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When the Business Insider published an article by Elena Holodny on 17th June, 2016 entitled The 5,000-year history of interest rates shows just how historically low US rates are right now the lights for all Governments’ Financial Regulators, The Financial Planning Standards Board and Global Fintech and Blockchain Hubs ( The Hubs) should have flashed red. It is a clear and present danger to variable rate home loan borrowers globally. The question now arises will The Hubs seize the opportunity to help adjustable/variable rate mortgage home loan borrowers around the world? Another opportunity to help global home loan borrowers might not arise for many years. The Hubs can prevent unnecessary hardship for many millions of home loan borrowers in many countries.

In words, this is what the innovation opportunity is:

The process mapping steps should establish a client’s increased repayments limit at the time of the variable rate loan application. It would be expressed as a switch rate that triggers the lender’s offer to transfer to a fixed rate from a variable rate to stop repayment increases. The issue is whether The Hubs will see this as an automation opportunity whether by Blockchain smart contracts or otherwise. The role of the The Hub communities is to make sure it happens so that a lot of main street citizens can avoid unnecessary financial hardship.

In a picture, this is what the input is :

In a picture, this is what the output is :


In short, it is about the borrowers’ personal budgets from which their home loan repayments come. Many borrowers operate on tight budgets with very little capacity to absorb repayment increases and are therefore reluctant to switch to fixed rate borrowings which are usually at a higher rate. These borrowers are easily trapped in interest rate spirals that lead to rising repayments and financial distress.


In 2015 Eugenio Cerutti, Jihad Dagher and Giovanni Dell’Ariccia published an IMF Staff Discussion Note entitled Housing Finance and Real-Estate Booms: A Cross-Country Perspective. Their reference for the report is SDN/15/12. This is a valuable resource for The Hubs because it looks at the issue of interest rates and housing finance globally. Of particular interest for innovators in The Hubs is the authors’ comment:

“Interest Type: Mortgage rates can be fixed through the life of a loan, or vary over time with changes linked to key interest rates in the economy. In our sample, the standard mortgage rate is variable in 30 countries, fixed in 12 countries; while in the remaining 14 countries both contracts are observed. Variable rates are more common in emerging economies.”

This is a global issue that The Hubs need to address urgently. Whether the International Blockchain Research Institute based in Canada sees it as a priority, will depend on the institute’s international members. In Jessie Willms article quoted in the Bitcoin Magazine Jessie stated: “Through a series of major research projects led by global experts, we will identify and explain key application opportunities, issues, strategies and approaches that enable companies and governments to capitalize on this emerging technology.” This issue is one of the most important for home loan borrowers globally.


When Eugenio Cerutti, Jihad Dagher and Giovanni Dell’Ariccia published their note for the IMF in 2015, they would have known that disruptive innovation was well underway with financial technology and that variable/adjustable rate home loan borrowers urgently needed help. The Business Insider publication of the Bank of England, Global Financial Data, Homer and Sylla “A History of Interest Rates” research mentioned in the article The 5,000-year history of interest rates shows just how historically low US rates are right now made this clear. Thomson Reuters’ Where are the best FinTech centers? showed that this is an international trend to finding solutions to global issues. This is one of the most important that requires international co-operation. Those countries that refuse to co-operate will be left behind to the detriment of their populations.


In the report THE BLOCKCHAIN CORRIDOR: Building an Innovation Economy in the 2nd Era of the Internet by Don Tapscott and Alex Tapscott there was a section on Education And Cultural Change in which is was said:

“Revolutionary new products and services often run into early skepticism, even mockery and hostility.Entrenched interests resist change, and established leaders are often the last to embrace the new, if they ever do.”

In some countries your involvement in innovation, research and development to promote reform and change would prompt some “leaders” to tell you to “mind your own business”. However, these countries will struggle to lead in the innovation race to the top for productivity through creativity. The Innovation Excellence LinkedIn Group has over 40,000 members. Innovation is the way to change the future and is the solution to many global critical issues. Don Tapscott and Alex Tapscott are right.

