Our take on the investing, financial, & economic themes of the day

The Decline of Community Banks

23 June, 2015 by Matthew O'Brien, Ph.D. in Commentary
The Wall Street Journal reports today on a partnership between the online consumer lending start-up Lending Club and 200 community banks around the country.  The statistic in the article that struck me was this: Community banks—those with less than $10 billion in assets—made slightly more than ... read more...

Will Peer-to-Peer Lending Disrupt the Trillion Dollar Student Loan Market?

22 December, 2014 by Ben O'Brien in Commentary
Often the high-flying, hype-filled world of Silicon Valley startups seems frivolous.  But every once in a while a new company appears that addresses an important need. This is the case with two student loan startups that were profiled recently in Forbes. These companies use peer-to-peer ... read more...

Did M&A Expert Evercore Botch its Acquisition of ISI?

27 August, 2014 by Ben O'Brien in Commentary, Small Cap Stocks
Yesterday Matthew wrote that the importance of big Wall Street banks may be on the decline. The financial services giants were tarnished by the 2008 crisis and now face the threat of new, technology-driven alternatives to traditional banking. This trend is playing out across the industry ... read more...

On the (Predicted) Decline of Banks

26 August, 2014 by Matthew O'Brien, Ph.D. in Commentary
Silicon Valley is trying to eat JP Morgan’s lunch.  That’s the way JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon put it a few months ago.  He was referring to the hot sector of the technology industry profiled recently in an opinion column by journalist Gillian Tett (Financial Times, “Upstarts ... read more...

For Big Banks, $100bn in Government Fines is a Small Price to Pay for $590bn in Government Subsidies

1 April, 2014 by Matthew O'Brien, Ph.D. in Commentary
Earlier this week the Financial Times tallied up how much Wall Street banks and their foreign rivals have have paid in fines since the financial crisis.  The total is about $100 billion.  In this chart the FT lists the top four banks in terms of fines paid: $100 billion is a lot of money. ... read more...