Jan. 29, 2021

121: Money Talks #28 | GameStop and WallStreetBets | Visa-Plaid Deal Dead | Buying Monzo

121: Money Talks #28 | GameStop and WallStreetBets | Visa-Plaid Deal Dead | Buying Monzo

In this Money Talks segment, Pete and Eoin riff on GameStop and WallStreetBets, the Plaid-Visa deal falling apart, spitballing ideas on who might buy Monzo, a Cambrian explosion at the intersection of money and society and RIP Hammerin’ Hank Aaron.

This episode of MoneyNeverSleeps is sponsored by PAT Fintech, the training partner that demystifies fintech and digital finance for financial services professionals.


What the Hell Is Going On With GameStop’s Stock? (Slate, 26-Jan-21)

What does it mean for the future of publicly traded equities where you have groups like WallStreetBets who can turn against you and drive the stock up or down, and trigger a short squeeze where hedge funds lose billions? When a market is 24/7, whether that’s in crypto or with after-hours trading on public equities, you’ve got to get your head around all of these new channels where market sentiment is effectively created and observable in real-time.

The hedge funds need to get smarter, because the crowd now has the ability to move the price, almost on its own whim.  The run-up of GameStop by the WallStreetBets Reddit group is only just the beginning, and there are many more companies and asset classes susceptible to this kind of activism.

European fintechs spy opportunity in Visa’s failed Plaid deal (Sifted, 20-Jan-21)

From a Plaid perspective, they’re pretty happy about this. The market is moving so fast, tech is moving so fast, revenue growth is on fire, especially in the digital world, and Plaid is now likely worth multiples of the $5.3bn they agreed with Visa 12 months ago.

Some people are saying that the Plaid founders left a lot of money on the table by walking away, but they would’ve left a lot more money on the table by doing the deal. Are all of these banking infrastructure players getting too big where any incumbent that tries to buy them will have their deal struck down for anti-competitive reasons?

Monzo founder Tom Blomfield is departing the challenger bank (TechCrunch,  20-Jan-21)

Who would buy Monzo? Not a big bank, they’d just kill it, and one of the big tech players wouldn’t find a Monzo deal compelling enough. It might be the next tier of tech players, someone looking to pick up a banking solution as part of a wider play.

Visa have loads of money to throw around now that they’re not buying Plaid, maybe in some other reality they’d buy Monzo? Could you take the assets of the Monzo tech stack itself, and turn that into a product licensed on a banking-as-a-service basis?  Those 5 million customers form a wonderful audience for a far more diverse financial services offering though, and that's the true value of the Monzo business.  Can you say 'Rundle'?


What DeFi Has in Common With Cubism (Lex Sokolin, CoinDesk, 27-Jan-21)

Baseball mourns death of long-time home run king Hank Aaron (The42, 28-Jan-21)


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Pete TownsendProfile Photo

Pete Townsend


Web3 & fintech investor, MD @Techstars Web3, founder of Norio Ventures, mentor, non-executive director, podcaster and bad guitar player.

Eoin FitzgeraldProfile Photo

Eoin Fitzgerald


Fintech investor, podcaster, wannabe VC