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The 7 Biggest Capital Markets Disruptors of 2023

2023 Disruptors

At the start of 2023 many of us will remember how much of China was still facing a lockdown. At the same time the rest of us were grappling with the tide of inflation that was sweeping across the world. In today’s story we hope to summarize some of the biggest capital markets disruptors of 2023. In no particular order we wanted to shine a light on challenges that the buy-side and sell-side, and retail investors have faced. From bond markets to equities and with a little bit of digital assets thrown in.

Over the pond in the U.S. the aftereffects of the FTX disaster were still being felt. So much so that in Texas the local legislature started discussions on protecting the 8.5 million Texans who invested in cryptocurrencies. The HB 1666 was born and would feature again several times throughout the year.

2023 also saw the popularization of ChatGPT in the workplace, at home and in trading. Although the platform had already been a hit in the U.S. months before Europe woke up to everything LLM.

But the biggest story to affect capital markets at the onset of the year was the ION Group ransom attack by Lockbit. For a few weeks the CFTC struggled to support the trading activity of many firms due to the incident. However, even though ION Group eventually paid the hackers, it showed how much a cyber attack can affect capital markets. And how traders are not prepared for moving back to manual tasks.  

The Fallout from Silicon Valley Bank (1)

For those of us who were hoping for a return to normality in 2023, news from California suggested otherwise. It wasn’t just the news of Silicon Valley Banks’ inability to navigate the bond market, but several other banks were also looking like they could collapse. Hundreds of startups already reeling from the consequences of inflation were left without cash. Singapore, London, New York, and many other tech hubs were affected.

Thanks to HSBC in the UK some of the disaster was averted. Some commentators suggested that the shortfall in funding coupled with wider geopolitical struggles had put the Fintech StartUp ecosystem back 10 years.

The repercussions were mostly felt by early-stage startups. HSBC’s representatives themselves even suggested that only later-stage Fintechs were attractive for investors.

It wasn’t just inflation or SVB’s demise that worried the markets. It was the endless news of layoffs at Tech firms. Even places like Austin, Texas (normally immune to global trends) started to feel the repercussions with top notch software engineers unable to find work for long periods of time.

The Securities and Exchange Commission, the CFTC, Whistleblowers and Crypto Fines (2)

It’s been a turbulent year for Gary Gensler and his chums at the SEC. Whistleblower activity has helped bolster the regulator’s intent, whilst crypto firms continue to get fined. But fear not, Gary now has his own channel on YouTube where he regularly shares updates with his audience:

On the topic of whistleblowers, in May this year the SEC awarded nearly $279 million to one whistleblower. But, perhaps the most telling story of the year was when the SEC charged the creator of Stoner Cats Web Series for unregistered offering of NFTs. Something that sparked a cascade of activity on the platform formerly known as Twitter.

Interestingly, fast forwarding to the end of the year, it wasn’t the SEC that helped bring Binance’s CEO CZ to justice. That honor fell to the CFTC, which also has a whistleblower policy.

No more Tweeting? (3)

To cause further havoc, Elon Musk decided to change the name of Twitter in April. Having already established ‘SpaceX’ it appears that Musk also wants a SocialMediaX to add to his already impressive portfolio. What’s next? VirtualX? EarthX? RealWorldAssetsX? Your guess is as good as ours.

Musk’s mission hasn’t stopped with X, formerly known as Twitter. The serial entrepreneur has popped up in several controversial roles in 2023. Namely reporting from the U.S. Mexico border and being named an ‘outstanding person’ by Vladimir Putin.

Space ambitions continue, with Jeff Bezos forced to hire SpaceX to help facilitate his own space ambitions with Blue Origin.

Finally, Elon Musk challenged Mark Zuckerberg to a ‘cage match’. Will the moguls’ aspirations to be everywhere ever end? Whilst he may not be able to tweet about it now. Will he ‘X’ it instead?

The Fall of Wokeness (4)

Author of Woke Inc. Vivek Ramaswamy is a candidate for President representing the Republicans. Similarly to Ron DeSantis, Governor of Florida, Ramaswamy is not partial to the woke culture that has swept through parts of the U.S. in recent years. However, in 2023 things changed.

Ben & Jerry’s, Starbucks, Budweiser and a host of other firms had to change tack in 2023 as customers boycotted the companies overtly ‘woke’ branding. Globally wokeness may be continuing in some countries, but in the U.S. its popularity has peaked.

Beefing up Recruitment on Wall Street (5)

There have been 14% less IPOs in the U.S. this year than in 2022. Equities have had a mixed year. Bucking the trend has been the performance of the S&P 500 which has grown steadily in 2023. At the same time the high inflation environment has meant some of Wall Street’s stalwarts have had to change their investment strategies.

Not so much at firms like Deutsche Bank or Moelis & Co. who have both ramped up recruitment of senior executives in 2023. With inflation dropping and equity markets showing signs of recovery they clearly had a plan and stuck to it.

Selling your Data to Worldcoin became a ‘Thing’ (6)

ChatGPT wasn’t the only reason that Sam Altman, founder of ChatGPT was in the news in 2023. Many people in Kenya heard about him first when they discovered a huge orb in a shopping centre in Nairobi. After 350,000 people were reported to have sold their data for about $60 each the Kenyan government stepped in to ban the Worldcoin Orb project.

It’s uncertain what will happen with the project into 2024. But one thing people have noticed is the proximity of the project to Microsoft through ChatGPT. In fact, the value of Worldcoin’s tokens (WLD) were affected when Sam Altman was forced out of ChatGPT. WLD token went up 7% when news of Altman joining Microsoft was announced.

And this wasn’t the only reason that Microsoft were in the press in 2023. The Activision Blizzard deal finally went through in October this year. At a mouth watering $68.7 billion.

How Wise is making the London Stock Exchange look good

London hasn’t had a good year for IPOs. Only 23 companies have listed so far in 2023, half of the number that listed in 2022. It’s been a good year for some of the largest companies like HSBC or 3i Group, but many of them like Astra Zeneca or Vodafone have not fared as well.

One of the standout companies has been Wise. The fintech’s share price has shot up more than 33% in 2023 so far after some fantastic results.

HSBC Global Research suggested back in August that Wise could go to 900p a share. As it stands the share price has almost hit this number and the year hasn’t ended yet. Both Wise and HSBC are helping to keep the LSE attractive. Perhaps next year things will start to rebound for all things London.

The Argentinian Financial Revolution (7)

This week saw the first repercussions of the financial policies that President Javier Milei is seeking to bring in. News of the latest devaluation of the Argentine Peso has been met with protests. Bearing in mind that the new president only started his role on the 10th of December, 2024 looks like a year full of challenges for one of the most disruptive figures in South America.

As we come to the end of a year that has seen conflict, disaster, scandals, cybercrime, and a host of other challenges, we hope our summary gives our readers something to read over Christmas. There were, undoubtedly, a host of other disruptors that we may have missed in our summary, one of them being the Bitcoin ETF. This and many other disruptors may spill over into 2024 where we think alternative investment strategies will continue to rise in popularity.

Finally, will 2023 be the last year that we see the 60/40 model being used by portfolio managers? Will 2024 be the year of the 40/20/20? Follow Disruption Banking and we can try to find out together.

Author: Andy Samu

See Also:

‘The 60/40 Model Is Dead’: Is Larry Fink Right? | Disruption Banking

The 7 Most Influential Disruptors of Investment Banking in 2021 (

#IONGroup #WorldCoin #Wokeness #Twitter #SiliconValleyBank #Texas #Moelis #DeutscheBank #Activision #Wise #Argentina

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