1 watch actual coin news with cryptomarket mood rating.

Bitcoin Overcomes Roadblocks and Takes Off: Germany’s Public International Broadcaster

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

[…]

The post Bitcoin Overcomes Roadblocks and Takes Off: Germany’s Public International Broadcaster appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

MORGAN STANLEY: It might be time for Harley Davidson to think 'more radically' (HOG)

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

Harley-Davidson XG750R

 

  • Harley Davidson has been struggling, in part because its core customer is getting older. 
  • The company reported better-than-expected third quarter earnings.
  • But challenges remain, and the best path forward might be to consider "strategic options," according to Morgan Stanley. 

The best road ahead for Harley Davidson might be the one that says "sale."

The US-based motorcycle company reported better-than-expected third-quarter earnings on Wednesday, but that may not be enough to pull the company out of rough territory, Adam Jonas, a Morgan Stanley analyst, said.

Jonas expressed concern over Harley's forward guidance. The company hopes to see an improvement in profits thanks to higher pricing on some of its bikes, a favorable foreign exchange rate, and a richer product mix.

"Harley does not necessarily have the visibility or control of the variables for us to be convinced that the company is in a position to deliver on this, particularly given challenging industry dynamics," Jonas wrote.

In a note titled "Messy Quarter: Too Soon to Consider Strategic Options?" Jonas suggested it might be time for the company to "think more radically."

Morgan Stanley looked at a five-year leveraged buy-out scenario as a valuation tool:

"We execute a hypothetical buyout of the company’s equity funded 70% by new debt and 30% by new equity, normalizing HOG’s adjusted EBITDA margin to 22% (18% OP margin) by 2021 at which time we ‘exit’ the business at a 10x EV/EBITDA multiple from which we deduct remaining motorcycle net debt. The price we can pay for HOG while achieving a 25% IRR hurdle rate is $54 per share."

That's 12.5% higher that Harley Davidson's stock price late Wednesday, and in line with Morgan Stanley's target price.  

SEE ALSO: US car sales have soared the last 2 years — but the future doesn't look as promising

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Is bitcoin a bubble or the future of everything?

A massive deal in the cannabis industry just imploded after a CEO was fired

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

Marijuana

  • MassRoots was set to buy CannaRegs for a $12 million stock deal announced in August.
  • The deal imploded after MassRoots' CEO, Isaac Dietrich, was fired.
  • CannaRegs' CEO, Amanda Ostrowitz, said she pulled the plug on the deal to focus on what's best for her company.


CannaRegs
is pulling out of a deal with MassRoots after MassRoots' CEO was abruptly fired by the company's board on Tuesday, CannaRegs CEO Amanda Ostrowitz told Business Insider on Wednesday afternoon.

MassRoots, a technology platform for cannabis consumers, announced in August that it was buying CannaRegs, a subscription-based service that provides businesses access to all local, state, and federal cannabis regulations, for a $12 million stock deal.

The deal is now off after "turmoil" at MassRoots, Ostrowitz said. Isaac Dietrich, MassRoots' CEO, was ousted by the company's board on Tuesday while Ostrowitz was traveling in Italy.

"I had no idea what the hell was going on with the board," Ostrowitz told Business Insider. "We're pulling the plug."

Business Insider has confirmed the deal cancellation with multiple sources close to the negotiations and reviewed a draft letter from Ostrowitz announcing that the deal was off.

Ostrowitz said she needed to do what was best for CannaRegs and "not be on a roller-coaster ride."

marijuana recreational dispensary las vegas nevada

Ostrowitz, a lawyer by trade, said she had not spoken directly to members of MassRoots' board and had instead received a confirmation of the withdrawal directly from the company's lawyers.

"This was a deal we absolutely intended to do," Ostrowitz said. "We were in the due diligence, paperwork phase. We did everything we needed to do."

Ostrowitz also praised Dietrich, saying he has a "huge heart" and that she wants "what's best for him."

Adding to the confusion, Ostrowitz said she hadn't intended to sell CannaRegs before she was approached by MassRoots. At the time, she was raising funding for CannaRegs after fending off another attempt to purchase the company.

Industry insiders told Green Market Report that the price MassRoots offered for CannaRegs was too high and was most likely a key reason Dietrich was ousted.

"We're still on good terms with MassRoots," Ostrowitz said. "But Isaac shouldn't be out of the picture."

Ostrowitz declined to comment on the drama at MassRoots — she instead said CannaRegs was cash-flow positive and debt-free but would need to raise funds to achieve a higher growth rate.

Ostrowitz said she was dealing with the canceled deal while in Italy on a working vacation, which she said had been more work than vacation.

"I need to go eat some pasta," she said.

SEE ALSO: Marijuana social media company Massroots is making a big bet on software

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: TOP STRATEGIST: Bitcoin will soar to $25,000 in 5 years

American Express' CEO is stepping down (AXP)

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

American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault

American Express Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Chenault is stepping down after 37 years at the company, a company press release said on Wednesday.

He will be replaced by Stephen Squeri, who has served as the company's vice chairman since 2015. Before that, Squeri was the group president of American Express' Global Corporate Services Group. Sequeri will assume the roles of chairman and CEO as of February 1, 2018.

"We are completing a two-year turnaround ahead of plan with strong revenue and earnings growth across all of our business segments," Chenault said in the press release. "We’ve added new products and benefits, acquired record numbers of new customers, expanded our merchant network and lowered operating costs. We’ve dealt effectively with competitive challenges and redesigned our marketing, customer service and risk management capabilities for the digital age."

Chenault's departure comes after serving at the helm of the firm for nearly 17 years, during which American Express' stock returned more than 91%, excluding dividends. 

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway is the largest shareholder in American Express, holding 17.15% of the outstanding shares, according to Bloomberg. 

“Ken’s been the gold standard for corporate leadership and the benchmark that I measure others against," Buffett said in the release. "He led the company through 9/11, the financial crisis and the challenges of the last couple of years.  American Express always came out stronger."

"He’s been a great CEO and Berkshire Hathaway shareholders owe him a huge thank you," Buffett concluded. 

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: THE BOTTOM LINE: The 'Trump trade' is back and Ray Dalio breaks down the bitcoin bubble

‘We Are All Part of Consensus’: Bitcoin Communities in Brazil and Argentina Condemn SegWit2x

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

[…]

The post ‘We Are All Part of Consensus’: Bitcoin Communities in Brazil and Argentina Condemn SegWit2x appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

We asked cryptocurrency experts to respond to Jamie Dimon's bitcoin bashings — here's what they said

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

Jamie Dimon

  • Jamie Dimon has been a vocal critic of bitcoin since its earliest days, but his most recent comments have ignited a conversation about digital currencies on Wall Street.
  • Two of the bankers' main arguments against the cryptocurrency are that it is in a bubble, and it will ultimately be "crushed" by governments. 
  • We spoke with experts in the cryptocurrency space to examine those two critiques.
  • They said bitcoin's underpinning blockchain technology can't be easily jeopardized by governments and future use-cases justify its current value.

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon sparked a conversation about bitcoin among top Wall Streeters. 

Since he called the digital currency "a fraud" in September, a slew of top Wall Streeters from BlackRock's Larry Fink to Morgan Stanley's James Gorman, have weighed in on bitcoin, which is up more than 400% year-to-date.

Dimon said during JPMorgan's earnings call Thursday he would stop talking about bitcoin. His vow of silence, however, ended prematurely. The very next day Dimon bashed bitcoin at a conference in Washington, D.C. He concluded his remarks by saying he was done talking about bitcoin.

Whether Dimon can keep his word remains to be seen, but what is certain is that his critiques of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies will continue to drive conversation in both crypto- and Wall Street-circles.

'Worse than tulip bulbs'

BubbleWall Street is full of folks who think the over $160 billion cryptocurrency market is in a bubble. Dimon said it is "worse than the tulip bulbs," alluding to the speculative bubble of newly arrived tulips in 17th century Europe.

In fact, the notion that some folks are just betting on the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is not even contested among bitcoin's most fundamental followers.

Crypto-evangelists, however, would argue that such investors are in the minority, whereas the majority of cryptocurrency investors are betting on the underpinning technology of their coins and tokens, rather than just looking for a quick profit. 

"There is certainly some speculation," Ryan Taylor, a former McKinsey analyst and CEO of Dash, a top cryptocurrency. "But it's being driven by the belief that future use-cases will come to fruition."

Crypto-skeptics often rebuke the argument for future use-cases, which range from toll systems to peer-to-peer energy exchange networks, by saying they are too far off to warrant current valuations.

"The real world benefits are said to take years to materialize, even among evangelists," wrote UBS, the Switzerland-based bank in a recent note. The bank says at the end of the day people are just looking to sell at a higher price. 

Bitcoin enthusiasts respond by pointing to the utility of cryptocurrency's network, which sees more than 200,000 transactions per day, as evidence of its inherent value. Here's Stan Miroshnik, CEO and managing director, Element Group:

"The bitcoin economy is supported by all the goods and services you can buy with bitcoin, as well as the infrastructure investments made by thousands of people to support the distributed bitcoin network. All of this has fundamental value. I can pay in bitcoin faster, cheaper and more secure than with PayPal, this is a fundamental value.

PayPal did not respond for comment at the time of publication.

According to PayPal's website, a bank transfer made through their platform takes approximately one business day. A bitcoin transaction typically takes under 30 minutes, although that number frequently fluctuates. 

'Governments are going to crush it one day'

Dimon doubled down on his position that governments would be a main impediment to the future growth of bitcoin and the overall cryptocurrency market on Friday, saying sovereigns will ultimately crush it once it becomes too big of a threat to their authority. Here's Dimon (emphasis added):

The other thing I've always [said] about bitcoin, governments — and this is not a technological statement — governments are going to crush it one day. Governments like to know where the money is, who has it and what you're doing with it, in case you haven't noticed. Right?

China's recent interventions into both currency- and crypto-markets best illustrates Dimon's point. The country's regulators in September deemed initial coin offerings, a red-hot cryptocurrency-based fundraising method, illegal. And currently there is a wide-spread crackdown on bitcoin trading underway in the country. China notably has also implemented restrictions on cross-border payments between its yuan and foreign currencies to keep renminbi from exiting the country.

China is an extreme case, but numerous countries, from the US to South Korea, have ramped up efforts to impose restrictions on the wild west of cryptocurrencies. This isn't worrying most cryptocurrency enthusiasts.

Capture.PNGSamson Mow, the CSO of Blockstream, a bitcoin software company based in San Francisco, told Business Insider that governments may dislike crypto, but the degree to which they can impact the digital currency is limited. 

"Cryptocurrencies by design cannot be "closed down" because first, they are decentralized, and second, they're just information," Mow said. "To even try to close them down, you'd have to shut down the internet, and even then it would only be a minor hindrance."

The bitcoin markets seem to agree with Mow. Since China banned ICOs, for instance, bitcoin has rallied more than $1,000.

Josh Olszwicz, a bitcoin trader, told Business Insider the markets have ignored the news out of China because it is not something that impacts its underlying blockchain technology

"If it doesn't affect the protocol, then it's not a real problem," he told Business Insider."The bitcoin cash shakeup was much more worrisome from my perspective, but even then the core bitcoin protocol remained unaffected."

If a country were to completely ban bitcoin, the network would still be there for people to use. And it wouldn't be too difficult for people to get away with using bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, because the network is anonymous and transactions and trades are hard to trace.  

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Legendary economist Gary Shilling explains how you can beat the market

An explosive '60 minutes' investigation prompted a lot of backlash — and it could lead to a law getting repealed

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

orrin hatch

  • Following an explosive investigation by the Washington Post and "60 Minutes," lawmakers are calling for a repeal of a law that passed through Congress with relative ease. 
  • The Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act aimed to improve enforcement around prescription-drug abuse and diversion, but the investigation found that it may have made it more difficult for the agency to enforce fines against drug distributors.
  • Senator Orrin Hatch, who was instrumental in bringing the bill along, called the allegations about the law and how it was passed "baloney." 
  • The repeal bill, introduced Monday, still has a ways to go before it could overturn the initial law. 

A bill that once passed through Congress without much objection is now being called into question after an explosive "60 Minutes"-Washington Post investigation. 

The investigation found that members of Congress, alongside the pharmaceutical industry ,may have helped fuel the opioid crisis.

The reports led to Republican Rep. Tom Marino of Pennsylvania withdrawing his name from consideration for the president's top drug policy position. Marino had been key in creating a bill that eventually became law in 2016. 

The law, titled Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act, aimed to improve enforcement around prescription-drug abuse and diversion. But it also raised the standard of proof that the DEA needed to crack down on a company's pain-pill distribution, making it more difficult for the agency to enforce fines against the drug distributors.

Marino introduced the bill in 2014, after which it went through two years of back-and-forth, delays, and opposition from the DEA. But by the time it became law in 2016, neither the DEA nor the Justice Department objected to the bill. The bill passed the Senate with unanimous consent and passed without objection in the House. President Barack Obama signed the bill into law on April 19, 2016. 

Despite the support for the bill at the time it passed, The Post called it "the crowning achievement of a multifaceted campaign by the drug industry to weaken aggressive DEA enforcement efforts against drug distribution companies that were supplying corrupt doctors and pharmacists who peddled narcotics to the black market."

Marino and Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, who was also instrumental in the bill, disputed how the bill was characterized by the investigation. 

"These allegations are complete baloney and we all know it," Hatch said on Wednesday, citing the fact that the bill was voted through via unanimous consent. "I don't want to hear anyone claim they didn't know anything about the bill."

Marino, after commenting on his decision to withdraw his name from consideration for the drug policy position, said he wanted to correct the record "regarding the false accusations and unfair reporting to which I have been subjected."

"I’m proud of my work on the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2016, which passed with unanimous consent in the House and Senate, unopposed by the DEA and was signed into law by President Obama," Marino said in a statement. "This landmark legislation will help to facilitate a balanced solution for ensuring those who genuinely needed access to certain medications were able to do so, while also empowering the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to enforce the law and prevent the sale and abuse of prescription drugs."

A possible repeal

Shortly after the investigation went up, Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri introduced a bill aiming to repeal the 2016 law. When the bill originally passed through the Senate, McCaskill did not voice opposition to it.

McCaskill has been vocal about the pharmaceutical industry, particularly launching investigations around drug pricing and the opioid epidemic

She's not alone in wanting the bill repealed. The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the industry group that represents drugmakers, said on Tuesday that it supported legislation to repeal the law. Originally, the Post had reported that PhRMA lobbied for the bill, but the group says that is "unequivocally false."

"We need to ensure the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has sufficient controls and authorities in place to prevent illicit diversion of controlled substances," PhRMA CEO Stephen Ubl said in a statement. "We also urge Congress to consider whether existing criminal and civil penalties are sufficient for repeated failures of DEA registrants to ensure that they report suspicious orders for controlled substances in a timely manner."

SEE ALSO: Trump's former drug czar nominee is hitting back at allegations stemming from an explosive '60 Minutes' investigation

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: TOP STRATEGIST: Bitcoin will soar to $25,000 in 5 years

STOCKS CLIMB: Here's what you need to know

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

A woman climbs during the opening of the rope park at the Shimbulak Ski Resort in the Tien Shan mountains outside Almaty January 22, 2013. The newly opened park is world's highest rope park mounted on artificial supports, said its designers.

Wednesday was another installation in the continued pattern of low volatility and modest gains. 

The S&P 500 has closed higher for five days in a row but has only gained about 0.41% in that time.

The Dow is up 1.35% over that time, and closed above 23,000 for the first time ever on Wednesday. The Nasdaq is the only index to not close higher on each of the past five days but still has posted a modest overall gain of 0.49%.

Traders are betting the modest gains will continue, as short interest in the S&P 500 is at a three-year low.

Here's the scoreboard:

  1. Steve Mnuchin says the stock market will tumble if Trump's tax plan doesn't pass. Mnuchin also "absolutely guaranteed" the tax bill would be on President Trump's desk by early December.
  2. Kohl's says it's not trying to get acquired by Amazon — but traders are preparing just in case. The stock would likely pop if Amazon acquired Kohls, so traders are just being cautious.
  3. TOP STRATEGIST: Bitcoin will soar to $25,000 in 5 years. We talk about how bitcoin will get to $25,000 a coin in the first episode of "the bit" from Business Insider.
  4. If Trump is doing so horribly, why is the stock market doing so well? Donald Trump likes to take credit for new stock market highs, but that idea is being increasingly rejected by both Wall Street and investors.
  5. The company behind Burger King wants to take over fast food — and that could mean buying Papa John's. Restaurant Brands International has recently snapped up popular fast food chains including Popeye's.

Other headlines

What you need to know on Wall Street today

I ate like billionaire Warren Buffett for a week — and I felt awful

WE ARE SORRY: BTIG apologizes for overestimating Snap (SNAP)

Tens of millions of Americans are being left out of the economic recovery — and it's easier than ever to see who they are

Morgan Stanley is making a boatload of cash lending money to rich people — and it's just getting started

 

SEE ALSO: What you need to know on Wall Street today

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Debating the odds of a stock market correction

STOCKS CLIMB: Here's what you need to know

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

A woman climbs during the opening of the rope park at the Shimbulak Ski Resort in the Tien Shan mountains outside Almaty January 22, 2013. The newly opened park is world's highest rope park mounted on artificial supports, said its designers.

Wednesday was another installation in the continued pattern of low volatility and modest gains. 

The S&P 500 has closed higher for five days in a row but has only gained about 0.41% in that time.

The Dow is up 1.35% over that time, and closed above 23,000 for the first time ever on Wednesday. The Nasdaq is the only index to not close higher on each of the past five days but still has posted a modest overall gain of 0.49%.

Traders are betting the modest gains will continue, as short interest in the S&P 500 is at a three-year low.

