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Top Bitcoin Gambling Brands Get Extra Boost from CoinPoint’s Expertise

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Top and emerging brands rely on CoinPoint’s expertise in the Bitcoin gambling niche to help them reach their target goals on the cryptocurrency gambling market. The premier Bitcoin media and marketing agency is the answer to the concerns and dilemmas of Bitcoin casinos and gambling sites aiming to be ahead of the competition. With enough skills and knowledge in spearheading the career of even the smallest and newest names in the industry, this firm is more than equipped to provide unparalleled and spot-on solutions. CoinPoint, which officially began operations in 2013, is an Australian online marketing company dedicated to catering to various Bitcoin markets. It boasts excellent credentials in the field, backed by years of experience, as well as the […]

The post Top Bitcoin Gambling Brands Get Extra Boost from CoinPoint’s Expertise appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Australian Securities Regulator Puts Brakes on Bitcoin IPO

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

An Australian cryptocurrency firm is facing fresh delays on its road to debuting on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Expedia Exec: Purchases With Bitcoin Are Down 40%

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Expedia's Connie Chung, senior payments product manager, speaks to CoinDesk about the travel giant's bitcoin payment integration.

French Megabank Société Générale Seeks Bitcoin Expert

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

One of France's biggest banks is looking to hire a developer with a focus on bitcoin.

Time For Plan Bitcoin? Barclays to Close Certain Cypriot and Greek Accounts

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

British bank Barclays has confirmed they will be implementing new requirements for account holders living in certain other parts of Europe, particularly Cyprus and Greece, which have both experienced significant economic turmoil in recent times. The bank's new requirement is a minimum balance of €100,000 for account holders residing in these zones, or else they'll have to find a new solution by September. A representative told the Cyprus Mail that this move is part of an internal risk management strategy established at the end of 2013. We haven't taken this decision lightly and are not looking to simply exit these […]

The post Time For Plan Bitcoin? Barclays to Close Certain Cypriot and Greek Accounts appeared first on CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

Bitcoin in the Docks: 7 Crypto Court Cases

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

CoinDesk takes a take a trip down memory lane, looking at some of the more high-profile bitcoin-related court cases.

New York Court Rejects Facebook Bid to Stop Search Warrants

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

As it stands now, it is crystal clear that Facebook Inc. has failed in its bid to stop the biggest search warrant ever received by the company. This came to fruition as a result of a court ruling in New York. The ruling has the potential of mitigating the volume of information social media sites relay to law enforcement agencies in the future.

The post New York Court Rejects Facebook Bid to Stop Search Warrants appeared first on CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

12 Types Of Currency Throughout History You Could Eat, Drink or Smoke

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Earlier this month a regional court in Moscow ruled that farmer Mikhail Shlyapnikov could not print or use his own currency. Shlyapnikov plans to appeal the ruling. The farmer introduced his own type of exchange unit, kolions, to insulate his village from economic turmoil. The currency name comes from his village, Kolionovo, and was pegged to the potato, with one kolion equaling 10 kilograms of potatoes which could be exchanged for labor or other food. Shlyapnikov, who was formerly a Moscow business man, left the business world for farming 10 years ago. He doesn’t call kolions money. Instead, loan receipts. Shlyapnikov’s […]

The post 12 Types Of Currency Throughout History You Could Eat, Drink or Smoke appeared first on CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

Here's the most negative thing you'll read about Apple today (AAPL)

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

apple china

Apple might have a China problem. 

In a note to clients following Apple's third quarter results, analysts at Cowen downgraded shares of Apple to "Market Perform" from "Outperform."

And their big concern: China. 

Here's Cowen:

While [management]  commentary sought to re-assure, iPhone units were light even adjusting for channel inventory. Normally, this would not concern us but evidence of a widespread demand reset from China is mounting (auto #s, UTX, FCS, LLTC to name a few from what we watch).

Everyone worried about an economic slowdown in China and the impacts it could have on the US economy should read that again: "... evidence of a widespread demand reset from China is mounting ..."

On Tuesday, defense giant United Technologies cut its full year sales outlook for, among other reasons, "a slowing China," and in June, Chinese auto sales declined over the prior year for the first time in over 2 years. Decidedly negative signals from the world's second-largest economy. 

