Credit card debt is the waste stream of consumer finance. The debt collection industry ends up being sordid, for complex structural and microeconomic reasons.
Previous issues of Bits about Money
A brief retrospective on an attractive product First Republic used to offer, and a wider discourse on the banking crisis.
Many observe that banks seem to be blowing up due to predictable consequences of rising interest rates. How did we get here?
In the wake of the recent banking crisis, there is some attention to deposit insurance limits. Some products increase them; here is how.
We may be in the early stages of a banking crisis: why, what we're doing to avoid it, and what we may not get about it.
Card networks are legacy systems. Some bugs have persisted for decades, surprisingly, but they can be fixed. Stripe provides examples.
A brief overview of what money laundering is, what financial institutions do about it, and why.
Bits about Money's Early Adopter discount ends on January 31st, 2023.
Know Your Customer policies at financial institutions have more nuance than you'd expect.
Bits about Money now offers paid memberships. (Plus, a bonus essay on newsletter financial infrastructure.)
ATMs are connected to banks by networks which operate little-understood payment rails.
Credit cards have been in use for almost 75 years. Some long-ago decisions still cause consequences in the present day. But change is possible.
Leverage is actually reasonably easy to understand, both in the math and in the implications for financial firms.
How physics and infrastructure combine to generate (ba dum bum) the power market.
Community access to banking is downstream of siting decisions in commercial real estate, in fascinating detail.
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I write about once a week, on the intersection of tech, financial infrastructure, and systems thinking. It's free.