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Opinion
Chris Bryant

Spotify's $26 Billion Value Is Hard to Put Your Finger On

Intangible assets present real difficulties for financiers and accountants.
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Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg

What's the point of banks? The notion that they take our savings and lend them to businesses that want to buy equipment or build a factory is quaint, but often wrong. Nowadays banks would rather help you buy a house than create a company.  

Lending against a property is pretty straightforward, compared to deciding whether a business will succeed. So perhaps banks have just become more risk-averse, as critics suggest.