In the last few months, we've seen a huge sell off in the Chinese stock market, which has either been viewed as a harbinger of assured global economic doom, or not a big deal because the Chinese economy isn't as financialized (meaning the actual economy won't be greatly impacted by big swings in the stock market) as, say, the US economy. 

But as Cowen notes, whether the impact on US companies is related to the recent stock market action or not, there appears to be something off about the Chinese economy — despite China reporting better-than-expected GDP growth in the second quarter. At least as it appears to some of the biggest US companies. 

On Wednesday, Apple shares were selling off after the company's third quarter results disappointed on sales, particularly for iPhone. On the company's earnings conference call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the iPhone sales miss was due to lower inventory. 

bii iphone sales growth 2Q15At least by our count, Cowen appears to be the only Wall Street firm that downgraded Apple shares following the quarter, while most other firms either said Wednesday's decline presents an opportunity to buy shares at a lower price, or emphasized that despite the disappointment, their thesis for Apple shares remains intact. 

In its note, Cowen wrote that while they, "dislike to downgrade stocks off earnings reports, we are convinced [Apple] has entered a transition period where risk/reward no longer supports an Outperform rating."

All companies go through cycles and things can't just get better forever. But a lot of the potential Wall Street has seen in Apple over the last year or so has been about China, which might not be the sure thing it used to seem. 

bii apple revenue by market 2Q15 bar

SEE ALSO: Here's what 12 Apple analysts are saying about the company's disappointing quarter

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Let Greece leave the eurozone

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

greek greece flag euro

The Greek financial crisis has eased — for now. But many skeptics share the worry of German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble that the bailout plan may not work, and that the only way to restore competitiveness and growth is a Greek exit from the euro.

Schäuble was blasted as a heartless German for insisting, even after the rescue package was agreed to on July 13, that "the better solution for Greece" could be a "Grexit," as it's known.

He had earlier proposed a five-year "timeout" for Greece from the common currency. For these heretical views, he was portrayed by a cartoonist as a black-clad terrorist with a knife at Greece's throat.

But maybe Schäuble has a point: What's the greater cruelty? Prolonging Greece's agony with a plan that maintains its euro zone membership but cripples it with unpayable debts and perpetual insolvency? Or taking the painful but relatively quick cure of restoring the drachma and letting it fall to a level where Greece can again be competitive and prosperous?

The bailout plan calls for reform measures that would be difficult, even if the government and public genuinely supported them. But, in fact, Greece's government and its people abhor the imposed terms of the bailout. That became clear in the July 5 referendum when 61 percent voted "no" on terms that were easier.

The bailout plan may rescue Europe — by restoring German-French amity and signaling that the currency union is intact. But it won't rescue Greece. It will leave its uncompetitive economy in the financial version of an intensive care unit, surviving on the life support of new loans and fiscal transfusions.

The kinder approach might be to let Greece leave the euro zone, in what might be called an assisted transition. A devaluation of the drachma to, say, 50 percent of the euro's value would make Greece instantly competitive and a magnet for investment. But the devaluation shouldn't go too far. The European Central Bank could pledge to intervene in currency markets to support the drachma and prevent it from falling by, say, 70 percent or more.

Greece Europe nein euro grexit

A gentle Grexit would also include the kind of "haircut" — in debt forgiveness and rescheduling — that's almost impossible if Greece retains the euro. This was Schäuble's point on July 16, when he told German radio: "No one knows at the moment how this is supposed to work without a debt haircut, and everyone knows that a debt haircut is incompatible with membership in the monetary union." This honest and probably accurate statement brought new calls for Schäuble's resignation.

Generations of experience have taught economists that currency devaluation, though a severe shock to the system, usually produces beneficial results — and often fairly quickly. Exports become much more competitive (in the case of Greece, tourism becomes a bargain).

A virtuous cycle should ensue: Revenues grow, confidence rises and, eventually, domestic demand returns. The country and some of its businesses might default on their debts, but most creditors would have no choice but to renegotiate terms if they want any repayment. It's no panacea: Inflation often follows a devaluation; and as prices rise and the currency falls, savings can be wiped out.