John Cosstick


You could pass her in the street and never know, but a young widow’s courage will likely help change the world. My client did not understand what her courage challenged, but I did and this is what it meant:

House of Representatives Submission

If I had the authority to grant her an award for her courage and service to the community in Australia it would be THE CROSS OF VALOUR. This is Australia’s highest bravery award.

John Cosstick (C)


The biggest risk to retirees now, and more so in the future because of medical advancements, is that they will outlive their retirement savings. David Williams has been trying to bring this to the attention to successive governments for many years. Here is his website http://mylongevity.com.au/. The World Economic Forum has now taken up this cause along with many others causes.

It would seem obvious that financial planning clients should be told what the impact of tailoring their work life balance would be on the longevity of their savings. Once this is incorporated into the risk profile assessment of all retirees at the International Financial Planning Standards Board level, it will help change all governments’ policies to better support retirees’ work life balance planning. It will also help make retirees’ money last longer as they taper their work life balance approach to retirement years with a view to making their retirement savings last longer. It will also help address the concerns of the World Economic Forum about funding the pensions of the rapidly ageing populations of developed countries.

This change could disrupt the business models of banking industries globally but could also empower clients to plan more effectively for a longer life expectancy. This is one of the many issues that the World Economic Forum has now started campaigning on social media to bring issues to the attention of the general public. See here:

The World Economic Forum Article – The Pension Crunch Is Coming: Here Is What To Do About It
The World Economic Forum Article – What Are The Economic Consequences Of The Rapidly Ageing Populations?

The internet, as a forum, matters for these reforms. It can help highlight, in open forums, much needed reforms to banking and finance industries for the betterment of society. Around the world Financial Technology reforms using Blockchain Technology, are underway. It will prove to be a disruptive innovation to the banking and finance industries in particular, but also to many other segments of business and society. For those that have not read Don Tapscott’s and Alex Tapscott’s Blockchain Revolution it can be obtained from the link below:

John Cosstick

John Cosstick has been a Banker, Accountant
and Certified Financial Planner. He is now
a Freelance Journalist.
These are his two main websites:



Copyright (C)



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I have received some feedback that said that behavioral economics and process mapping did not have a link that impacted on the low and lower middle income members of the community and their efforts to grow assets nor maintain asset levels in retirement years.

This feedback concerned the issue whether their existed a need to integrate lifestyle planning with financial planning. The argument was that the two are two separate issues as lifestyle planning was about values and what clients thought were important in their lives and what they hoped to achieve, particularly in retirement and financial planning was about funding. However, this appears to ignore the fact that people engaged at an operational level and those that work with them are busily discussing how they can better help those low and lower moderate income members of society by managing investment risk better.

This situation has arisen because policy makers have failed to see the link between behavioral economics and process mapping and the need for an innovation forum. In short, congratulations CFED! The paradigm shift has started.

Jack Taggerty
Copyright 2010



An important event has happened at the 2010 Assets Learning Conference, the question has been asked as to why people act against their own best financial interests. Critical work is being carried out in applying behavioral sciences to encourage less advantage and lower middle income people to build assets. It is only a short journey to ask the question as to whether the process mapping of financial services providers aligns with the goal of encouraging people to build assets.

Around the world financial planners and other financial service providers are participating in professional development training that is looking at similar subjects such as:

-the need to move to Lifestyle Planning as well as Financial Planning.
-revisiting portfolio construction to better manage investment risk
-changes in investor behavior post the Global Financial Crisis
-what is Fiduciary duty and what is its impact
-whether insurance risk management products shouldn’t have minimum opt out standards for public offer retirement savings products

There is an opportunity here for CFED not only to help change the process of providing services to clients so that they can better understand the importance of building assets, but protect people at they do so during their lifetime. This is not only in the United States, but throughout the world.

