Daivd Zalik, founder and CEO of GreenSky Credit, has managed to build a fortune estimated at $2.5 billion. He has accumulated all of this wealth under the radar with an innovative financial services tech startup. His company, GreenSky Credit, operates through a smartphone app. Affluent homeowners log into the app to see what kind of home improvement loan that they can secure. Loan options pop up immediately and approval happens just as quickly.
GreenSky Credit works with over 17,000 contractors who perform all of the renovations. The contractors give him 6% of the loan amount and then Zalik takes that loan to the bank. the bank assumes all of the risks and kicks the tech startup 1% of the loan amount, as well.
Forbes has estimated $250 million in revenue in 2017 alone. Moody’s has projected $400 million in revenue in 2018. And this financial tech company has stayed under control of Zalik for its entirety. But the Wall Street Journal has just discovered that Zalik has confidentially filed for an IPO with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The IPO has a potential to drum up $1 to $5 billion. However, Zalik could still rescind his IPO in order to protect his brainchild. After all, this high school dropout hatched the idea for GreenSky Credit back when he was a teenager.
The reclusive billionaire has managed to figure out a way to connect homeowners with lenders without assuming any risk. He’s the middleman and doesn’t own a thing. Contractors do the work while banks assume the risk. That’s how Zalik has used GreenSky Credit to amass a $2.5 billion fortune.
And this flies in the face of standard Silicone Valley business protocol. Other massive companies like Uber and Stripe remain private so long as they have the quarterly earnings to fuel the business operations. And it’s rather en vogue for young tech startups to fight against the establishment by avoiding banks altogether.
But Zalik and GreenSky Credit have embraced banks. Zalik has also worked hard throughout his life to avoid diluting his ownership stake. It’ll be interesting where this IPO takes him.
Technically, a foreign entity is prohibited from making contributions to political campaigns. This is a difficult rule to enforce, and when it occurs nobody knows quite what to do. This situation is additionally affected by the lax campaign finance laws in the country. Lawmakers and right-wing lobbyists have conspired to dismantle laws placing limits on contributions made to political campaigns. This has led to ultra-wealthy individuals having a say in the political process, and it is possible some are not American citizens.
The political gridlock and legal loopholes in government prevent knowing the exact amount of foreign money used in 2016. What is known is the Russians were not the only foreign donors. Donations of $1.3 million came from Chinese nationals through American Pacific International Capital. Super PAC donations were made by a shell corporation for a wealthy Mexican entrepreneur. Fifteen cases of illegal campaign spending by foreigners were being investigated when 2017 began.
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The cause was the case of Citizens United v. the U.S. Federal Election Commission in 2010. The Supreme Court’s decision was dangerous because it classified political donations in the category of speech. Now the constitution protects unlimited political donations from advocacy groups, labor unions, and corporations. Political donors expect their investments to provide a return. When these donations are not limited, politicians can be bribed. Making it past the primary without major financial backing has become an impossibility.
Democrats have proposed numerous measures to stop unlimited political spending. They are backing End Citizens United, a political action committee founded to counter the influence of corporate and foreign funds. Their website states their donations support the champions of campaign-finance reform. With an average contribution of only $12, the $4 million collected in 2017 was impressive. Currently, fighting against the mega-rich donors means outspending them. This is the reason institutional change has become critical. It is not possible to stop the foreign donors from having an influence in the elections, but it is possible to prevent them from achieving success.
Today’s democracy has become more fragile than it has ever been in the past. This is because of the money influencing politics. Once politicians attempt to rig the system, their example being emulated by outsiders should not come as a surprise. End Citizens United is trying to place a limit on the amount of funding allowed in United States elections. They are a nonprofit organization, and were founded because of the aftermath resulting from the controversial decision made by the Supreme Court in 2010. End Citizens United does not believe political candidates should receive unlimited donations. For this reason, they are fighting for the Democrats and campaign finance reform. They are bringing the attention of the public to the corruption and dark money now present in politics to restore the democracy’s integrity.
For more information about End Citizens United, just click http://chronicleweek.com/2017/10/randy-bryce-is-the-perfect-fit-for-end-citizens-united/