Paul J Thomas is a leading corporate blogger, accomplished public speaker and forward thinking CEO who has worked in the financial services sector for 40 years. His deep knowledge of contemporary issues coupled with his passion for communication find expression in his weekly blog which has been read in over 25 countries. Paul has developed a reputation as a thought leader and commentator on the political, economic, social and technological issues facing business and society. An authentic and trusted communicator, he offers informed insights and opinions in an authoritative and engaging voice. His journey from bank teller to credit union CEO began in 1976. He followed an old-fashioned career path that saw him rise through the ranks. Paul's credentials include an MBA and a Diploma in Financial Services. Paul has six children. Four are from a previous marriage and two are stepchildren. He and his wife, Beverley, have five grandchildren between them (and counting!). Paul is a keen swimmer and competes in ocean races around Sydney.
It is estimated that there are over 150 million blogs on the Internet and the number continues to rise. The blogosphere has rapidly become a big and busy world, yet is still relatively new. The first blog was written by a college student in 1994 and a decade later the word blog was declared word of the year by Merriam-Webster. While there are many blogs, not all are created equal. One which stands out from the crowd is a thought-provoking and eclectic blog written by Paul Thomas. Paul is the Chief Executive Officer of Gateway Credit Union in Sydney. Gateway was a relatively early adopter of blogging and maintains one of Australia s leading business blogs. Australian companies remain cautious about embracing social media tools like blogs. In contrast, Paul has been putting a human face to Gateway via his CEO Blog since March 2008. Paul is living proof that blogging is no longer the sole realm of geeks and believes that corporations without blogs are faceless entities. This book is a compelling collection of some of Paul s blog posts - 100 to be exact. His weekly posts are a combination of economic commentary, thought leadership and financial hints. What ties these seemingly disparate categories together is that they are all written through the prism of a banking and financial services lens. Of course, you can t talk about banking without talking about money since the two are so intertwined. Paul has written about the history of money, the future of money and the creation of money. He has also published posts on money etiquette, money disorders and money management. Money comes in many forms and Paul has explained the workings of fiat money, credit money and virtual money. He has also outlined how money affects Wall Street and Main Street and how money and debt are two sides of the same coin. He has also described the operation of monetary policy and the use of quantitative easing. As a business blogger, Paul is not an uncritical apologist for free markets because no economic or political system built by humans is perfect. But as an economic rationalist, Paul is proud to nail his colours to the mast and declare that he remains a proud supporter of open markets - even with their imperfections. To this end, he has published blogs in defence of globalisation, deficits and bailouts. He has stood up for free enterprise and capitalism while underscoring the need for greater ethics and accountability in banking and highlighting the pitfalls of over-regulation. Along the way, he has pointed out the dangers of excessive leverage, the importance of savings and the need to educate our children and young adults in money matters. From Islamic banking to fractional reserve banking, Paul educates and informs in an easy-to-understand and entertaining way. The Global Financial Crisis provided Paul with a rich source of developing and unfolding events to comment upon. He explained both the cause of and response to the crisis. The crisis exposed the greedy and destructive side of human nature at both an institutional and individual level. Paul has a deep understanding of the human condition and is passionate about people and human behaviour. That passion finds expression in the humanistic narrative thread that weaves seamlessly through his blog. Economics is the study of human behaviour as it applies to money and Paul s musings on money and life have touched a chord with a growing readership. This book s strength lies in its accessibility. Each blog post is succinct and can therefore be digested quickly and easily. This compendium, then, is perfect for the time-starved reader and for those with short attention spans since all posts are concise yet informative. By avoiding excessive jargon and clearly explaining key concepts, Bite size advice de-mystifies key issues which impact our day-to-day lives. It fills a gap in the literature on contemporary political, economic, social and technological issues in a user-friendly way. You will discover that Paul is a storyteller who eases readers into complex topics while offering authoritative insights and opinions. I am an avid reader of Gateway s CEO Blog which Paul religiously updates every Monday morning to keep it fresh and relevant. Under Paul s leadership, Gateway has grown from an institution with little brand recognition to a respected name in the financial services sector. He is passionate about Gateway s people helping people philosophy and believes that credit unions must constantly change while forever staying the same. Paul has had a long and successful career in financial services. He is a resourceful and strategic CEO who has forged a reputation as a thought leader. An accomplished public speaker and writer, Paul s credentials include an MBA and a Diploma in Financial Services. In the pages that follow, you will find an informative collection of Paul s blog posts. Persuasive in argument and wide in sweep, they offer a fascinating window into many of the contemporary political, economic, social and technological issues facing society. I hope that you enjoy reading them as much as I did. --C. M. Hallinan