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Former GM CEO calls Tesla a 'losing enterprise,' and says it's 'going out of business' (TSLA)

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

tesla trucks semi

  • Former General Motors executive Bob Lutz panned Tesla less than 24 hours after the electric-car company revealed its first big rig truck and a new roadster. 
  • Lutz called Tesla a "losing enterprise" and said it's "going out of business."
  • Tesla has had problems of late, both on its assembly lines and in the front office.

Bob Lutz, the former chief executive of General Motors, scoffed at Tesla on Friday, calling the electric-car company a "losing enterprise" that's "going out of business."

In a terse interview on CNBC, Lutz panned the electric-car maker less than 24 hours after CEO Elon Musk unveiled the Tesla Semi — its first entry into the electric heavy-duty trucking market — and the new Tesla Roadster.

Both vehicles are expected to be equipped with Tesla's most powerful batteries to date. The Semi boasts 500 miles of range on one charge and can recharge up to 400 miles in 30 minutes, according to Tesla. Musk on Thursday night said the new Tesla Roadster would have a 200 kWh battery with a 620-mile range.

Lutz was unimpressed: "There's no secret sauce in Tesla," Lutz told CNBC. "They use the same lithium-ion batteries as everyone else."

The former GM chief is a longtime Tesla critic who has, like many other Tesla skeptics, questioned whether the company can stop its cash burn, stabilize its manufacturing business, and turn a profit.

And, lately, the bad news just keeps coming.

It's no secret Tesla is in production hell with the Model 3, its first mass-market offering. Tesla has also struggled to get its Gigafactory running at full speed. In the front office, the company is dealing with multiple workplace controversies that have cast an unflattering light on its corporate culture.

Tesla stock reacted positively to the slew of new shiny things unveiled Thursday night but shaved off those gains slightly by market close on Friday.

SEE ALSO: GOLDMAN SACHS: Tesla's new big rig won't solve its Model 3 problems

DON'T MISS: The new Tesla Roadster can do 0-60 mph in less than 2 seconds — and that's just the base version

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: We just got a super smart and simple explanation of what a bitcoin fork actually is

Gox ICO? CEO Karpeles Floats Token Sale to Revive Bitcoin Exchange

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

A Mt Gox initial coin offering (ICO)? It's not that much of a far-fetched idea, according to the defunct bitcoin exchange's controversial CEO.

3 Reasons the Bitcoin Price Hit $8,000 Today

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

[…]

The post 3 Reasons the Bitcoin Price Hit $8,000 Today appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

Now the SegWit2x Hard Fork Has Really Failed to Activate

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

The SegWit2x Hard Fork Has Now Really Failed to Activate

In case there were any remaining doubts, it now seems clear that the SegWit2x hard fork will not happen.

The SegWit2x project, a product of the New York Agreement signed onto by a long list of companies and miners in May, had scheduled a hard fork to double Bitcoin’s block weight limit today. And while the controversial effort was suspended by leaders of the project last week, this would not have stopped anyone else from proceeding with it. Companies like Coinbase were indeed taking into account that the SegWit2x hard fork could still happen.

The Fork That Wasn’t

SegWit2x nodes — most notably btc1 — were programmed to fork away from the Bitcoin blockchain this afternoon (UTC) to create the SegWit2x blockchain and a new currency, often referred to as B2X. However, not a single SegWit2x block has been mined since fork point, nor is there any indication that this is likely to happen. For all intents and purposes, there is no SegWit2x — nor a B2X.

Further, software bugs in the btc1 codebase made all btc1 implementations grind to a halt even before it reached the expected fork point. While Bitcoin and SegWit2x nodes were widely expected to share a single blockchain up until block 494783 and then to go their own ways at block 494784, btc1 nodes never made it past block 494782.

This is mainly because the first block on the SegWit2x chain was required to have a “base block” larger than one megabyte. This is how the chain would diverge from the original Bitcoin protocol. But due to what is referred to as an “off-by-one error,” SegWit2x blocks started to reject smaller-than-one-megabyte blocks one block too soon — at block 494,783 instead of 494,784.

Moreover, another btc1 bug prevented miners from mining a big enough block when it was needed. So even if some miners did want to proceed with the fork, they accidentally wouldn’t have done so — at least not automatically. Miners would instead have had to manually configure their block weight settings, but it’s unlikely they knew about this step. Btc1 maintainer Jeff Garzik (while also denying there was a problem) has since released a patch to resolve this issue.

But judging by the absence of any SegWit2x blocks, the patch hasn’t made a difference, most likely because few, if any, miners were interested in mining on the SegWit2x chain in the first place.

NO2X?

Despite the seeming failure of SegWit2x to take off in any way, it should be noted that there is technically no way to declare a fork like SegWit2x officially “dead” or “failed.”

While unlikely, it’s always possible that the SegWit2x hard fork could proceed at some point in the future. In fact, there is no way to tell whether the SegWit2x chain is currently being mined with a little bit of hash power right now, and it is strictly impossible to foresee whether it will be mined later on. Perhaps a SegWit2x block will be found a day from now, a week from now or even ten years from now, at which point SegWit2x and B2X will technically come into existence.

However, since the SegWit2x chain did not include a mining difficulty reset, it will be as hard to mine a B2X block as it currently is to mine a BTC block. Meanwhile, market support for B2X appears to be extremely low, with B2X futures trading below 2 percent of BTC. So even if miners decide to mine B2X blocks, they’d almost certainly be earning far less than they would by mining BTC. Or, more accurately, they’d spend more on electricity bills than they’d be able to earn by mining B2X. The financial incentive to mine the SegWit2x chain just isn’t there.

Alternatively, SegWit2x could see a bit of a rebirth in the form of “BitcoinX” (BTX). This project, supposedly started by disappointed SegWit2x supporters, will take a snapshot of bitcoin balances at block height 494,783 and start a SegWit2x-like altcoin that offers all BTC holders the equivalent amount in BTX. Though, while this coin is arguably more viable than B2X thanks to a mining difficulty reset and more, it really is a new coin — arguably even more so than B2X would have been.

The post Now the SegWit2x Hard Fork Has Really Failed to Activate appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Now the SegWit2x Hard Fork Has Really Failed to Activate

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

The SegWit2x Hard Fork Has Now Really Failed to Activate

In case there were any remaining doubts, it now seems clear that the SegWit2x hard fork will not happen.

The SegWit2x project, a product of the New York Agreement signed onto by a long list of companies and miners in May, had scheduled a hard fork to double Bitcoin’s block weight limit today. And while the controversial effort was suspended by leaders of the project last week, this would not have stopped anyone else from proceeding with it. Companies like Coinbase were indeed taking into account that the SegWit2x hard fork could still happen.

The Fork That Wasn’t

SegWit2x nodes — most notably btc1 — were programmed to fork away from the Bitcoin blockchain this afternoon (UTC) to create the SegWit2x blockchain and a new currency, often referred to as B2X. However, not a single SegWit2x block has been mined since fork point, nor is there any indication that this is likely to happen. For all intents and purposes, there is no SegWit2x — nor a B2X.

Further, software bugs in the btc1 codebase made all btc1 implementations grind to a halt even before it reached the expected fork point. While Bitcoin and SegWit2x nodes were widely expected to share a single blockchain up until block 494783 and then to go their own ways at block 494784, btc1 nodes never made it past block 494782.

This is mainly because the first block on the SegWit2x chain was required to have a “base block” larger than one megabyte. This is how the chain would diverge from the original Bitcoin protocol. But due to what is referred to as an “off-by-one error,” SegWit2x blocks started to reject smaller-than-one-megabyte blocks one block too soon — at block 494,783 instead of 494,784.

Moreover, another btc1 bug prevented miners from mining a big enough block when it was needed. So even if some miners did want to proceed with the fork, they accidentally wouldn’t have done so — at least not automatically. Miners would instead have had to manually configure their block weight settings, but it’s unlikely they knew about this step. Btc1 maintainer Jeff Garzik (while also denying there was a problem) has since released a patch to resolve this issue.

But judging by the absence of any SegWit2x blocks, the patch hasn’t made a difference, most likely because few, if any, miners were interested in mining on the SegWit2x chain in the first place.

NO2X?

Despite the seeming failure of SegWit2x to take off in any way, it should be noted that there is technically no way to declare a fork like SegWit2x officially “dead” or “failed.”

While unlikely, it’s always possible that the SegWit2x hard fork could proceed at some point in the future. In fact, there is no way to tell whether the SegWit2x chain is currently being mined with a little bit of hash power right now, and it is strictly impossible to foresee whether it will be mined later on. Perhaps a SegWit2x block will be found a day from now, a week from now or even ten years from now, at which point SegWit2x and B2X will technically come into existence.

However, since the SegWit2x chain did not include a mining difficulty reset, it will be as hard to mine a B2X block as it currently is to mine a BTC block. Meanwhile, market support for B2X appears to be extremely low, with B2X futures trading below 2 percent of BTC. So even if miners decide to mine B2X blocks, they’d almost certainly be earning far less than they would by mining BTC. Or, more accurately, they’d spend more on electricity bills than they’d be able to earn by mining B2X. The financial incentive to mine the SegWit2x chain just isn’t there.

Alternatively, SegWit2x could see a bit of a rebirth in the form of “BitcoinX” (BTX). This project, supposedly started by disappointed SegWit2x supporters, will take a snapshot of bitcoin balances at block height 494,783 and start a SegWit2x-like altcoin that offers all BTC holders the equivalent amount in BTX. Though, while this coin is arguably more viable than B2X thanks to a mining difficulty reset and more, it really is a new coin — arguably even more so than B2X would have been.

The post Now the SegWit2x Hard Fork Has Really Failed to Activate appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

UBS CIO: We Aren't Getting Involved With Bitcoin

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

UBS chief investment officer Mark Haefele says the world's largest money manager will not include bitcoin investments.

STOCKS SLIDE LOWER: Here's what you need to know

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

slide water slide

US stocks declined as losses in tech and industrial shares dragged major indexes lower.

