Banking and Financial Institutions Stocks and Bonds Uncategorized Women and Girls your-feed-selfcare

Smashing the Finance Patriarchy With Memes

Finance memes are still niche on Instagram; @MrsDowJones has yet to break 100,000 followers, but along with accounts like @Litquidity and @finance_god, it’s helping define the “finfluencer” (that’s financial influencer) category. Most of those accounts are anonymous, and according to Institutional Investor magazine, many of them are run by people who work in the business. For them, memes are a way to commiserate with fellow bankers, especially those contending with the long hours of summer internships and first-year analyst positions.

Ms. Sacks, on the other hand, has never worked in finance. In fact, despite growing up in an environment where she might have learned, until two years ago, she didn’t even know the difference between a traditional retirement account and a Roth.

She grew up on the Upper East Side of Manhattan; her father worked at Goldman Sachs. But wealth management, as she saw it, was the domain of men. “I’ve always been creative and had a big sense of humor,” she said in a recent phone interview, “and those aren’t qualities you think of when you think of an ideal worker at an investment bank.”

After graduating from Wesleyan in 2013, Ms. Sacks worked as a page for the “Late Show,” worked the front desk at the fitness studio SLT and nannied. She was living month to month with nearly no savings.

Then, in 2017, she was accepted to a residency at Above Average Productions, the digital content arm of Lorne Michaels’s production company. The job would pay her an annual salary of $43,000 plus benefits, like a 401(k).

All of a sudden, Ms. Sacks said, “I was being faced with the financial decisions of a full-time employee,” like how much federal income tax she’d like to have withheld from her paycheck and whether she would be interested in putting some of her money in a growth account.

“I didn’t know the answer to any of the questions,” she said. “So, I went home and did what any self-respecting millennial did: I went on YouTube.”

Ms. Sacks wanted to learn about wealth creation, but “the only videos that were available to me to learn about these subjects were these 12-minute-long, unedited disasters of men with no charisma and no point of view,” she said. “They were literally writing on whiteboards with their back to the camera. It was so bad and so boring. And it was all men.”

“All the women were giving personal finance advice, and the Wall Street lingo was left to the guys,” she said. “The girls were the ones telling you to buy a crockpot and itemize your checks.”

Six months after joining Above Average, she said, Ms. Sacks was laid off. At that point, she also had a baseline understanding of investments, thanks to Google. She decided to create a digital brand of her own, based on her research, which she thought could be a more stable source of income than the patchwork of jobs she’d had in her early 20s.

“When I got dumped by Above Average, I never wanted to put my financial well-being into anyone else’s hands again,” Ms. Sacks said. “I didn’t want to have to rely on companies, or a brand that could cut the cord on me.”

She uses her family’s background as a teaching tool as well. She thinks it’s this outsider’s view on the inside that helps give her an edge. In a recent video, she details “rules only rich people know” about money.

“My goal is to create inclusivity,” she said. “If I grew up so close to this world and still felt marginalized, think how much worse it is for everyone else.”

So she registered the handle @MrsDowJones and began racking up followers with posts written not in jargon, but “in the language I spoke,” she said. That meant a lot of humor and Kardashian references.

In the two years since she introduced her brand, Ms. Sacks has founded a successful finance-related book club, newsletter where she shares finance tips and news, and merchandise line, where she peddles merchandise such as J.P. Sonja Morgan hats and “I miss Janet Yellen” pullovers. She monetizes her social channels through branded content deals. This year, Ms. Sacks also began hosting monthly sponsored events for her followers where finance figures like Sallie Krawcheck, a former executive at Bank of America, and Bradley Tusk, a venture capitalist, spoke about their books and financial careers.

Ms. Sacks said it’s not just women she wants to help, but everyone who has been shut out of careers in finance and conversations about wealth creation. Though she has made a name for herself by eschewing personal finance, talking to some of her fans has convinced her to incorporate more basic money management tips into her posts. Many of her followers struggle with student debt and, like many Americans, don’t have the disposable income to play in the stock market.

