Blockchain – Definition and context for a treasurer

Members unify with the need to address blockchain. Several of the presenters at our recent ACT Working Capital Conference referred to or were presenting software solutions which used blockchain. The ACT have written on blockchain in The Treasurer last year, and until recently our Wiki definition was drawn from a 2017 article. Member questions revealed a need to get back to basics on the subject: both to redefine blockchain (asked 11 times in one session) and to understand why treasurers may want to know how it works (10 times in the same session). Blockchain was presented as a means of enabling

How Long for Low Interest Rates?

The BIS has released its Annual Economic Report (https://www.bis.org/publ/arpdf/ar2018e.htm) in which it notes that the burden of resolving the GFC has been borne by central banks. They have acted to reduce short term interest rates by money market operations, and to reduce long interest rates by on market purchases through Quantitative Easing.  The latter is now being unwound but, to date, unwinding of central bank QE in the USA and the EUR block has had little effect on long term rates and expectations of future rates (see Graph 1.3 in the Report) remain low. However, BIS identifies potential problems due

Delaying Payments to Suppliers Helps Companies Unlock Cash?

Jack Large has brought to our attention a Wall Street Journal article titled Delaying Payments to Suppliers Helps Companies Unlock Cash. Jack argues the case for the suppliers caught funding their customers working capital. We all know the games played in the UK where budget holders sit on invoices until they want to pay them, then put them into the AP system and claim all paid on time. Well, on time from when they put them into the AP system. The attractions of the game are clear. The budget holder can massage budget compliance while claiming he is managing the