Maybe finance can be reformed from within, and by using market forces. Debates rage about how to reform finance. Politicians are faced with opposing the people who fund their campaigns. One CEO who has been the victim of exploitative practices realized there’s a way to undercut those that benefit from a certain loophole. Many financial institutions make money by buying and selling stock, without owning the shares. They borrow them, and do so in a way that does not require the explicit agreement of the shareholder. As strange as that may sound, that and such things as naked shorting allow trading to happen without compensating the actual shareholders. Patrick Byrne, the CEO of Overstock.com realized that taking a bit of technology from Bitcoin called the blockchain, will enable the borrowing to happen more easily, cheaply, and publicly while also paying a bit back to the shareholders. It isn’t a grandiose reform that will be trumpeted in the press, but it is the sort of ingenious solution that can sustainably reform an otherwise intransigent system.
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