for the space, including the risk that new...


The Future of Banking with Chris Skinner

My guest is the one-and-only Chris Skinner. Chris, the CEO of the Finanser, began writing a daily blog in 2007. Every single day since then, for twelve solid years, he has written a blog post. It’s said that journalism is the first draft of history. Chris has written that daily first draft of the history of fintech, almost from the start. He’s the bard, or minstrel, or troubadour of fintech, telling its story as it has unfolded in real-time, day by day, with all its twists and turns and...


100th Episode: The Race to Regulation Transformation -- Marathon and Sprint

My new nonprofit, the Alliance for Innovative Regulation, or AIR (about which you’ll soon hear much more), collaborated with the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority to run the first-ever US regulatory “Tech Sprint.” A tech sprint is a hackathon. It puts subject matter experts together with software developers, lets them form themselves into teams, and has them work side by side -- sometimes day and night -- trying to solve concrete regulatory challenges. By the end of the sprint, typically a...


Agile Regulation -- CFTC Chairman Chris Giancarlo

I’m calling today’s show “agile regulation.” I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but today, agile regulation is actually on its way. Financial regulators all over the world are realizing that they will have to update their tools, digitize their information and, above all, speed up, to keep pace with the exponential rate of technology change in the industry they regulate. In the United States, the leading voice in this new vision has been our guest today -- the Chairman of the Commodity...


Fighting Financial Crime with Science: Giant Oak CEO Gary Shiffman

We know that the money launderers are winning. We know that law enforcement is losing. By now, you’ve probably heard the UN’s statistics on this, that we catch less than 1% of these crimes, which add up to an estimated $1.6 trillion a year. At the heart of this problem is asymmetrical technology. The bad guys have sophisticated, networked, rapidly improving technologies, and the good guys are stuck in the past.


The Promise of Digital ID: David Shrier of Distilled Identity and MIT Media Lab

There are some challenges in fintech and regtech that transcend the others -- problems that have to be solved in order to “unstick” numerous other kinds of exciting innovation. Of these core enabling solutions, none is more important than digital identity. A few months ago I sat down with one of the people leading the work in this field. David Shrier is founder and CEO of Distilled Identity, an AI biometric software company that helps financial institutions and governments build better...


Counselor to the Secretary of the Treasury, Craig Phillips

Our conversations on Barefoot Innovation always grapple with the regulatory challenges arising as technology transforms finance. Most of our guests have good ideas about this, but very few are in a position to make things happen. Today’s guest is different. He is Craig Phillips, who is the Counselor to the US Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnunchin. The Counselor role spans everything from fiscal operations to America’s debt management, but for our audience he is best-known for leading...


Prince Michael of Liechtenstein: Imagining Finance in 2030

Bill Gates famously said, “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don't let yourself be lulled into inaction.” That gets quoted often these days, because it so well captures the times we live in. In that vein, it was a special pleasure to be invited recently to a roundtable aimed at envisioning the financial system of 2030. The event was the second in a series hosted by Prince Michael of...


A New Breed of Community Bank: My Fun and Fascinating Conversation with NBKC

If you’re ready for a breath of fresh air, today’s show is for you. It’s fun, it’s fascinating, and it’s filled to the brim with ideas that many of us haven’t heard before. NBKC bank is a community bank that thinks and acts like a start-up company. My guests are its CEO, Brian Unruh, and Zach Pettet, who is the bank’s Fintech Strategist and who heads its Fountain City Fintech affiliate, which is the first “partnership accelerator” run by a community bank.


Bonus Episode: Futurist Brett King

Today’s show is a bonus episode, and an extra-special one, because I sat down with my friend, the futurist and financial technology guru Brett King.This is our second show with Brett -- we also had one we recorded over a delightful breakfast in London a while back. We wanted to talk again because he’s put out his new book, Bank 4.0, for which I co-wrote the chapter on financial regulation. We made that chapter 2 of the book, right after the opening, because regulation has become absolutely...