Here's the scoreboard:

  1. Steve Mnuchin says the stock market will tumble if Trump's tax plan doesn't pass. Mnuchin also "absolutely guaranteed" the tax bill would be on President Trump's desk by early December.
  2. Kohl's says it's not trying to get acquired by Amazon — but traders are preparing just in case. The stock would likely pop if Amazon acquired Kohls, so traders are just being cautious.
  3. TOP STRATEGIST: Bitcoin will soar to $25,000 in 5 years. We talk about how bitcoin will get to $25,000 a coin in the first episode of "the bit" from Business Insider.
  4. If Trump is doing so horribly, why is the stock market doing so well? Donald Trump likes to take credit for new stock market highs, but that idea is being increasingly rejected by both Wall Street and investors.
  5. The company behind Burger King wants to take over fast food — and that could mean buying Papa John's. Restaurant Brands International has recently snapped up popular fast food chains including Popeye's.

Other headlines

What you need to know on Wall Street today

I ate like billionaire Warren Buffett for a week — and I felt awful

WE ARE SORRY: BTIG apologizes for overestimating Snap (SNAP)

Tens of millions of Americans are being left out of the economic recovery — and it's easier than ever to see who they are

Morgan Stanley is making a boatload of cash lending money to rich people — and it's just getting started

 

SEE ALSO: What you need to know on Wall Street today

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The stock market has been turned completely upside down

One economist says the peso could crash by as much as 25% if NAFTA collapses

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

cars mexico

  • The Mexican peso could drop by as much as 25% if NAFTA collapsed, according to Edward Glossop, Latin America economist at Capital Economics.
  • The Mexican peso was under pressure earlier this week after the Trump administration came out swinging for the fourth round of NAFTA re-negotiations.

The Mexican peso could drop like a ton of bricks if NAFTA collapses.

In a recent note to clients, Edward Glossop, Latin America economist at Capital Economics, said the currency could tumble to at least 22 per dollar, but probably further, to about 22.50 or 23 per dollar if the trade deal were to collapse. That would be a drop of about 20% to 25% from recent levels.

If the deal survives, however, the currency could climb to about 17.50 per dollar, he added.

The Mexican peso was under pressure earlier this week after the Trump administration came out swinging in the fourth round of NAFTA re-negotiations, prompting renewed fears that the talks would break down and cause the agreement to collapse altogether.

The US reportedly presented a number of tough proposals, including raising the auto rules of origin to 85%, up from the current 62.5%, and adding a sunset clause, which would lead to NAFTA expiring every five years unless all three countries agree to extended the deal.

One trade official told reporters Saturday that "the atmosphere is complicated," and added that his fears about some "pretty harsh, pretty horrible" demands from the US were coming true.

The peso has long moved in conjunction with uncertainties over US trade policy, which you can see in the chart shared by Glossop below. In fact, the currency dropped to about 22 per dollar around the time of President Donald Trump's inauguration, back in January, as fears of a NAFTA collapse spiked.

The peso was down by 0.35% at 18.8550 at 3:57 p.m. ET.

peso trade

SEE ALSO: Here's how easy it is for anyone — including Russian operatives — to target you with ads on Facebook

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: THE BOTTOM LINE: The 'Trump trade' is back and Ray Dalio breaks down the bitcoin bubble

An Alibaba-backed fintech company founded by a 34-year-old just had an amazing IPO

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

unnamed 40

  • Qudian, an online small credit provider, went public on the New York Stock Exchange. 
  • The company, which was founded by 34-year-old Min Luo, is going after a market it says China's biggest banks can't serve.

Qudian, an online small credit provider, popped more than 43% after going public on the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday morning, opening at $24 per share.

The China-based company, which was founded by 34-year-old Min Luo, targets China's younger and underserved markets with small loans via its mobile app. 

The stock jumped to a high of $34 per share Wednesday morning before falling back to $30 at the time of publication. 

Qudian, according to its prospectus, offered 37.5 million shares. Reuters reported the company raised $900 million from the IPO, making it one of the largest initial public offerings of a Chinese company in the US this year. 

The company counts Alibaba, the Chinese ecommerce and technology company also listed on NYSE, as a backer. 

Carl Yeung, the company's chief financial officer, told Business Insider the firm is going after a market the country's traditional banks can't serve. Yeung said reaching the hundred of millions of modest-income Chinese is too expensive for larger financial-services players. Qudian is using nascent technology to capture that market.

"We are looking to use behavioral data, more and more data, to discover business opportunities," Yeung said."We are tracking the cutting edge data with artificial intelligence to see who has a high willingness to repay."

With such technology, the company is able to offer folks higher credit limits and earn a larger margin. 

Qudian, according to a press release, "facilitated $5.6 billion in transactions" to 7 million customers in the first half of the year. 

Chinese fintech is red-hot

Qudian's strong IPO illustrates the red-hot market for fintech in China. Some of the world's largest privately owned financial technology companies are based in China, including Lu.com, a Shanghai-based personal finance company, valued at $18.5 billion, according to CB Insights

A recent study by the consultancy EY found that one in three digital consumers use two or more fintech products. This level, according to EY, indicates that fintech has crossed the threshold of early mass adoption. The firm said adoption is being driven by emerging markets, such as China.

"FinTech adoption by digitally active consumers in Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa average 46%, considerably higher than the global average," the report said. "From an individual market perspective, China and India have the highest adoption rates at 69% and 52% respectively."

The firm said emerging markets are more open to fintech disruption because of the large populations of people who are underserved by existing financial infrastructures. Here's EY:

"Our five emerging markets are characterized by having growing economies and a rapidly expanding middle class, but without traditional financial infrastructure to support demand. Relatively high proportions of the populations are underserved by existing financial services providers, while falling prices for smartphones and broadband services have increased the digitally active population that FinTechs target."

Yeung said that this environment will open the door to many multi-billion dollar financial technology companies in China. He hopes Qudian will be among them. 

SEE ALSO: Wall Street banks have realized they can't do it all themselves

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: RAY DALIO: Bitcoin is a speculative bubble

‘Bitcoin Cash is Bitcoin,’ Roger Ver and Calvin Ayre Declare

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

[…]

The post ‘Bitcoin Cash is Bitcoin,’ Roger Ver and Calvin Ayre Declare appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

TOP STRATEGIST: bitcoin will soar to $25,000 in 5 years

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

In the first episode of "the bit," FundStrat Global Advisor co-founder Tom Lee explains different methodologies for valuing bitcoin. Lee shares his short-term and long-term bitcoin price targets based on these valuation methods. Following is a transcript of the video.

Tom Lee: I'm here with Sara to talk about why we believe bitcoin could reach $25,000 in 5 years.

Sara Silverstein: So you actually have a few research notes about this.

Lee: Yes.

Silverstein: And you’re — can you talk about your short-term model first. Where do you see bitcoin going and what valuation method are you using?

Lee: Yeah, in the short-term we think bitcoin has really followed very closely the idea of acting like a social network. Meaning the more engagement there is, the greater the value rises. And in the short-term, we think bitcoin will reach at least $6,000 by mid-2018.

Silverstein: And you’re using Metcalfe’s Law, can you explain that?

Lee: Yeah, so Metcalfe’s a professor. He actually came up with a theorem based on George Gilder, which is the value of a network is the square of the number of users. And so if you build a very simple model valuing bitcoin as the square function number of users times the average transaction value. 94% of the bitcoin moved over the past four years is explained by that equation.

Silverstein: Wow. Just to use an example, so this explains the network effect. Like one fax machine is worthless because there's nobody you can fax. But once all of your friends have fax machines, it becomes very valuable. So has this been effective in valuing things, in the past, that have a strong network but weren't producing any money?

Lee: Yeah, so three use cases — or businesses — where Metcalfe’s Law really explain the growth of the market value, is Facebook, Alibaba, and Google. And these are all examples where the number of users — like if you double the number of users, you're more than doubling the utility value. It's a little bit like the commercial in the 70s, you know, Prell. When you tell your friends, and they tell their friends, and so on.

Silverstein: And so your long-term valuation model — you’re looking at it — bitcoin, as a substitute for gold, as an alternative currency?

Lee: Yes, that’s right, and it's really — what we were trying to do is recognize that the creation of value in the future is in the digital world. I mean, all future great business are going to be digital. And with that concept, bitcoin represents a store of value because it's an encrypted — personal encrypted database, that for seven years hasn't been hacked. I mean, that is a way to store value. And if personal information is our gold, bitcoin is our digital gold. So we think that the gold market, which is 9 trillion, and for a generation of investors gold was their store of value. I think this next generation of young people view bitcoin as their store of value. And if it captures 5% of the gold market, it's worth at least $25,000 per unit.

Silverstein: And that’s the big number, that your — the $25,000 per unit hinges on the 5% of the money going into gold, going into bitcoin. So how do you come up with the 5%?

Lee: We explain this in our research. It's a very —  it's actually the most conservative collection of elements to get to the 5%. Because number one, we assume that gold only appreciates essentially a nominal GDP. So there's no inflation. And we assume that money supply grows at slower rates than it has historically. And then the 5% number, really reflects the assumption that investors will allocate in their blended portfolio only 5% to alternative currencies. Today, that allocation is much greater, it's closer to 10% or 15% in some portfolios. So, but at a 5% allocation that would value bitcoin at $25,000. You could easily get to $100,000, $200,000 numbers.

Silverstein: Is bitcoin special or is this just about all cryptocurrencies?

Lee: It's both. I mean, I think what’s unique is bitcoin is the dominant coin, or token, in a growing universe. I mean, there are 630 tokens out there now. But what we found in our research is that the more coins that are being issued, the more are using bitcoin as their master ledger, which means bitcoin's value is actually growing as there's more coins.

Silverstein: And you mentioned to me earlier that if some big investors get interested in bitcoin that the price could skyrocket really quickly?

Lee: Yeah, that’s right. It's — what's interesting is bitcoin is uncorrelated to other asset classes right now, and I think it really speaks to the fact that it's not institutionally held. It's really held by miners, and enthusiasts. Most of them are what they call hodlers. You know, they're not sellers of the coin. So the liquidity of bitcoin is deceptively small. So if you can imagine, you know, there was recently of a very well-known portfolio manager starting at a $500M hedge fund. If he employs typical leverage, he's buying $2.5B of bitcoin. There isn't $2.5B of bitcoin available to purchase. So I think you can easily see a liquidity-based move in bitcoin that's much beyond our target prices.

Silverstein: How much beyond?

Lee: Well that's getting into the realm of — nothing I would officially endorse — but, you know, when you think about liquidity spikes. Look what happened to oil. Remember oil went to $300 on a liquidity spike. So it probably would be easy to imagine that bitcoin could be $75,000 or something like that.

Silverstein: And can you help me understand what bitcoin is? Is it a currency? Is it an asset? Why do we compare it to gold? Like, why is that a fair comparison? And what is gold? Is it a commodity or a currency?

Lee: Yeah, it's a great question, because I think, as a primer someone has to finally accept what bitcoin represents. And what it is, is at the core, it is just a very well designed database. One that because of the way the encryption is built into it, is very hard to crack. So, unlike typical databases where the encryption key is held by central entity, bitcoin has this thing called miners and nodes. That each of the nodes keeps a copy of the database, and therefore you need 51% of the nodes to agree on a transaction to say it's valid, otherwise it'll say it's a spoof transaction. Which means that bigger the database grows, and the more miners there are, the harder it is to crack. So bitcoin is encryption, but the encryption strength grows as there's more miners. And today, it’s estimated that it would cost about $31B to create one fake coin.

Silverstein: Wow.

Lee: So it's easier to break into a central bank, like Swift in Nigeria, and steal $50M from there, than it is to try to get one fake bitcoin.

Silverstein: And do you think it's fair —  I know that it’s very hard to understand the valuation of something like a bitcoin. Do you think it's fair to look at the blockchain, that it represents, and say let's look at the value of this, and the bitcoin is what keeps us going, and keeps it secure, and so that's where the value comes from?

Lee: Yeah, actually, that’s a really important point. That by design —  bitcoin was designed to be what they call a fat protocol. Which means the protocol error, which is the encryption, is trying to reward users of it. And it's rewarded through paying miner fees. It's a little bit like — imagine if — remember Facebook's value is its users, but all of the upside in owning Facebook was the investors. Bitcoin said okay look let's reward Facebook users. That the more there are, the more money you get. That's how bitcoin’s designed.

Silverstein: And the more externalities you create by participating in Facebook, the more you'll get paid, basically?

Lee:  That's right and also, because of the nature of bitcoin, it means the applications that you build on top of it aren't as valuable. Because if you try to build a banking system on bitcoin — well it has better encryption than an application. So bitcoin itself will always have more value than the applications built for it.

Silverstein: So, this is 100 grams of gold, which at the time that I got it was worth about the same as a bitcoin. Which you think is a better store of value? Do you think that I should switch my bitcoins for gold or my gold for bitcoins?

Lee: There's a whole generation of young people — including my daughter who’s a CS major — that would say they don't understand why gold at all represents a store of value. And it's important to keep in mind, you know, for many years, gold’s price never even moved when it was – when the dollar was on the gold standard. So I would say I would easily change that for a bitcoin.

Silverstein: Great, and when gold started trading freely — you point out in one of your notes — that the volatility looked just like bitcoin, and then eventually it settled down?

Lee: That's right. You know, when people talk about bitcoin’s volatility today, they're forgetting that when we went off the dollar — the gold standard on the dollar, gold’s volatility for 4 years was about the same as bitcoin’s volatility today.

Silverstein: Great, thank you so much.

Lee: Yeah, thanks for having me.

Join the conversation about this story »

(+) Technical Analysis: Bitcoin Dumps and Pumps amid Broad Volatile Correction

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

The post (+) Technical Analysis: Bitcoin Dumps and Pumps amid Broad Volatile Correction appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

As financial institutions invest in blockchain tech, how secure is your information?

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

Keypad

What is the purpose of cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrencies are digital financial assets that are designed with the purpose of acting as a medium of exchange using the science of cryptography to secure transactions, create global currencies, eliminate government control and exchange rate issues, and control the creation of additional units of the currency.

Cryptocurrencies were introduced as a disruptive financial technology (fintech), which would make global transactions easier, faster, and more secure, putting control directly in the hands of the concerned parties. This could also eliminate banks and money transfer services.

The digital currencies claim to make storing, spending, and transferring "digital money" secure, super-fast, and unaffected by any fees, exchange rates, or governmental regulations.

The purpose of cryptocurrency and its underlying technology, however, is not limited to financial institutions, currencies, and transactions. Securitizing data, identity protection, creation of a decentralized economy, and storing personal data securely are a few of the initial purposes for which the blockchain technology was brought to life.

Although the uses of the blockchain technology behind cryptocurrencies is multifold, blockchain identity use cases are what is gaining the most traction from technology aficionados and enthusiasts worldwide.

Blockchain technology now can be used to identify applications in areas such as digital identities, passports, e-residency, birth certificates, wedding certificates, and other IDs.

Is blockchain technology really secure?

A blockchain is a series of blocks that records data in hash functions with timestamps so that the data cannot be changed or tampered with. As data cannot be overwritten, data manipulation is extremely impractical, thus securing data and eliminating centralized points that cybercriminals often target. 

Furthermore, private analysts say that the Pentagon believes the Blockchain Technology could be used as a Cybersecurity shield. In an article by The Washington Times, analysts deem that using blockchain, the technological backbone of bitcoin, could dramatically improve security across the U.S. military, preventing mega hacks, tampering, and cyber-hijackings of vehicles, aircraft, or satellites.

According to Dan Boylan of The Washington Times, the key to blockchain’s security is that any changes made to the database are immediately sent to all users to create a secure, established record. With copies of the data in all users’ hands, the overall database remains safe even if some users are hacked.

This tamper-proof, decentralized feature has made blockchain increasingly popular beyond its original function supporting bitcoin digital transactions. Many cutting-edge finance firms, for instance, have used blockchain to expedite processes and cut costs without compromising security.

Though blockchain has several advantages over other systems, there are still a few challenges in terms of compliance, regulations, and enforcement that will need to be addressed.

For example, regulatory issues demand clarity over jurisdictions and how to comply with KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti-Money Laundering) laws. But progressively increasing demand and acceptance by corporations would help overcome these challenges sooner than predicted.

Blockchain

Uses of Blockchain Technology Security

Discussions revolving around blockchain technology have claimed that the technology can be used to initiate major changes in the security industry as a whole.

It is often argued that the technology is not only effective in driving digital currency exchange, but also to strengthen existing security solutions and address security concerns globally.

Blockchain technology hopes to address multiple challenges associated with digital transactions such as double spending, data security, cross border transactions, chargebacks, frauds, and currency reproductions. Employing blockchain shrinks the costs associated with online transactions, all while concurrently increasing legitimacy and security.