But the process usually restores growth. Perhaps the best example is Argentina. Like Greece, Argentina thought in the 1990s that it could boost its weak economy by having an inflexible currency. For Argentina, it was a one-to-one peg with the dollar. Things went well until corruption and mismanagement made the peg unsustainable.

argentina

Crunch time came in 2001, when Argentina defaulted on its debts and floated its currency. Its peso fell roughly 75 percent. But recovery began in 2003, and Argentina's real gross domestic product per capita has now roughly doubled from the crisis years. A debt haircut was part of Argentina's rebound. It was a nasty negotiating process, but bondholders eventually accepted deals that repaid only about 30 percent of the paper value.

If Greece returned to the drachma, a similar process might occur. The country's euro-denominated debts would roughly double, measured against the drachma. This burden would be insupportable. So creditors would have to do what the bailout so far has shielded them from — renegotiate the debt to a manageable level and put a newly competitive Greece on the path to recovery, at last.

Reforms might be easier, too, in a new Greece that had decided to set its own course. But as Schäuble discovered, Euro-correctness seems to prevent serious discussion of this option.

SEE ALSO: It's time for Germany to leave the eurozone

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NOW WATCH: 6 mind-blowing facts about Greece's economy

62% of People Say Bitcoin Will End 2015 Below $500

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Some 62% of bitcoin enthusiasts believe the digital currency's price will be less than $500 at the end of this year, according to a CoinDesk poll.

Silk Road Snitch Gets 2 ½ Years, 9 Months Remaining

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

"Deezletime" was a heroin dealer. He sold heroin to people using Ross Ulbricht's creation, the Silk Road, the first major "darknet market" which some argue was the first true use case for Bitcoin. He earned $60-70,000 per month. His real name is Michael Duch, and he was a key witness in the case against Ross Ulbricht, functionally as a way to describe to jurors how the site worked from the perspective of a dealer. Duch had no connection to Ulbricht outside of Ulbricht's identity as Dread Pirate Roberts, the site's administrator and thought leader. Some feel that Duch's real purpose […]

The post Silk Road Snitch Gets 2 ½ Years, 9 Months Remaining appeared first on CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

Bitcoin Trade Pulls Price Back To Support

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Bitcoin trade has sold price lower, but not to a new low. It appears buyers are using the low $270s as a demand zone and sellers are incapable of breaking price lower. This analysis is provided by xbt.social with a 3 hour delay. Read the full analysis here. Not a member? Join now and receive a $29 discount using the code CCN29. Bitcoin Price Analysis Time of analysis: 04h24 UTC Bitfinex 1-Day Chart From the analysis pages of xbt.social, earlier today: The 1-day 20MA (green) has been breached to the downside for the second time without a catastrophic sell-off ensuing. […]

The post Bitcoin Trade Pulls Price Back To Support appeared first on CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

Greece should look to Argentina for lessons from its 2001 default

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

A frayed Greek national flag flutters among antennas atop a building in central Athens, Greece July 20, 2015.  REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

LONDON (Reuters) - Greece just narrowly avoided crashing out of the euro but for skeptics the clock is already ticking on when large-scale default and exit from the "irreversible" euro club are raised once again.

When it is — be that in two months or two years — the lessons from Argentina are sure to be revisited.

Argentina's $100 billion default in 2001 was the largest in history. It yanked the peso from its peg to the dollar and resulted in a 75 percent devaluation.

This shattered the economy. Real gross domestic product slumped 15 percent, inflation reached 40 percent, and household and business finances were crippled. To this day, the government remains cut off from international capital markets.

But, with the aid of serendipitous global economic conditions, Argentina's economy soon recovered.

So severe has been the recession in Greece since 2008 and so great are its debts, that some economists say Greece might be best served also crashing out of its currency union. Could a new drachma, 50 percent cheaper than the euro, be the catalyst for recovery?

"The parallels with Argentina are there. A broken banking system, an unsustainable debt, and the need to restore and enhance international competitiveness," said Barry Eichengreen, professor of economics and political science at the University of California, Berkeley.

"But there are reasons to think that reintroduction of the drachma and devaluation would do less for Greece than devaluation did for Argentina. Greece is less open, it exports less," he said.

The dollar's 30 percent rise over 1999-2001 made Argentina's exports uncompetitive on global export markets, especially when set against the currency collapse of neighbor and rival Brazil, and ultimately forced the central bank to break the dollar peg.

Greece's competitive problems are more deep-rooted. Not even the 40 percent collapse in wages since 2008 has lowered unit labor costs sufficiently to kick-start exports.