Jack Taggerty
Copyright 2010


Throughout the world the aging populations of many western countries is starting to have severe impact on economies as the baby boomer generation start to come to grips with what retirement will mean to their lifestyle. The Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) is leading the world with its 2010 assets Learning conference.

Innovation and The United States 2010 Assets Learning Conference
The Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) is a nonprofit organization that has a mission of expanding economic opportunities for those that are low and moderate income communities and families. CFED is based in Washington DC. The 2010 Assets and Learning Conference will be held on September 22-24. The website can be accessed here ( http://cfed.org/knowledge_center/events/alc2010/).

The organization uses a Think-Do-Invest approach, which consists of:
Think: The organization explores various practices and ideas that may in fact help communities and families have a better opportunity to engage in the larger economy in which they live. The
ideas help to bridge the gaps that currently exist economically.

Do: Once the organization has the ideas and practices, they then seek out funding collaborators as well as those that make the policies in order to carry out and demonstrate the program throughout the nation. Demonstrating is the best way to show exactly what the organization is seeking to accomplish.

Invest: The organization then seeks out investors as well as those that are advocates for policies in order to bring about change on a larger scale.

What is the role of CFED?

The role of CFED is to make changes with policy makers so that within the near future every American will have the same opportunity from birth regardless of economic status.

The main reasons that the CFED has organized the 2010 Assets Learning Conference

The Assets Learning Conference is a way to bring many different people together at the same time in order to figure out ways in which to initiate the change needed to the economy.

• The Assets Learning Conference is where the group plans the 2010 economy focused on saving and investing in the future.

• To bring nationally and international government, researchers, policy makers, business leaders, and entrepreneurs together to lay the groundwork for expanding the economy as well as plan paths to recovery.

• The group is having its first innovation marketplace where they will have on display exhibits.

• The Assets Learning Conference will have approximately 60 sessions back to back demonstrating research, innovations, homeownership, children’s savings programs and many more.

• With the economic crisis and government changes, the conference is way for everyone to put their goals into action and map out the next strategies.

Some main reasons for the First-Ever Innovation Marketplace

The Innovation Marketplace

• A way to bring in-person and virtual leadership together for the first time.

• An opportunity to show innovative ideas and how these can help the next generation’s economically.

• The marketplace will present products that are safer for the environment and which can help the next generation.

• The marketplace brings ideas on the national and global level that allows interaction among participants at the conference.

• The web innovation Marketplace will also be revealed and it allows the connection of innovators and leaders to come together regardless of their locality.

How do you access the Innovation Marketplace?

The Innovation Marketplace is part of the 2010 Assets Learning Conference, so in order to gain access to the Marketplace; you will need to register for the conference.

Why consumers and innovators should participate either in person or online

• It is a way that leaders can truly envision economic change for the better by seeing the innovations underway.

• The Marketplace is a way of demonstrating ways to create economic development in an environmentally friendly way. This way the economy grows without damaging the planet.

• It is an opportunity to meet several different people from all over the world that are like-minded and wish to advance the economy for the next generation.

• Innovations, entrepreneurs, and leaders can all come together either in-person or over the internet virtual marketplace and share and demonstrate ideas that will only benefit future generations.

• By bringing together innovators and leaders together, it is a way to expand and grow the economy for every American.

The Policy Agenda of CFED

Working at the U.S. Federal and State levels the CFED focuses on five issue areas:

• Financial Assets and Income – asset ownership and financial security are interconnected because they enable people to plan for the future.

• Business and Jobs – earning an income from business or wage employment funds the plans and wealth creation.

• Housing and homeownership – owning a home is the chief asset of many households while affordable rental can be a step along the way to achieving homeownership for many.

• Education – education is an asset that produces skills and knowledge resulting in income and asset building for the individual and the country.

• Health Care – access to quality health care is a necessary foundation to fitness to be able to earn income and build assets.


CFED and the Assets Learning Conference is about building the future by creating the positive innovation environment that will generate the ideas that makes the Think-Do-Invest approach work. The Global Financial Crisis has brought to the fore the need for innovation that is easily understood and will create hope for the future by building assets.

