John Foley is Reuters Breakingviews' U.S. editor. He has previously written and edited from London, Beijing and Hong Kong, and established Breakingviews’ first Asian bureau in 2009, subsequently running the European team from 2015 to 2017. Before joining Breakingviews in 2004, John worked as a copywriter for a London-based advertising agency. He read English Literature at Exeter College, Oxford.
Like all banks, the Wall Street firm wants to lend to consumers at credit-card-like returns without the hassle of attracting them. Buying buy-now-pay-later firm GreenSky for $2 bln means merchants like Home Depot act as recruiters. Other lenders will jump on this bandwagon.
If the ethical shoemaker’s “sustainable public equity offering” is a hit, others will copy it. That would make finance a greater force for good. But Allbirds itself is easy to copy, too, and its governance is second rate. Above $2 bln, investors help the world at their own risk.
The third-biggest virtual currency has doubled in a month, gaining on larger rivals bitcoin and ether. It’s more environmentally friendly, though less useful for the time being. But upstarts like Cardano may help crypto deliver riches, even if today’s investors lose their shirts.