Well, takeovers are all the rage: Twitter finally became the personal fiefdom of Elon Musk - and a raft of helpful contributors to the USD44,000 million he paid for a business losing USD4 million every day, he claims.
Then there is Binance which, about an hour ago, decided that FTX had been less than perfect in, amongst other things, its regulatory obligations. It had seemed a good value purchase (well, no one else wanted it so it wasn't so much a fire-sale as sweeping up the embers) but given that Binance has recently been fighting regulatory fires all over the world, buying in trouble was beyond Binance's risk appetite. So it got on its Binancyle.
There's an old book that speaks sense that says that there are no mergers, only takeovers. It's an ethos that I have subscribed to throughout legal practice and in all the various things I do around financial services and financial crime risk and compliance.
But today we are making the exception that proves the rule.
We've merged The Financial Crime Forum and The Economic Crime Forum to reduce the number of days from four to two and as a result one ticket now covers both events making it exceptional value for money.
The dates are 5-6 December, 2022.
There's just one catch: bookings close on 14th November, 2022. I know, that's three weeks before the event but the Forum team needs that amount of time to deal with all the administration, logistics, arranging for production and shipping of delegates' materials, banners and arranging local front-office staff. Then there's all the air tickets for speakers and our team and hotels for everyone to say nothing of the last minute fixing that always needs to be done with the venue and A/V providers.
London's been agog at the financial antics of kleptocrats, if the media can be believed. So we've got Tracing, freezing and confiscating the assets of kleptocrats. Mr Artie McConnell, Assistant United States Attorney, US Department of Justice in New York. He traces, chases and confiscates the assets of kleptocrats. Then there's the Glencore corruption case and we're waiting to hear from the Serious Fraud Office whether they can provide a speaker.
Then there's the metaverse or, rather, the metaverses. We'll explain that in the Forum. Suffice it to say that if you thought that the so-called "Land grabs" for top level domain names was brutal and unseemly, you'll be concerned by what you'll find out about protecting your brands in future.
Also, my view is this: The Metaverse is designed for one purpose and one purpose only: to create an immersive environment in which the user's decision-making abilities are manipulated without the user being aware of it.
Of course, you need to know about this because you will, at some point, become a victim: it's inevitable if you enter a metaverse. And your company needs to know because it needs to protect its brands and, even, its products and reputation. And then there's the growing call for financial institutions to be responsible for protecting their customers from their own actions. You can't do that if you don't know how fraudsters, money lauderers, terrorists, migrants from the dark web and other dubious characters work in an environment that is designed to suspend your disbelief. We have Dr Richard Claydon, Chief Cognitive Officer, EQ Labs, Hong Kong. In "Inquisitiveness to habit to addiction: the science of user attraction retention and manipulation" he will explain how it works and why it is at least as much art as science.
None of this would work if it weren't for convincing graphics and the only new feature of metaverses is the integration of existing technologies to create an immersive environment. Guido Appenzeller Special Adviser at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (https://a16z.com/portfolio/) will demonstrate not only the end results but give live demonstrations of how a wide range of images are created and misused in his paper "AI generated images, showing practically how easy it is to generate them, how to detect them, and some areas where these are already being used maliciously."
These three papers demonstrate why you should choose The Financial Crime Forum over ordinary conferences: all of our speakers get time to develop their theme and to encourage room-wide discourse. We have only four speakers per day - that's eight over our two-days event. We don't have panels because in our view, panels don't allow the presentation of more than two to three minutes per speaker. So when you see 20 or - believe it or not - 100 plus speakers, you have to question what value you will get. And when you see those large speaker groups, look at the quality: you'll find the same names cropping up over and over again. That's not how we do things.
Also, we give you goodies that others can't. Each ticket includes an e-learning course from Financial Crime Risk and Compliance Training worth a few hundred USD (priced in USD, written in English!)
And we have some last minute deals for sponsors - you have the email address: just ask.
Gosh. I almost sound like a marketing copywriter.
I'm out of here.
Before you go, remember: book now at www.financialcrimeforum.com.