Collision on Wall and Main: Disruption at the K Street Intersection
Darwinism has certain parallels in economic and business survivorship. Unlike the policy prescription afforded by the Endangered Species Act or The Paris Accord, a Zombie Reprieve has not been legislated for once proud enterprises rendered moribund by an inability to adapt, a failure to embrace change, or a denial to reimagine.
Alas, the democratization of finance may have served – at least temporarily, and most ferociously – as a pseudo–Zombie Reprieve, rescuing victory from the jaws of defeat for beleaguered enterprises. Reddit and Robinhood (with a nod to the unintended consequences of lavish liquidity bestowed by the Federal Reserve and Treasury) have done for select franchises what legitimate economic value creation could not: allow them to pen another chapter after the obituary ink had nearly dried.
Democratization of finance didn’t originate with Robinhood or Reddit, though those symbiotic platforms represent the latest derivation of mass audience capital market accessibility. May Day 1975 (deregulation of commissions on stock trades), Regulation FD (requiring material corporate events be shared broadly among investors large and small), Vanguard’s nascent rise and subsequent prominence, crowdfunding, exchange-traded-funds (ETF’s), globalization, and no-cost/low-cost trading platforms served to reduce friction thereby yielding greater market accessibility.
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