The S&P 500 fell 0.3%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.4% and the more tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index decreased 0.2%.

First up, the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 23,372.36, -86.00, (-0.37%)
  • S&P 500: 2,578.59, -6.81, (-0.26%)
  • Nasdaq: 6,781.72, -11.79, (-0.17%)
  • US 10-year yield: 2.35%, -0.01
  • WTI crude oil: $56.58, +$1.44, +2.61%

1. Walmart is making a mockery of the retail apocalypse — and traders are betting it'll keep soaring. They're paying the lowest premium in two years to hedge against a decline in the stock, which surged after the company raised full-year guidance.

2. Goldman Sachs says Tesla's new big rig won't solve its Model 3 problems. Analyst David Tamberrino acknowledges that the company's semi truck will provide a short-term boost, but that the Model 3 production bottleneck will keep weighing on the stock.

3. A $423 billion investor explains why tech stocks are defying a warning signJim McCaughan, CEO of Principal Global Investors, says that the Shiller CAPE valuation metric doesn't apply to tech companies because of the changing nature of the market.

4. A bidding war for 21st Century Fox could break out. Disney was the first interested buyer, with Comcast and Verizon coming in about a week later.

5. Bitcoin bursts through $8,000. Prices have steadily rebounded after demand for offshoot bitcoin cash skyrocketed over the weekend, which sent bitcoin falling as low as $5,600.

ADDITIONALLY:

A new study predicts the top 13 places where Amazon could build its new headquarters

The CEO of an email marketing company that sends 1 billion emails every day opens up about what it takes to go public

CVS may have a secret weapon against Amazon's move into healthcare

Nike and Adidas have entirely different ideas of how to take over the US

Buffalo Wild Wings' entire future depends on the price of chicken wings

A forgotten Stitch Fix cofounder likely walked away empty-handed after the startup's $1.6 billion IPO

Trump claims the tax bill would lead to a huge boost for business spending and hiring — executives aren't as sure

Domino's CEO throws shade at Walgreens and says the pizza chain has a better rewards program

SEE ALSO: Walmart is making a mockery of the retail apocalypse — and traders are betting it'll keep soaring

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Why Nintendo is dominating like the old days

A Japanese railway company issued an apology after its train left 20 seconds early

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

train japan

  • A Japanese transit company issued an apology after one of its Tokyo trains left a station 20-seconds too early.
  • Japan's train system is known to be meticulously punctual.


Japan's train system is known for many things, but mainly that its services are timed to be perfectly punctual.

So when the No. 5255 Tsukuba Express train left the Minami-Nagareyama station, in a suburb east of Tokyo, at 9:44:20 a.m. instead of 9:44:40 a.m. on Tuesday as scheduled, the meticulously-timed commute was slightly affected.

While all hell broke didn't break loose, the company still saw fit to apologize.

Before the end of the day, the Tsukuba Express management posted a response on its website saying "We deeply apologize for the severe inconvenience imposed upon our customers."

According to a reporter at SoraNews24, the slightly early departure could have affected traveler's commutes because some people plan to arrive at the platform just as the train pulls up, and even synchronize their watches with the clock at their local train station. A missed departure could then have a flow-on effect for down-the-line transfers.

This isn't the first surprising apology a Japanese company has issued.

Last year, the Japanese frozen dessert company Akagi Nyugyo issued an apology via a somber nationwide commercial when it raised the price of its Garigari-kun popsicles by 9 cents.

SEE ALSO: This is what morning rush hour looks like in one of Japan's busiest train stations

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: I spent a day trying to pay for things with bitcoin and a bar of gold

Crypto Trading and Traditional Assets: New Options for Investors

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

cryptotrading.jpg

While trading of crypto-assets is booming, some investors are looking for options to trade traditional assets like stocks via cryptocurrencies. Three new operators are among those developing trading platforms to meet this need, with blockchain-based tokens pegged to the underlying assets.

Ankorus

Ankorus is establishing a platform that will permit trading traditional assets, including stocks, bonds, futures, options, gold, silver, commodities, ETFs, FX and bitcoin futures with cryptocurrency.

“Ankorus will establish an online exchange populated by any financial asset currently available worldwide,” reads the Ankorus white paper. “Various auditing measures will be taken to establish transparency, and customers will be able to validate that tokenised assets are fully backed and held by Ankorus.”

To enable cryptocurrency holders to buy real-world financial assets, Ankorus will create and allocate tokens that are exactly value-pegged to the underlying assets in exchange for cryptocurrency.

Ankorus will hold its “fundraising contribution” or “Token Generation Event” (TGE) between November 25 and December 25. The ANK token will be distributed to contributors during the TGE.

“The ANK is a utility token, used for commissions, for datafeeds, professional technical charting software, webinars, financial education materials and also membership for those who wish,” Ankorus CEO John Cruz told Bitcoin Magazine. “The ANK token will be allocated during our TGE and later listed on exchanges, beginning with EtherDelta. It is an ERC20 token.”

Another token, the Anchor Token, will be the asset value-pegged token, separately created to tokenize specific securities using a yet-to-be-determined technology.

“Anchor Tokens will come later, after we receive the requisite regulatory approval,” said Cruz. “Anchor Tokens will be created for our customers when they wish to tokenize specific assets. For example, if a customer wishes to purchase and tokenize Apple stock, we create an Apple Anchor Token (known as AAPL.A) or simply credit the customer with them if we created one earlier.”

One of the most interesting asset classes that Ankorus is targeting is that of traditional financial instruments based on cryptocurrencies, such as futures and derivatives. A few weeks ago Bitcoin Magazine reported that CME Group, one of the world’s largest derivatives exchanges, will launch a bitcoin futures product before the end of Q4 2017. In a video, Cruz explains why he considers CME bitcoin futures as a breakthrough that could soon push bitcoin’s price up to $50,000, and expresses confidence in Ankorus’s ability to offer CME bitcoin futures trading soon.

It’s worth noting that Ankorus’s offering can be seen as the reverse of CME bitcoin futures: while CME will offer a traditional financial instrument tied to cryptocurrencies to investors that prefer not to hold and trade cryptocurrencies directly, Ankorus wants to make CME bitcoin futures and other traditional financial instruments available to cryptocurrency holders.

One is left to wonder how Ankorus will navigate the compliance minefield, which has blocked similar initiatives before. The Ankorus team insists that they will be totally SEC-compliant and follow all KYC (Know Your Customer), AML (Anti-Money Laundering) and CTF (Counter-Terrorist Financing) regulations. According to the white paper, Ankorus intends to become a fully registered broker-dealer, acquire membership on a large and reputable exchange, follow best practices for insurance and auditing on a regular basis, and establish a compliant trading platform that will bridge the crypto and finance worlds.

“By becoming a broker-dealer entity, we will get SEC blessing,” said Cruz. “Everyone else is trying to tokenize assets by not being a broker-dealer entity; this is where they run into trouble with the SEC.”

“Within the team we have experience of complying with different market regulators’ KYC, AML and CTF requirements for an FX remittance company,” Ankorus COO Haldane Marnoch told Bitcoin Magazine. “PEP [Politically Exposed Persons] lists are vetted and we check against a suite of sanctions lists too. Documents supplied by our customers for proof of identity or proof of address expire and need to be renewed on a regular basis. Source of funds also needs to be proven for larger transactions.

“Our team is familiar with all the provisions required for operating across multiple jurisdictions,” continued Marnoch. “We’ll use as our primary reference the standards set by the SEC and the CFTC, but naturally we’ll be implementing processes to comply with each and every market we trade in, for instance the FCA in the U.K.”

“We will become a division of a Futures Commissions Merchant (FCM), expected early March, and will be able to fill orders for CME bitcoin futures at that time,” added Cruz.

LAToken and Jibrel Network

LAToken (LAT), which recently raised $19.6 million in a token sale, wants to broaden the use of cryptocurrencies in the real economy and allow cryptocurrency holders to diversify their portfolio by getting access to tokens linked to the price of real assets.

The LAT platform is already operational: asset tokens can be created, listed for sale and traded on the LAT platform. At this time, tokens linked to the price of stocks (e.g., Apple, Amazon, Tesla), commodities (oil, gold, silver) and real estate are already being traded on the LAT platform. Tokens linked to artwork are soon to follow.

According to the white paper, the LAT platform provides cryptocurrency holders with transparent price discovery and diversification across multiple asset classes, allowing for the creation or listing of third-party asset tokens compliant with LAToken disclosure and legal structure rules.

Jibrel Network wants to provide currencies, equities, commodities and other financial assets and instruments as standard ERC20 tokens on the Ethereum blockchain.

Jibrel Network’s draft white paper explains that the platform will support tokens, dubbed Crypto Depository Receipts (CryDRs), which represent ownership of an underlying traditional asset held by Jibrel. On release, Jibrel will support six fiat currencies (USD, CNY, EUR, GBP, RUB, AED) and two money-market instruments.

In the future, Jibrel plans offer CryDRs pegged to a wide range of currencies, commodities, securities and derivatives. The project will hold a token pre-sale between November 27 and January 27.

Both LAToken and Jibrel Network expect to be fully compliant with applicable regulations, including KYC/AML rules, and apply for relevant licenses where needed. Full compliance may prevent the companies from targeting customers in certain jurisdictions. For example, the Jibrel token sale will not be available to U.S., Chinese and Singaporean residents.

The post Crypto Trading and Traditional Assets: New Options for Investors appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Blockchain Coalition Seeks to Make Bitcoin Welcome in Wyoming

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

wyomingbc.jpg

A group of people are on a mission to bring Bitcoin back to the state of Wyoming after unfriendly laws made it impossible to transact with cryptocurrencies there more than two years ago.

The Wyoming Blockchain Coalition announced its formation this week. Its volunteer members aim to create a legal and regulatory environment in the state that welcomes cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology companies with open arms.

Among the group’s advisors are Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock — Byrne lives in Utah but has been a Bitcoin advocate for years — a former Wyoming governor, and two deans and a computer science department head from the University of Wyoming.