“What I realized is that I was talking so much about investing, but you can’t talk about investing until people have money saved,” Ms. Sacks said. “So, I had to take a few steps back and be like, ‘O.K. let me get my audience out of debt real quick, then we’ll hop back into things after they have a savings.’” In 2020, she plans to release a curriculum covering the basics of personal finance.

That doesn’t mean she’s abandoning her brand’s roots.

“I’m not here to defend Wall Street,” she said, “but I’m here to bridge the gap so people don’t feel excluded. Wall Street makes people feel like outsiders. They have their own uniform, they have their own language they speak, they have specific places they hang out, publications they read. They’ve created a world for themselves that feels exclusive. We can get into the nitty-gritty of, ‘they’re evil, they hurt us,’ but I think no matter what, let’s give you the skills and the confidence to play in their field.”

Bank of England Banking and Financial Institutions Carney, Mark J Economic Conditions and Trends Financial Conduct Authority (Great Britain) Interest Rates Stocks and Bonds Times of London Uncategorized

Bank of England Audio Was Leaked, Giving Some Traders an Edge

LONDON — The Bank of England said Thursday that an audio feed from its news conferences had been released to some investors before it had been made public, giving them a leg up on the rest of the market.

The central bank said it was investigating how a third-party supplier had gotten early access to policymakers’ remarks. In the world of high-speed trading, just a few seconds’ lead time can offer some investors a trading advantage.

The Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates Britain’s financial markets, also said it was investigating the leak. In an email, a spokeswoman declined to comment on whether the authority was aware of any trading based on the leaked information.

After queries from The Times of London, the Bank of England said the audio feed of its news conferences, maintained as a backup in case the video feed fails, had been “misused by a third-party supplier to the bank since earlier this year to supply services to other external clients.”

The audio feed provided traders a five- to eight-second advantage over the video feed, The Times reported.

Having a feed that can be watched on platforms like YouTube is meant to make the bank’s decision-making as transparent as possible.

Comments from the Bank of England’s news conferences, held roughly quarterly, are closely monitored for indications about the bank’s thinking on interest rates and the state of the economy. But Mark Carney, the bank’s governor since 2013, has aimed to provide forward guidance — that is, some indication of how the bank will manage monetary policy in the future. This approach has limited the potential for market-moving surprises from a shift in direction.

The European Central Bank in September started providing an audio feed with less of a delay to limit the ability of external companies to claim that they could get a jump on the widely available public feeds.

The Federal Reserve said Thursday that it sought to make its news conferences as widely available as possible and, to that end, streamed the events directly and through news organizations. A Fed spokesman added, however, that in light of the Bank of England report, the Federal Reserve would review its practices.

Bloomberg said that it was the manager of the Bank of England’s video feed and that it made it available to other news providers. The bank did not identify the supplier of the audio feed, but said that it had disabled the supplier’s access. “As a result, the third-party supplier did not have any access to the most recent press conference and will no longer play any part in any of the bank’s future press conferences,” it said in a statement.

“The bank operates the highest standards of information security around the release of the market sensitive decisions of its policy committees,” the statement added. “The issue identified related only to the broadcast of press conferences that follow such statements.”

The disclosure came before the bank’s release of its periodic monetary policy statement on Thursday, in which it announced that it was keeping its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.75 percent.

The bank routinely puts reporters through tight precautions to prevent leaks that could prove valuable to traders. Before they are allowed to view policy announcements and forecasts ahead of their release, reporters are locked in a room with a security guard standing by and their cellphone connectivity is cut. They are not allowed to leave the room until after the embargo is lifted.

Premature access to information is a crucial concern to financial regulators around the world. In a 2015 case, prosecutors and regulators in the United States asserted that 32 traders and hackers had reaped more than $100 million in illegal proceeds from a scheme that provided a look at corporate news releases before they were made public.

Elian Peltier contributed reporting from London and Jeanna Smialek from Washington.