The SEC’s ICO crackdown will help in the long-run

The SEC’s ICO crackdown will help in the long-run

“'A sad day for the American financial system… It represents a significant blow to New York City's economy and marks the end of an era in American finance.'' That’s a 1990 quote from then-Rep. Charles Schumer discussing the demise of Drexel Burnham, a firm that pioneered junk bonds.

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Mark of the beast or frictionless Doritos shopping?

Mark of the beast or frictionless Doritos shopping?

“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or on their foreheads. And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” That passage from the Book of Revelations describes the mark that everyone will need to have in or on their bodies during the “end times.”

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Too big to fintech? Hardly.

Too big to fintech? Hardly.

Looking back, it’s hard to believe the skepticism in the online lending sector that greeted the arrival of Marcus, Goldman Sachs’ online retail lending arm. After a few growing pains, Marcus has hit its stride, benefiting greatly from a parental balance sheet that has no legacy credit card business or branch network to constrain lending.

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Old and new ways to catch a market manipulator.

Old and new ways to catch a market manipulator.

Guy Gentile is a scrappy entrepreneur who had been involved in a number of risky financial adventures before he was arrested by the FBI. According to this fascinating podcast, though, the real reason the FBI arrested Gentile was to use him to get to someone else they were trying to nab.

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You can’t unspin the AI fidget.

You can’t unspin the AI fidget.

From academics to AI gurus, it seems like everyone has a view on the Zuckerberg-Musk trashtalkathon over AI regulation. For us, recent discussions with finance pros with AI chops have fueled our Muskian perspective. Here’s our theory on Zuckerberg’s position: 

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Blumstein and Levin.

Blumstein and Levin.

Although Scott Blumstein and Jimmy Levin look like bar mitzvah boys, each just received far more than a $100 check from Grandma. In 25-year-old Blumstein’s case, it was the $8.15 million he received last week as the winner of the World Series of Poker. Said the new millionaire, “I definitely feel like I’m in this position because I’m from New Jersey.” 

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COMPANY OF NOTE: SixThirty.

COMPANY OF NOTE: SixThirty.

Greater St. Louis is the 19th largest metropolitan area in the US. But somehow, throughout its history and today, the city has managed to punch above its weight in the worlds of business and finance. We were reminded of that theme recently when we connected with SixThirty’s managing partner, Atul Kamra, who discussed the St. Louis-based fintech venture fund and business development program that gets its name from the height and width of the St. Louis Arch (630 feet). Founded in 2013, SixThirty invests up to $100,000 in eight to ten fintech start-ups from around the globe every year and participates in follow-on capital raises as well. The ideal fit for the 10-12 week program is a B2B start-up in its “late seed stage” that has a working product, market traction and early revenue but could use added business development and go-to-market guidance. That support is assisted by the input and network of SixThirty general partners, including Kamra and Brian Matthews. It’s also nurtured through partnerships with firms including Edward Jones, Ernst & Young, State Farm, Reinsurance Group of America (RGA), Twain Financial Partners and UMB, as well as through collaboration with Washington University’s Olin Business School. “Founders don’t come to SixThirty for a general purpose start-up program,” said Kamra. “If you are hungry for capital, go to San Francisco.  If you are hungry for revenue, come to St. Louis.”

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