Outdated Laws

Bitcoin used to be welcome in Wyoming. But a 2015 interpretation of the Wyoming Money Transmitters Act (which the state passed in 2003, years before Bitcoin even existed) by the Wyoming Division of Banking made it impractical for cryptocurrency exchanges to operate in the state.

Cryptocurrencies are not specifically included on the list of “permissible investments” within the Act, as stocks or securities would be. As a result, after learning it would have to put up huge financial backing to stay in operation in the state, Coinbase suspended its operations in Wyoming indefinitely in June 2015.   

But a lot of people think the law doesn’t make sense. They see cryptocurrency as the future, and they think Wyoming would benefit from being more progressive.

Caitlin Long is one of those people. Now living in New York, where she serves as chairman and president at smart contracts platform company Symbiont, Long grew up in Laramie, Wyoming.

Over the summer, she wanted to give back to her alma mater. But when she went to personally fund an endowment for female engineers at the University of Wyoming, she found out the school was unable to accept her bitcoin as an appreciated asset.  

Fortunately, Long was able to find a charity outside of Wyoming that could legally liquidate the bitcoin and send it to the university through a donor-advised fund.

“They still got the cash, but it prompted a lot of discussion internally in the university about ‘what just happened here?’” Long told Bitcoin Magazine.

Long would not disclose how much she donated, but typically, donations to an endowment are $50,000 and up.

“When universities have donors that are interested in donating properties, they usually try to find ways to accept the properties,” she said.  

The event prompted a lot of discussion among some of the people within the university and eventually led to the formation of a coalition aimed at educating about and advocating for the adoption of blockchain technology in the state.  

Long offered up her services as an advisor member. “I’m in the business,” she said. “So I volunteered to help with both the bitcoin and the blockchain education efforts.”

No Time to Lose

The coalition is moving quickly. Within a week, the group formed an LLC, sent out a press release stating its goals and launched a website. “This is very, very new, and it is happening in real time,” said Long.

They have good reason to make haste. The new legislative session begins in February. If the coalition wants to push through a bill that will get digital currencies recognized as a “permissible investment” under the Wyoming Money Transmitters Act, they will need to move quickly.

Currently the group is working on legislative language with local attorneys and legislators. Next, they need to educate the citizens of Wyoming and the legislators about the benefits of Bitcoin and blockchain technologies. Some of that will involve webinars and live events, as as well as organizing a dinner in Cheyenne during the legislative session.  

Last year, a similar regulatory effort, Wyoming House Bill 26, did not pass, but that was due to lack of knowledge and some “unrelated political feuds,” Robert Jennings, another one of the group’s advisor members, told Bitcoin Magazine.

This time around, he thinks “blockchain [technology] and cryptocurrency will stand on its own merits.”

Jennings added, “There is already a groundswell of support in the state due to the rise in popularity of Bitcoin.”

But, he cautioned, it will require “an extensive education campaign, which is why we formed the Wyoming Blockchain Coalition.”

The post Blockchain Coalition Seeks to Make Bitcoin Welcome in Wyoming appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Why Bitcoin Is Super Hot in Zimbabwe

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

People in Zimbabwe and other countries in political and economic turmoil increasingly are turning to digital currencies.

What you need to know on Wall Street today

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

Welcome 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.

If you spend any time on Twitter and follow any media industry people, you'll often come away dizzy, and fairly certain that every media company is trying to buy every other media company.

It started a year ago when AT&T announced it had reached an agreement to buy Time Warner. Then things really turned upside down when 21st Century Fox — just three years after trying to buy Time Warner  signaled it wanted to sell some assets to Disney

Then on Thursday, it was reported that Comcast might buy some of Fox. Or Verizon might. And of course, President Trump might not allow AT&T to buy Time Warner. The FCC is potentially loosening media ownership rules. Net Neutrality might go away. 

Confused yet? Here's our guide to the Game of Thrones-esque battle for power in the media industry.  

Also in deal news, real estate M&A has eclipsed the record level set on the eve of the financial crisis — and it has to do with the retail apocalypse. Caesars is buying casino and horse racing company Centaur for $1.7 billionStitch Fix spiked more than 17% after IPO. And a Danish energy company just issued debt with a maturity date of 3017.

Credit Suisse just hired two top research analysts away from UBS, and it establishes a clear trend. Bitcoin trading shops are hiring Wall Streeters to build out the "next generation" of cryptocurrency trading. And Goldman Sachs wants to help improve your "financial wellness."

In markets news, a $423 billion investor explained why tech stocks are defying a warning sign. Walmart is making a mockery of the retail apocalypse — and traders are betting it'll keep soaring.

In D.C. news,  while President Trump claims the tax bill would lead to a huge boost for business spending and hiring, executives aren't so sure. And the Republican tax bill contains a sneaky break for private jet owners.

Tesla unveiled its electric big-rig truck on Thursday evening, and also surprised with the unveiling of a new Roadster. Here's what you need to know:

Lastly, Tiffany is selling everyday objects for eye-popping amounts of money — here are the craziest ones you can buy.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: I spent a day trying to pay for things with bitcoin and a bar of gold

Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies: the Next Shiny Object or the Next Gold Mine?

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

Cryptocurrency is evolving, as one CEO in the field put it, "at a faster pace than the dotcom boom two decades ago.

No Fork, No Fire: Segwit2x Nodes Stall Running Abandoned Bitcoin Code

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

The Segwit2x bitcoin fork may have been formally called off, but as many as 150 nodes still running its code have stopped accepting transaction blocks

SegWit2x Minority Fork Thrown Into Question as BTC1 Nodes Stall

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

[…]

The post SegWit2x Minority Fork Thrown Into Question as BTC1 Nodes Stall appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

Internet Archive Adds Bitcoin Cash, Zcash to Donation Options

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

The Internet Archive, host of the Wayback Machine, has announced it now supports donations in bitcoin cash and zcash.

Domino's CEO throws shade at Walgreens and says the pizza chain has a better rewards program (DPZ)

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

Domino's Pizza CEO Patrick Doyle

  • Domino’s Pizza CEO Patrick Doyle pointed out a key difference between the chain's "pizza profiles" and Walgreens' loyalty program.
  • He says the chain doesn’t need extra info from customers because it can get that data from their orders, and hates how much info other stores ask customers to give.


Big data is transforming every industry, and pizza is no exception. 

Domino’s "pizza profiles" loyalty program, which the chain launched in 2013, lets you earn free food after ordering a set amount of pizza from within the company's app. But the company wants to draw a key distinction between its loyalty rewards program and those of competitors — Domino's didn’t want to ask you for mountains of data. 

"Every single time I go to Walgreens, the nice lady at the cash register asks if I’m a member and I say no. And she tells me you know you’re going to pay more and I say yes but I’m not going to spend 20 minutes filling out your forms," CEO Patrick Doyle told Bernstein analyst Sara Senatore at an event last week. 

"We already had the data. It was a big advantage and we are not going to complicate our loyalty program until we know that everybody understands our loyalty program." 

So far, the loyalty program, alongside renovated stores, seems to be paying off for the Michigan-based pizza chain. Domino’s could overtake Pizza Hut as the largest national pizza chain by sales numbers this year, Nomura-Instinet analyst Mark Kalinowski said this summer. Domino’s rising sales numbers — up 8.4% during its most recent earnings report in October — are backing up his thesis. 

Doyle also pointed to Starbucks' loyalty program, known as My Starbucks Rewards, as something Domino’s is looking to model. 

"I think Starbucks is best in class in the restaurant industry in on-premise,” he said. “And what they are doing with technology there from a payment standpoint, from what they are doing to speed up the lines, all the rest of it — they do a terrific job there."

Shares of Domino’s are up 12.43% so far this year. Wall Street consensus is that the stock will continue to climb to $216, or 21% above Friday morning's price of $178.10.

Dominos pizza stock price

SEE ALSO: Starbucks could be making a huge mistake when it comes to digital rewards

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Why this New York City preschool accepts bitcoin but doesn't accept credit cards

Dispelling the Doomsayers: The Future of China's Blockchain Development is Still Bright

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

Dispelling the Doomsayers: The Future Blockchain Development is Still Bright in China

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Credit Suisse just hired 2 top research analysts away from UBS, and it establishes a clear trend

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

Credit Suisse

  • Credit Suisse hired two top research analysts away from UBS.
  • Doug Mitchelson joins the bank as managing director in equity research covering the media, cable/satellite, and telecommunications sectors. Brian Russo joins as a vice president working in the same sector. 
  • The bank has now hired at least six managing directors in research from UBS recent months. They're part of a wave of hires the bank has recently made to beef up its research division. 


Credit Suisse has hired two high-level equity research analysts away from Swiss rival UBS, part of a wave of hires the bank has made in recent months to load up on research firepower. 

Doug Mitchelson joins the bank as managing director in equity research covering the media, cable/satellite, and telecommunications sectors, according to a memo seen by Business Insider.

Previously he worked for three years at UBS as a senior media analyst and before that spent 17 years as an analyst with Deutsche Bank.

"Given the increasing convergence and consolidation of these sectors, we believe having a single, combined team allows for synergies and deeper insights," David Bleustein, head of research in the Americas for Credit Suisse, wrote in the memo. "Doug brings significant experience to this role having spent over 20 years as a sell-side analyst covering the Media and Cable/Satellite sectors."

Mitchelson joins Brian Russo, who was recently hired as a vice president covering the same sector. He worked with Mitchelson in media equity research at UBS before joining Credit Suisse, and Deutsche Bank before that. 

A Credit Suisse spokesman confirmed the hires.

Bleustein himself was hired this summer from UBS, where he started as an industrials analyst in 1999 and ran the equity research divsion in the US since 2008. 

The bank has only ramped up its investment in research since.