Some of the proposed global security uses of blockchain technology are:

  • The protection of sensitive records and authentication of the identity of a user, especially in the banking sector: Data manipulation can be spotted with the help of blockchain technology enabling banks to go beyond asymmetric encryption and caching in public keys. The deployment of blockchain enables authentication of users and devices without password protection. The decentralization of the network helps in generating consensus between different parties for verification through blockchain-based SSL certificates. The distributed and decentralized nature of the network that verifies the integrity of the transactions and associated account balances makes a successful attack mathematically impossible.
  • Enhancing structural security of IoT devices: Certain block-less distributed ledgers are additionally enhancing structural security of IoT devices. Devices in such network settings can recognize and interact with each other in a peer-to-peer manner, without the need for a third-party authority. Accompanied with two-factor authentication, this offers unprecedented security to the network structure and makes it impossible to forge digital security certificates.
  • Securing internal communications: Internal communications are often prone to data leaks and cyber espionage. End-to-end encryption fails to cover the metadata, which can lead to leakage of sensitive information. In blockchain-based systems, the metadata used for communications is scattered in the distributed ledger and cannot be collected at one centralized point. 
  • Making passwords obsolete: With REMME’s blockchain, businesses can authenticate users and devices without the need for a password. This eliminates the human factor from the authentication process, therefore preventing it from becoming a potential attack vector.
  • Privacy and security of digital chats: Messenger services today encompass a large amount of Internet usage across the globe, especially with apps such as Facebook Messenger, Viber, WeChat, Alipay and WhatsApp already being used for payments and to engage users through chatbots. With the count of a billion-plus users with these apps, there is an inherent danger of social engineering, hacks, and other security vulnerabilities. Obsidian uses the blockchain-decentralized network, which cannot be censored or controlled by any single source. In addition, communications meta-data is scattered throughout the distributed ledger, reducing the risk of surveillance through such digital fingerprints. Users need not link to their email addresses or telephone numbers, thereby increasing privacy. 

Apart from these uses, according to Venture Beat, blockchains can increase security on three fronts:

  • Prevention of identity theft
  • Protection against data tampering
  • Protection of critical infrastructure

Contract

The New World of Smart Contracts

By eliminating human error, facilitating automatic detection of fraud, and creating a virtual impenetrable fence around data, identities, and transactions, blockchain technology has laid the foundation for a future of smart contracts.

Smart contracts (also known as digital contracts) help you exchange money, property, shares, or anything of value in a transparent, conflict-free way while avoiding the services of a middleman.

These self-executing contracts are treaties with the terms of the agreement between buyer and seller being directly written into lines of code. The code and the agreements contained therein exist across a distributed, decentralized blockchain network.

Smart contracts can come into play in industries ranging from health care (digital identity) to politics (digital voting), from automobiles to real estate, and from management (smart contracts) to legal affairs (decentralized notaries).

Blockchain technology uses are not limited to corporates and financial industries. Coindesk has listed out the uses around security issues in various other industries. 

Blockchain has emerged as one of the most disruptive technologies and has curtailed the prevailing security issues revolving around financial transactions.

As other practical implementations for the technology are being discovered, blockchains are emerging as top contenders for resolving an array of cybersecurity challenges and delivering end-to-end security to global institutions.

More to Learn

Every new invention or innovation has its associated concerns related to security and mass adoption. Cryptocurrency as an evolving development in the fintech industry has its own set of security and legal concerns.

However, as more and more people and companies across industries are adopting cryptocurrencies, more security shields are being created and deeper investigations into every cryptocurrency’s uses and benefits are being carried out.

Mass adoption is leading to tighter boundaries and implementation of higher security protection revolving around blockchain technology.

Cryptocurrency is a growing mega-trend, which is being recognized worldwide and is being adopted for daily transactions. That's why BI Intelligence has put together two detailed reports on the blockchain: The Blockchain in the IoT Report and The Blockchain in Banking Report. 

To get these reports, plus immediate access to more than 250 other expertly researched reports, subscribe to an All-Access pass to BI Intelligence. As an added bonus, you'll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >> Learn More Now

You can also purchase and download the full reports from our research store: 

                            >> Blockchain in the IoT

                            >> Blockchain in Banking

Join the conversation about this story »

What you need to know on Wall Street today

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

James GormanWelcome to Finance Insider, Business Insider's summary of the top stories of the past 24 hours. Sign up here to get the best of Business Insider delivered direct to your inbox.

Imagine a parasite living in the US economy, siphoning off the cash that has powered the middle class for decades. We know it's there, but no one — on the right nor the left — is talking seriously about how to slow its growth.

This parasite is our healthcare system, writes Business Insider's Linette Lopez. It is already causing more damage to the economy than you know, and at least one group of people seems to have this figured out: the same Wall Street doomsayers who predicted the financial crisis.

In finance news, Morgan Stanley is making a boatload of cash lending money to rich people — and it's just getting started. Former Ford CEO Mark Fields will join private-equity group TPG Capital. And UBS just asked its London-based investment bankers whether they'd prefer to move to Amsterdam, Madrid or Frankfurt.

In deal news, the company behind Burger King wants to take over fast food — and that could mean buying Papa John'sJPMorgan dropped more than $200 million to buy a digital payments startup. Allergan’s unusual deal with a Native American tribe could be backfiring.

And Wall Street's favorite deal-making restaurant has opened in Silicon Valley — here's what it's like to eat there.

In markets news, during an interview on a podcast, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the stock market will tank if the GOP tax bill is not passed. And the Treasury Department backed down on some of its criticism of China's currency policies.

Elsewhere in news and views:

Lastly, Neiman Marcus' gift list for billionaires reveals the guilt that plagues America's richest people.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Gary Shilling calls bitcoin a black box and says he doesn't invest in things he doesn't understand

In 'Search' of a Swell? XRP Prices Rise and Fall Amid Ripple Event

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

A conference held by distributed ledger startup Ripple appears to have had a positive impact on the price of its cryptocurrency.

The company behind Burger King wants to take over fast food — and that could mean buying Papa John's (QSR)

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

Burger King IPO

  • Restaurant Brands International, the company behind Burger King and Tim Horton's,  recently snapped up popular fast food chain including Popeye's.
  • Credit Suisse says investors want more, and predicts Papa John's, Wingstop, or Yum Brands could be next.

After snapping up Popeye’s for $1.8 billion earlier this year, investors in Restaurant Brands International, the company behind Burger King and Tim Horton’s, are hungry for more.

Credit Suisse has been talking to investors ahead of the company’s earnings next week, and finds they’re much more interested in expansion than a special dividend.

"We found that the majority of investors would prefer to see QSR add more brands to the portfolio rather than a one-time special dividend, even if the deal was not highly accretive at the outset or if it takes time to find the next acquisition," analyst Jason West said in a note Wednesday.

The bank modeled potential buyouts in a note last week, based on the roughly 33% premium Burger King paid for Tim Horton’s in 2014. Here are the top choices:

Papa John’s

The Kentucky-based pizza chain is top of Credit Suisse’s list for an RBI buyout, but the bank still says "we do not view a deal with PZZA as imminent or necessarily a high probability." Nevertheless, pizza isn’t on any current QSR-owned menu, and a 30% stock premium would be barely above PZZA’s all-time high.

Yum Brands

"There is a strong case to be made for benefits of global scale," Credit Suisse said of the company behind Pizza Hut and KFC.

"However, many of these benefits are difficult to model and may be more than offset by: 1) dilution to existing shareholders (our base case is 80% of funding via new equity), 2) menu overlap between KFC and Popeye's and 3) potentially too much complexity in managing six of the world's largest fast food brands under one roof."

Wingstop

QSR already owns a robust chicken menu in its Popeye’s chain, but a merger with Wingstop could still result in $20 million in cut costs, according to the bank’s analysis.

Other possible — though unlikely — mergers include Chipotle, which has struggled to revive its slumping stock price after a string of food poisoning outbreaks, Buffalo Wild Wings, Dunkin’ Brands, Subway, and Little Caesars, Credit Suisse says.

Business Insider has reached out to QSR, as well as the three potential acquisitions about the proposed mergers and will update this post if comment is received.

Fast food has been a hot space for M&A activity lately, especially for private equity. Europe's JAB Holdings has amassed an empire of fast-casual coffee and sandwich restaurants including Panera Bread, Krispy Kreme, and Peets Coffee.  

Credit Suisse maintains its outperform rating for QSR stock, with a price target of $74 — 9.4% above the stock’s $67 price Wednesday morning. Shares of QSR are up 44% so far this year.

QSR restaurant brands stock price

SEE ALSO: Meet the secretive banker behind the Panera Bread buyout

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: RAY DALIO: Bitcoin is a speculative bubble

Stock Market Bear Sets $1 Million Bitcoin Price Target

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

[…]

The post Stock Market Bear Sets $1 Million Bitcoin Price Target appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

WE ARE SORRY: BTIG apologizes for overestimating Snap (SNAP)

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

Evan Spiegel

  • Snap's stock price is falling after another Wall Street firm apologies for being too optimistic about the company.
  • BTIG reiterated its neutral rating of Snap, but significantly lowered its target numbers.
  • Get Snap's latest stock price here.

Another Wall Street firm is apologizing for its coverage of Snap.

Snap shares rose to a high of $29.44 in the days following the company's initial public offering in March before  sliding to low of $11.83 in mid-August. BTIG initiated its coverage of Snap at $22.35 with a neutral rating, and for that, the firm is apologizing.

"With the stock down 28% in the past six months since our initiation at Neutral, we were wrong to not have a SELL rating," Richard Greenfield, an analyst at BTIG, said. "#wearesorry."

Greenfield says he overestimated the company's ability to rapidly monetize its platform. Snap's average revenue per user only grew 8.8% in the second quarter, well below the 28% growth that Greenfield was expecting. That caused Greenfield to half his prediction for revenue in 2020 to $4.1 billion.

Despite the new, lowered revenue numbers for Snap, Greenfield maintained his neutral rating on the company.

"There are so few ways to participate in the shift of consumer time spent to mobile outside of the dominance of Facebook and Google, Greenfield said. "In that light, we remain intrigued by the potential of Snapchat and its "sticky" user base making it difficult for us to see the stock as a compelling short at these levels."

While Instagram and Facebook have taken away from Snap's growth, Snap still has a set of users that love the platform, and they aren't going away anytime soon, Greenfield said. Figuring out how the company grows and monetizes its loyal user base is more of a question, though. BTIG gave updated numbers for revenue, user growth and monetization of Snap's platform, but said it has a "complete lack of comfort with [its] updated forecasts." 

Snap is down about 2% after BTIG's report.

In July, Morgan Stanley, one of Snap's lead IPO underwriters, apologized for its overoptimism regarding of Snap's future. At the time, the company lowered its price target by 42% to $16, and said shares would fall to $7 in a worst-case scenario.

Read more about Morgan Stanley's "We have been wrong" note here

snap stock price

SEE ALSO: WE WERE WRONG: Snap's lead IPO underwriter makes an embarrassing admission

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Is bitcoin a bubble or the future of everything?

Morgan Stanley is making a boatload of cash lending money to rich people — and it's just getting started (MS)

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

James Gorman

  • Morgan Stanley's wealth management business produced record revenues in the third quarter.
  • Most of its clients are very wealth individuals — 98% of assets come from people with than $100,000 at the bank.
  • A growing opportunity is to lend these rich people, who often have illiquid assets like real estate or business equity, more money. 

Morgan Stanley reported third-quarter earnings this week, landing a solid beat with EPS of $0.93, compared with expectations of $0.81 per share. 

The company's thriving wealth management business helped drive the strong quarter, reporting $4.2 billion in revenue — a record — up 9% from $3.9 billion a year ago. Revenue per wealth manager hit $1.1 million, up 10% from a year ago.

Key to keeping this business segment humming along is ensuring that its wealthy clients remain happy.

And its clients, which have entrusted the firm with $2.3 trillion, are very wealthy. CEO James Gorman noted on the company's earnings call that only 2% of their assets are from clients with less than $100,000.

A major component to serving these clients is fairly mundane and straightforward, albeit profitable and thriving: manage their money and invest it in the proper assets, earning a fee in the process. Morgan Stanley now has a record $1 trillion worth of assets generating management fees, contributing $2.4 billion in revenues in the quarter.

The other $1.3 trillion in assets are in brokerage accounts, meaning people are largely managing the money themselves, and Morgan Stanley earns commissions and fees when it executes trades for these clients. This business is heading in the opposite direction, with third-quarter revenues declining 7% from $791 million to $739 million in the past year. 

Part of the firm's strategy is to shift more people from brokerage to the fee-based advisory accounts, which accounted for the majority of wealth management revenues this quarter. 

But another thing these millionaires and billionaires covet, beyond a competent, trustworthy, and prestigious place to park and invest their cash, is easy access to more cash. 

Their assets are often tied up in illiquid holdings, such as real estate, art, yachts, or equity in the companies they've founded. They like these assets and don't want to sell them, but they also want liquid cash to play around with, invest with, dote upon their family with, or fund their next business venture with. 

James Gorman explained during Tuesday's earnings call:

"These markets go in cycles, as we all know, and people want access to credit. They have large, illiquid positions. So concentrated stock and businesses they founded. And they don't necessarily want to liquidate that, and we're in a position where we're dealing with a lot of very, very wealthy people. I think 2% of our assets are with clients with less than $100,000 with us. So the vast majority have significant wealth, and it's a real competitive advantage now to be able to compete with the banks and offer these lending products."

Given their wealth and the high-quality assets they can put up as collateral, these are relatively safe people to lend to.

And lending to these clients is a big and growing business for the company, with loan volume increasing 11% in the past year to $78 billion.

That helped boost quarterly net interest income in wealth management to $1 billion, up 16% from $885 million last year. 

And, according to CFO Jonathan Pruzan, this is still a relatively untapped business for them.

"We still feel good about the lending opportunity within our wealth client segment. Penetration rates are still reasonably limited," Pruzan said during the earnings call. "And we've seen opportunities to continue to increase penetration there, and the funding will be a mix of all of the liabilities that I talked about earlier."

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Gary Shilling calls bitcoin a black box and says he doesn't invest in things he doesn't understand

Connecting the Luxury Fine Art Industry with the Modern Digital Economy

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

Connecting the Luxury Fine Art Industry with the Modern Digital Economy

Latest figures from the Tetaf art market report, released by the European Fine Art Foundation, show that in 2016 global art market sales amounted to an estimated $45 billion, up 1.7 percent from 2015. The U.S. remains the largest country in the world art market, with 29.5 percent of the market share, followed by the U.K. and China with 24 percent and 18 percent, respectively.

Yet, while the industry remains a profitable one, it is slowly changing. One that is considered difficult to enter and resistant to change, a few sector players are aiming to bridge the modern digital world with the luxury arts sector.

Two art galleries are taking a blockchain and cryptocurrency approach. Eleesa Dadiani, is the founder and owner of Dadiani Fine Art in Mayfair, London. Marcelo Garcia Casil is the co-founder and CEO of Maecenas, a decentralized art gallery that aims to democratize access to fine art investment.

Dadiani & Partners

In July 2017, Dadiani’s modern fine art gallery became the first in the U.K. to accept seven different cryptocurrencies as payment: bitcoin, ethereum, ethereum classic, litecoin, ripple, dash and NEM.

Dadiani told Bitcoin Magazine that the decision to introduce cryptocurrencies wasn’t an instinctively demand-driven decision; rather, it stemmed from a desire to encourage demand and merge the two markets together.

“On a practical level, introducing cryptocurrency will broaden the market, bringing a new type of buyer to art and luxury,” she said.

Through her recently launched Dadiani & Partners — the U.K.’s first and only luxury asset and commodity exchange for cryptocurrencies — Dadiani is hoping to unlock the potential of the digital currency market for high net-worth (HNW) investors and consumers. Acting as an intermediary, Dadiani & Partners will enable HNWs a platform to purchase luxury goods in digital currency. Dadiani says that there has been an increase in demand with the number of people seeking the purchase of assets in cryptocurrency.

“Many bitcoin millionaires are unable to cash in their digital currency as the banks won’t convert large amounts of cryptocurrency for cash,” she added.

Passionate about cryptocurrencies, and the blockchain that underpins them, Dadiani believes that they will have a profound impact in every sphere of business and our everyday lives.

“The technology will allow us to reclaim power, paving the way for decentralized, peer-to-peer transactions without the intervention of an intermediary,” she added. “This is a revolution that goes far beyond the art market.”

Since introducing the acceptance of digital currencies the art gallery has sold a number of pieces. Going forward, all of the art, across all the exhibitions, will be available to purchase in the available digital currencies. Dadiani says that the artists are onboard and keen for their pieces to be sold this way.

“Any of the pieces we sell can still be purchased via conventional fiat currency, but purchasing via cryptocurrency enables buyers to purchase peer-to-peer, person-to-person, without the intervention of a centralized authority,” Dadiani said.

It’s hoped that by further globalizing the business and broadening their customer base, Dadiani Fine Art will appeal to bitcoin millionaires who are looking to purchase assets via cryptocurrencies.

“Digital currency is being embraced by people of all ages, creed and class, and as it’s happening in other sectors, there is no reason why the gap between the modern digital world with the luxury sector cannot be bridged.”

Maecenas

Investment in the art world can be an expensive proposition. Named after Gaius Maecenas, an ancient Roman patron of the arts, Maecenas, is attempting to remove this barrier by letting anyone buy shares of fine art. Through its blockchain-driven platform, Maecenas divides artwork ownership into fragments and connects art owners with investors where shares are bought and sold.

“By turning masterpieces into tokenized tradable assets, Maecenas democratizes access to fine art by letting a much wider audience invest in multi-million dollar artworks which would otherwise be out of reach,” Casil said to Bitcoin Magazine.

Buying access to the artwork’s investment value does not mean buying access to the actual artwork itself, however. According to Maecenas, art pieces are not put on display; rather, they are held in purpose-built art storage facilities, ensuring the work is safe and looked after. If there is a demand in the future, then they may introduce an art-leasing facility where art lovers can temporarily hold the piece of art for a fee. The fee would then be distributed among the shareholders as income.

By injecting liquidity and transparency into the fine art market, the platform claims to be adding aspects to the sector that have been missing. Determining a fair price of an illiquid asset is now made possible via the blockchain through the conversion of small and liquid tradable financial units, creating tamper-proof, digital certificates denoting ownership. These are similar to shares of a company and can be traded on an open exchange.

Through the implementation of a Dutch auction process, Maecenas permits investors to submit private bids stating how many shares of the artwork they want to own and what price they’re willing to pay for them.

