The structure of capital markets precedes the innovations that come from it. High frequency trading, passive ETF investing, SPACs, and crypto assets all telegraphed their value proposition before becoming large and meaningful in scale. We are now seeing a new market shape emerge, one that starts with community and builds up into financial instruments that are cultural and social. This analysis looks at the most recent developments in the overlap between decentralized social and cultural work and related financial features.
I examine the unbelievable transformation and restructuring happening in high finance. Global bank HSBC is planning to lay off over 10% of staff, looking at reductions of 35,000. E*TRADE is being acquired by Morgan Stanley, integrating its 5,000,000 accounts and $360 billion of assets into the Wall Street investment firm. Legg Mason and its $800 billion of assets are being folded into Franklin Templeton for $4.5 billion, less than what Visa had paid for fintech data aggregator Plaid and half of what Robinhood is likely valued privately. How do we make sense of these developments? How do we appeal to the heart?