Other managing directors in research that have joined Credit Suisse since the summer include:

  • Jonathan Golub, chief US equity strategist
  • Marty Auster, mid- and small-cap biotechnology analyst
  • AJ Rice, managed care and healthcare facilities
  • Michael Binetti, softlines and department stores
  • Bill Featherston, energy exploration and production and integrated oil
  • Kristina Kazarian, master limited partnerships and refiners
  • Andrew Kligerman, life insurance

Of that group, all but one worked at UBS in the past four years, and four joined directly from UBS. Given the hire of Bleustein from UBS, and the hire of Mitchelson, that means Credit Suisse has now hired at least six managing directors in research from UBS in recent months.

 The rash of research hires comes ahead of new European regulations set to go live in January — known as MiFID II — that are expected to result in slashed research budgets across Wall Street. 

Mary Erdoes, the head of JPMorgan's $1.9 trillion asset and wealth management business, recently explained the impacts and looming industry cuts to a room full of analysts at a conference.

"On the buy side, the larger firms will absorb the costs and figure out how that cascades its way through," Erdoes said. "It probably means they'll tighten up a lot on what they spend on sell-side research, which is why the two go hand in hand."

Erdoes plainly laid out what happens next: "I was dealing with 10 of you; I don't want 10 of you anymore, I only want the five best of you." 

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

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Real estate M&A has eclipsed the record level set on the eve of the financial crisis — and it's to do with the retail apocalypse (MAC, TCO, GGP)

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

forgotten mall

  • It's been a record year for real estate mergers and acquisitions, with $387 billion in announced transactions worldwide.
  • Part of the explanation rests with Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) that own and operate shopping malls, which have been battered amid the ongoing retail apocalypse but now may be undervalued.
  • Global logistics businesses, which need warehouses to house and distribute product, are also driving the trend.


Mergers and acquisitions of real estate companies have hit record levels in 2017. 

Through November 15, more than 3,300 real estate deals were announced worth $387 billion. They account for 12.1% of the total global M&A market by value, according to data compiled by Thomson Reuters.

Each figure is a year-to-date record, eclipsing marks set in 2007 on the eve of the financial crisis when there were 2,500 deals worth $380 billion making up 11.9% of the M&A market through mid-November.

But unlike 2007, the asset class doesn't appear to be part of a bubble on the verge of its reckoning. 

To the contrary, many Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) — stricken by ties to the unfolding retail apocalypse that has caused thousands of store and shopping mall closings — have been battered and underperformed the broader market, which has notched record high after record high this year.

The fact that real estate companies with retail exposure are trading at discounts is one component driving the M&A boom, according to several Wall Street dealmakers, as acquirers search for REIT targets at which investor backlash may be overblown.

"These companies are trading at significant discounts to [Net Asset Value]," Drew Goldman, Deutsche Bank's global head of real estate, gaming, leisure, and lodging investment banking, told Business Insider. "And people are saying, 'Should that actually be the case?'"

real estate M&A thomson reutersTake, for instance, the megadeal announced this week that pushed real-estate M&A into record territory: Brookfield Property Partners' $27.9 billion bid for shopping-mall investor GGP, the third-largest real-estate deal of all time, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Brookfield's $23-a-share bid was a more than 20% premium to GGP's share price before news of the deal leaked. But it's still significantly lower than what many think the company is worth.

Brookfield, which already owned 34% of GGP before its bid to acquire the rest, said the shares it held were worth about $30 based on net asset value in a conference call in October. 

So by Brookfield's own estimation, GGP is worth far more than what they've offered for it. 

And GGP isn't the only one. Activists are circling two of GGP's peers that also run high-end malls, angling to unlock value: Paul Singer's Elliott Management has bought a stake in Taubman Centers, a $3.4 billion company, and Dan Loeb's Third Point acquired a position in Macerich Co, a $9.2 billion company.  

Both were trading near their 52-week lows before the activist positions were revealed in the past week. 

Absent the upheaval in retail and the REITs exposed to it, M&A in the sector likely wouldn't be so hot.

"If you take out those, you're probably in a more normalized year," Deutsche Bank's Goldman said.

It's not just REITs, though

Amazon may also have contributed to the heightened demand for real estate, as its foray from e-commerce to physical stores, including the purchase of Whole Foods in June, has underscored the enduring necessity of bricks and mortar — even for internet companies. 

"If you look at the Amazon and Whole Foods acquisition, it's being perceived by many as a validation of the need to marry bricks and sticks with tech platforms," said Stephen Tomlinson, a partner and top real estate M&A lawyer at Kirkland & Ellis. 

Industrial real estate transactions have also thrived in 2017, contributing to record deal levels.

"As a whole, industrial — if you look at the public companies, if you look at the private markets — the industrial space has been very hot," said Goldman, mentioning that there were "two massive deals" sold to Chinese investors.

Those deals:

Consolidation has increased globally as industrials seek the capacity necessary to house and distribute products at a  global scale. 

"That is to a large degree a function of the impact of technology and its connection to logistics businesses," Tomlinson said. "That is a business where scale and global footprint are perceived to be important."

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

Ripple Makes a Splash: XRP Price Looks Up on Amex News

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

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EXCLUSIVE: PwC to shut 6 regional UK offices in 2018

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

PWC office

  • Internal memos seen by Business Insider show PwC plans to close six regional offices from April 2018.
  • The move is officially part of an operational strategy to make fewer, larger offices more efficient.
  • The move is "not to reduce headcount," and the firm said it was "committed to providing a role" for all employees affected by the changes.

 

LONDON — PwC will close six regional UK offices from April 2018. 

Two internal memos circulated on Thursday and seen by Business Insider show the professional services firm is planning to close its offices in Sheffield, Plymouth, Liverpool, Norwich, Swansea and Dungannon, in Northern Ireland, from April 2018.

A spokesperson for PwC said the changes would effect fewer than 400 people across all six offices. He said they are "not about Brexit," but "the way in which PwC is expanding its presence outside London, and new ways of working."

A source familiar with the situation said the firm had been "cutting back on expenses" and that staff were told on Friday that redundancy packages will be offered.

In a "fast moving, dynamic environment," clients are to be told, client issues "like Brexit, market opportunity and technology" demand "a range of expertise that's not always available in every regional office," according to a memo sent to staff by Ian Morrison, the PwC partner in charge of the Yorkshire and North East region, seen by Business Insider. 

The change is "not to reduce headcount"

Another internal memo circulated to Sheffield staff said PwC was planning to "consolidate our presence into fewer, larger regional offices." This will allow the firm to "work together differently and more effectively, and have all our lines of service combine to offer the wider set of expertise that our clients need," it said.

The change is part of a drive to expand the firm's presence outside London, a second memo said, "and we've committed to new or additional office space that will boost our regional headcount by a further 1,250 people [over the next year]."

"This decision is being driven by where we can grow our business, not to reduce headcount," it said. PwC said it was "committed to providing a role for everyone" affected in the move. 

PwC told staff it is "investing heavily" in creating "tech-enabled, flexible offices," to enable "more choice and flexibility on how and where we work."

PwC's Leeds office will become the new base office for Sheffield from April 2018, and the Assurance team from the Hull office will also move to the Leeds site. Tax Accounting Services from the Hull office are expected to remain where they are for "up to the next two years," the memo said.

The announced closure comes after the Sheffield site moved offices in 2014, and the team made efforts to emphasize PwC is the only "Big Four" firm investing in South Yorkshire.

Many Sheffield employees, the person said, had relocated to the city and bought homes in the area, "to create something special, and they've closed it down with five months' notice."

The firm is encouraging Sheffield staff to consider "what working arrangements would work for you." Going forward, these are "likely to be a combination of working from client sites, working from Leeds and working from home some of the time," the memo said.

It also said options could include "financial support for relocating or commuting."

Client relations

According to one of the memos, client work is expected to "remain largely unchanged."

Investments "in technology like Google, and clients' changing expectations, mean that we don't need to be next door to them," it said.

"Please emphasise [to clients] that we are not withdrawing from our markets and clients, and that consolidating resources will not impact our client services," the memo said.

Staff have been briefed to tell clients the move is part of a "wider policy of investing in larger offices in strategic locations outside London to give clients greater access to a broader range of our services."

Kevin Ellis, chairman and senior partner at PwC, is expected to discuss the plans with the wider firm on Friday.

"Given our employees are equipped with a laptop and smartphone, and often work from client offices and other remote locations, we are consolidating our regional presence into a smaller number of larger offices around the UK," said Paul Terrington, PwC head of regions, in an emailed statement.

"PwC has invested in a number of major regional centres outside London, including a new technology industry hub in Reading, and significant expansion in cities such as Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Manchester and Leeds," he said. 

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GOLDMAN SACHS: Tesla's new big rig won't solve its Model 3 problems (TSLA)

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

elon musk shrug tesla

  • On Thursday night, Tesla unveiled its new electric semi truck and high-end Roadster model.
  • Goldman Sachs analyst David Tamberrino is still bearish on Tesla's stock at current levels due to continued production issues around the Model 3 sedan.


Tesla's shares may be climbing after the company unveiled its new electric semi truck and high-end Roadster, but not everyone is so optimistic.

Goldman Sachs analyst David Tamberrino is one of those skeptics, because he just can't get past the production bottleneck hanging over the Model 3 sedan. He says that the longer-term drag from Model 3 issues will more than offset the short-term gains being driven by the new product announcements.

"We expect shares to see some upward movement in trading as a result of Tesla’s new prototypes," Tamberrino wrote in a client note on Friday morning. "That said, our focus remains on near-term production constraints on the Model 3, where we continue to forecast a much lower production ramp than the company — driving our Sell rating."

Tamberrino sees Tesla's stock plunging roughly 34% to $205 per share over the next six months. And as he mentioned above, a big part of his bearish argument is that the Tesla's already-trimmed Model 3 forecasts still don't reflect just how much trouble the company will have meeting production targets. In late October, the company said that it was behind on its planned ramp-up for the Model 3, having only produced 260 sedans in the third quarter after targeting 1,500 for September alone.

Such a stock drop would certainly be welcome news for short sellers betting on a decline in Tesla's shares. While they've made almost $1 billion shorting the company in the fourth quarter, they're still down about $3.2 billion on a mark-to-market basis in 2017 as Tesla's stock has soared 46%, according to data compiled by financial-analytics firm S3 Partners.

