Strong opinions, weakly held

Chris Dixon on disrupting Wall Street

A primer on how Wall Street makes money and ways for the Internet to hurt its margins. It’s worth reading as a list of ways you can avoid financial practices that enrich Wall Street and cost you money.


  1. 1 is the thing that most amazes me about the past year and a half. Why folks are even doing business with the big banks is beyond me.

  2. I find it funny that he suggests zopa/prosper model (of direct loans) as the only disruptor to big banks. If you look at zopa in the US, they have a different model which has actually been around for a long time in the US, that of a member owned credit union. Based on my experience as a member of one of these, you get to vote on your governing board, and you have the right to run for the governing board as well. Thus, your bank takes the direction you vote for. And if there are false promises, you can vote the leader out. Some of these also have mission statements such as community reinvestment and such, so you can join one where all your money will go to funding loans for businesses and people in the community.

    Also, many of these have better member services with hours that are convenient for working people and no atm fees. The idea that the only alternative to a big bank is high risk personal lending is silly. You can have the pooled protection of shared risk through an institution, where all members share in successful loans and the pain of defaults is diluted away, along with federal insurance (NCUA) without getting ripped off by wall street.

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