In his recent book "The Social Life of Money," Nigel Dodd, a professor at the London School of Economics, describes the work of Georg Simmel, the 19th-century German philosopher who sought to explain what makes money possible.

Simmel observed that value results from a synthesis that takes place through exchange. "We enter into exchanges because we want things," Dodd explains. "This desire is demand." In Simmelian terms, banks in 2015 will swap information and develop processes with one another on a scale that may be without precedent. They'll remain fierce competitors, but by better sharing data with one another they also hope to fine-tune their analysis of credit risk, track and thwart money laundering threats and strengthen defenses against cyberattacks. Call it the year of co-opetition.

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