Back for the second year, on the eve of the Kentucky Derby, Anthony handicaps the FinTech space for what's to come over the next 12 months.
As some of you already know, I'm a massive fan of horse racing. I love the horses, the jockeys, the eccentric owners and trainers; I love the pageantry, the speed, the power, and─most of all─the gambling.
Last year, on the eve of the Kentucky Derby, I laid out the field for potential winners and losers in the capital markets space. While Saturday will feature the 138th running of the Derby, today features the 2nd writing of this column. Sure, it lacks the gravitas of an event that began in the 1800s, but it's basically the only way that I can write about gambling without my editor sitting me down for a talking to.
1. Volcker Smolcker: Last month it was announced that big banks would have until July 21, 2014 to comply with the Volcker Rule, rather than July 21 of this year. C'mon, who honestly believes that this is a good sign for the Volcker Rule surviving? What's that sound I'm hearing? Is...is that a death knell? (2-1)
2. Form PF Neutered: "Form PF Neutered" comes from the same barn as "Volcker Rule Dead". From what I'm hearing, some in the industry believe that the US Securities and Exchange Commission is going to lessen the number of data points that need to be handed over in order to comply with the new Form PF filing. (3-1)
3. Arrested in Houston: I will be attending Energy Risk USA in Houston from May 14-17. There's a chance that I'll get too rowdy at the Houston Astros game on that Wednesday and will have to explain to my boss why I will need a few more days down in Texas. (13-1)
4. It's All Semantic: I'm pulling for semantic databases as being the hot, "new" technology that everyone is checking out in 2013. Who's coming with me? (20-1)
5. Trading From the Bar: There are some who believe that, since the technology already exists, traders will be able to use their iPads to enter trades remotely...say, from the local watering hole. Chief risk officers will not be betting on this horse. (5-1)
6. Hacked: Every year I keep waiting for a major cloud-hacking scandal in the capital markets space, and every year I'm left disappointed. This horse has been a major letdown. (75-1)
7. Occupy THIS: In a fabulous twist, the 1-percenters march to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and take-up camp in McCarren Park. In the process, every hipster's mind is literally blown as Corporate America steals the one thing they truly love: irony. (60-1)
8. No More Datacenters: If you're a startup hedge fund, why would you ever concern yourself with creating a datacenter─even a mini one─when you can turn to the cloud? After all, if "You've Been Hacked" isn't going to win this, what's the drawback? (8-1)
9. Four More Years: Even as Wall Street pours money into the coffers of likely Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, President Barack Obama has seen unemployment fall and got Osama bin Laden. Hedge fund managers will be betting heavily against this horse. (4-1)
10. The Next to Fall: Last year MF Global collapsed. What's the odds that another $50 billion-ish institution bites the dust in the next 12 months? The odds are low because no one wants to pick this guy. (50-1)
11. HFT RIP: There are many out there who want to see high-frequency trading euthanized. But somehow this colt keeps flying right along. (25-1)
12. BATS IPO A GO: After Bats' embarrassing failed IPO and IT glitches, there are some─including myself─who believe Bats will bounce back. Any takers on a Bats IPO by May 2013? (15-1)
13. You Nit-Twit(ter): I keep hearing that hedge funds and asset managers have found a way to use Twitter as an outlet to attract new investments...but I've still yet to see any proof. (50-1)
14. Anonymous to the Fore: Hactivist group Anonymous has yet to turn its ire to the major investment banks and hedge funds on Wall Street. Will that change, or has the movement passed? (30-1)
15. Merger Madness: Several major vendor mergers have transpired over the last few months; is there an acquisition out there in the works that will change the industry as we know it? (10-1)
16. Empires Toppled: Greece managed to avoid a return to the drachma, but for how long? Is Belgium on the verge of a split? Are Ireland, Spain, Italy and others still on the brink? Is the Euro doomed? How many Americans actually know how many countries are in the European Union? (45-1)
17. Seriously, BlackBerry's Done, right?: I mean, doesn't it just look déclassé to be wielding a BlackBerry? (3-1)
18. Frank-ly My Dear...: Wall Street doesn't give a damn! What are the odds that Wall Street actually misses Barney Frank once he steps down after this year? I, personally, am going to miss the man because he has always been entertaining. (15-1)
19. One Exchange to Rule Them All: Regulators around the world have put the kibosh on several mega-exchange mergers. Will anyone look to reload in the next year? (80-1)
20. Goldman Implodes: While Occupy Wall Streeters are hoping this will happen, I wouldn't setup a tent in Zuccotti Park waiting for it to happen. (100-1)
Last year when I wrote this column, only one of my three picks placed in the Derby, but to be fair, Animal Kingdom was a massive surprise. Right now my opinion isn't worth much, but here are my three favorite horses for tomorrow's big race: Gemologist, Bodemeister and Creative Cause. (My heart will be rooting for Union Rags and Hansen, but I have my doubts.)