This begs the question, if an "internal" devaluation so large hasn't made Greece more competitive or boosted activity, why would an equally large "external" devaluation make any difference?

After all, if there's no demand and limited capacity to boost supply, it makes no difference to activity if a country's goods are cheaper because of lower wages or a lower currency.

Argentina, a major exporter of commodities, was lucky its currency collapsed just as the global commodity boom was taking off. This gave a huge positive terms-of-trade boost to domestic consumption and a major lift to exports.

"That's not going to be repeated for Greece," said Willem Buiter, chief global economist at Citi and co-author of a report in 2012 which introduced the term 'Grexit'.

"It is a much more closed economy, and it has absolutely no hope of getting carried along on a tourism and shipping equivalent of Argentina's global commodity super cycle."

argentina

MIND THE OUTPUT GAP

But recent history suggests large-scale devaluations often do eventually get a pick-up in growth.

Russia's real GDP expanded by 40 percent in the five years following the ruble's 75 percent devaluation in 1998, South Korea's grew by 30 percent in the five years following the won's 45 percent fall in 1997, and Argentina's grew by 25 percent.

Similar but less pronounced trends were seen in Mexico, Malaysia and Thailand following their respective devaluations in 1994, 1997 and 1997, according to Capital Economics.

"You shouldn't downplay the negative shock in the first year after devaluation. It would be big," said Andrew Kenningham at Capital Economics.

"But there would almost certainly be a period of very rapid growth and recovery in employment. In Argentina, employment started growing within the year, and that would probably happen in Greece."

Also even if Greece were to leave the euro it would in all likelihood stay in the European Union, meaning it would continue to be a net recipient of financial aid.

But more importantly, its "output gap" - the difference between actual and potential growth - could accelerate any rebound.

The larger the output gap ahead of a major devaluation, the bigger the recovery. And Greece's output gap is huge at around 13 percent, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development calculates.

Greece's economy showed tentative signs of stopping the rot last year, but months of acrimonious negotiations over its bailout since Syriza swept to power in January have plunged it back in recession.

Debt as a proportion of the overall economy will nudge 200 percent, according to the International Monetary Fund, and many observers reckon it will never be paid back in full.

Something has to give.

"Years from now, will Europeans look back and say we extended the bailout for Greece for too long?" said Mickey Levy, member of the U.S. Shadow Open Market Committee and co-author of a 2012 paper "Greece's predicament: Lessons from Argentina".

(Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)

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Ashley Madison Users Now Free to Come and Go

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Perhaps in an effort at damage control as regards their core audience, Ashley Madison today announced that there will no longer be a "Full Delete Fee."

The post Ashley Madison Users Now Free to Come and Go appeared first on CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

Coin.mx Bitcoin Exchange Operators Arrested

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Two Florida men are facing some serious felony charges that intersect both Bitcoin and the money transfer business. According to federal authorities, Anthony R. Murgio and Yuri Lebedev never bothered to get a Money Services Business license for Coin.mx, a Bitcoin exchange. The FBI's statement on the matter calls Coin.mx / Collectables Club a "phony front business" and mentions that the men also utilized a federal credit union that they bought solely for the purpose of washing dirty money. In doing so, they knowingly exchanged cash for people whom they believed may be engaging in criminal activity. MURGIO and his […]

The post Coin.mx Bitcoin Exchange Operators Arrested appeared first on CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

The weird Florida connection in a massive bank data breach that impacted 76 million households

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

A sign outside the headquarters of JP Morgan Chase & Co in New York, September 19, 2013. JPMorgan Chase & Co will pay $920 million in penalties in two countries to settle some of its potential liabilities from its

Four arrests made on Tuesday in two separate cases—one involving penny stocks and the other an underground Bitcoin exchange—might tie back to last year's massive cyberattack against JPMorgan Chase, Bloomberg News reports.

Two people were arrested in Israel and the other two were arrested in Florida. One person is still at large.

The JPMorgan cyberattack is not mentioned in any of the indictments.

What's striking about these two separate cases is that they can be connected by a friendship that goes back a decade to Florida State University, Bloomberg News pointed out.

Anthony Murgio, 31, was arrested in Florida and charged with running an unlicensed Bitcoin exchange. He was also charged with one count of money laundering.

