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Banks Are Ripping You Off, Says Affirm CEO Max Levchin

Also: What Marissa Mayer is doing right at Yahoo.

Vjeran Pavic for Re/code

Max Levchin has been a serial entrepreneur for nearly two decades — and over time, he’s realized he’s also a serious one.

Levchin joined Kara Swisher on the latest episode of “Re/code Decode to talk about his nearly two decades founding companies such as PayPal,, Glow and Affirm. Although was focused on social entertainment, he said applying data to more weighty problems like fertility and money lending has been more enriching for him.

“Today, most banks have a fundamental misalignment of incentives with their customers,” Levchin said in reference to his financing startup Affirm. “A tremendous amount of profits come from late fees.”

Vjeran Pavic for Re/code

He also discussed mentoring entrepreneurs, why finance is becoming a hot field for both founders and investors, and the future of Yahoo, from whose board he recently stepped down.

“There are things that are worth destroying because there’s a better version,” Levchin said. “But an iconic Internet brand like Yahoo that still has a billion people who see it every month … I hope there’s a place [for it] in the new world.”

Listen to or download the episode in the player above, or click here to subscribe to “Re/code Decode” on iTunes; you can also find “Re/code Decoderight here on TuneIn.

Peter Kafka will be in this space on Thursday to talk to BuzzFeed’s Shani Hilton. Kara will be back on Monday to talk to Lyft President John Zimmer.

If you like this show, don’t miss our newest podcast: “Too Embarrassed to Ask.” It’s a bigger and better version of Lauren Goode and Kara Swisher’s weekly Q&A segment from “Re/code Decode.” Click here to subscribe to the new show on iTunes right now. And you should also check out “Re/code Replay,” an archive of audio content from our events and interviews by Kara Swisher, Walt Mossberg, Peter Kafka, Ina Fried and more. To subscribe to that, click right here.

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