Still, Tamberrino was impressed with some aspects of Tesla's new semi truck. Here's a summary of his thoughts on the vehicle:

  • The semi's minimum range of 500 miles is "well above" previously reported figures, giving it potential for longer-haul capability.
  • The total cost of ownership for the semi will be $1.26 per mile, which is lower than the $1.51 for diesel trucks.
  • The vehicle's autonomous features could lower costs even further as incremental labor expenses are eliminated.

Screen Shot 2017 11 17 at 9.10.10 AM

SEE ALSO: Tesla's sinking stock has made short sellers almost $1 billion

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NOW WATCH: $6 TRILLION INVESTMENT CHIEF: Bitcoin is a bubble

‘Bubble’ Bitcoin ‘Fair Value’ is $100, Fumes Japan Post Bank CIO

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

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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 on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) March 4, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

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

Here's Lutz:

Morning, and Happy Expiry Friday!   US Futures are mixed, with the Spoos slightly lower, steadily rallying as more US traders man their Bloomies.   Nasdaq in the Green, paced by a 4% pop in AMAT – Europe is mostly Green, as Commodity Stocks continue to recover, while Media stocks are jumping globally on M&A chatter.  6 IPOs today, perhaps the most active issuance morning in 2017.  1 Priced above range (SAIL), 2 Priced below (SFIX, BXG), 1 at low end (SCPH), and one pulled (MOLC).  Waiting on pricing from LEVB.  In Europe, the DAX is up 10bp, led by a nice pop in those German Banks, while flows roll from Italian and Spanish Financials.   My friends in Stockholm getting hit tho, with Retail getting hit on HMB, while Volvo rolls 2% lower.   FTSE up 20bp as Miners miners rally, while Energy stocks are battling to stay green - Construction weaker on Carillion’s sloppy headers. 

Aside from China, Asia had a decent overnight.  Nikkei managed a small gain - Hang Seng up 60bp as Tencent pops another 3%.  China Banks outperformed on chatter of increased PBOC allowing increased foreign ownership stakes - Shanghai off 50bp, but Retail-Oriented Shenzhen smacked for almost 3% as State media warned stocks were “climbing too fast” - KOSPI off small, while KOSDAQ finally takes a breather, off 50bp, dropping 1week gains to 95% - Aussie up 20bp as Banks popped, while Sensex up nearly 1% and India’s Rupee having a strong overnight as Moody’s upgrades the country

The US 10YY is off small, drifting around yesterday’s peaks, but the Dollar is weaker, with press pointing to Mueller’s fresh subpoenas of the Trump Campaign.  Eyes are on support near week’s intraday lows.  Euro higher despite a Dovish Draghi speech - Sterling touching 2week highs - $/Y hitting 1month lows, and EM FX jumping, with Thai and Malaysian currencies hitting 1-2Y highs.  In China, Ore up 1% to finish the week flat, but Rebar weaker again, dropping 4.5% on the week.   I see all metals bid, paced by a 1.5% pop in Nickel, perhaps on the TSLA announcement last night.  Gold up 40bp on the weaker $, while Bitcoin kisses a record, days after a ~30% plunge.   WTI snapping back into next week’s expiry, popping 1.6% early.

Read about the 10 things you need to know today...

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

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: $6 TRILLION INVESTMENT CHIEF: Bitcoin is a 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 on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) March 4, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

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

Here's Lutz:

Morning, and Happy Expiry Friday!   US Futures are mixed, with the Spoos slightly lower, steadily rallying as more US traders man their Bloomies.   Nasdaq in the Green, paced by a 4% pop in AMAT – Europe is mostly Green, as Commodity Stocks continue to recover, while Media stocks are jumping globally on M&A chatter.  6 IPOs today, perhaps the most active issuance morning in 2017.  1 Priced above range (SAIL), 2 Priced below (SFIX, BXG), 1 at low end (SCPH), and one pulled (MOLC).  Waiting on pricing from LEVB.  In Europe, the DAX is up 10bp, led by a nice pop in those German Banks, while flows roll from Italian and Spanish Financials.   My friends in Stockholm getting hit tho, with Retail getting hit on HMB, while Volvo rolls 2% lower.   FTSE up 20bp as Miners miners rally, while Energy stocks are battling to stay green - Construction weaker on Carillion’s sloppy headers. 

Aside from China, Asia had a decent overnight.  Nikkei managed a small gain - Hang Seng up 60bp as Tencent pops another 3%.  China Banks outperformed on chatter of increased PBOC allowing increased foreign ownership stakes - Shanghai off 50bp, but Retail-Oriented Shenzhen smacked for almost 3% as State media warned stocks were “climbing too fast” - KOSPI off small, while KOSDAQ finally takes a breather, off 50bp, dropping 1week gains to 95% - Aussie up 20bp as Banks popped, while Sensex up nearly 1% and India’s Rupee having a strong overnight as Moody’s upgrades the country

The US 10YY is off small, drifting around yesterday’s peaks, but the Dollar is weaker, with press pointing to Mueller’s fresh subpoenas of the Trump Campaign.  Eyes are on support near week’s intraday lows.  Euro higher despite a Dovish Draghi speech - Sterling touching 2week highs - $/Y hitting 1month lows, and EM FX jumping, with Thai and Malaysian currencies hitting 1-2Y highs.  In China, Ore up 1% to finish the week flat, but Rebar weaker again, dropping 4.5% on the week.   I see all metals bid, paced by a 1.5% pop in Nickel, perhaps on the TSLA announcement last night.  Gold up 40bp on the weaker $, while Bitcoin kisses a record, days after a ~30% plunge.   WTI snapping back into next week’s expiry, popping 1.6% early.

Read about the 10 things you need to know today...

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

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Watch billionaire Jack Ma sing his heart out during a surprise performance at a music festival

Tesla is popping after its semi truck and roadster announcements (TSLA)

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

tesla trucks semi

  • Tesla revealed its semi truck and new Roadster model on Thursday evening.
  • The stock is up more than 4% after the event.
  • The company is still working on production issues with its Model 3.
  • Watch Tesla's stock price move in real time.


Tesla shares are up 4.07% to $325.22 on Friday after the company announced its new semi truck and surprised investors with a new Roadster car.

At the company's design studio in Hawthorne, California, on Thursday evening, Tesla announced the details of its new all-electric semi truck. The semi, which is set to start production in 2019, is accepting pre-orders for $5,000 apiece. The truck has a range of 500 miles and can recharge to a range of 400 miles in just 30 minutes with the company's new Megacharger.

The truck's four electric motors, one for each of the rear wheels, can accelerate the car to 60 miles per hour in just five seconds with a trailer attached. Regenerative breaking means brake pads never have to be replaced, according to the company.

At the event, CEO Elon Musk surprised investors and journalists by also revealing a new version of the company's Roadster. The new model is set to begin production in 2020 and will cost $200,000. For that cost, you get an acceleration to 60 miles per hour in just 1.9 seconds, the fastest ever for a production car. The car can reach 100 miles per hour in just 4.2 seconds, according to Musk.

In addition to being the fastest car in the world, it will also be the longest range car Tesla makes, with an estimated 620-mile range.

All of the announcements, while flashy and exciting, come as Tesla struggles to produce its first mass-marketed vehicle, the Model 3. The company has been slogging through "production hell" as it works to fill its massive backlog of about 450,000 preorders.

Tesla shares are up 51.46% this year.

Read more about the new semi truck.

tesla stock price

SEE ALSO: Tesla just unveiled its first electric semi — and it looks like a spaceship

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NOW WATCH: $6 TRILLION INVESTMENT CHIEF: Bitcoin is a bubble

Betting Against Bitcoin? Swiss Firms Launch World’s First Bitcoin Short Notes

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Up and Away? Bitcoin Price Eyes $8,000 Or Higher

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

Bitcoin has staged a remarkable "V" shaped recovery from the last week's lows near $5,500, and may be looking at new highs ahead.

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

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What To Do When Bitcoin Falls

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

The hidden warning In bitcoin's losses.

10 things you need to know before the opening bell (SPY, SPX, QQQ, DIA, TSLA, FOXA, GPS)

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

Protests France

Here is what you need to know.

Tax reform passes the House. By a vote of 227-205, mostly along party lines, the House passed its version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

A $423 billion investor explains why tech stocks aren't overpriced. Measures of valuation like the cyclically adjusted price-earnings ratio show stocks are as expensive as they were during the dot-com bubble, but this time is different because the largest companies are propelled by intellectual property, not manufacturing, Jim McCaughan, the CEO of Principal Global Investors, told Business Insider.

Bitcoin crosses $8,000. The cryptocurrency touched a record high of $8,007 a coin, according to the Bitfinex Exchange. Now it's little changed near $7,870.

A Danish oil company issued a 1,000-year bond. Orsted raised 500 million euros through the sale of a hybrid bond, both debt and equity, that matures in 3017.

Tesla unveils its electric big rig. The company says the big rig will have a range of up to 500 miles a charge and can charge up to 400 miles in just 30 minutes when using a newly released high-speed Megacharger.

A bidding war may be about to break out for 21st Century Fox. Comcast, Verizon, and Disney have all reportedly approached 21st Century Fox to buy some of its assets, both CNBC and The Wall Street Journal report.

Gap raises its profit forecast. The retailer beat on both the top and bottom lines and said it saw its full-year adjusted profit coming in at $2.08 to $2.12 a share, up from its previous estimate of $2.02 to $2.10 a share.

Stock markets around the world trade mixed. Hong Kong's Hang Seng (+0.62%) led the gains in Asia, and Britain's FTSE (-0.27%) trails in Europe. The S&P 500 is set to open down 0.11% near 2,583.

Earnings reporting is light. Abercrombie & Fitch and Foot Locker report ahead of the opening bell.

US economic data rolls out. Housing starts and building permits will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is down 1 basis point at 2.37%.