Joshua S. Aaron, a 31-year-old American citizen who resides in Tel Aviv and Moscow, faces multiple charges related to an alleged penny stock scheme. Aaron is the one who remains at large.

On what appears to be Murgio's personal website, he mentions his friend Aaron, who he said "showed me the ropes to online marketing." 

Murgio and Aaron were both mentioned in an FBI memo from October 2014 regarding the JPMorgan hack, the Bloomberg report said. Bloomberg News noted that it was asked not to report about the memo earlier this year because it might impact the FBI's investigation. 

The JPMorgan breach

Last year, JPMorgan said that 76 million households and 7 million small businesses may have had their data compromised in a cyberattack. At the time, the bank said that that the hackers had access to customer names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses.

No customer money was lost. The bank also said there was no indication that account numbers, passwords, user IDs, dates of birth or Social Security numbers were compromised.

That attack was so massive though that it was even believed that the Russian government may have been behind it.

Millions of penny stock emails

penny stock fraudThe US Attorney's Office in New York charged Gery Shalon, Joshua Samuel Aaron, and Zvi Orenstein for their roles in an alleged multi-million dollar penny stock pump-and-dump that goes back to 2011.

Shalon, 31, and Orenstein, 41, were arrested in Israel by the Israel Police.

Aaron hasn't been arrested. Bloomberg pointed out that his wife shared photos on Instagram of them in St. Petersburg, Russia just a couple of days ago. We've also sent an email to Aaron seeking comment. 

The Securities and Exchange Commission has also filed civil charges against the trio. 

Shalon, who used the aliases "Phillipe Mousset" and "Christopher Engeham," and Aaron, who went by "Mike Shields," allegedly wrote emails that Shalon allegedly disseminated through "their possession of vast email lists," the SEC said. Orenstein, who went by "Aviv Stein" and"John Avery",  is accused of handling brokerage accounts using the aliases.

Authorities said that they sent spam emails to millions of people daily that contained "materially false" and "fraudulent" statements about the microcap companies based in Florida, Virginia, South Carolina, and California. They also allegedly used about 20 promotional sites to tout these stocks.

"These promotional campaigns frequently urged people to buy shares of the promoted issuers without properly disclosing that the promoters themselves owned shares of these issuers and, contrary to their exhortations to readers of their emails to buy shares, intended to sell those shares immediately," the SEC alleged in its complaint.

The Florida arrests

The US Attorney's Office in New York also arrested and charged Florida residents Anthony Murgio, 31, and Yuri Lebedev, 37,  for allegedly running an unlicensed Bitcoin exchange that "exchanged at least $1.8 million for Bitcoins on behalf of tens of thousands of customers."

Murgio and Lebedev are accused of "knowingly operated Coin.mx, a Bitcoin exchange service, in violation of federal anti-money laundering (“AML”) laws and regulations," the US Attorney's Office in New York said.

Murgio and his co-conspirators are also accused of having "knowingly exchanged cash for Bitcoins for victims of 'ransomware' attacks, that is, cyberattacks in which criminals (here, distributors of the ransomware known as 'Cryptowall') electronically block access to a victim’s computer system until a sum of 'ransom' money, typically in Bitcoins, is paid to them." 

The US Attorney's Office alleged that the pair hid the illegal exchange under the guise that they were operating a business called the "Collectables Club," a members-only group for people to buy and sell collectibles like sports memorabilia.

Public records show a number of fictitious businesses registered to Murgio, including the "Collectables Club." The records also show that in 2013 he was hit with felony charges for allegedly not paying $110,000 in sales taxes for a a restaurant he owned.

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NOW WATCH: People doing backflips on a two-inch wide strap is a real sport called slacklining

2016 presidential candidates are starting to talk about the $18.6 trillion national debt

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Chris Christie

After months of relative silence from the candidates, the 2016 presidential campaign trail suddenly is alive with ideas – both substantive and frothy -- for addressing the long-term federal debt.

And while the debt is not likely to dominate the first GOP presidential debate in Cleveland next month, budget watchdog and anti-deficit groups have begun putting pressure on the candidates to explain their views on averting a long-term debt crisis.

Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a budget watchdog group, said on Monday that she and other advocates of spending restraints have been surprised by the extent of voter interest in the long-term debt in Iowa, New Hampshire and other early primary states. “It is getting brought up with the candidates a lot,” she said.