Jack Taggerty

Copyright 2010



Have you or your business been a victim of internet fraud in 2008?According to the 2008 Annual Report of the United States Internet Fraud Complaint Centre there was a 33% increase in fraud complaints. All around the world internet crime is on the rise and the Global Financial Crisis will see individuals under increasing pressure. If you were a victim did you report it?

In you are in the United States the link to lodge a complaint is here : http://www.ic3.gov/complaint/default.aspx

If you a victim it is not much comfort to know that this is a world wide trend that is growing annually. Those that are committing the frauds are very innovative in the scams that they dream up. Here are a few that have arisen recently:

• Swine flu scams
• SMS windfall
• Credit card scam targeting small businesses
• Government stimulus package scams
• Bushfire appeal scams
• Your computer is infected scams
• Inheritance scam

Cyber fraud in small business

Cyber fraud will rise as employees come under financial pressure and if you are a small business owner be sure you understand the risk management techniques

This is what the Amazon editorial reviewers said on the top 5 star book on the subject:

Avoiding Cyber Fraud in Small Businesses: What Auditors and Owners Need to Know

The average small business has a life span of about five years, and inadequate internal controls are the main cause of failure. Cyber fraud, the leading culprit today in internal criminal activity, occurs when advanced technologies are used to steal money or property. The majority of such crimes occur in-house, and the lack of sufficient capital and technological resources committed to protecting company assets makes small businesses especially vulnerable. Awareness of the dangers of internal theft by computer, illegal access to information systems, credit card fraud, and Internet scams is integral–especially as auditors, business owners, and managers are increasingly held responsible for negligence.
Providing critical guidance on what auditors and businesses can do to better prevent and detect the growing number of occurrences of cyber fraud, the information in this one-of-a-kind manual:
• Protects outside auditors by supplying the knowledge to ensure they meet their responsibilities
• Protects small business owners by providing them with the necessary tools to meet due diligence requirements in cyber fraud prevention
• Focuses on the key areas of vulnerability
Take the first step in protecting your company–and your future–with Avoiding Cyber Fraud in Small Businesses, the only book committed to helping you keep your small business free of computer crime.

From the Inside Flap
As a businessperson in the twenty-first century, you have become a member of Cyberland. Whether you were an early technology enthusiast or a stickler for the tried and true, your company is now computerized, making it both more effective–and more vulnerable. In addition to all of your previous responsibilities, you now have another concern–cybercrime. And it is, indeed, your concern, as the major causes of the increase in this type of crime are employees who understand computers and security–and owners and managers who don’t.
Avoiding Cyber Fraud in Small Businesses is the first book designed to empower auditors, managers, and small business owners–the ones who are held accountable–with the knowledge required to prevent and detect criminal activity within their organizations. Provided here is the guidance and information you need to learn how to:
• Be aware of the dangers of internal theft by computer, illegal access to information systems, credit card fraud, and Internet scams
• Ensure that adequate prevention and detection controls are in place
• Locate and properly utilize the appropriate outside advice and expertise
• Understand your company’s legal obligation to protect assets
Including an overview of the various laws covering computer crime, intellectual property, workplace and employee problems, tort law, and compliance programs,Avoiding Cyber Fraud in Small Businesses will serve as an indispensable weapon against the most prevalent internal problem facing small businesses today.


I have placed myself on a Scam Alert email database and I will complete a blog post on any new innovative internet frauds as they are reported

Jack Taggerty



Freelancing, innovation and unemployment for those 50+

Many Americans and other people around the world are finding that they are unemployed for the first time in their lives and many of them are 50+. Barbara Basler in the AARP Bulletin of 1 May 2009 wrote an article about stress and unemployment for those in their last ten years of their normal working lives. It is worth checking the AARP website to read the article.

