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About Oliver Wright

Oliver Wright is an international lawyer, financier, and published author. He is the Founder and CEO of Vanquish Merchant Bank. His writings appear in journals such as the Harvard Journal of International Press-Politics. For six years Oliver was an international litigator and corporate attorney practicing cross-border mergers and acquisitions at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, the top ranked litigation firm in the country. Oliver Wright holds dual Master and Doctor of Law degrees in International and Comparative Law from Cornell Law School, where he graduated with honors and was Editor of the Cornell Law Review. He was class major valedictorian at UCLA, where he graduated summa cum laude, phi beta kappa with a BA in Communications Studies.

As In Any War, Companies Must Go on the Cyber Offensive

By |July 25th, 2016|

Read Stewart Baker and Victoria Muth ask whether companies should risk going on a cyber offensive on Brink News : Corporate executives are fed up with the current approach to network security. They’ve been spending more and more on security. Despite that spending, they’re told that they can’t expect to keep intruders out of their networks; the best they can hope for is to lock the intruders out of their most important files, or to keep hackers from exfiltrating all that data. Read their full article here.

Cybersecurity Study Shows Corporate Data Vulnerabilities; Regulation Hurting

By |July 25th, 2016|

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton and the Ponemon Institute jointly released a study this week pointing to the vulnerability of many companies’ knowledge assets. The survey summary notes that research “was conducted to determine whether the publicity-accorded data breeches subject to notification laws and related regulatory requirements has skewed the focus of organizations away from the theft or loss of their most critical information, and to provide helpful practices to reduce the risk.” Read more about the new study by Ponemon Institute which reveals that most big corporates are vulnerable to cyber attacks on Law.

Totally Avoidable Causes of Data Breaches

By |July 25th, 2016|

Read about the totally avoidable causes of data breaches according to Stephen McCallister on Diagnostic Imaging : In the last six years, 155 million Americans’ health data was compromised and healthcare became the single most breached industry, according to a recent Brookings Institute report, by Niam Yaraghi. Healthcare data is particularly attractive because it includes information that isn’t easily changed (e.g., Social Security numbers, dates of birth, and home addresses) which is therefore more valuable to identity thieves than other types of data. Read his full article here.

What do the Panama Papers, WordPress & Drupal Share? Critical Exploits Still Unpatched

By |July 21st, 2016|

The extraordinary 'Panama Papers leak' from Law firm Mossack Fonseca that exposed the tax-avoiding efforts by the world's richest and most influential members was initially believed to be the result of an unpatched vulnerability in the popular content management systems: Drupal and WordPress. Now, we are quite sure that the Panama Papers, which implicated 72 current and former heads of state,

Hacking ATM PINs from Smartwatch and Fitness Trackers

By |July 21st, 2016|

As your day-to-day apparel and accessories are turning into networked mobile electronic devices that attach to your body like smartwatch or fitness band, the threat to our personal data these devices collect has risen exponentially. A recent study from Binghamton University also suggests your smartwatch or fitness tracker is not as secure as you think – and it could be used to steal your ATM

California’s High Agricultural Labor Costs Spur Golden State AgTech Tech Innovation

By |July 21st, 2016|

Labor supply is not just decreasing as workers, but it’s becoming more expensive, putting some fruit and vegetable farmers under pressure to find alternative solutions, speakers told the Forbes AgTech Summit today. The post More Technological Innovation Needed to Meet Labor Challenges in Californian Agriculture appeared first on AgFunderNews.

The Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2016

By |July 21st, 2016|

Image courtesy of: Futurism The Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2016 Sometimes the world is not yet ready for a new technology to enter the fray. Virtual reality, for example, sat on the sidelines for many years. The industry went into hibernation around the time of the Dot Com Bust, and it has only recently re-emerged with promise. It is only today that big companies like Microsoft, Google, Samsung, HTC, and Facebook have the infrastructure, peripheral technologies, and capital in place to properly commercialize the technology. Now, instead of using primitive 300 x 200 pixel LCD displays that were prohibitively expensive in the 90s, we are looking at a world where display will be in beautiful 4k quality. Meanwhile, accelerometers and gyroscopes can measure head movement, and modern computing power can reduce lag and latency. It took many years, but finally the true potential of VR is being realized. Like virtual reality, there are 10 other emerging technologies that are finally ready for prime time. Some, like the recent advances in artificial intelligence, have been decades in the making. Other emerging technologies such as the blockchain are relatively new phenomenons that are also ready for their time in the spotlight. Emerging Technologies of 2016 Nanosensors and the Internet of Nanothings is one of the most exciting areas of science today. Tiny sensors that are circulated in the human body or construction materials will be able to relay information and diagnostics to the outside world. This will have an impact on medicine, architecture, agriculture, and drug manufacturing. Next Generation Batteries are helping to eliminate one of the biggest obstacles with renewable energy, which is energy storage. Though not commercially available yet, this area shows great promise – and it is something we are tracking in our five-part Battery Series. The Blockchain had investment exceeding $1 billion in 2015. The blockchain ecosystem is evolving rapidly and will change the way banking, markets, contracts, and governments work. 2d Materials such as graphene will have an impact in a variety of applications ranging from air and water filters to batteries and wearable technology. Autonomous Vehicles are here, and the potential impact is huge. While there are still a few problems to overcome, driverless cars will save lives, cut pollution, boost economies, and improve the quality of life for people. Organs-on-Chips, which are tiny models of human organs, are making it easier for scientists to test drugs and conduct medical research. Petrovskite Solar Cells are making photovoltaic cells easier to make and more efficient. They also allow cells to be used virtually anywhere. Open AI Ecosystem will allow for smart digital assistants in the cloud that will be able to advise us on finance, health, or even fashion. Optogenetics, or the use of light and color to record activity in the brain, could help lead to better treatment of brain disorders. Systems Metabolic Engineering will allow for building block chemicals to be built with plants more efficiently than can be done with fossil fuels. Original graphic by: Futurism Sponsored Infographics The Money Project Embed This Image On Your Site (copy code below): Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist The post The Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2016 appeared first on Visual Capitalist.

A Human Poop Bag and 18 Other Crowdfunding Catastrophes

By |July 21st, 2016|

Crowdfunding has been a game-changer for getting new products off the ground. Platforms like Kickstarter or IndieGoGo have allowed aspiring entrepreneurs to get their ideas in front of millions, while generating invaluable amounts of buzz and publicity. Highly successful campaigns include products or proposals such as Ethereum, Oculus Rift, Pebble, or Star Citizen, which have combined to raise hundreds of millions of dollars in new capital. However, because crowdfunding is open to everyone, not every campaign brings home the bacon. In reality, some campaigns are just plain strange or border on being nonsensical in nature. Other ideas just bomb spectacularly. Either the concept has no product-market fit, or the prototype simply doesn’t do what it is supposed to do. Weird Crowdfunding Fails Today’s infographic comes from SSLs, highlighting 19 crowdfunding campaigns that were not destined to change the world in any meaningful capacity. Note: These are all reward-based crowdfunding campaigns. Along the right-hand side of the infographic, it shows the platform used, amount raised, and the fundraising goal. Down the middle, it highlights the most ridiculous reward that was offered to backers, and how many people claimed the reward. Where did some of these projects fall short? What can we learn from them? Some projects such as the Induratus nuclear bunker were destined for failure because they were inherently selfish. The product could have been great, but if it doesn’t benefit the backers, it’s not going to take off. Sadly, the Induratus raised just $1, and as a result the project’s creator is now left very vulnerable to nuclear attacks. The Triton, a set of artificial gills that could allow a user to breathe underwater, had the opposite problem. While the creators behind the project got the hundreds of thousands of dollars of funding they needed, the idea turned out to be scientifically impossible. In fact, the development of similar technology has eluded the world’s top scientists and military contractors for years. The group behind the product was forced to refund backers to the tune of $900,000. Other projects were scientifically viable, while also solving a perceived market need. However, the problem with these products were that they did not serve a large enough market to make sense. The Sauceman’s Satchel is a good example of this. While the creator loved the idea of a “convenient, carry-able, flyable, sauce transport” for camping and travel needs, the market overwhelmingly did not. That’s why it only raised about 40% of its funding goal from 105 backers. Now, the Sauceman Satchel is only serving sauce-lovers in product pitch heaven. Embed This Image On Your Site (copy code below): Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist The post 19 Weird Crowdfunding Campaigns That Failed Spectacularly appeared first on Visual Capitalist.

