Yesterday, Jim Cramer, host of the famous CNBC’s program Mad Money, talked about how he did not understand how bank stocks failed to score a rally after the Federal Reserve announced that they will be increasing interest rates four times in the next year. The host explained that by default they would have to rise, but he also had an alternative explanation for that.
Jim Cramer is an old school stock investor, since 1984. Working in hedge fund management from that year, he managed to have only one negative year. Since then, he founded TheStreet, an informative portal to give investors info on the stock market status. So, he has an incredible experience to grasp what the market is telling investors.
Jim Cramer says that the only way that he could explain the mediocre performance of banking stocks even with the announcement of the federal reserve is that these stocks could be facing pressure from the new payment technologies such as Paypal, Venmo and also from cryptocurrencies. He stated:
“THERE ARE PLENTY OF YOUNGER PORTFOLIO MANAGERS WHO THINK THE BANKS ARE LIKE SEARS AND J.C. PENNEY: THEY’RE OLD-LINE BRICK-AND-MORTAR STORES THAT ARE ABOUT TO LOSE THEIR RELEVANCE”
He praised Paypal as the “Amazon” of banking, and the international bank of the unbanked, telling that even if it is not a bank, it really acts like one to people in different countries around the world.
But then he commented on the influence of blockchain and cryptocurrencies as the emergent tech that is directed to terminate banks. He declared:
“THEN THERE ARE THE POTENTIALLY EXISTENTIAL THREATS THAT I JUST MENTIONED: BLOCKCHAIN, WHICH SOME PEOPLE BELIEVE COULD POSSIBLY END THE BANKS’ HEGEMONY OVER STOCK CLEARING, AND CRYPTOCURRENCIES, WHICH ARE THE POPULIST INSURGENTS OF THE BLOCKCHAIN MOVEMENT”
Even when the cryptocurrency market has been stagnating for a while; and has dropped more than 50% of its value since last December, the idea of bypassing banks is revolutionary enough to be viewed as an alternative payment method that has already been adopted by many stores around the world. Finally, he said that banks stocks will be unable to gain their groove back due to these facts.