Square And India Commerce Sizzle While The Krona And US Debt Fizzle


Square: The firm, touted by some on the sell side as “FinTech’s best idea,” had a stock boost this week. At the same time, news has emerged that Square has filed a patent to help merchants accept bitcoin and other cryptos at its POS devices — possibly even through its Cash app. Bitcoin making inroads? Maybe bit by bit.

India: Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway sinks $360 million into One97. The investment comes amid ramped up activity in the country among players such as Google and Facebook, which are putting their own mobile payments offerings out there. Diwali may make all the difference.

Wholesale Clubs: BJ’s IPO results show the clubs are a sticky and popular business model. Net sales were up 4.3 percent year-on-year for the second quarter, and analysts see merchandise and store experience resonating with the customer base, indicating some staying power in the brick-and-mortar realm.


Krona: The Swedish currency takes it place among other decliners, such as the Turkish lira and Venezuela’s bolívar, amid economic woes writ large. The currency is down eight percent for the year against the euro, and the lingering impacts of the trade war are to blame. Corporates may wish to watch out. PYMNTS’ International Payments Playbook discusses the impact that U.S. companies have if they hold foreign currencies — amid, say, the Brexit vote or the vagaries of individual economies.

Debt, and more debt: Moody’s — through the voice of Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi — sounded the alarm at the beginning of the week as corporate debt is getting, in his eyes, too concentrated and too high.  Glimmers of the subprime lending spike seem to be shimmering as the leveraged loan market stands at $1.4 trillion, and U.S. firms, counting all debt, hold $2.7 trillion in liabilities.

Wells Fargo: Call it account fraud, served up a bit differently. This time around, the scandal is not about opening sham accounts — but a literal feeding frenzy. At the time of this writing, more than a dozen employees at the firm have been let go for doctoring expense accounts, specifically for meals, on the corporate dime.