“The Dutch auction smart contract then handles all the bids and uses a well-known algorithm to determine the optimal price for the artwork shares,” Casil added. “This process is transparent and discourages price manipulation.”

Maecenas’ ART utility token functions as a clearing and settlement mechanism for all transactions of artwork on the Maecenas ecosystem. Participating in Dutch auctions, leasing artwork or performing any other sensitive platform operation is handled via smart contracts that require ART tokens to operate, says Casil.

“In the case of the auctions themselves, the token represents the investor bid and commitment, and a dollar value equivalent of the tokens is escrowed in the contract for the duration of the auction.”

For instance, if an investor wants to bid $50,000 for an artwork, and ART is worth $2, then 25,000 ART tokens must be submitted to the smart contract to reflect the bid.

To ensure the work is authentic, Maecenas has an internal team that checks the full provenance of the artwork including certificates of authenticity, condition reports, insurance policies, certificates of storage and valuation reports. Independent reputable experts will also assess and appraise the artwork. The documents produced during the due-diligence process are then protected and stored securely on the blockchain.

Maecenas recently completed their token crowdsale which raised 50,744 ETH. They are aiming to launch their platform in the first quarter of 2018.

The post Connecting the Luxury Fine Art Industry with the Modern Digital Economy appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Connecting the Luxury Fine Art Industry with the Modern Digital Economy

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

Connecting the Luxury Fine Art Industry with the Modern Digital Economy

Latest figures from the Tetaf art market report, released by the European Fine Art Foundation, show that in 2016 global art market sales amounted to an estimated $45 billion, up 1.7 percent from 2015. The U.S. remains the largest country in the world art market, with 29.5 percent of the market share, followed by the U.K. and China with 24 percent and 18 percent, respectively.

Yet, while the industry remains a profitable one, it is slowly changing. One that is considered difficult to enter and resistant to change, a few sector players are aiming to bridge the modern digital world with the luxury arts sector.

Two art galleries are taking a blockchain and cryptocurrency approach. Eleesa Dadiani, is the founder and owner of Dadiani Fine Art in Mayfair, London. Marcelo Garcia Casil is the co-founder and CEO of Maecenas, a decentralized art gallery that aims to democratize access to fine art investment.

Dadiani & Partners

In July 2017, Dadiani’s modern fine art gallery became the first in the U.K. to accept seven different cryptocurrencies as payment: bitcoin, ethereum, ethereum classic, litecoin, ripple, dash and NEM.

Dadiani told Bitcoin Magazine that the decision to introduce cryptocurrencies wasn’t an instinctively demand-driven decision; rather, it stemmed from a desire to encourage demand and merge the two markets together.

“On a practical level, introducing cryptocurrency will broaden the market, bringing a new type of buyer to art and luxury,” she said.

Through her recently launched Dadiani & Partners — the U.K.’s first and only luxury asset and commodity exchange for cryptocurrencies — Dadiani is hoping to unlock the potential of the digital currency market for high net-worth (HNW) investors and consumers. Acting as an intermediary, Dadiani & Partners will enable HNWs a platform to purchase luxury goods in digital currency. Dadiani says that there has been an increase in demand with the number of people seeking the purchase of assets in cryptocurrency.

“Many bitcoin millionaires are unable to cash in their digital currency as the banks won’t convert large amounts of cryptocurrency for cash,” she added.

Passionate about cryptocurrencies, and the blockchain that underpins them, Dadiani believes that they will have a profound impact in every sphere of business and our everyday lives.

“The technology will allow us to reclaim power, paving the way for decentralized, peer-to-peer transactions without the intervention of an intermediary,” she added. “This is a revolution that goes far beyond the art market.”

Since introducing the acceptance of digital currencies the art gallery has sold a number of pieces. Going forward, all of the art, across all the exhibitions, will be available to purchase in the available digital currencies. Dadiani says that the artists are onboard and keen for their pieces to be sold this way.

“Any of the pieces we sell can still be purchased via conventional fiat currency, but purchasing via cryptocurrency enables buyers to purchase peer-to-peer, person-to-person, without the intervention of a centralized authority,” Dadiani said.

It’s hoped that by further globalizing the business and broadening their customer base, Dadiani Fine Art will appeal to bitcoin millionaires who are looking to purchase assets via cryptocurrencies.

“Digital currency is being embraced by people of all ages, creed and class, and as it’s happening in other sectors, there is no reason why the gap between the modern digital world with the luxury sector cannot be bridged.”

Maecenas

Investment in the art world can be an expensive proposition. Named after Gaius Maecenas, an ancient Roman patron of the arts, Maecenas, is attempting to remove this barrier by letting anyone buy shares of fine art. Through its blockchain-driven platform, Maecenas divides artwork ownership into fragments and connects art owners with investors where shares are bought and sold.

“By turning masterpieces into tokenized tradable assets, Maecenas democratizes access to fine art by letting a much wider audience invest in multi-million dollar artworks which would otherwise be out of reach,” Casil said to Bitcoin Magazine.

Buying access to the artwork’s investment value does not mean buying access to the actual artwork itself, however. According to Maecenas, art pieces are not put on display; rather, they are held in purpose-built art storage facilities, ensuring the work is safe and looked after. If there is a demand in the future, then they may introduce an art-leasing facility where art lovers can temporarily hold the piece of art for a fee. The fee would then be distributed among the shareholders as income.

By injecting liquidity and transparency into the fine art market, the platform claims to be adding aspects to the sector that have been missing. Determining a fair price of an illiquid asset is now made possible via the blockchain through the conversion of small and liquid tradable financial units, creating tamper-proof, digital certificates denoting ownership. These are similar to shares of a company and can be traded on an open exchange.

Through the implementation of a Dutch auction process, Maecenas permits investors to submit private bids stating how many shares of the artwork they want to own and what price they’re willing to pay for them.

“The Dutch auction smart contract then handles all the bids and uses a well-known algorithm to determine the optimal price for the artwork shares,” Casil added. “This process is transparent and discourages price manipulation.”

Maecenas’ ART utility token functions as a clearing and settlement mechanism for all transactions of artwork on the Maecenas ecosystem. Participating in Dutch auctions, leasing artwork or performing any other sensitive platform operation is handled via smart contracts that require ART tokens to operate, says Casil.

“In the case of the auctions themselves, the token represents the investor bid and commitment, and a dollar value equivalent of the tokens is escrowed in the contract for the duration of the auction.”

For instance, if an investor wants to bid $50,000 for an artwork, and ART is worth $2, then 25,000 ART tokens must be submitted to the smart contract to reflect the bid.

To ensure the work is authentic, Maecenas has an internal team that checks the full provenance of the artwork including certificates of authenticity, condition reports, insurance policies, certificates of storage and valuation reports. Independent reputable experts will also assess and appraise the artwork. The documents produced during the due-diligence process are then protected and stored securely on the blockchain.

Maecenas recently completed their token crowdsale which raised 50,744 ETH. They are aiming to launch their platform in the first quarter of 2018.

The post Connecting the Luxury Fine Art Industry with the Modern Digital Economy appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Connecting the Luxury Fine Art Industry with the Modern Digital Economy

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

Connecting the Luxury Fine Art Industry with the Modern Digital Economy

Latest figures from the Tetaf art market report, released by the European Fine Art Foundation, show that in 2016 global art market sales amounted to an estimated $45 billion, up 1.7 percent from 2015. The U.S. remains the largest country in the world art market, with 29.5 percent of the market share, followed by the U.K. and China with 24 percent and 18 percent, respectively.

Yet, while the industry remains a profitable one, it is slowly changing. One that is considered difficult to enter and resistant to change, a few sector players are aiming to bridge the modern digital world with the luxury arts sector.

Two art galleries are taking a blockchain and cryptocurrency approach. Eleesa Dadiani, is the founder and owner of Dadiani Fine Art in Mayfair, London. Marcelo Garcia Casil is the co-founder and CEO of Maecenas, a decentralized art gallery that aims to democratize access to fine art investment.

Dadiani & Partners

In July 2017, Dadiani’s modern fine art gallery became the first in the U.K. to accept seven different cryptocurrencies as payment: bitcoin, ethereum, ethereum classic, litecoin, ripple, dash and NEM.

Dadiani told Bitcoin Magazine that the decision to introduce cryptocurrencies wasn’t an instinctively demand-driven decision; rather, it stemmed from a desire to encourage demand and merge the two markets together.

“On a practical level, introducing cryptocurrency will broaden the market, bringing a new type of buyer to art and luxury,” she said.

Through her recently launched Dadiani & Partners — the U.K.’s first and only luxury asset and commodity exchange for cryptocurrencies — Dadiani is hoping to unlock the potential of the digital currency market for high net-worth (HNW) investors and consumers. Acting as an intermediary, Dadiani & Partners will enable HNWs a platform to purchase luxury goods in digital currency. Dadiani says that there has been an increase in demand with the number of people seeking the purchase of assets in cryptocurrency.

“Many bitcoin millionaires are unable to cash in their digital currency as the banks won’t convert large amounts of cryptocurrency for cash,” she added.

Passionate about cryptocurrencies, and the blockchain that underpins them, Dadiani believes that they will have a profound impact in every sphere of business and our everyday lives.

“The technology will allow us to reclaim power, paving the way for decentralized, peer-to-peer transactions without the intervention of an intermediary,” she added. “This is a revolution that goes far beyond the art market.”

Since introducing the acceptance of digital currencies the art gallery has sold a number of pieces. Going forward, all of the art, across all the exhibitions, will be available to purchase in the available digital currencies. Dadiani says that the artists are onboard and keen for their pieces to be sold this way.

“Any of the pieces we sell can still be purchased via conventional fiat currency, but purchasing via cryptocurrency enables buyers to purchase peer-to-peer, person-to-person, without the intervention of a centralized authority,” Dadiani said.

It’s hoped that by further globalizing the business and broadening their customer base, Dadiani Fine Art will appeal to bitcoin millionaires who are looking to purchase assets via cryptocurrencies.

“Digital currency is being embraced by people of all ages, creed and class, and as it’s happening in other sectors, there is no reason why the gap between the modern digital world with the luxury sector cannot be bridged.”

Maecenas

Investment in the art world can be an expensive proposition. Named after Gaius Maecenas, an ancient Roman patron of the arts, Maecenas, is attempting to remove this barrier by letting anyone buy shares of fine art. Through its blockchain-driven platform, Maecenas divides artwork ownership into fragments and connects art owners with investors where shares are bought and sold.

“By turning masterpieces into tokenized tradable assets, Maecenas democratizes access to fine art by letting a much wider audience invest in multi-million dollar artworks which would otherwise be out of reach,” Casil said to Bitcoin Magazine.

Buying access to the artwork’s investment value does not mean buying access to the actual artwork itself, however. According to Maecenas, art pieces are not put on display; rather, they are held in purpose-built art storage facilities, ensuring the work is safe and looked after. If there is a demand in the future, then they may introduce an art-leasing facility where art lovers can temporarily hold the piece of art for a fee. The fee would then be distributed among the shareholders as income.

By injecting liquidity and transparency into the fine art market, the platform claims to be adding aspects to the sector that have been missing. Determining a fair price of an illiquid asset is now made possible via the blockchain through the conversion of small and liquid tradable financial units, creating tamper-proof, digital certificates denoting ownership. These are similar to shares of a company and can be traded on an open exchange.

Through the implementation of a Dutch auction process, Maecenas permits investors to submit private bids stating how many shares of the artwork they want to own and what price they’re willing to pay for them.

“The Dutch auction smart contract then handles all the bids and uses a well-known algorithm to determine the optimal price for the artwork shares,” Casil added. “This process is transparent and discourages price manipulation.”

Maecenas’ ART utility token functions as a clearing and settlement mechanism for all transactions of artwork on the Maecenas ecosystem. Participating in Dutch auctions, leasing artwork or performing any other sensitive platform operation is handled via smart contracts that require ART tokens to operate, says Casil.

“In the case of the auctions themselves, the token represents the investor bid and commitment, and a dollar value equivalent of the tokens is escrowed in the contract for the duration of the auction.”

For instance, if an investor wants to bid $50,000 for an artwork, and ART is worth $2, then 25,000 ART tokens must be submitted to the smart contract to reflect the bid.

To ensure the work is authentic, Maecenas has an internal team that checks the full provenance of the artwork including certificates of authenticity, condition reports, insurance policies, certificates of storage and valuation reports. Independent reputable experts will also assess and appraise the artwork. The documents produced during the due-diligence process are then protected and stored securely on the blockchain.

Maecenas recently completed their token crowdsale which raised 50,744 ETH. They are aiming to launch their platform in the first quarter of 2018.

The post Connecting the Luxury Fine Art Industry with the Modern Digital Economy appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Bank of Canada Senior Deputy Governor: Bitcoin Won’t Replace Cash

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

[…]

The post Bank of Canada Senior Deputy Governor: Bitcoin Won’t Replace Cash appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

A stark prosperity gap is crippling the economy — and deepening social divisions

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

wealthy reading racegoers

  • More than 52 million Americans live in deeply-disadvantaged, "distressed" neighborhoods, report finds.
  • Distressed areas saw declines in both jobs and business establishments despite economic recovery.
  • Wealthy neighborhoods have dominated the recovery, generating 52% of the country’s new jobs. 

There’s a new interactive tool online that helps Americans visualize just how deeply economically divided the nation has become — and it's not a pretty picture.

The country’s deep income and wealth inequalities, which match levels not seen since before the Great Depression, have been widely reported.

But the Distressed Communities Index, published by a Washington-based non-profit called Economic Innovation Group (EIG), adds some startling new detail and localized specificity to the widening and persistent gap between the country’s rich and poor, the worst of any "advanced" economy.

The US economy has, on paper, been recovering from the Great Recession since the summer of 2009. Recently, growth has hovered around 2% per year, and the unemployment rate has fallen to just 4.4%.

Still, much of the population has not felt the gains of this rebound, which is among the longest in modern history but also the weakest

"It is fair to wonder whether a recovery that excludes tens of millions of Americans and thousands of communities deserves to be called a recovery at all," the EIG says in its Distressed Communities Index report

Distressed1

"The consequences extend far beyond the individual communities being left behind. The further we go down the path of geographically exclusive growth, the more we limit our nation’s economic potential as a whole — and the more fractured our society risks becoming in the process."

This finding is in line with a recent shift in thinking at major institutions like the International Monetary Fund, which now argues that too much inequality is actively harmful to the long-run growth potential of economies.

Here are some depressing findings from the EIG report, which finds more than 52 million Americans are living in distressed zip codes:

• Job growth in the average distressed zip code was negative from 2011 to 2015, trailing the average prosperous zip code by more than 30 percentage points.

• Distressed zip codes were the only group in which the number of both jobs and business establishments declined during the national recovery.

• Most distressed zip codes contain fewer jobs and places of business today than they did in 2000.

• Distressed zip codes contain 35% of the country’s "brownfield" sites marked by "the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant." 

• 58% of adults in distressed zip codes have no education beyond high school.

Distressed ZipCodes EIG

Meanwhile, on the right side of the tracks:

• 88% of prosperous zip codes experienced job growth from 2011 to 2015, and 85% saw rising numbers of business establishments.

• Prosperous zip codes have dominated the recovery, generating 52% of the country’s new jobs and 57% of its net new business establishments from 2011 to 2015.  

• Adults with any level of postsecondary education are more likely to live in a prosperous zip code than any other type of community.

• 45% of the country’s advanced degree holders live in prosperous zip codes, more than in the bottom three quintiles of zip codes combined

Rich Zipcodes EIG

The richest one-fifth of US zip codes were the "unambiguous drivers" of the recovery, the report found;  88% of them saw job growth and 85% had rising numbers of business establishments from 2011 to 2015.

"Outside of the upper echelon, however, growth rapidly becomes less pervasive," EIG adds. "Only three out of every four comfortable zip codes saw job growth over the period, and the number of business establishments rose in only two out of every three zip codes in this second best-performing tier."

For the poorest Americans, "stagnation and decline were the rule, not the exception."

Just two of five distressed zip codes saw any job growth over the five years of recovery, and only about one in five saw the number of business establishments rise.

More than half (55%) of distressed zip codes experienced net declines in both jobs and business establishments over the 2011-2015 recovery period, compared to fewer than one quarter of mid-tier zip codes and a mere 3% of prosperous zip codes.

SEE ALSO: Inequality is getting so bad it's threatening the very foundation of economic growth

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Is bitcoin a bubble or the future of everything?

The Treasury Department backs down on some of its criticism of China's currency policies

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

xi jinping

  • The US Treasury Department moderated its criticism of China's foreign exchange policies, but highlighted its large bilateral trade deficit with the US.
  • China does not actually match the Treasury's three criteria for being labeled a currency manipulator.
  • It's likely Trump pulled back from criticizing China's FX policies due to the situation in North Korea, which he himself implied in an interview earlier this year.

The US Treasury Department once again chose not to name China a currency manipulator and moderated its criticism of the country's foreign exchange policies in its latest semi-annual report on the FX practices of major trading partners.

The department did, however, keep China on the "Monitoring List," and pointed to its large bilateral trade surplus with the US.

"China’s recent intervention in foreign exchange markets, tightened capital controls, and increased discretion over setting the daily fixing rate of the RMB have likely prevented a disorderly currency depreciation that would have had negative consequences for the United States, China, and the global economy," the department said in the report.

The Treasury said it remains "concerned by the lack of progress made in reducing the bilateral trade surplus with the United States." And it added that China continues to "pursue a wide array of policies that limit market access for imported goods and services, and maintains restrictive investment regime that adversely affects foreign investors."

"The report seemed less critical of China’s FX policy," Craig Chan and Wee Choon Teo, research analysts at Nomura, said in a note to clients. "[C]riticism of China was relatively muted, except for the lack of progress on narrowing the bilateral trade surplus."