Many of these unemployed people will have skills that they have accumulated over a lifetime of work. In many cases these skills are transferable to take on tasks on a freelance basis. It takes some time to recover from being suddenly made unemployed as it can be a deep psychological shock… Here are some books that might help you recover and look to the future:

Finding a Job After 50: Reinvent Yourself for the 21st Century

Second Careers: New Ways to Work after 50

Career Comeback: Eight steps to getting back on your feet when you’re fired, laid off, or your business ventures has failed–and finding more job satisfaction than ever before

Freelancing, web widgets and innovationThe word widget will conjure up many meanings in your mind and can lead to some confusion if you were to follow a dictionary definition. However, if you were to go to Wikipedia for clarification this is what it says:

A web widget is a portable chunk of code that can be installed and executed within any separate HTML-based web page by an end user without requiring additional compilation. They are derived from the idea of code reuse. Other terms used to describe web widgets include: gadget, badge, module, webjit, capsule, snippet, mini and flake. Web widgets usually but not always use DHTML, JavaScript, or Adobe Flash.
Widgets often take the form of on-screen tools (clocks, event countdowns, auction-tickers, stock market tickers, flight arrival information, daily weather etc).
Usage and criticism
Applications can be integrated within a third party website by the placement of a small snippet of code. The code brings in ‘live’ content – advertisements, links, images – from a third party site without the web site owner having to update or control.
End users can utilize Web Widgets to enhance a number of web-based hosts, or drop targets. Categories of drop targets include social networks, blogs, wikis and personal homepages. Although end users primarily use Web Widgets to enhance their personal web experiences, or the web experiences of visitors to their personal sites, corporations can potentially use Web Widgets to improve their web sites using syndicated content and functionality from third party providers.
The use of web widgets has been increasingly proposed as a marketing channel that could replace the less effective targeted banner ads and take advantage of the viral distribution in social networks. This usage has been criticized as ineffective [1] on the basis that users of a social space are not mainly in a mindset receptive to information exposition but one of content creation.
[edit] Security considerations
As any program code, widgets can be used for malicious purposes. One example is the Facebook “Secret Crush” widget, reported in early 2008 by Fortinet as luring users to install Zango adware.[2]
[edit] Widget management systems
Main article: Widget engine
Widget management systems offer a method of managing widgets that works on any web page, such as a blog or social networking home page. Many blog systems come with built in widget management systems as plug-ins. Users can obtain widgets and other widget management tools from various widget companies.

Here is an example of a widget in operation that relates to freelancing and the news from Elance.com:

Support is building for the freelance community that are aged over 50 and starting out on a second (?) career caused by an unexpected redunancy.

Around the world there are many senior workers being unexpectedly made redundant and needing to reinvent themselves and their retirement. In fact, there has been a number of books written about it Reinventing Retirement: 389 Bright Ideas About Family, Friends, Health, What to Do, and Where to Live

Jack Taggerty



Doing more with less during a recession

Small business owners are often the hardest hit during an economic downturn and the question is how to survive until the recovery begins. This often requires examining every line of expenditure, but at the same time not being blinded to new opportunities. Where do you find guidance as to what you should give priority to?

Who is your accounting software provider and what are they doing to support you?It may seem strange that an accounting software provider would actually go out of their way to help clients when they would be under pressure themselves. Yet that is what is happening. It may be that the provider has an innovative approach to the market place and is proactive in looking for opportunities to support its clients. It is worth a telephone call to ask them and if they haven’t commenced a support program yet, ask them where you can get support.

Look for a Business Resource Centre to support you with ideas

I use MYOB for my accounting software and they have recently started myBRC
(Business Resource Centre) which is aimed at helping small business owners cope with the issues that the recession has brought to their business.

They have done research on how they can best support their clients who use their software. Needless, to say I am very impressed with my software supplier. They have said in their introduction to the service that they recognize that their clients “are time poor and money poor and struggle to find good advisors and source of information to help them make the right decision.”

It is good to see that MYOB should be responding in an innovative manner to the recession to help its clients and to build a sense of community over the internet. I hope that your accounting software provider is responding in a similar way

Jack Taggerty