Join the conversation about this story »

10 things you need to know before the opening bell (SPY, SPX, QQQ, DIA, TSLA, FOXA, GPS)

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

Protests France

Here is what you need to know. 

Tax reform passes the HouseBy a vote of 227 to 205, mostly along party lines, the House passed its version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

A $423 billion investor explains why tech stocks aren't overpricedMeasures of valuation like the cyclically adjusted price-earnings ratio shows stocks are as expensive as they were during the dotcom bubble, but this time is different because the largest companies are propelled by intellectual property, not manufacturing, Jim McCaughan, CEO of Principal Global Investors told Business Insider. 

Bitcoin crosses $8,000The cryptocurrency touched a record high of $8,007 a coin, according to the Bitfinex Exchange. Currently, its little changed near $7,870. 

A Danish oil company issued a 1000-year bondOrsted raised 500 million euros through the sale of a hybrid bond, both debt and equity, that matures in 3017.

Tesla unveils its electric big rigThe big rig will have a range of up to 500 miles per charge and can charge up to 400 miles in just 30 minutes when using a newly released high-speed Megacharger. 

A bidding war may be about to break out for 21st Century Fox. Comcast, Verizon and Disney have all reportedly approached 21st Century Fox to buy some of its assets, both CNBC and the Wall Street Journal report. 

Gap raises its profit forecastThe retailer beat on both the top and bottom lines and said it sees its full-year adjusted profit coming in at $2.08 to $2.12 per share, up from its previous estimate of $2.02 to $2.10 per share.

Stock markets around the world trade mixedHong Kong's Hang Seng (+0.62%) led the gains in Asia and Britain's FTSE (-0.27%) trails in Europe. The S&P 500 is set to open down 0.11% near 2,583.

Earnings reporting is lightAbercrombie & Fitch and Foot Locker report ahead of the opening bell.

US economic data rolls outHousing starts and building permits will be both be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is down 1 basis point at 2.37%. 

Join the conversation about this story »

Singapore, Bitcoin-Friendly Philippines Aim for Blockchain Cross-Border Payments

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

[…]

The post Singapore, Bitcoin-Friendly Philippines Aim for Blockchain Cross-Border Payments appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

Top 10 Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) To Watch Heading Into 2018

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

If you thought the incredible rise of BitCoin was crazy, you ain't seen nothing yet. When it comes to cryptocurrencies, we're just getting started.

Wealthy Saudi Arabians detained in corruption purge are reportedly being asked to pay for their freedom

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

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, attends the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia October 24, 2017. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

  • Saudi Arabians detained in last month's purge are reportedly being asked to hand over assets in order to be set free, the Financial Times reported.
  • The move may be part of a drive to boost state coffers that have suffered as a result of low oil prices.
  • Some are being asked to hand over as much as 70% of their wealth, a source familiar with events said.

 

LONDON — Saudi Arabian authorities are reportedly negotiating settlements with princes and businessmen detained in last month's anti-corruption purge, according to a report in the Financial Times.

Saudi officials are asking some of the businessmen, royals and ministers detained in Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman's purge to pay as much as 70% of their wealth in return for their freedom, people familiar with the situation told the Financial Times.

The person said some had begun to hand over assets: "They are making settlements with most of those in the Ritz [Carlton hotel in Riyadh, where they are being held]," they said. "Cough up the cash and you will go home."

More than 200 businessmen, royals and ministers were called in for questioning in October on allegations of corruption, in a crackdown that affected around $100 billion of funds. The alleged drive to recover assets from the wealthy could be an attempt to boost state funds, the person familiar with events said.

Saudi Arabia is heavily reliant on oil, and last year slashed public spending and increased borrowing to cope with low prices. Prices fell sharply in 2014, and in 2015 the International Monetary Fund predicted Saudi could run out of resources within five years, if its rate of spending and the oil price slump continued.

The $100 billion being investigated could increase threefold, the person also said. As well as paying up, detained royals are likely also to be asked to make promises of loyalty, they said.

Some Saudis have viewed the steps positively. "Why should the poor take all the pain of austerity," one Saudi academic said to the Financial Times, "the rich need to pay their way too."

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Walmart is making a mockery of the retail apocalypse — and traders are betting it'll keep soaring (WMT)

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

walmart greeter

  • Walmart crushed its most recent earnings report, beating Wall Street profit and sales estimates, while also raising full-year guidance.
  • The company also grew e-commerce gross merchandise volume by 54%, suggesting that it's holding off Amazon.
  • Traders made adjustments to get more bullish heading into earnings, and are positioned for more strength ahead for Walmart's stock.


There's no denying that the retail apocalypse is sweeping America, leaving thousands of brick-and-mortar store closures in its wake.

Apparently someone forgot to tell Walmart.

The biggest brick-and-mortar store of all is arguably doing better than ever, fresh off a blockbuster earnings report that saw the company smash Wall Street estimates and post its best sales growth in more than eight years. The report sent the company's stock surging 10%, demolishing its previous record high.

However, nothing in Walmart's quarterly report piqued investor interest like its decision to raise its full-year earnings guidance. In a market where money managers are increasingly interested in what's next for a company, rather than what's already happened, it's the ultimate driver of positive sentiment.

And the future certainly does look bright for Walmart, even in a retail landscape constantly under pressure from online retail titan Amazon.

The company's e-commerce segment grew gross merchandise volume by 54% in the quarter, suggesting that it's taking the fight to Amazon. Those figures now include Jet.com, the online retailer that Walmart acquired back in 2016. Walmart has now expanded US revenue for 13 straight quarters.

While investors certainly took notice of Walmart's stellar performance immediately after its earnings report, their confidence in the company had been building for weeks. This can be seen in a measure called short interest, which tracks bets that a stock will fall. The number of shares being held short fell by roughly 9 million, or 18%, in the month leading up to the quarterly release, according to data compiled by financial-analytics firm S3 Partners.

That implies that traders weren't particularly concerned with positioning against a potential drop in Walmart's stock — a wise outlook in hindsight.

walmart short interest

Walmart investors are looking similarly confident going forward. They're paying the lowest premium in two years to protect against a 10% decline in Walmart's stock over the next six months, relative to bets on a 10% increase, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Still, it would be unwise for both Walmart traders and the company to get too comfortable with current conditions. Amazon has shown repeatedly that it's capable of creating or erasing billions of dollars of market value with a single action. And while Walmart looks unscathed right now, there's no telling what kind of tricks Amazon has up its sleeve.

But for the time being, Walmart and its shareholders can find comfort in the fact that they've avoided the retail apocalypse.

Screen Shot 2017 11 16 at 4.27.44 PM

SEE ALSO: Tesla's sinking stock has made short sellers almost $1 billion

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UK FinTech to Launch a Bitcoin Visa Debit Card with Support for Altcoins

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

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UK FinTech to Launch a Bitcoin Visa Debit Card with Support for Altcoins

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There is a $500 million ICO to build a floating cryptocurrency casino in Macau

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

Dragon Pearl Casino Hotel 2

  • Dragon Corp wants to raise $500 million from an ICO that will finance a floating casino in Macau.
  • The digital coins will be exchangeable for non-negotiable gambling chips in the Dragon Pearl Hotel Casino.
  • Or buyers can hold the coins as they fluctuate in value.
  • The company got some bad publicity when a convicted gangster showed up at one of its events.


Some people think that cryptocurrency initial coin offerings (ICOs) are a bit of a gamble. Here is one that is 100% gambling: Dragon Corp. tells Business Insider it is raising $500 million (£377 million) in an ICO that will give its buyers cryptocurrency coins that can be exchanged for non-negotiable gambling chips in a yet-to-be-built casino that will float at a dockside in Macau.

Buyers won't get equity in the casino. Just gambling chip tokens. 

Needless to say, there are some risks.

The territory of Macau has not authorised Bitcoin services, China recently banned ICOs, and gambling debts are not enforceable under Chinese law. The company is registered in the British Virgin Islands, the jurisdiction where investors will have to file if legal disputes arise.

So the regulatory framework is ... complicated.

And, to the embarrassment of Dragon, a convicted gangster — "Broken Tooth" Wan Kuok-koi, who served 14 years in prison for loan sharking and money laundering — showed up at a signing ceremony staged by Dragon to launch the ICO.

Chakrit Chris Ahmad Dragon Pearl ICO Wi Holding

"Broken Tooth is not involved in Dragon," CEO Chris Ahmad told Business Insider just before Web Summit, the tech conference in Lisbon, Portugal. "Do we know him? We know of him. We know him. Not to a great extent. He came to the event introduced by someone else as a prominent figure in Macau ... He is not involved in Dragon and he is not financing Dragon in any way."

On paper, however, the Dragon ICO seems like a really good idea.

Macau's casinos are surrounded by a legal barrier that makes them very different from those in Las Vegas, London, or Monaco. China has strict laws preventing its citizens from moving cash out of the country.

Dragon Pearl Casino Hotel

So, in order to gamble in Macau, high-rolling customers pay junket companies in China to handle their trips to the former Portuguese enclave. Once in Macau, the junket then gives the gambler an equivalent stake in non-negotiable gambling chips. These chips can only be spent betting in the casinos, they cannot be immediately exchanged for cash. At the end of their trip, gamblers can exchange their winnings for cash, and that money is then handed back to them by the junket upon their return to China.

Chinese law is thus circumvented because the gambler's money doesn't really go anywhere — it stays with the junket in China, plus or minus the difference in winnings at the end. In Macau, the junket acts as a bank, extending the gambler credit, and settling the debt in cash at the end of the trip.

Macau's casinos typically pay stiff commissions to junket companies for bringing customers to the island, and gamblers pay fees to junkets for arranging their travel (and helping them avoid bank transactions).

Dragon Pearl Casino Hotel 5

The casino/junket market is huge: $17 billion (£12.8 billion) is staked each month through the single largest junket, SinCity Group, according to Bloomberg. Macau's gambling economy dwarfs that of Las Vegas, because it is accompanied by a large shadow financing sector operated in part by the junkets. "On paper, it's seven times the size of Las Vegas, but really it's probably about 20 times" in real life, Ahmad says.