In February, US President Donald Trump called China the "grand champions" of currency manipulation. And during his campaign, he pledged to label the country a currency manipulator on his first day in office — although he did not.

It's likely that the president pulled back on calling China a currency manipulator given the delicate situation with North Korea. He implied as much in an interview with The Economist published in May 2017:

"Now, with that in mind, [Chinese president Xi Jinping is] representing China and he wants what’s best for China. But so far, you know, he’s been, he’s been very good. But, so they talk about why haven’t you called him a currency manipulator? Now think of this. I say, 'Jinping. Please help us, let’s make a deal. Help us with North Korea, and by the way we’re announcing tomorrow that you’re a currency manipulator, OK?' They never say that, you know the fake media, they never put them together, they always say, he didn’t call him a currency [manipulator], number one. Number two, they’re actually not a currency [manipulator]. You know, since I’ve been talking about currency manipulation with respect to them and other countries, they stopped."

There are three criteria that must be met for a country to be labeled a currency manipulator by the Treasury Department:

  1. The country must have a significant bilateral trade surplus with the US.
  2. The country has a "material" currency account surplus.
  3. The country is engaged in persistent one-sided intervention in the foreign exchange market.

Major trading partners that match two out of the three criteria are added to a "Monitoring List," and remain there for at least two consecutive reports. China, which remained on the list, actually only matches one of the criteria.

Nomura's Chan and Teo said that the reason why China was left on the Monitoring List, despite the fact that it has only met one of the three criteria since October 2016, is because of a condition the Treasury added in its Spring 2017 report: any major trading partners that account for a "large and disproportionate share" of the overall US trade deficit will be added to the list — even if they don't meet two out of the three criteria.

In addition to China, the Treasury included Japan, Korea, Germany, and Switzerland on its Monitoring List in the latest report. Taiwan, meanwhile, was removed.

The last time the US designated China a currency manipulator was from 1992 to 1994. The chart below from Nomura breaks down the three criteria listed above for the US' biggest trading partners:

major trading partners evaluation criteria HSBC

SEE ALSO: ROSENBERG: This may be 'one of the most bullish, and underappreciated, charts on the planet right now'

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: THE BOTTOM LINE: The 'Trump trade' is back and Ray Dalio breaks down the bitcoin bubble

A huge health insurer just decided to build its own middleman to manage prescriptions (ANTM, ESRX)

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

pharmacy drugs pharmacist prescription technician medicine

  • In April, health insurer Anthem parted ways with Express Scripts, a pharmacy benefits manager. 
  • Anthem was responsible for roughly 18% of Express Scripts' first quarter 2017 revenue.
  • Now, Anthem is launching its own PBM called IngenioRx.

Anthem, which owns a variety of Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance firms, said on Wednesday that it will be launching its own pharmacy benefits manager. 

Pharmacy benefits managers, or PBMs, help negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs for health insurance plans. Anthem said its PBM IngenioRx would work with customers on Anthem plans as well as those who aren't on Anthem plans.

Anthem was up as much as 5% on Wednesday morning after the announcement.

In April, Anthem parted ways with Express Scripts, one of the largest PBMs in the drug industry, after choosing not to renew its contract. Anthem accused Express Scripts of not passing along savings from prescription drugs, claiming Express Scripts overcharged the insurer by billions of dollars. The ending of the contract comes after Anthem last year sued Express Scripts over the issue. 

Express Scripts shares were also up about 2% on Wednesday.

The decision to build its own PBM comes at an interesting time as middlemen receive more scrutiny. The hope, Anthem's CEO Joseph Swedish said, is to build a PBM that will "break through what is now a complex and fragmented landscape." 

"During the past two years, we have been very clear that we can strengthen the value offered to the marketplace with an improved and aligned PBM model," Swedish said in a news release. "Through the process of evaluating many PBM options in preparation for the expiration of our current contract, we determined that our scale and experience best position us to deliver an innovative solution, and the launch of IngenioRx will allow us to break through what is now a complex and fragmented landscape. It also positions Anthem to take advantage of a unique opportunity to grow and diversify our business within our existing footprint as well as nationally."

As part of the new set-up, Anthem also signed a five-year deal with CVS Health, which operates pharmacies and walk-in clinics starting in 2020. 

SEE ALSO: A huge pharma middleman lost its biggest customer — and it shows how drug pricing really works

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Is bitcoin a bubble or the future of everything?

Bitcoin suffers its biggest plunge in a month as traders fear tighter regulations

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

Screen Shot 2017 10 18 at 10.22.07 AM

  • Bitcoin fell Wednesday by more than 8%, its largest one-day drop in a month.
  • The world's largest cryptocurrency slumped following a report by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission that raised fears about future regulations.
  • Bitcoin recently sold off on reports of tighter regulation in China, but quickly rebounded to an all-time high. 

Bitcoin's price fell by the most in a month Wednesday after US regulators signaled that the cryptocurrency may come under more scrutiny. Other large cryptocurrencies including ethereum and bitcoin cash were also sharply lower.

A primer by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission released Tuesday said virtual tokens used in Initial Coin Offerings, the process of launching digital currencies, were characterized as securities, which could bring them under its regulatory scope.

"There is no inconsistency between the SEC’s analysis and the CFTC’s determination that virtual currencies are commodities and that virtual tokens may be commodities or derivatives contracts depending on the particular facts and circumstances," the report said.

At 10:21 a.m. ET, bitcoin is down by 8.5% to 5,125 per dollar. 

The volatile cryptocurrency has previously fallen on reports that China was closing down local exchanges, although it quickly rebounded to nearly 6,000 per dollar.

SEE ALSO: Cryptocurrencies are 'in the 3rd inning' — and Wall Street is just getting started

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Debating the odds of a stock market correction

Ethereum, Bitcoin Prices Plunge in Apparent Market Sell-Off

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

[…]

The post Ethereum, Bitcoin Prices Plunge in Apparent Market Sell-Off appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

Chaincode Labs to Host a Second Run of Its Month-Long Bitcoin Coding Class

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

Chaincode Labs to Host a Second Run of Its Month-Long Bitcoin Coding Class

Chaincode Labs, the New York–based development company and major contributor to Bitcoin Core, is organizing a second edition of its Bitcoin residency program in the first months of 2018. The program intends to help developers overcome the steep learning curve associated with becoming a protocol-level contributor to projects like Bitcoin Core. In doing so, Chaincode Labs hopes to help expand Bitcoin’s development community.

“Last year was the first run,” Chaincode Labs developer John Newbery told Bitcoin Magazine. “We’ve now taken the good stuff from that and tried to make it even more focused and useful for residents this year.”

The Residency Program

Chaincode Labs, in collaboration with Matt Corallo — who worked at Blockstream last year but joined Chaincode Labs since — organized the residency program for the first time in September and October of 2016. The next edition will start on January 29, 2018, and will last until February 23.

Newbery himself was one of the attendees of this first residency program. He was later hired by Chaincode Labs and has since been one of the most prolific contributors to the Bitcoin Core project.

Now, he is coordinating the second of two legs of the new program.

“Chaincode Labs exists to strengthen Bitcoin,” said Newbery. “We mostly do that by contributing to Bitcoin Core, but each of us has a lot of freedom to do what we think is important. And the main purpose of this residency program is to try to strengthen the developer community.”

Specifically, courses will cover protocol design, adversarial thinking, threat models and security considerations, as well as address some of Bitcoin’s biggest challenges, like scaling, fungibility and privacy. Attendees will mostly learn by doing and could even start contributing to the Bitcoin Core project during the residency. Throughout the program they will be assisted by the entire Chaincode Labs team — Alex Morcos, Suhas Daftuar, Matt Corallo, John Newbery and Russ Yanofsky. There may also be guest speakers.

Two Blocks

Whereas the first edition of the residency program lasted four straight weeks for all attendees, this time the coding classes will be cut into two two-week phases. Candidates can either pick one of two legs or join both, with room for five or six attendees per session.

The first leg is coordinated by Corallo, who has been contributing to Bitcoin development since 2011.

“Session A is all about getting people to think about the security trade-offs and implications of the technical decisions we make,” Newbery explained. “There’s a lot of thought that goes into all the decisions that are made in Bitcoin, but that nuance is often lost. If we can help people to understand those trade-offs better and be able to communicate them, then perhaps we can raise the level of the conversations we have about Bitcoin.”

The second session will be more focused on the Bitcoin Core project itself, Newbery said.

“Session B is all about getting smart, talented people to start making useful contributions to Bitcoin Core. There’s a steep learning curve to becoming a contributor and if I can help people who want to contribute but have felt daunted or don’t know where to start, then I’ll feel like I’ve succeeded.”

Additionally, Chaincode Labs will organize a series of Wednesday night meetups ahead of the residency program. Contents of these meetups will be similar to the residency program, but these meetups are for participants who live in (or near) New York who can’t dedicate two or four full weeks to attending the residency program itself.

For more information on Chaincode Labs’ 2018 Bitcoin residency program and to find out how to apply, see the company’s announcement and the program website.

The post Chaincode Labs to Host a Second Run of Its Month-Long Bitcoin Coding Class appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

IBM's stock is popping after blowing through Wall Street revenue estimates (IBM)

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

FILE PHOTO: Traders gather at the post that trades IBM on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange October 20, 2014.   REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

  • IBM's stock is up about 8% on Wednesday morning.
  • The company beat earnings expectations for the third quarter based, in part, because of its focus on cloud computing.

IBM's stock price is up 7.85% to $157.83 on Wednesday after reporting an "impressive clean EPS print," according to Amit Daryanani, an analyst at RBC. It was the largest jump in stock price after earnings for IBM since 2002, according to Bespoke Investment Group.

The company crushed its third-quarter earnings report, coming in with non-GAAP earnings of $3.30 per share, compared to the $3.28 per share expected, on revenues of $19.15 billion, compared to the $18.59 billion expected.

Total third-quarter revenue was down slightly from last year's $19.23 billion, but revenue from IBM's cloud business saw a jump of 20% compared to the same time last year. Cloud revenue is a relatively new area of focus for the company.

"We see potential for IBM to sustain revenue/EPS upside once again in Dec-qtr largely driven by f/x (300bps tailwind in Dec) and z14 refresh cycle," Daryanani said in a note to clients Wednesday morning.

Daryanani rates IBM as neutral, with a price target of $160, which is 1.9% higher than the company's current stock price. Daryanani did not update that price target after IBM's earnings beat.

If IBM is to focus on and grow its cloud business, Daryanani said that the company could be worth reconsidering in terms of a rating and price target. Cloud computing is one of the hottest areas of tech right now and IBM is still working to grow its foothold in the space. The company released its System Z mainframe computers recently, which helped grow its total systems revenue to $1.7 billion, which is 10% higher than the same period last year.

IBM's total revenue declined in the third quarter, which was the 22nd-straight quarter of declines, but Daryanani said IBM has a chance to break that streak with its current focus.

IBM is down 5.37% this year after its post-earnings bump.

Read more about IBM's third quarter here...

 IBM stock price

SEE ALSO: IBM's cloud business helped it top Wall Street revenue targets

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: THE BOTTOM LINE: The 'Trump trade' is back and Ray Dalio breaks down the bitcoin bubble

Healthy Pullback? Bitcoin Price Dips Back Below $5,300

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

The price of bitcoin is down today, as overbought indicators seem to have yielded a notable correction away from recent highs.

Newsflash: Bitcoin Price Falls Below $5,300 in October’s Biggest Dip

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

[…]

The post Newsflash: Bitcoin Price Falls Below $5,300 in October’s Biggest Dip appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

Kohl's says it's not trying to get acquired by Amazon — but traders are preparing just in case

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

kohl's

  • Kohl's has been cozying up to Amazon in recent months, but the company's incoming CEO says it's not an attempt to get acquired.
  • Traders are positioning anyway for a stock increase that would likely result from a deal.

Kohl's is trying a novel approach to fending off the Amazon-led retail apocalypse: play nice with the enemy.

Last month, the department store operator said that it would open up Amazon shops in 10 of its locations, with a focus on technology products. A few weeks later, Kohl's announced that it would start accepting returns for items purchased on Amazon.com.

The decisions were the epitome of "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em'" logic, and investors rewarded the company with a 7.7% stock rally from the initial announcement through the end of September.

It also started chatter that Kohl's was cozying up to Amazon with hopes of being acquired.

Incoming Kohl's CEO Michelle Gass addressed this speculation in a Bloomberg TV interview on Tuesday. When asked whether Kohl's is looking to get bought, she simply said, "I don't think so, no."

But traders are taking no chances. If Amazon does purchase Kohl's, it would likely be for a large premium over its current stock price, creating a big payday for investors who stuck with the company through an increasingly difficult retail environment. For evidence of this, look no further than Amazon's $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods earlier this year, which saw the company pay a whopping 27% premium.

In order to position for this, traders are paring hedges on the company, leaving them more directionally exposed to profit from a stock price increase. The implied volatility spread between Kohl's shares and an exchange-traded fund tracking the retail industry has fallen to the lowest in more than two years. (Implied volatility reflects investor expectations of price swings, and lower levels imply bullishness.)

KSS implied vol spread

What's more, the three most traded Kohl's options contracts on Tuesday were calls — which reflect wagers on a stock price increase.

Gains would be welcome news for Kohl's shareholders who saw the stock plunge 19% in a single day at the beginning of the year, after the company made big cuts to its annual profit forecast. Shares are up 3.1% since then, but remain down more than 12% on a year-to-date basis.

Some analysts have been won over since Kohl's announced its collaboration with Amazon. On October 9, Telsey Advisory analyst Dana Telsey upgraded the stock to outperform and increased her price target to $50, citing continued momentum for the company.

Kohl's "continues to play offense in a defensible world," she wrote.

Screen Shot 2017 10 18 at 9.03.56 AM

SEE ALSO: Traders can't stop betting against battered Blue Apron

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: THE BOTTOM LINE: The 'Trump trade' is back and Ray Dalio breaks down the bitcoin bubble

Housing starts slide in September

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

home building

The pace of US homebuilding has slowed in September for the fifth time in the past six months.

Housing starts fell at a 4.7% month-over-month clip to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.127 million, missing the Bloomberg consensus of 1.175 million.

It was still slightly above the rate of 1.062 million in housing starts in September 2016, according to US Census data

Residential building permits fell 4.5% to an annual pace of 1.215 million, missing expectations of 1.245 million permits.

The US housing industry has faced unprecedented labor shortages in construction and high demand, signaling that homebuilders have not been able to keep pace with people looking to buy homes.

 

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Is bitcoin a bubble or the future of everything?

Housing starts slide in September

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

home building

The pace of US homebuilding has slowed in September for the fifth time in the past six months.

Housing starts fell at a 4.7% month-over-month clip to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.127 million, missing the Bloomberg consensus of 1.175 million.

It was still slightly above the rate of 1.062 million in housing starts in September 2016, according to US Census data

Residential building permits fell 4.5% to an annual pace of 1.215 million, missing expectations of 1.245 million permits.

The US housing industry has faced unprecedented labor shortages in construction and high demand, signaling that homebuilders have not been able to keep pace with people looking to buy homes.

 

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Is bitcoin a bubble or the future of everything?

Steve Mnuchin says the stock market will tumble if Trump's tax plan doesn't pass

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

steven mnuchin

  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the stock market will tank if the GOP tax bill is not passed during an interview on a podcast.
  • Mnuchin also "absolutely guaranteed" the tax bill would be on President Trump's desk by early December.
  • He also addressed the estate tax repeal, cutting taxes for the rich, and eliminating the state and local tax deduction.


Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the key to maintaining the strength of the stock market is the passage of President Donald Trump and GOP leaders' tax reform package.

On the Politico Money podcast with Ben White, Mnuchin said that the markets has "baked into it, reasonably high expectations" for a significant corporate tax cut, helping to boost stocks to the recent all-time highs.

Conversely, said Mnuchin, if the tax bill were to fail it would take out that support system for the market.

"To the extent we get the tax deal done, the stock market will go up higher. But there’s no question in my mind that if we don’t get it done you’re going to see a reversal of a significant amount of these gains," Mnuchin said.

Stocks have reached record highs this year, extending a nine-year bull market that began after the financial crisis. A portion of those has come from what's called the Trump trade, a rally in companies that stand to gain the most from the Trump administration's efforts to instill pro-business policies. Those shares, though, were at their highest in March and other factors have also contributed to the run-up in financial and technology stocks. 

Mnuchin added that a tax bill is not "priced in 100%" so if a bill is passed, the market will still go up some.

The Treasury Secretary gave his "absolute guarantee" that the tax bill will be passed in 2017 and said Congress plans to have the billion Trump's desk to be signed by early December.

As it stands now, the Senate must pass a budget resolution this week to unlock the process known as budget reconciliation. Reconciliation will allow Republicans to pass a tax bill with a simple majority in the Senate, avoiding a Democratic filibuster.

Once that is done, the bill must be released and go through committees in both the House and Senate before being considered for a vote in either chamber.

Among other things, Mnuchin said that it's "very hard not to give tax cuts to the wealthy" when cutting taxes for the middle class as well and defended the elimination of the estate tax as a "philosophical issue."

Perhaps most interestingly, Mnuchin said that the administration is considering changes to the repeal of the state and local tax deduction. The deduction, which allows people to deduct their state and local taxes from their federal tax burden, has been defended by Republicans in states like New York, New Jersey, and California. Those three states draw a significant amount of the benefit from the deduction.

"We’re working on fixing that right now," Mnuchin told Politico. "We’re conscious of that issue."