However, she added, the jury is still out on the extent to which Republican and Democratic candidates begin to offer more thoughtful and far-ranging ideas that would be useful in starting a real discussion about the deficit.

Plans Start Emerging

Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie arguably is leading the Republican pack with the most provocative and politically risky plan for averting a long-term debt crisis through major reforms of Social Security and Medicare and the federal tax code.

Christie’s Social Security plan would gradually raise the normal retirement age to 69 and the early retirement age to 64, as well as eliminate the payroll tax for people above age 62 and below age 25. His Medicare plan would gradually raise the eligibility age to 69 by 2064, while expanding the existing sliding scale for Medicare premiums for higher income seniors.

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush has vowed to address the debt problem by shrinking the size of government and generating government revenues with policies that would foster a four-percent annual increase in the economy, a GDP goal far more ambitious than many budget and economic experts say is realistic.

rand paulOther Republicans -- including Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio Florida and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee -- are calling for adoption of a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution – long a favorite chestnut of conservatives but one virtually impossible to achieve. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has called for entitlement reform and more spending cuts across the board. And Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says that a combination of tax reform and shifting responsibility for costly social and domestic programs from the federal government to the states would be his solution.

On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has yet to offer any specific proposals for addressing the long-term debt, although she has spent considerable time blaming former Republican President George W. Bush for squandering a huge budget surplus with major tax cuts and wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Clinton’s main Democratic challenger, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, says that wealthy Americans must bear the burden of debt by paying higher taxes.

The Story Shifts

In the wake of a dramatically shrinking deficit – from a zenith of $1.4 trillion in fiscal 2009 in the depths of the recession to a mere $483 billion last year – the fiscal narrative in Washington shifted from how to reduce the deficit to how to keep the economic recovery going.

However, a sobering report issued June 13 by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office warned that the budgetary good times will be short-lived. A return to ballooning deficits in the next few years could undermine the economy and greatly add to the government’s borrowing costs.

Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director Douglas Elmendorf addresses The Atlantic's Economy Summit during an onstage interview in Washington March 18, 2014. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Largely because of the aging baby boomers and rising health care costs, the extended baseline projections indicate that revenues will fall far short of spending over the long term, producing a substantial imbalance in the federal budget. Consequently, budget deficits are projected to rise steadily. By 2040, federal debt held by the public will rise to a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product last seen during the final year of World War II, the CBO warned.

More recently, amid fears that the debt crises in Greece and Puerto Rico could ripple throughout the global economy, many of the 2016 presidential aspirants have begun paying more attention to the U.S. government’s long-term debt prognosis.

Evaluating the Plans

“We’re not Greece yet, but there’s always that fear because somewhere in the future we’re in uncharted [financial] territory,” Bob Sunshine, deputy director of the CBO, said today. “Nobody really knows what the tipping point is, but we’re in uncharted territory” with regard to the U.S. economy.

Sunshine took part in a program sponsored by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a budget and deficit watchdog group, to review the state of play in government defense and domestic spending and entitlement programs.

The CFRB’s “Fix the Debt” campaign and the Concord Coalition have been jointly beating the drum on the presidential campaign trail recently to try to generate more discussion about debt issues and force the candidates to take public stands on what they would do with their budgets. As part of this effort, MacGuineas and other officials have been compiling and evaluating the public statements of candidates.

With regard to Bush’s proposals, for example, MacGuineas said that “4 percent growth is certainly unlikely,” while calls by other GOP candidates for a balanced budget amendment are misguided because they are focusing on a process and not a comprehensive policy for reducing the deficit.

As for Sanders’ call for expanded Social Security benefits, MacGuineas argued that it would be unwise to promise expanded retirement benefits when the existing program is projected to run low on money.

She praised Christie for unveiling a comprehensive plan for addressing the debt and deficit despite widespread opposition to such a move by many Democrats and some Republicans who are reluctant to touch major entitlement programs.

“He talked about some hard choices,” MacGuineas said. “He talked about raising the retirement age and he talked about means testing [of benefits]. A lot of things that you could agree with or disagree with his policy, but he put out some things that he definitely will take arrows for.”

 

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Coin.mx Execs Arrested for Operating Illegal Bitcoin Exchange

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Two operators of Coin.mx were arrested today and charged with unlawful money transmission and money laundering.

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