The Epic Collapse of Deutsche Bank

By |July 21st, 2016|

The Epic Collapse of Deutsche Bank [Chart] A timeline showing the fall of one of Europe’s most iconic financial institutions The Chart of the Week is a weekly Visual Capitalist feature on Fridays. It’s been almost 10 years in the making, but the fate of one of Europe’s most important financial institutions appears to be sealed. After a hard-hitting sequence of scandals, poor decisions, and unfortunate events, Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank shares are now down -48% on the year to $12.60, which is a record-setting low. Even more stunning is the long-term view of the German institution’s downward spiral. With a modest $15.8 billion in market capitalization, shares of the 147-year-old company now trade for a paltry 8% of its peak price in May 2007. The Beginning of the End If the deaths of Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns were quick and painless, the coming demise of Deutsche Bank has been long, drawn out, and painful. In recent times, Deutsche Bank’s investment banking division has been among the largest in the world, comparable in size to Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Bank of America, and Citigroup. However, unlike those other names, Deutsche Bank has been walking wounded since the Financial Crisis, and the German bank has never been able to fully recover. It’s ironic, because in 2009, the company’s CEO Josef Ackermann boldly proclaimed that Deutsche Bank had plenty of capital, and that it was weathering the crisis better than its competitors. It turned out, however, that the bank was actually hiding $12 billion in losses to avoid a government bailout. Meanwhile, much of the money the bank did make during this turbulent time in the markets stemmed from the manipulation of Libor rates. Those “wins” were short-lived, since the eventual fine to end the Libor probe would be a record-setting $2.5 billion. The bank finally had to admit that it actually needed more capital. In 2013, it raised €3 billion with a rights issue, claiming that no additional funds would be needed. Then in 2014 the bank head-scratchingly proceeded to raise €1.5 billion, and after that, another €8 billion. A Series of Unfortunate Events In recent years, Deutsche Bank has desperately been trying to reinvent itself. Having gone through multiple CEOs since the Financial Crisis, the latest attempt at reinvention involves a massive overhaul of operations and staff announced by co-CEO John Cryan in October 2015. The bank is now in the process of cutting 9,000 employees and ceasing operations in 10 countries. This is where our timeline of Deutsche Bank’s most recent woes begins – and the last six months, in particular, have been fast and furious. Deutsche Bank started the year by announcing a record-setting loss in 2015 of €6.8 billion. Cryan went on an immediate PR binge, proclaiming that the bank was “rock solid”. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble even went out of his way to say he had “no concerns” about Deutsche Bank. Translation: things are in full-on crisis mode. In the following weeks, here’s what happened: May 16, 2016: Berenberg Bank warns that DB’s woes may be “insurmountable”, noting that DB is more than 40x levered. June 2, 2016: Two ex-DB employees are charged in ongoing U.S. Libor probe for rigging interest rates. Meanwhile, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority says there are at least 29 DB employees involved in the scandal. June 23, 2016: Brexit decision hits DB hard. The bank is the largest European bank in London and receives 19% of its revenues from the UK. June 29, 2016: IMF issues statement that “DB appears to be the most important net contributor to systemic risks”. June 30, 2016: Federal Reserve announces that DB fails Fed stress test in US, due to “poor risk management and financial planning”. Doesn’t sound “rock solid”, does it? Now the real question: what happens to Deutsche Bank’s derivative book, which has a notional value of €52 trillion, if the bank is insolvent? The Money Project Embed This Image On Your Site (copy code below): Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist The post Chart: The Epic Collapse of Deutsche Bank appeared first on Visual Capitalist.

Capital Appreciation in Timberland Offsets Underperformance

By |July 21st, 2016|

Lumber demand will not pick up in the near term, but timberland as an asset class will perform well, says MetLife Agricultural Finance