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Best of the Web, Financials edition

Russia'santi-corruption head struggles to explain why he left $130 million in a car anda flat; traders can take heart from new research; and London is still theworld's foremost financial center, though Brexit may change that.

WhyGood Traders Find Decision Making A Real Pain

A recent academic research paper proves once and for allthat as a trader, you shouldn't go for a deal if your heart isn't in it, The Wall Street Journal's Moneybeat blog reports. The study by researchers fromthe University of Cambridge, University of Sussex and Queensland University ofTechnology argues that the fabled "gut instinct" is, in fact, anexpression of real physiological changes inside the body, and that traders aremore adept at perceiving them than the average person. Published by Britishscientific journal Nature, Interoceptive Ability PredictsSurvival on a London Trading Floor shows that traders have an unusual knackfor accurately counting their heartbeat, proving that they are more in tunewith their bodies than most people and therefore better able to perceive, andultimately act on, physiological signals. Disregarding the possibility thattraders might simply be better at counting than people from other walks oflife, the researchers suggest that this explains why they might have a changeof heart, so to speak, when a deal doesn't feel right. Moneybeat cites the example of George Soros, whoused to have back pain when he was not confident about a transaction.

Family banking

As the deputy head of the anticorruption division of Russia'sinterior ministry, Dmitry Zakharchenko knows a thing or two about the lengthsto which criminals go to hide their secret funds. And having allegedly beeninvolved in the embezzlement of 26 billion rubles that led to losing its license in 2015, he also knows that Russian lendersaren't necessarily as safe a haven for roughly $130 million in variouscurrencies as a car or his stepsister's flat. However, when Russian lawenforcement agencies discovered the money, they launched proceedings againstZakharchenko, accusing him of large-scale bribery, abusing his powers andobstructing the course of justice, Kommersantreports. It adds that documents about the transfer of about €300 million tovarious Swiss bank accounts were also found in apartments belonging toZakharchenko's family members, with one line of inquiry being that he and hisfather, Viktor, received the money for helping owners of troubled banks such asNOTA withdraw funds from them before their licenses were revoked.English-language news outlet RussiaBeyond the Headlines points out that his salary of approximately $47,000probably didn't account for the 1.5-ton pile of cash.

Arebankers turning into environmental activists?

People in the financial services industry are increasinglyrecognizing that protecting the environment is key to making healthy profits,German Green Party politicians Reinhard Bütikofer and Anton Hofreiter argue ina Handelsblatt op-ed piece. They citethe example of six long-standing Deutsche Bank AG investment bankers who focused oncoal-related projects being allowed to leave in July without being replaced.Rather than seizing the opportunity for a pun and saying the troubled lendermay have not filled the positions because of its own issues with Kohle — the colloquial German word forcash — the politicians suggest this was "a remarkable change ofstrategy" for the bank. They admit that businesses, governments andenvironmental activists are not always on the same page yet, but conclude thatultimately "investors who bet against [nature] will fail" since acompany's share price and future viability are "more than ever linked to[its] role within a low-emission world."

Londonstill top finance centre, but Brexit may change that – survey

London has retained its status as the world's leadingfinancial center but is only a single point ahead of New York City, having seenits leadnarrow from 8 points in the previous iteration.Based on the opinions of financial services professionals and statistical datarelating to competitiveness, business environment and infrastructure, the Global Financial Centres Indexfeatures only one other European city in the top 10 — Zurich at No. 9.Meanwhile, the supposedly main contenders to take over from London as Europe'stop financial center after Brexit — Frankfurt, Paris and Dublin — come in 19th,29th and 31st,respectively, behind the likes of Sydney, Seoul and Montreal on a global scale.The survey was conducted at the end of June, just days after the U.K. voted toleave the EU, but subsequent polls in July and August showed a decline inLondon's popularity, Reuters says, citing Z/Yen, the company that produces theranking.