You can listen to the full interview via Politico here:

SEE ALSO: LARRY SUMMERS: The new argument for Trump's tax plan is 'dishonest, incompetent and absurd'

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: THE BOTTOM LINE: The 'Trump trade' is back and Ray Dalio breaks down the bitcoin bubble

The dollar is ticking up ahead of the Beige Book

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

us dollar

The dollar is ticking up ahead of the Beige Book.

The US dollar index was higher by 0.3% at 93.71 at 8:29 a.m. ET.

"We note the dollar is starting to look rich to our short-term cyclical models and we do not see much room for a sustainable bounce near-term," Mark McCormick, North American head of FX strategy at TD Securities, said in emailed commentary.

"The major currencies are stuck in a tug-of-war between dollar on/dollar-off, with focus centered on the Fed's Game of Thrones saga, budget news, and NAFTA headlines." 

The Federal Reserve's Beige Book will be out at 2 p.m. ET.

As for the rest of the world, here was the scoreboard as of 8:34 a.m. ET:

  • The British pound was down 0.2% at 1.3163 against the dollar after data showed unemployment in the UK fell. The unemployment rate held at 4.3% in the three months to August, but the number of unemployed fell by 52,000 in the three months to August.
  • The Russian ruble was lower by 0.2% at 57.4037 per dollar, while Brent crude oil, the international benchmark, was up by 0.9% at $58.38 per barrel.
  • The South African rand was weaker by 1% at 13.5240 per dollar after data showed CPI rose 0.5% month-over-month in September, above expectations of a 0.3% increase.
  • The euro is little changed at 1.1760 against the dollar.
  • The Japanese yen was down by 0.6% at 112.84 per dollar.
  • The Indian rupee was weaker by 0.2% at 65.070 per dollar.

SEE ALSO: Here's how easy it is for anyone — including Russian operatives — to target you with ads on Facebook

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: THE BOTTOM LINE: The 'Trump trade' is back and Ray Dalio breaks down the bitcoin bubble

Here's a super-quick guide to what traders are talking about right now

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

Traders work at the Barclay's post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange January 26, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Dave Lutz, head of ETFs at JonesTrading, has an overview of today's markets.

Here's Lutz:

Morning!  US Futures are well bid, with Russell up 40bp as allocators sell Treasuries, but Nazzy lagging despite Big Blue adding 5% early.  Sea of Green in Europe, with DAX up 50bp - EU Futures have been on the upswing sine Draghi spoke about Economic Reforms – Tech shares seem to be leading to the upside, while Chemicals weaker on Akzo Nobel #s.   Spain’s IBEX is the sole market in the red, as angst builds into Catalonia endgame tomorrow.  FTSE up 30bp despite miners weaker and Staples getting hit on Reckitt Benckiser.   Mostly Green overnight in Asia as North Korea opted not to test a Missile - Nikkei up small for 12 in a row, but Kobe steel led Industrials lower - Hang Send basically unch - Shanghai added 30bp as China’s Congress opens - KOSPI off small - Aussie unch as a rally in Fins was offset by Mining Headers – Rio hit on US Fraud Charges – BHP hit on production #s - Markets in Malaysia, Singapore and Sri Lanka were closed on Wednesday for holidays

Ahead of comments from Fed’s Dudley and Kaplan, Fed Funds up to 97% for December, up from 87% yesterday and 80% a week ago.  The US 10YY getting upside 200d as Bunds get sold, while the “Policy Sensitive” 2YY on years highs.   DXY continues its trajectory, as Euro weaker “ahead of a flurry of speeches from ECB officials” while the Sterling is drifting under $1.32 as Brexit angst cap gains.  Eyes on the Peso holding the bulk of yesterday’s NAFTA headline gains.  Ore up 1.5% “as Xi says China needs to deepen reforms” – but all other industrial metals are weaker, and Gold falls as Havens retreat and the Greenback rallies.   Iraqi / Kurd headers continue to support the Oil Complex.  WTI up 70bp as API showed double the expected draw, but gains capped as the Gasoline Complex showed yet another large build.

SEE ALSO: 10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: THE BOTTOM LINE: The 'Trump trade' is back and Ray Dalio breaks down the bitcoin bubble

Ethereum Price Down 8%, Ripple Falls by 12%, Bitcoin Loses 6%: Cryptocurrencies Suffer Correction

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

[…]

The post Ethereum Price Down 8%, Ripple Falls by 12%, Bitcoin Loses 6%: Cryptocurrencies Suffer Correction appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

Ethereum Price Down 8%, Ripple Falls by 12%, Bitcoin Loses 6%: Cryptocurrencies Suffer Correction

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

[…]

The post Ethereum Price Down 8%, Ripple Falls by 12%, Bitcoin Loses 6%: Cryptocurrencies Suffer Correction appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

10 things you need to know before the opening bell (SPY, SPX, QQQ, DIA, IBM, RIO, APRN, UBS)

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

Tiananmen Gate China

Here is what you need to know. 

China's national congress kicks offChinese President Xi Jinping told Communist Party officials that China will be a leading nation in terms of national power and global impact by 2050, while announcing a two-part plan to become a "great modern socialist country."

UK unemployment drops. The UK's unemployment rate held at 4.3%, its lowest level since 1975, as 52,000 fewer people were out of work in September, data released Wednesday by the Office for National Statistics showed.

IBM's cloud business propels it to a revenue beat. IBM's revenue fell for a 22nd straight quarter, but revenue from "strategic imperatives" increased 11%, thanks to cloud computing and software-as-a-service offerings.  

UBS asks its bankers where they want to move post-Brexit. The investment bank surveyed staff about where they wanted to move post-Brexit: Amsterdam, Madrid or Frankfurt, Reuters reports, citing people familiar with the matter.

Rio Tinto and its former CEO have been charged with fraud. Rio Tinto and two former senior executives, including former CEO Tom Albanese, have been charged with fraud by the US Securities and Exchange Commission for allegedly failing to follow accounting standards and company policies to accurately value and record its assets.

Traders can't stop betting against Blue ApronBets against the meal-kit delivery company now total $69.3 million, up 12% since the end of September, according to data compiled by financial-analytics firm S3 Partners. 

Networks and businesses are distancing themselves from Marc Faber after a racist investor letterBusinesses and financial networks on Tuesday began distancing themselves from Faber, the author of the "Gloom, Doom, and Boom" report, because of his October investor letter in which he wrote "thank god white people populated America, and not the blacks."

Stock markets around the world are higherJapan's Nikkei (+0.19%) eked out a gain in Asia and Germany's DAX (+0.53%) leads the advance in Europe. The S&P 500 is set to open little changed near 2,561.

Earnings reporting picks up. Alcoa, American Express, and eBay are among the names report after markets close. 

US economic data keeps coming. Housing starts and building permits will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET and the Fed's Beige Book crosses the wires at 2 p.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is up 3 basis points at 2.33%. 

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: THE BOTTOM LINE: The 'Trump trade' is back and Ray Dalio breaks down the bitcoin bubble

10 things you need to know before the opening bell (SPY, SPX, QQQ, DIA, IBM, RIO, APRN, UBS)

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

Tiananmen Gate China

Here is what you need to know. 

China's national congress kicks offChinese President Xi Jinping told Communist Party officials that China will be a leading nation in terms of national power and global impact by 2050, while announcing a two-part plan to become a "great modern socialist country."

UK unemployment drops. The UK's unemployment rate held at 4.3%, its lowest level since 1975, as 52,000 fewer people were out of work in September, data released Wednesday by the Office for National Statistics showed.

IBM's cloud business propels it to a revenue beat. IBM's revenue fell for a 22nd straight quarter, but revenue from "strategic imperatives" increased 11%, thanks to cloud computing and software-as-a-service offerings.  

UBS asks its bankers where they want to move post-Brexit. The investment bank surveyed staff about where they wanted to move post-Brexit: Amsterdam, Madrid or Frankfurt, Reuters reports, citing people familiar with the matter.

Rio Tinto and its former CEO have been charged with fraud. Rio Tinto and two former senior executives, including former CEO Tom Albanese, have been charged with fraud by the US Securities and Exchange Commission for allegedly failing to follow accounting standards and company policies to accurately value and record its assets.

Traders can't stop betting against Blue ApronBets against the meal-kit delivery company now total $69.3 million, up 12% since the end of September, according to data compiled by financial-analytics firm S3 Partners. 

Networks and businesses are distancing themselves from Marc Faber after a racist investor letterBusinesses and financial networks on Tuesday began distancing themselves from Faber, the author of the "Gloom, Doom, and Boom" report, because of his October investor letter in which he wrote "thank god white people populated America, and not the blacks."

Stock markets around the world are higherJapan's Nikkei (+0.19%) eked out a gain in Asia and Germany's DAX (+0.53%) leads the advance in Europe. The S&P 500 is set to open little changed near 2,561.

Earnings reporting picks up. Alcoa, American Express, and eBay are among the names report after markets close. 

US economic data keeps coming. Housing starts and building permits will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET and the Fed's Beige Book crosses the wires at 2 p.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is up 3 basis points at 2.33%. 

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Is bitcoin a bubble or the future of everything?

Red-hot earnings have traders the most bullish on banks in years — and that's huge for the stock market

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

Jamie Dimon

Wall Street really knocked it out of the park this quarter, and traders have taken notice.

In the wake of better-than-expected results for JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley, they're positioning for further upside in the sector — a development that signals merrier times ahead for an equity bull market well into its ninth year.

Short interest — a measure of bets that share prices will drop — on an exchange-traded fund tracking financial stocks in the S&P 500 is sitting near the lowest level in at least three years, relative to outstanding shares available to loan, according to IHS Markit data.

And while that bullish stance likely reflects expectations that Federal Reserve rate hikes will boost interest income for major lenders, recent moves in the indicator suggest that this quarter's earnings are also driving sentiment.

XLF short interest

So what does this mean for the broader market? Data from Goldman Sachs suggests that the bullishness could bode well for stocks at large.

Dating back to the start of the 8 1/2-year bull market that kicked off in March 2009, Goldman finds that financial firms contributed the second-biggest portion of share gains to the S&P 500, out of the 11 major industries. And while tech has been the heaviest contributor, financials' presence in the stock market elite is arguably more impressive, given how rock-bottom interest rates have slowed lending income.

If traders are to be believed, the best is still to come for financial stocks, with the aforementioned ETF hitting a 10-year high amid the earnings bonanza. Stay tuned.

Screen Shot 2017 10 17 at 4.45.49 PM

SEE ALSO: Traders can't stop betting against battered Blue Apron

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Is bitcoin a bubble or the future of everything?

Globitex: Commission-Free Bitcoin Cash Trading and Token Sale

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

[…]

The post Globitex: Commission-Free Bitcoin Cash Trading and Token Sale appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

Bitcoin is a Bubble & Pyramid Scheme, Says Brazil Central Bank Chief

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

[…]

The post Bitcoin is a Bubble & Pyramid Scheme, Says Brazil Central Bank Chief appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

No wonder investors are rushing into cryptocurrencies — average ICO returns are 1,320%

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

Traders in the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index options pit at the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) react after it was announced that they Federal Reserve would increase interest rates December 16, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The Federal Reserves raised the interest rates for the first time since 2006 by 0.25 percentage points. (Photo by )

  • Report from VC Mangrove Capital says average return across 204 initial coin offerings is 1,320%.
  • Figure comes amid growing interest from hedge funds and investment banks in the cryptocurrency space, with over 55 crypto-specific hedge funds.

LONDON — A blind investment in every initial coin offering (ICO) to date, including those that have failed, would have generated an average return of 1,320% for investors, according to a new report.

Venture capital firm Mangrove Capital Partners claims that: "If one had blindly invested €10,000 in every ICO, including the significant number of ICOs that failed, this would have delivered a +13.2x return."

Michael Jackson, the former COO of Skype and a partner at Mangrove, authored the report and looked at data on 204 ICOs with "known outcomes" — ones where tokens are now being actively traded on exchanges or have failed since issue.

Jackson's findings highlight why many institutional investors — from hedge funds to investment banks — are now waking up to the cryptocurrency space.

ICOs explained

ICOs are a new way of funding startups by issuing digital tokens that can be traded online. The tokens are inspired by, and structured like, earlier cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Ethereum, whose network is in fact used to launch most ICOs. These new digital currencies and sold for real money, which is used to fund the development of the startups.

The tokens or coins are usually linked to the startup in some way. Mangrove uses this analogy to describe the process:

"A music streaming service could sell subscription tokens in bulk ahead of launch and amass a customer base motivated to promote the service as soon as the product is functional, not least because the value of their tokens will rise."

ICOs have boomed in popularity in 2017, with over $2 billion raised since the start of the year. For companies looking at applications of blockchain technology, ICOs have far outstripped venture capital as the biggest source of funding.blockchain equity vs ico fundingHowever, regulators around the world have warned that ICO investments are high risk and unproven. While some coins have exploded in value, the market is characterised by huge volatility. UBS recently said the space is in a "speculative boom."

Despite these uncertainties, many investment banks and hedge funds are starting to express an interest in investing in ICOs and cryptocurrencies.

'Hedge funds and mutual funds are assessing the crypto opportunity'

Etienne Brunet, a London-based venture capitalist who has studied the ICO market, told Business Insider: "Over the last year or so you have had crazy returns in the crypto space.

"It took institutional investors a long time to go from ‘what is this' to 'maybe we should invest,'" he said. "First, VCs were the ones interested in investing in an ICO. Now, institutional investors ranging from hedge funds and mutual funds are quickly pushing the effort to assess the crypto opportunity."

Photo illustration of Bitfinex cryptocurrency exchange website taken September 27, 2017. Picture taken September 27, 2017.Hedge funds and other active investors have struggled in the post-financial crisis era amid the rise of exchange-traded funds and other passive investment schemes. Hedge funds have typically underperformed simple tracker funds in the decade since the crash.

The appeal of crypto for active investors is that they offer the promise of "alpha" — returns above market averages. Brunet, an investment executive at fund Illuminate Financial, said: "We have hedge funds that have a mandate that's a bit more open than others, and they are starting to buy coins.

"If you allocate one or two people, it's not a great expense but it can drive some alpha. And that, at the end of the day, is what they're looking for."

Autonomous NEXT, a fintech analytics firm, said in August that there were at least 55 cryptocurrency hedge funds it was aware of. Since then, Mike Novogratz, a former manager at Fortress, has announced plans to set up a $500 million for a new cryptocurrency hedge fund and San Francisco's Blockchain Capital on Wednesday announced plans to raise $150 million, part of which will go towards cryptocurrencies.

Goldman's stamp of approval

Reports emerged recently that Goldman Sachs is looking at setting up a Bitcoin trading desk. It follows a note sent to clients in August saying: "It’s getting harder for institutional investors to ignore cryptocurrencies."

Mangrove Capital Partners Michael JacksonBrunet describes Goldman Sachs reported interest in bitcoin as "a major milestone."

"If you are a big fund you can't just go through an exchange because the required quantity is just too large and the liquidity of the exchanges are not as high as traditional equity exchanges like Nasdaq," he said. "Institutional investors need an OTC broker to buy and sell the desired quantities of crypto."

Goldman could fulfil this role. However, there are other regulatory and market infrastructures issues, such as post-trade custody and execution, Brunet says. The regulatory position of many crypto tokens is also unclear.

Still, Mangrove's Jackson wrote in his report: "Once regulated, ICOs could fundamentally change how businesses source growth capital and profoundly impact the venture capital and investment banking communities."

Brunet said: "People think Bitcoin and Ethereum are a new asset class. For the other coins, it's still very much speculative."

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Gary Shilling calls bitcoin a black box and says he doesn't invest in things he doesn't understand

Unemployment in the UK falls once again

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

uk unemployment

LONDON – UK unemployment remained at its lowest level since 1975, according to the latest data from the Office of National Statistics.

The unemployment rate was 4.3% in the three months to August, unchanged from the previous reading.

While the headline rate didn't change, unemployment did fall in the three months to August, with 52,000 fewer people out of work.

The employment rate, which measures the proportion of people aged 16-64 in work, hit 75.1% – up from 74.5% in the previous year.

In total, there are 32.1 million people at work in the UK, according to the figures, 94,000 more than in the March to May period.

"Many labour market measures continue to strengthen. Employment growth in the latest three-month period was driven mainly by women, with a corresponding drop in inactivity. Vacancies remain robust, at a near-record level," Matt Hughes, a senior statistician at the ONS said.

Here's the ONS chart of unemployment over the longer term:

Screen Shot 2017 10 18 at 09.36.06

Alongside the unemployment numbers, the ONS' data showed that real wages for average Brits continue to shrink as wage growth fails to keep up with inflation.

"Between June to August 2016 and June to August 2017, in real terms (that is, adjusted for consumer price inflation), regular pay for employees in Great Britain fell by 0.4% and total pay for employees in Great Britain fell by 0.3%," the ONS said.

"Total earnings in cash terms grew slower than prices over the last year, meaning their real value continues to fall, down 0.3 per cent over that period," Hughes added.

Wednesday's unemployment data comes 24 hours after inflation jumped to its highest level in five years, as Brexit continues to push up the cost of living in the UK.

The UK's Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation rate — the key measure of inflation — was 3% in September, up from 2.9% in the previous month.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: RAY DALIO: Bitcoin is a speculative bubble

Foxtons' revenue falls as it struggles with London's weak housing market

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

A woman walks into a Foxtons estate agent in west London, Britain July 29, 2016

LONDON – London-only estate agent Foxtons is feeling the effects of a slowdown in the capital's property market. 

Foxtons' revenue for the quarter ending September 30 was £35.1 million, down from £37.5 million in the same period last year.

Total revenue for the year so far also fell, at £93.7 million, compared to £106.3 million last year.

However, the group said the results were "in line with expectations," that cash flow remained strong and it had no debt.

