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Best of the Web, North American financials edition


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Best of the Web, North American financials edition

Pharma bro Martin Shkreliis the bad guy in a musical, Bank of America spends a lot to transport cash andtravel insurance picks up in the wake of terrorist attacks in Europe.

Thesecret history of Glass-Steagall

The Glass-Steagall Act came about during the Great Depressionwith the wholehearted support of the securities industry, The Wall Street Journal wrote. The act was seen as protecting activitieslike underwriting and M&A advising, which securities firms conducted, from competitionfrom much larger commercial banks. But banks began to creep in on that territory;by the time the law was repealed in 1999, banks were already underwriting offeringsand brokering trades.

MartinShkreli back in the spotlight as musical theater villain

A rambunctious piece of musical theater about Martin Shkreli'spurchase of the sole copy of Wu-Tang Clan's recent album will be performed as partof the Midtown International Theater Festival, Bloomberg News reported. The show'splot revolves around a scheme to steal the record back from Shkreli.

PokemonGo demonstrates a growing trend, even for financial advisers

Financial firms and investment management software can take acue from Pokemon Go, InvestmentNews wrote. Gamification is a growing consumer trend, and digital financialservices platforms could come to resemble games in the near future, some expertssaid. In February, Massachusetts MutualLife Insurance Co. created a game called Futurejet to help customersthink about long-term asset accumulation.

Suddenlyconsidering travel insurance? You're not alone.

Sales of travel insurance have spiked in the wake of the terroristattacks in Nice, France, and elsewhere in Europe, The New York Times reported. Travel cancellation policies increasinglyinclude coverage for terrorism-related events, but the coverage often has narrowlimits, like kicking in only if the travel is within 30 days of an event.

Haulingcash, replacing cards, fixing ATMs: The stubborn costs banks can't erase

Banks' efforts to cut costs are running into a problem: There'snot much more fat to trim. In JPMorganChase & Co.'s case, attempts to lower staff costs backfired whencustomers complained of longer wait times. Bankof America Corp. spends $1 billion annually moving physical cash aroundthe company, Reuters wrote.

Whatwe lose when giant investment funds run all our companies

An essay in the HarvardBusiness Review argued that the proliferation of massive mutual funds with stakesin many companies, rather than a system of individuals' ownership of specific stocks,has made public companies "ownerless." Firms like BlackRock Inc. are shareholder-owners of thousands of companiesbut employ few people to help oversee them, as shareholders in the past have done.