The Dragon ICO essentially solves all that friction. Gamblers will buy Dragon crypto-coins and then exchange those for non-negotiable chips, Ahmad says. Dragon coins — which will be in limited supply — thus have two sources of demand: Gamblers who buy them to wager in the floating casino, and ICO investors who are buying the coins because they think it will go up in price like Bitcoin or Ethereum.

Dragon is also going to charge a fraction of the costs that traditional junkets add. Typical junket fees are 5% each way. "We charge 0.5% [each way], taking only 1%. It's much quicker, cheaper, faster, more transparent," Ahmad says. "You have full ownership of the tokens. It's better in all aspects."

"If you think about it casinos are one of the best investments you can do," Ahmad says, alluding to the truism that the house always wins.

Dragon Pearl Casino Hotel 7

20% of the ICO fundraising will go toward construction of the $300 million (£226 million) Dragon Pearl Hotel Casino, which will float in the sea. The other 80% of the cost is being financed by the Norwegian government, Ahmad says, which has a particular expertise in building offshore platforms due to its experience in the North Sea oil and gas business. The company that designed the hotel, Brova Idea, hopes to complete it by 2020.

"The floating hotel project provides a project that was unique, provided a tangibility in terms of asset value," Ahmad says. It's actually a sideshow to the main event: bringing the transparent blockchain ledger into Macau's junket business. Dragon has already signed four other casinos as partners, Ahmad says.

So is there any advantage to having the casino float?

"Definitely. It's not on land. If you wanted to move it, if economic problems arise, we could move it somewhere else," Ahmad says. That would be an interesting feat of seamanship because, he says, "it's the size of the MGM in Las Vegas."

Dragon Pearl Casino Hotel 3

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Newsflash: Bitcoin Price Rings in $8,000 to Hit New All-Time High

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

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Norway's proposal to ditch its £28 billion oil holdings sends shockwaves through the sector

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

north sea oil rig

  • Norway's central bank has recommended that the Ministry of Finance remove oil and gas holdings from its $1 trillion (£760 billion) sovereign wealth fund.
  • "The return on oil and gas stocks has been significantly lower than in the broad equity market in periods of falling oil prices," said the bank in a statement.

LONDON — Norway's central bank has recommended that the Ministry of Finance remove oil and gas holdings from its $1 trillion (£760 billion) sovereign wealth fund – a move that could have significant consequences for the sector.

In a letter to the Ministry of Finance on Thursday, Norges Bank recommended the removal of oil and gas stocks from the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG). The fund, which was built on the back of Norway's oil wealth, has approximately £27.73 billion, or 6%, invested in oil and gas companies.

The bank said the move would make the government's wealth less vulnerable to a permanent drop in oil and gas prices.

"The return on oil and gas stocks has been significantly lower than in the broad equity market in periods of falling oil prices," said the bank in a statement.

"Therefore, it is the Bank's assessment that the government's wealth can be made less vulnerable to a permanent drop in oil prices if the GPFG is not invested in oil and gas stocks."

"This advice is based exclusively on financial arguments and analyses of the government's total oil and gas exposure and does not reflect any particular view of future movements in oil and gas prices or the profitability or sustainability of the oil and gas sector," said Deputy Governor Egil Matsen.

The fund has holdings in firms including Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron, and BP.

Mindy Lubber, president of sustainable investment non-profit Ceres, told Bloomberg: "This is an enormous change. It’s a shot heard around the world."

The proposal continued to shake equity markets on Friday morning, with the Stoxx Europe 600 Oil and Gas index down 0.17% in early trading. Shares in Shell B, Exxon, BP, were also down.

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Construction giant Carillion's shares plunge 60% as 'horror show' continues

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

  • Shares in FTSE 250 construction giant Carillion plunge as much 60% in early trade.
  • Company announces more financial issues, warning it may breach debt covenants.
  • Carillion's stock is the most shorted in the UK right now.


LONDON — Shares in FTSE 250 listed construction firm Carillion dived by close to 60% early trading on Friday morning after it warned that it may breach a number of its debt covenants.

"Whilst we continue to target cash collections, reduce costs, execute disposals and focus on delivering for our customers, it is clear that significant challenges remain and more needs to be done to reduce net debt and rebuild the balance sheet," Carillion's Interim Chief Executive Keith Cochrane said in a statement to the stock market on Friday morning.

The construction company, which has been involved in construction projects including the building of the HS1 rail network and the Tate Modern art gallery, saw its shares decline as much as 60% at the opening bell, before a substantial rebound.

By just before 8.45 a.m. GMT (3.45 a.m. ET) the stock is down around 30% to trade at 27.68 pence per share, as the chart below shows:

Screen Shot 2017 11 17 at 08.42.44

The company's stock is the most shorted in the UK, with more than 16% of stock being held in short positions, according to the Short Interest Tracker. That huge short positioning exacerbates downward moves in the company's stock as investors look to profit from its poor performance.

"The Carillion horror show continues," Nicholas Hyett, an equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown wrote in an email.

"Some sort of recapitalisation was inevitable, but a possible debt for equity swap, with debt even higher than the group had anticipated, is probably as bad as anyone would have guessed," he added.

"The group has made some progress on asset sales, and it sounds like some cost savings are being made. It’s not what the group expected though, and it’s clearly not enough. It’s also probably irrelevant given the state of the balance sheet, with net debt already many multiples of the group’s market capitalisation."

Friday's plunge is by no means the first sign of trouble for the builder, which in July saw shares drop 63% over the course of three days after a perfect storm of bad news, including the stepping down of its CEO and measures to save £80 million. Carillion's UK managing director also departed.

At the time, Hyett described the measures as like "trying to bail out a supertanker with a soup spoon."

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Saudi Aramco could co-list in London and New York

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

 London New York

  • State oil giant Saudi Aramco could co-list in London and New York when it floats next year, according to an investment advisor.
  • The company plans to float in mid 2018, but the listing venue is currently uncertain.
  • London, New York and Hong Kong have been vying to woo the company.

 

LONDON — State oil giant Saudi Aramco could co-list in London and New York, according to one investment advisor. 

Worth an estimated £1.5 trillion ($2 trillion), the company is preparing to publicly list about 5% of its shares in mid 2018, but the listing venue is as yet unspecified.

This has prompted much speculation, and international players including London, New York and Hong Kong are vying to woo the company.

But according to Mihir Kapadia, CEO of Sun Global Investments, the listing may not be confined to one venue. "I think it could be at multiple exchanges," he told Business Insider. "I think Saudis have all the choices at their disposal."

Kapadia said he would "not be surprised" if Saudi Aramco chose to co-list in New York and London, in an effort to "demonstrate the size and strength of the company."

This would not be the first time a stock is listed at multiple exchanges at the same time, and companies with dual listings include Royal Dutch Shell and Unilever.

Earlier this year, UK regulator the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) proposed relaxing existing rules to allow sovereign-owned companies to list on the London Stock Exchange. This received strong criticism from Nicky Morgan, head of the Treasury Select Committee, who said the changes would harm the UK's reputation for good governance.

In October, the UK Treasury announced it was preparing to guarantee a £1.5 billion ($2 billion) loan to Saudi Aramco, a move criticised by the former Permanent Secretary to the Treasury Nick Macpherson as "mercantilism."

But Kapadia said this loan was "business as usual," and part of a wider drive to "woo the Saudi government" in the wake of Brexit. The heir to the Saudi throne, prince Mohammed bin Salman, is only in his 30s, he said, and is likely to be the Saudi head of state for several decades, "if he survives."

Therefore, he said, it "makes sense" for the UK government to start engaging with his government. "As far as the politics of it is concerned, I think Britain is trying to play the long game."

Kapadia also dismissed rumours the flotation could be shelved. "They need to see the stock listed," he said, "partly because they need the money, they need the valuation and they need to unlock the value that they're been sitting on."

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10 things you need to know in markets today

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

A copy of bitcoin standing on PC motherboard is seen in this illustration picture, October 26, 2017. Picture taken October 26, 2017.

Good morning! Here's what you need to know in markets on Friday.

1. Labour has called for the prime minister's husband Philip May to answer "serious" questions about his role at a company linked to the Paradise Papers tax avoidance scandal. Leaked emails seen by Private Eye suggest that investment advisors Capital Group, where Mr May is a relationship manager, used offshore law firm Appleby to arrange investments in tax havens.

2. Bitcoin demand is ramping up to end the week, with the world’s biggest cryptocurrency pushing through $8,000 on major trading exchanges. The latest bitcoin surge comes amid further regulatory developments in the cryptocurrency market. Overnight, the CEO of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) said it would introduce measures to curb volatility once bitcoin futures are up and running.

3. Comcast and Verizon have approached 21st Century Fox to buy at least part of the company, CNBC and The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. The news comes about a week after CNBC reported that Disney was recently in talks to buy most of 21st Century Fox. It signals that the three companies may engage in a bidding war for the $54-billion owner of the Fox News Channel.

4. The pound remains the most overvalued of all the world's major currencies on a long-term basis, according to analysis from staff at Swiss banking giant UBS released earlier this month. UBS' 2018 Markets Outlook, part of its annual Global Macro Strategy note — a monster of over 300 pages in total — argues that when stripping out political concerns around Brexit, the pound remains overvalued by as much as 19% thanks to the UK's substantial current account deficit.

5. Mergers-and-acquisitions transactions worth over $10 billion are surging back after a largely dormant first half of the year, according to data compiled by Thomson Reuters. Wall Street bankers say an improving global economy and confidence in the regulatory environment are playing a role. The looming threat of supercorporations like Amazon has many large companies evaluating whether they can be an endgame winner — and whether they need to strike a deal to get there. 

6. It is "incredibly unlikely" that Britain will not be able to negotiate a deal with the European Union on its departure from the bloc, Brexit Secretary David Davis said on Thursday. Davis told a business conference in Berlin he hoped the European Commission would be able by Christmas to proceed to the next stage of Brexit negotiations - on future ties between Britain and the EU.

7. Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein on Thursday hinted at support for a second Brexit referendum in a 264-character tweet. "Here in UK, lots of hand-wringing from CEOs over #Brexit. Better sense of the tough and risky road ahead. Reluctant to say, but many wish for a confirming vote on a decision so monumental and irreversible. So much at stake, why not make sure consensus still there?" — Blankfein tweeted.

8. The US and China now disagree on how to deal with North Korea. China said the best option is a "freeze-for-freeze" of action by North Korea and the US, but Trump said he and Chinese President Xi Jinping "agreed we would not accept" that option.

9. Satellite images taken this month of a North Korean naval shipyard indicate Pyongyang is pursuing an "aggressive schedule" to build its first operational ballistic missile submarine, a U.S. institute reported on Thursday. Washington-based 38 North, a North Korea monitoring project, cited images taken on Nov. 5 showing activity at North Korea's Sinpo South Shipyard.

10. Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has been spotted for the first time since military action began. Pictures show Mugabe smiling and shaking hands with the military chief who seized power this week, but no further details have been released.

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UBS: The pound is the world's most overvalued major currency

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

currency sign euro pound dollar

  • Sterling is 19% overvalued, Swiss bank UBS says, making it the most overvalued major currency on earth.
  • This is largely down to the UK's "elevated" current account deficit.
  • Despite dropping more than 10% since the Brexit vote, sterling could have further to fall, the bank's strategists say.


LONDON — The pound remains the most overvalued of all the world's major currencies on a long-term basis, according to analysis from staff at Swiss banking giant UBS released earlier this month.

UBS' 2018 Markets Outlook, part of its annual Global Macro Strategy note — a monster of over 300 pages in total — argues that when stripping out political concerns around Brexit, the pound remains overvalued by as much as 19% thanks to the UK's substantial current account deficit.

"We employ our recently developed FEER-based model, which is based on the analysis of G10 current account dynamics, as an anchor with which to gauge longer-term directionality," UBS strategists led by Yianos Kontopolous and Themos Fiotakis write.

"We believe GBP remains expensive. Rebalancing dynamics ahead of Brexit risks skew GBP risks largely to the downside, as we will discuss in detail below," they continue.

The chart below shows sterling alongside the other nine so-called G10 currencies, which are the most heavily traded currencies in the world. Sterling remains 5% more overvalued than its closest rival, the Canadian loonie.

pound overvalued ubs

Sterling may have crashed by close to 10% against the dollar since the referendum in June 2016, but even that fall cannot mask the fact that Britain's current account deficit is still huge — despite years of attempts by successive Conservative Party led governments to bring it down. That deficit should provide a major drag on sterling's valuation but has not, the UBS team argues.

"Brexit and the UK's external imbalances have been central to our negative view on sterling for a while," they write.

"Our FEER model screens sterling as c. 20% over-valued in TWI terms even after the substantial drop since the Brexit referendum, as the UK current account has yet to correct to more sustainable levels.

"In addition, substantial revisions in the income account included in the Q2 Balance of Payments release imply a larger gap to more sustainable current account levels than previously estimated."

The deficit may pose risks to the pound, but so too does Brexit, UBS makes clear, while noting that of the G10 currencies, the New Zealand dollar is close behind in terms of political risks.

"Brexit negotiations remain inconclusive, with risks to sterling still skewed to the downside due to the UK's vulnerable external position. We remain bearish the pound," UBS' team concludes.

"In New Zealand, proposed policy changes by the new Labour-led government as regards the RBNZ's mandate and immigration are likely to cap NZD upside until further clarity or other policy offsets emerge."

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Swiss Firms to Let Traders Short Bitcoin With New Futures Products

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

Swiss bank Vontobel and Leonteq Securities announced that they will start trading Switzerland’s first two mini futures to short bitcoin on Friday.

A $423 billion investor explains why tech stocks are defying a warning sign

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

Tim Cook

  • Measures of valuation like the cyclically adjusted price-earnings ratio show that stocks are as expensive as they were just after the dotcom bubble. 
  • But tech valuations can be justified, according to Jim McCaughan, CEO of Principal Global Investors.
  • That's because the largest companies are now propelled by intellectual property, not manufacturing, which complicates using older valuation metrics for new kinds of firms, he said. 

 

Some of the closely followed measures of tech valuations show they are over-expensive, and for some investors, they point to trouble ahead. 

They include the cyclically adjusted price-earnings ratio, which takes the price of the S&P 500 and divides it by ten years worth of earnings. For the broader stock market, this gauge is back to its highs of the dotcom bubble in the early 2000s.

But tech valuations are justified and it would be a mistake to view the sector through this lens, according to Jim McCaughan, CEO of Principal Global Investors, which oversees $423 billion in assets. 

McCaughan argues that the US economy's base has shifted from being manufacturing and capital-intensive to being intellectual. 

"This is why the Shiller CAPE doesn't work anymore," McCaughan said. "If you think about the cyclically adjusted price-earnings, the intellectual framework that was developed involved physical investment. When you're on intellectual property — and that's what creates value — some of the older concepts are kind of redundant."

All you have to do is look at the five-largest publicly traded US companies by market cap. Ten years ago, they were ExxonMobil, General Electric, Total, Microsoft, and Citi. Exchange Total for Walmart, and you have the largest firms in 2001, right after the dotcom bubble burst.

Today, it's Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook. These tech companies and others like Netflix have led the stock market's rally this year, gaining 38% as a sector on the S&P 500, more than double the benchmark index. 

Unlike some of the largest companies of yesteryear, they don't have a lot of factories or capital equipment.

"What they have is intellectual property — basically code and ideas," McCaughan told Business Insider.

Even Robert Shiller, who helped develop the CAPE ratio, has warned against using this valuation measure to time the market. 

"Long-term investors shouldn’t be alarmed and shouldn’t avoid stocks altogether," Shiller wrote in the New York Times in March. In a Fortune interview, he said he "would be inclined to recommend" some tech stocks that were undervalued even by the CAPE ratio, although he did not specify which ones. 

The dominance of intellectual-property firms is not a global phenomenon. British Petroleum, Royal Dutch Shell, HSBC, and even British American Tobacco are all among the top 10 European companies by market cap, McCaughan pointed out.

"Fine companies, but not the future," McCaughan said.

"They're not the intellectual-property companies that dominate in the US. This is one of the reasons I think Europe is a bit of a value trap. Although this is an unfashionable way to put it, my belief on the basis of the structure of the corporate sector is that the US is a 'buy' on setbacks and Europe may be a 'sell' on strength, and that's to do with the qualitative nature of the underlying market."

SEE ALSO: There's a $300 billion reason why every automaker should be seriously looking into self-driving trucks

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Ripple Price Swells in Double-Digit Rally After AmEx Announcement

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Coinbase’s Custody service wants to store bitcoin for institutional investors

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

 Safely investing in and storing digital currency isn’t exactly easy, especially if you’re a large institutional firm. So to help Coinbase just announced that they’re launching a service called Coinbase Custody, which will securely hold digital assets for institutional investors. The service will only be available to funds willing to store $10M or more of digital currency… Read More

Bitcoin Price Analysis: BTC Pushes All-time Highs and Tests Historic Resistance

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

Bitcoin Price Analysis

Throughout the life of bitcoin’s two-year bull run, it has been confined within two macro trends: one parabolic and one linear — both on a logarithmic scale:

Figure_1.JPGFigure 1: BTC-USD, 1-Day Candles, Macro Trend

The parabolic envelope (black curves) has confined the entire bull run throughout the last two years. Over the weekend, we saw a test of the lower curve that proved to be proper support and propelled the market into a bounce that now has the market testing the upper linear trendline (purple lines) at the time of this article:
Figure_2.JPGFigure 2: BTC-USD, 2-Hour Candles, Test of Upper Trendline

As the bitcoin market approaches the upper trendline, the price action will coincide with a test of the previous all-time high. Expect this to be a point of resistance with possible market turbulence. However, if we manage to break that resistance level and hold support above the trendline, there is no clear resistance until we test the parabolic envelope in the upper $8,000s.

If we look at the macro indicators for this move, we see some signs that have proven to be indications of short-term rallies leading to corrections:

Figure_3.JPGFigure 3: BTC-USD, 1-Day Candles, Bollinger Band Trend

The last two corrections bitcoin has seen came on the tail of a minor pullback that rebounded to a new all-time high. The one-day candle trend is, so far, showing a repeated pattern that has led into a reversal each time it tested the upper parabolic curve. A rounding of the Bollinger bands during an upward move (shown in purple) is a forecast for decreased upward volatility that will lead to either a consolidation period or a reversal to the lower Bollinger bands.

While a reversal is not required of this move upward, one can speculate that once the price tags the upper parabolic curve, we could see a pullback to the lower Bollinger bands on the one-day charts. A pullback to the lower Bollinger bands would see support quite nicely with the lower parabolic curve.

One of two outcomes can be expected from this move upward: either we will test the upper parabolic trendline and reverse, or we will break above and consolidate before continuing on a very strong bullish move to new highs.

However, these macro moves have become increasingly more demanding on the market as we continue to get squeezed within the parabolic envelope. The forecast of the Bollinger bands indicates we are not likely to see a sustained move higher without a consolidation period or a pullback.

Summary:

  1. Over the weekend, bitcoin saw another test of the lower parabolic curve that proved to be strong support.

  2. After testing the parabolic curve, the market rebounded and has now established a new all-time high.

  3. If this trend continues, bitcoin could see prices in the mid to upper $8,000s before any noticeable resistance stands in the way of the price growth.

Trading and investing in digital assets like bitcoin and ether is highly speculative and comes with many risks. This analysis is for informational purposes and should not be considered investment advice. Statements and financial information on Bitcoin Magazine and BTC Media related sites do not necessarily reflect the opinion of BTC Media and should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation to buy, sell or hold. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.

The post Bitcoin Price Analysis: BTC Pushes All-time Highs and Tests Historic Resistance appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

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