Foxton's shares jumped up 5.82% as of 08:14 BST (03:14 EST) on Wednesday.

"This was a resilient third quarter performance when set against the challenging conditions in the London property market. We have maintained our relentless focus on delivering a leading proposition for our customers and in our lettings business we are pleased with the reaction to our recent growth initiatives," said CEO Nic Budden.

The UK property market has experienced a significant downturn over the past eighteen months, and profits at leading estate agents Foxtons and Countrywide fell sharply earlier in the year as fewer people looked to buy or rent properties.

Foxtons' full year profit, announced in March, dropped by 54%, driven by London's stagnant housing market, Brexit uncertainty and the hike in stamp duty in April 2016.

However, the number of lettings at Foxtons rose slightly this quarter compared to last year, growth which helped offset a tougher rental market. This was due in part to the success of several "growth initiatives," the group said, although quarterly lettings were still down to £22.5 million, compared to £22.9 million last year.

Sales revenue in the quarter was also down from £12.3 million to £10.3 million, as the slowdown in buying from earlier in the year continued.

Screen Shot 2017 10 18 at 08.33.32

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: RAY DALIO: Bitcoin is a speculative bubble

Another British airline in trouble: Flybe shares plunge 19% after profit warning

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

Flybe

LONDON — Flybe has become the latest carrier in Britain's stricken airline sector to hit trouble after issuing a profit warning to investors on Wednesday.

In a statement to the markets, Flybe — Britain's third largest airline behind easyJet and British Airways — said that its profits for the first half of the 2017/18 financial year are now expected to be between £5 million and £10 million, a downward revision from a forecast of £15.9 million.

Flybe has blamed the profit warning on "higher than expected" costs related to its fleet of aircraft, "particularly the Bombardier Q400 turboprop."

"While half-year profits are lower than expected, I am confident that we are still on a clear sustainable path to profitability in line with our stated plan," Flybe CEO Christine Ourmieres-Widener said in a statement alongside the announcement.

"The increased maintenance costs are disappointing, but we are already addressing these in the second half and remain focused on improving our cost base and reliability performance."

Investors in Flybe have not taken reacted well to the company's announcement, and in early trading share dropped by as much as 19%. By 8.20 a.m. BST (3.20 a.m. ET) a small rebound is underway, although shares remain close to 16% lower, trading at 37.5 pence each. 

Here is the chart:

Flybe shares October 18

Flybe's profit warning adds to the woes of the UK's already turbulent airline sector, following the collapse of Monarch Airlines earlier in October. Monarch, which was the UK's fifth largest carrier, went under at the beginning of October becoming the biggest airline failure in the history of British aviation and leaving approximately 110,000 travellers stranded abroad.

That followed a series of problems for Irish carrier Ryanair, which was forced to cancel thousands of booking this winter after a rostering error caused a backlog of staff holiday days due at the end of the year. The cancellations are set to impact as many as 700,000 passengers and caused a major PR crisis for the company.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: RAY DALIO: Bitcoin is a speculative bubble

4 former Shell execs are a step closer to being charged for an alleged $1.1 billion bribery scheme

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

shell oil barrels

LONDON – Italian prosecutors have requested to charge four former executives at oil giant Shell over an alleged $1.1 billion bribery scheme in Nigeria.

The Milan Public Prosecutor's Office has issued a formal Request for Indictment on bribery charges for the former employees, who have been named, and for the company itself.

In the Italian justice system, a judge now has to rule on whether or not to take the charges forward.

However, Global Witness, a campaign group providing evidence to the prosecution, says its lawyers have recommended that this request is the equivalent of charging.

In April, Shell admitted it had dealt with convicted money launderer and former Nigerian oil minister Dan Etete in relation to a $1.1 billion payment for a Nigerian oil block in 2011, although it had previously claimed it only paid the Nigerian government.

This came a day after the publication of an investigation by Global Witness and Finance Uncovered, which alleged that Shell executives and Italian oil company Eni had known the money was being paid to Etete via his front company, and that it would be used to bribe Nigerian officials.

The four named individuals include the former Head of Upstream, Malcolm Brinded, who remains on Shell's Board of Trustees. Named alongside Brinded are Peter Robinson, former vice president for Shell's sub-Saharan Africa operations, and former Shell employees and MI6 agents Guy Colegate and John Copleston.

"This could be the biggest corporate bribery trial in history, and a watershed moment for the oil industry," said Barnaby Pace of Global Witness. "The top brass of the UK's largest company is in the dock after it finally admitted dealing with a convicted money launderer.

"There can be no clearer sign that wholesale change is needed. Shell must first apologise to the Nigerian people, then take clear steps to reassuring investors and the broader public that this won't happen again," he said.

A Shell spokesperson said, “based on our review of the Prosecutor of Milan's file and all of the information and facts available to Shell, we do not believe that there is a basis to prosecute Shell. Furthermore, we are not aware of any evidence to support a case against any former or current Shell employee.

“Shell attaches the greatest importance to business integrity. It’s one of our core values and is a central tenet of the Business Principles that govern the way we do business. We have clear anti-bribery and corruption policies and a code of conduct. All employees around the world are expected to uphold these principles and comply with our policies and code – failure to do so will result in consequences up to and including dismissal."

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Gary Shilling calls bitcoin a black box and says he doesn't invest in things he doesn't understand

Gates Foundation Taps Ripple to Develop Mobile Payments Services

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

[…]

The post Gates Foundation Taps Ripple to Develop Mobile Payments Services appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

10 things you need to know before European markets open

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

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street with the Secretary of State for departing the EU David Davis, in London, October 16, 2017. REUTERS/Mary Turner

Good morning! Here's what you need to know.

1. Fewer than half of investment managers born in the EU say they're "confident" they will keep living in the UK after Brexit, a survey from the CFA Institute released on Wednesday says. The CFA Institute — which represents investment professionals around the world — said that just 42% of investment managers it surveyed were clear that they will stay in the UK once Britain leaves the EU.

2. Swiss bank UBS asked staff whether they would prefer to relocate to Amsterdam, Madrid or Frankfurt after Britain leaves the European Union in a survey sent to its investment bankers on Tuesday, Reuters reported. Financial service firms need a regulated subsidiary in an EU country to offer products across the bloc, which means some are looking to move jobs out of Britain if it loses access to the European single market.

3. Theresa May will make a pitch to fellow EU leaders in Brussels on Thursday as she tries to break a deadlock in Brexit talks that has left Britain's future trading position up in the air. But EU officials expect no movement in negotiating positions from either side before the other 27 leaders deliver a verdict on progress on Friday.

4. Businesses began distancing themselves from the investor and markets commentator Marc Faber because of an investor letter in which he wrote "thank god white people populated America, and not the blacks." In the October edition of the "Gloom, Boom, and Doom" report, Faber addressed government regulation and what he considered to be impending issues facing the financial future of the US. 

5. Sainsbury's, Britain's second biggest supermarket, is seeking to cut up to 2,000 jobs, mainly in its payroll and human resources departments. Sainsbury's is consulting on measures that would lead to a loss of 1,400 jobs by removing all in-store human resource and payroll clerk roles.

6. British budget airline easyJet won't enter the rapidly growing long-haul market given its abundance of options to buy parts of failed European airlines, CEO Carolyn McCall said. In the last week, easyJet has confirmed its interest in parts of Air Berlin and Alitalia, which went into administration earlier this year.

7. Bank capital rules are concentrating risk inside the clearing system and making clearing houses increasingly systemically important, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission's Brian Quintenz said. The Republican commissioner warned that the leverage ratio have made it too expensive for banks to provide clearing services, leading many to pull out of the business.

8. The Bahrain Defence Force signed a $3.8 billion deal with Lockheed Martin to buy 16 upgraded F-16 aircraft, the official Bahrain state news agency said. In September, the US State Department approved arms sales packages worth more than $3.8 billion to Bahrain including F-16 jets, upgrades, missiles and patrol boats.

9. Brazil said it may renew chicken exports to Indonesia as early as 2018 after the World Trade Organization ruled that the Southeast Asian country's restrictions on such imports were unjustified. "We understand the decision will allow the elimination of the barriers," Carlos Cozendey, economic affairs undersecretary at Brazil's foreign ministry, told a press conference.

10. Mitsubishi said it planned to boost revenue and annual car sales by 30% in the next three years and crank up R&D investment. Announcing its mid-term strategic plan through the end of the 2019 financial year, Japan's seventh-largest automaker also said it would increase its operating margin to 6% or more.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Gary Shilling calls bitcoin a black box and says he doesn't invest in things he doesn't understand

Fewer than half of EU nationals in the City are 'confident' they'll stay in the UK after Brexit

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

City, London, Canary WharfLONDON — Fewer than half of investment managers born in the EU say they're "confident" they will keep living in the UK after Brexit, a survey from the CFA Institute released on Wednesday says.

The CFA Institute — which represents investment professionals around the world — said that just 42% of investment managers it surveyed were clear that they will stay in the UK once Britain leaves the EU.

Sixteen percent said they are definitely planning to leave, while 42% remain undecided on their post-exit futures.

The findings, which stem from a survey of around 1,100 investment managers based in London, represent "a clear sign of the uncertainty and disillusionment in the profession surrounding the expected repercussions of the referendum result for the UK market," the CFA Institute said.

EU nationals were also largely negative about encouraging other non-Brits to come to work in the UK, with only 15% saying they'd encourage other EU nationals to move to the UK for a finance job.

"While many of the outcomes of Brexit remain unclear, we can certainly expect a change in the profile of the investment management workforce in the UK," Will Goodhart, the CFA Society's UK chief executive said in a statement.

"Many EU professionals working here intend to move to other markets once Britain has left the European Union, and we may see this increasing over the coming months."

"The resulting fall in the representation of EU nationals will be a huge loss for the UK market and it is crucial to minimise this as much as possible."

Financial sector jobs moving from the UK — and London in particular — are a big concern for the country's financial lobbyists and institutions.

Britain is expected to lose financial passporting rights, which allow banks with a base in the UK to sell products and services to customers and financial markets across the EU, after Brexit.  Most lenders from Japan and the USA currently have their European bases in London, but are expected to shift those jobs to continental Europe to maintain an EU presence after Brexit.

Cities including Dublin, Paris, and Frankfurt are battling to win business from London as a result of Brexit.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Gary Shilling calls bitcoin a black box and says he doesn't invest in things he doesn't understand

04/22/2018 04/21/2018 04/20/2018 04/19/2018 04/18/2018 04/17/2018 04/16/2018 04/15/2018 04/14/2018 04/13/2018 04/12/2018 04/11/2018 04/10/2018 04/09/2018 04/08/2018 04/07/2018 04/06/2018 04/05/2018 04/04/2018 04/03/2018 04/02/2018 04/01/2018 03/31/2018 03/30/2018 03/29/2018 03/28/2018 03/27/2018 03/26/2018 03/25/2018 03/24/2018 03/23/2018 03/22/2018 03/21/2018 03/20/2018 03/19/2018 03/18/2018 03/17/2018 03/16/2018 03/15/2018 03/14/2018 03/13/2018 03/12/2018 03/11/2018 03/10/2018 03/09/2018 03/08/2018 03/07/2018 03/06/2018 03/05/2018 03/04/2018 03/03/2018 03/02/2018 03/01/2018 02/28/2018 02/27/2018 02/26/2018 02/25/2018 02/24/2018 02/23/2018 02/22/2018 02/21/2018 02/20/2018 02/19/2018 02/18/2018 02/17/2018 02/16/2018 02/15/2018 02/14/2018 02/13/2018 02/12/2018 02/11/2018 02/10/2018 02/09/2018 02/08/2018 02/07/2018 02/06/2018 02/05/2018 02/04/2018 02/03/2018 02/02/2018 02/01/2018 01/31/2018 01/30/2018 01/29/2018 01/28/2018 01/27/2018 01/26/2018 01/25/2018 01/24/2018 01/23/2018 01/22/2018 01/21/2018 01/20/2018 01/19/2018 01/18/2018 01/17/2018 01/16/2018 01/15/2018 01/14/2018 01/13/2018 01/12/2018 01/11/2018 01/10/2018 01/09/2018 01/08/2018 01/07/2018 01/06/2018 01/05/2018 01/04/2018 01/03/2018 01/02/2018 01/01/2018 12/31/2017 12/30/2017 12/29/2017 12/28/2017 12/27/2017 12/26/2017 12/25/2017 12/24/2017 12/23/2017 12/22/2017 12/21/2017 12/20/2017 12/19/2017 12/18/2017 12/17/2017 12/16/2017 12/15/2017 12/14/2017 12/13/2017 12/12/2017 12/11/2017 12/10/2017 12/09/2017 12/08/2017 12/07/2017 12/06/2017 12/05/2017 12/04/2017 12/03/2017 12/02/2017 12/01/2017 11/30/2017 11/29/2017 11/28/2017 11/27/2017 11/26/2017 11/25/2017 11/24/2017 11/23/2017 11/22/2017 11/21/2017 11/20/2017 11/19/2017 11/18/2017 11/17/2017 11/16/2017 11/15/2017 11/14/2017 11/13/2017 11/12/2017 11/11/2017 11/10/2017 11/09/2017 11/08/2017 11/07/2017 11/06/2017 11/05/2017 11/04/2017 11/03/2017 11/02/2017 11/01/2017 10/31/2017 10/30/2017 10/29/2017 10/28/2017 10/27/2017 10/26/2017 10/25/2017 10/24/2017 10/23/2017 10/22/2017 10/21/2017 10/20/2017 10/19/2017 10/18/2017 10/17/2017 10/16/2017 10/15/2017 10/14/2017 10/13/2017 10/12/2017 10/11/2017 10/10/2017 10/09/2017 10/08/2017 10/07/2017 10/06/2017 10/05/2017 10/04/2017 10/03/2017 10/02/2017 10/01/2017 09/30/2017 09/29/2017 09/28/2017 09/27/2017 09/26/2017 09/25/2017 09/24/2017 09/23/2017 09/22/2017 09/21/2017 09/20/2017 09/19/2017 09/18/2017 09/17/2017 09/16/2017 09/15/2017 09/14/2017 09/13/2017 09/12/2017 09/11/2017 09/10/2017 09/09/2017 09/08/2017 09/07/2017 09/06/2017 09/05/2017 09/04/2017 09/01/2017 08/02/2017 07/27/2017 07/26/2017 07/25/2017 07/24/2017 07/23/2017 07/22/2017 07/21/2017 07/20/2017 07/19/2017 07/18/2017 07/17/2017 07/16/2017 07/15/2017 07/14/2017 07/13/2017 07/12/2017 07/11/2017 07/10/2017 07/09/2017 07/08/2017 07/07/2017 07/06/2017 07/05/2017 07/04/2017 07/03/2017 07/02/2017 07/01/2017 06/30/2017 06/29/2017 06/28/2017 06/27/2017 06/26/2017 06/25/2017 06/24/2017 06/23/2017 06/22/2017 06/21/2017 06/20/2017 06/19/2017 06/17/2017 06/16/2017 06/15/2017 06/14/2017 06/13/2017 06/12/2017 06/11/2017 06/10/2017 06/09/2017 06/08/2017 06/07/2017 06/06/2017 06/05/2017 06/04/2017 06/03/2017 06/02/2017 06/01/2017 05/31/2017 05/30/2017 05/29/2017 05/28/2017 05/27/2017 05/26/2017 05/25/2017 05/24/2017 05/23/2017 05/22/2017 05/21/2017 05/20/2017 05/19/2017 05/18/2017 05/17/2017 05/16/2017 05/15/2017 05/14/2017 05/13/2017 05/12/2017 05/11/2017 05/10/2017 05/09/2017 05/08/2017 05/07/2017 05/06/2017 05/05/2017 05/04/2017 05/03/2017 05/02/2017 05/01/2017 04/30/2017 04/29/2017 04/28/2017 04/27/2017 04/26/2017 04/25/2017 04/24/2017 04/23/2017 04/22/2017 04/21/2017 04/20/2017 04/19/2017 04/18/2017 04/17/2017 04/16/2017 04/15/2017 04/14/2017 04/13/2017 04/12/2017 04/11/2017 04/10/2017 04/09/2017 04/08/2017 04/07/2017 04/06/2017 04/05/2017 04/04/2017 04/03/2017 04/02/2017 04/01/2017 03/31/2017 03/30/2017 03/29/2017 03/28/2017 03/27/2017 03/26/2017 03/25/2017 03/24/2017 03/23/2017 03/22/2017 03/21/2017 03/20/2017 03/19/2017 03/18/2017 03/17/2017 03/16/2017 03/15/2017 03/14/2017 03/13/2017 03/12/2017 03/11/2017 03/10/2017 03/09/2017 03/08/2017 03/07/2017 03/06/2017 03/05/2017 03/04/2017 03/03/2017 03/02/2017 03/01/2017 02/28/2017 02/27/2017 02/26/2017 02/25/2017 02/24/2017 02/23/2017 02/22/2017 02/21/2017 02/20/2017 02/19/2017 02/18/2017 02/17/2017 02/16/2017 02/15/2017 02/14/2017 02/13/2017 02/12/2017 02/11/2017 02/10/2017 02/09/2017 02/08/2017 02/07/2017 02/06/2017 02/05/2017 02/04/2017 02/03/2017 02/02/2017 02/01/2017 01/31/2017 01/30/2017 01/29/2017 01/28/2017 01/27/2017 01/26/2017 01/25/2017 01/24/2017 01/23/2017 01/22/2017 01/21/2017 01/20/2017 01/19/2017 01/18/2017 01/17/2017 01/16/2017 01/15/2017 01/14/2017 01/13/2017 01/12/2017 01/11/2017 01/10/2017 01/09/2017 01/08/2017 01/07/2017 01/06/2017 01/05/2017 01/04/2017 01/03/2017 01/02/2017 01/01/2017 12/31/2016 12/30/2016 12/29/2016 12/28/2016 12/27/2016 12/26/2016 12/25/2016 12/24/2016 12/23/2016 12/22/2016 12/21/2016 12/20/2016 12/19/2016 12/18/2016 12/17/2016 12/16/2016 12/15/2016 12/14/2016 12/13/2016 12/12/2016 12/11/2016 12/10/2016 12/09/2016 12/08/2016 12/07/2016 12/06/2016 12/05/2016 12/04/2016 12/03/2016 12/02/2016 12/01/2016 11/30/2016 11/29/2016 11/28/2016 11/27/2016 11/26/2016 11/25/2016 11/24/2016 11/23/2016 11/22/2016 11/21/2016 11/20/2016 11/19/2016 11/18/2016 11/17/2016 11/16/2016 11/15/2016 11/14/2016 11/13/2016 11/12/2016 11/11/2016 11/10/2016 11/09/2016 11/08/2016 11/07/2016 11/06/2016 11/05/2016 11/04/2016 11/03/2016 11/02/2016 11/01/2016 10/31/2016 10/30/2016 10/29/2016 10/28/2016 10/27/2016 10/26/2016 10/25/2016 10/24/2016 10/23/2016 10/22/2016 10/21/2016 10/20/2016 10/19/2016 10/18/2016 10/17/2016 10/16/2016 10/15/2016 10/14/2016 10/13/2016 10/12/2016 10/11/2016 10/10/2016 10/09/2016 10/08/2016 10/07/2016 10/06/2016 10/05/2016 10/04/2016 10/03/2016 10/02/2016 10/01/2016 09/30/2016 09/29/2016 09/28/2016 09/27/2016 09/26/2016 09/25/2016 09/24/2016 09/23/2016 09/22/2016 09/21/2016 09/20/2016 09/19/2016 09/18/2016 09/17/2016 09/16/2016 09/15/2016 09/14/2016 09/13/2016 09/12/2016 09/11/2016 09/10/2016 09/09/2016 09/08/2016 09/07/2016 09/06/2016 09/05/2016 09/04/2016 09/03/2016 09/02/2016 09/01/2016 08/31/2016 08/30/2016 08/29/2016 08/28/2016 08/27/2016 08/26/2016 08/25/2016 08/24/2016 08/23/2016 08/22/2016 08/21/2016 08/20/2016 08/19/2016 08/18/2016 08/17/2016 08/16/2016 08/15/2016 08/14/2016 08/13/2016 08/12/2016 08/11/2016 08/10/2016 08/09/2016 08/08/2016 08/07/2016 08/06/2016 08/05/2016 08/04/2016 08/03/2016 08/02/2016 08/01/2016 07/31/2016 07/30/2016 07/29/2016 07/28/2016 07/27/2016 07/26/2016 07/25/2016 07/24/2016 07/23/2016 07/22/2016 07/21/2016 07/20/2016 07/19/2016 07/18/2016 07/17/2016 07/16/2016 07/15/2016 07/14/2016 07/13/2016 07/12/2016 07/11/2016 07/10/2016 07/09/2016 07/08/2016 07/07/2016 07/06/2016 07/05/2016 07/04/2016 07/03/2016 07/02/2016 07/01/2016 06/30/2016 06/29/2016 06/28/2016 06/27/2016 06/26/2016 06/25/2016 06/24/2016 06/23/2016 06/22/2016 06/21/2016 06/20/2016 06/19/2016 06/18/2016 06/17/2016 06/16/2016 06/15/2016 06/14/2016 06/13/2016 06/12/2016 06/11/2016 06/10/2016 06/09/2016 06/08/2016 06/07/2016 06/06/2016 06/05/2016 06/04/2016 06/03/2016 06/02/2016 06/01/2016 05/31/2016 05/30/2016 05/29/2016 05/28/2016 05/27/2016 05/26/2016 05/25/2016 05/24/2016 05/23/2016 05/22/2016 05/21/2016 05/20/2016 05/19/2016 05/18/2016 05/17/2016 05/16/2016 05/15/2016 05/14/2016 05/13/2016 05/12/2016 05/11/2016 05/10/2016 05/09/2016 05/08/2016 05/07/2016 05/06/2016 05/05/2016 05/04/2016 05/03/2016 05/02/2016 05/01/2016 04/30/2016 04/29/2016 04/28/2016 04/27/2016 04/26/2016 04/25/2016 04/24/2016 04/23/2016 04/22/2016 04/21/2016 04/20/2016 04/19/2016 04/18/2016 04/17/2016 04/16/2016 04/15/2016 04/14/2016 04/13/2016 04/12/2016 04/11/2016 04/10/2016 04/09/2016 04/08/2016 04/07/2016 04/06/2016 04/05/2016 04/04/2016 04/03/2016 04/02/2016 04/01/2016 03/31/2016 03/30/2016 03/29/2016 03/28/2016 03/27/2016 03/26/2016 03/25/2016 03/24/2016 03/23/2016 03/22/2016 03/21/2016 03/20/2016 03/19/2016 03/18/2016 03/17/2016 03/16/2016 03/15/2016 03/14/2016 03/13/2016 03/12/2016 03/11/2016 03/10/2016 03/09/2016 03/08/2016 03/07/2016 03/06/2016 03/05/2016 03/04/2016 03/03/2016 03/02/2016 03/01/2016 02/29/2016 02/28/2016 02/27/2016 02/26/2016 02/25/2016 02/24/2016 02/23/2016 02/22/2016 02/21/2016 02/20/2016 02/19/2016 02/18/2016 02/17/2016 02/16/2016 02/15/2016 02/14/2016 02/13/2016 02/12/2016 02/11/2016 02/10/2016 02/09/2016 02/08/2016 02/07/2016 02/06/2016 02/05/2016 02/04/2016 02/03/2016 02/02/2016 02/01/2016 01/31/2016 01/30/2016 01/29/2016 01/28/2016 01/27/2016 01/26/2016 01/25/2016 01/24/2016 01/23/2016 01/22/2016 01/21/2016 01/20/2016 01/19/2016 01/18/2016 01/17/2016 01/16/2016 01/15/2016 01/14/2016 01/13/2016 01/12/2016 01/11/2016 01/10/2016 01/09/2016 01/08/2016 01/07/2016 01/06/2016 01/05/2016 01/04/2016 01/03/2016 01/02/2016 01/01/2016 12/31/2015 12/30/2015 12/29/2015 12/28/2015 12/27/2015 12/26/2015 12/25/2015 12/24/2015 12/23/2015 12/22/2015 12/21/2015 12/20/2015 12/19/2015 12/18/2015 12/17/2015 12/16/2015 12/15/2015 12/14/2015 12/13/2015 12/12/2015 12/11/2015 12/10/2015 12/09/2015 12/08/2015 12/07/2015 12/06/2015 12/05/2015 12/04/2015 12/03/2015 12/02/2015 12/01/2015 11/30/2015 11/29/2015 11/28/2015 11/27/2015 11/26/2015 11/25/2015 11/24/2015 11/23/2015 11/22/2015 11/21/2015 11/20/2015 11/19/2015 11/18/2015 11/17/2015 11/16/2015 11/15/2015 11/14/2015 11/13/2015 11/12/2015 11/11/2015 11/10/2015 11/09/2015 11/08/2015 11/07/2015 11/06/2015 11/05/2015 11/04/2015 11/03/2015 11/02/2015 11/01/2015 10/31/2015 10/30/2015 10/29/2015 10/28/2015 10/27/2015 10/26/2015 10/25/2015 10/24/2015 10/23/2015 10/22/2015 10/21/2015 10/20/2015 10/19/2015 10/18/2015 10/17/2015 10/16/2015 10/15/2015 10/14/2015 10/13/2015 10/12/2015 10/11/2015 10/10/2015 10/09/2015 10/08/2015 10/07/2015 10/06/2015 10/05/2015 10/04/2015 10/03/2015 10/02/2015 10/01/2015 09/30/2015 09/29/2015 09/28/2015 09/27/2015 09/26/2015 09/25/2015 09/24/2015 09/23/2015 09/22/2015 09/21/2015 09/20/2015 09/19/2015 09/18/2015 09/17/2015 09/16/2015 09/15/2015 09/14/2015 09/13/2015 09/12/2015 09/11/2015 09/10/2015 09/09/2015 09/08/2015 09/07/2015 09/06/2015 09/05/2015 09/04/2015 09/03/2015 09/02/2015 09/01/2015 08/31/2015 08/30/2015 08/29/2015 08/28/2015 08/27/2015 08/26/2015 08/25/2015 08/24/2015 08/23/2015 08/19/2015 08/18/2015 08/17/2015 08/16/2015 08/15/2015 08/14/2015 08/13/2015 08/12/2015 08/11/2015 08/10/2015 08/09/2015 08/08/2015 08/07/2015 08/06/2015 08/05/2015 08/04/2015 08/03/2015 08/02/2015 08/01/2015 07/31/2015 07/30/2015 07/29/2015 07/28/2015 07/27/2015 07/26/2015 07/25/2015 07/24/2015 07/23/2015 07/22/2015 07/21/2015 07/20/2015 07/19/2015 07/18/2015 07/17/2015 07/16/2015 07/15/2015 07/14/2015 07/13/2015 07/12/2015 07/11/2015 07/10/2015 07/09/2015 07/08/2015 07/07/2015 07/06/2015 07/05/2015 07/04/2015 07/03/2015 07/02/2015 07/01/2015 06/30/2015 06/29/2015 06/28/2015 06/27/2015 06/26/2015 06/25/2015 06/24/2015 06/23/2015 06/22/2015 06/21/2015 06/20/2015 06/19/2015 06/18/2015 06/17/2015 06/16/2015 06/15/2015 06/14/2015 06/13/2015 06/12/2015 06/11/2015 06/10/2015 06/09/2015 06/08/2015 06/07/2015 06/06/2015 06/05/2015 06/04/2015 06/03/2015 06/02/2015 06/01/2015 05/31/2015 05/30/2015 05/29/2015 05/28/2015 05/27/2015 05/26/2015 05/25/2015 05/24/2015 05/23/2015 05/22/2015 05/21/2015 05/20/2015 05/19/2015 05/18/2015 05/17/2015 05/16/2015 05/15/2015 05/14/2015 05/13/2015 05/12/2015 05/11/2015 05/10/2015 05/09/2015 05/08/2015 05/07/2015 05/06/2015 05/05/2015 05/04/2015 05/03/2015 05/02/2015 05/01/2015 04/30/2015 04/29/2015 04/28/2015 04/27/2015 04/26/2015 04/25/2015 04/24/2015 04/23/2015 04/22/2015 04/21/2015 04/20/2015 04/19/2015 04/18/2015 04/17/2015 04/16/2015 04/15/2015 04/14/2015 04/13/2015 04/12/2015 04/11/2015 04/10/2015 04/09/2015 04/08/2015 04/07/2015 04/06/2015 04/05/2015 04/04/2015 04/03/2015 04/02/2015 04/01/2015 03/31/2015 03/30/2015 03/29/2015 03/28/2015 03/27/2015 03/26/2015 03/25/2015 03/24/2015 03/23/2015 03/22/2015 03/21/2015 03/20/2015 03/19/2015 03/18/2015 03/17/2015 03/16/2015 03/15/2015 03/14/2015 03/13/2015 03/12/2015 03/11/2015 03/10/2015 03/09/2015 03/08/2015 03/07/2015 03/06/2015 03/05/2015 03/04/2015 03/03/2015 03/02/2015 03/01/2015 02/28/2015 02/27/2015 02/26/2015 02/25/2015 02/24/2015 02/23/2015 02/22/2015 02/21/2015 02/20/2015 02/19/2015 02/18/2015 02/17/2015 02/16/2015 02/15/2015 02/14/2015 02/13/2015 02/12/2015 02/11/2015 02/10/2015 02/09/2015 02/08/2015 02/07/2015 02/06/2015 02/05/2015 02/04/2015 02/03/2015 02/02/2015 02/01/2015 01/31/2015 01/30/2015 01/29/2015 01/28/2015 01/27/2015 01/26/2015 01/25/2015 01/24/2015 01/23/2015 01/22/2015 01/21/2015 01/20/2015 01/19/2015 01/18/2015 01/17/2015 01/16/2015 01/15/2015 01/14/2015 01/13/2015 01/12/2015 01/11/2015 01/10/2015 01/09/2015 01/08/2015 01/07/2015 01/06/2015 01/05/2015 01/04/2015 01/03/2015 01/02/2015 01/01/2015 12/31/2014 12/30/2014 12/29/2014 12/28/2014 12/27/2014 12/26/2014 12/25/2014 12/24/2014 12/23/2014 12/22/2014 12/21/2014 12/20/2014 12/19/2014 12/18/2014 12/17/2014 12/16/2014 12/15/2014 12/14/2014 12/13/2014 12/12/2014 12/11/2014 12/10/2014 12/09/2014 12/08/2014 12/07/2014 12/06/2014 12/05/2014 12/04/2014 12/03/2014 12/02/2014 12/01/2014 11/30/2014 11/29/2014 11/28/2014 11/27/2014 11/26/2014 11/25/2014 11/24/2014 11/23/2014 11/22/2014 11/21/2014 11/20/2014 11/19/2014 11/18/2014 11/17/2014 11/16/2014 11/15/2014 11/14/2014 11/13/2014 11/12/2014 11/11/2014 11/10/2014 11/09/2014 11/08/2014 11/07/2014 11/06/2014 11/05/2014 11/04/2014 11/03/2014 11/02/2014 11/01/2014 10/31/2014 10/30/2014 10/29/2014 10/28/2014 10/27/2014 10/26/2014 10/25/2014 10/24/2014 10/23/2014 10/22/2014 10/21/2014 10/20/2014 10/19/2014 10/18/2014 10/17/2014 10/16/2014 10/15/2014 10/14/2014 10/13/2014 10/12/2014 10/11/2014 10/10/2014 10/09/2014 10/08/2014 10/07/2014 10/06/2014 10/05/2014 10/04/2014 10/03/2014 10/02/2014 10/01/2014 09/30/2014 09/29/2014 09/28/2014 09/27/2014 09/26/2014 09/25/2014 09/24/2014 09/23/2014 09/22/2014 09/21/2014 09/20/2014 09/19/2014 09/18/2014 09/17/2014 09/16/2014 09/15/2014 09/14/2014 09/13/2014 09/12/2014 09/11/2014 09/10/2014 09/09/2014 09/08/2014 09/07/2014 09/06/2014 09/05/2014 09/04/2014 09/03/2014 09/02/2014 09/01/2014 08/31/2014 08/30/2014 08/29/2014 08/28/2014 08/27/2014 08/26/2014 08/25/2014 08/24/2014 08/23/2014 08/22/2014 08/21/2014 08/20/2014 08/19/2014 08/18/2014 08/17/2014 08/16/2014 08/15/2014 08/14/2014 08/13/2014 08/12/2014 08/11/2014 08/10/2014 08/09/2014 08/08/2014 08/07/2014 08/06/2014 08/05/2014 08/04/2014 08/03/2014 08/02/2014 08/01/2014 07/31/2014 07/30/2014 07/29/2014 07/28/2014 07/27/2014 07/26/2014 07/25/2014 07/24/2014 07/23/2014 07/22/2014 07/21/2014 07/20/2014 07/19/2014 07/18/2014 07/17/2014 07/16/2014 07/15/2014 07/14/2014 07/13/2014 07/12/2014 07/11/2014 07/10/2014 07/09/2014 07/08/2014 07/07/2014 07/06/2014 07/05/2014 07/04/2014 07/03/2014 07/02/2014 07/01/2014 06/30/2014 06/29/2014 06/28/2014 06/27/2014 06/26/2014 06/25/2014 06/24/2014 06/23/2014 06/22/2014 06/21/2014 06/20/2014 06/19/2014 06/18/2014 06/17/2014 06/16/2014 06/15/2014 06/14/2014 06/13/2014 06/12/2014 06/11/2014 06/10/2014 06/09/2014 06/08/2014 06/07/2014 06/06/2014 06/05/2014 06/04/2014 06/03/2014 06/02/2014 06/01/2014 05/31/2014 05/30/2014 05/29/2014 05/28/2014 05/27/2014 05/26/2014 05/25/2014 05/24/2014 05/23/2014 05/22/2014 05/21/2014 05/20/2014 05/19/2014 05/18/2014 05/17/2014 05/16/2014 05/15/2014 05/14/2014 05/13/2014 05/12/2014 05/11/2014 05/10/2014 05/09/2014 05/08/2014 05/07/2014 05/06/2014 05/05/2014 05/04/2014 05/03/2014 05/02/2014 05/01/2014 04/30/2014 04/29/2014 04/28/2014 04/27/2014 04/26/2014 04/25/2014 04/24/2014 04/23/2014 04/22/2014 04/21/2014 04/20/2014 04/19/2014 04/18/2014 04/17/2014 04/16/2014 04/15/2014 04/14/2014 04/13/2014 04/12/2014 04/11/2014 04/10/2014 04/09/2014 04/08/2014 04/07/2014 04/06/2014 04/05/2014 04/04/2014 04/03/2014 04/02/2014 04/01/2014 03/31/2014 03/30/2014 03/29/2014 03/28/2014 03/27/2014 03/26/2014 03/25/2014 03/24/2014 03/23/2014 03/22/2014 03/21/2014 03/20/2014 03/19/2014 03/18/2014 03/17/2014 03/16/2014 03/15/2014 03/14/2014 03/13/2014 03/12/2014 03/11/2014 03/05/2014 03/01/2014 02/27/2014 02/26/2014 02/25/2014 02/20/2014 02/19/2014