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One corner of the stock market sees even crazier trading than bitcoin

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

trader excited animated crazy

  • Bitcoin is known for its wild price swings, but there's one sector of the stock market that is even crazier, according to Don Ross, the chief executive officer of PDQ Enterprises.
  • Ross told Business Insider trading in US small caps can be even more volatile than bitcoin. He thinks an auction model for trading in small caps would remedy that volatility. 


Bitcoin, the red-hot cryptocurrency, is known for its spine-tingling volatility. 

Its wild price swings have gripped the attention of Wall Street and make most moves in US equities look trivial. 

Screen Shot 2018 01 10 at 2.50.14 PMBut there's one area of the stock market where trading is even crazier than bitcoin, where big trades can have a sizeable impact on the price of a stock, according to Don Ross, CEO of PDQ Enterprises, operator of CODA Markets, a Chicago-based dark pool.

That's US small caps. 

"As a major hedge fund chief investment officer put it recently," Ross said. "Trading small caps can be like 'sticking your hand in a fan to see if it’s running.' You may get your trade done, but you’re likely to be bloodied."

That's because there is often limited liquidity in the market for small caps. Thus, a big trade can impact the price so much that it ultimately will eat into the returns a trader is seeking to capture. 

To illustrate his point, Ross points to Fonar, a small cap company trading on Nasdaq. When Fonar sees a lot of trading activity, its price is far more impacted than when bitcoin sees a lot of trading activity. Here's Ross:

"$5m in [daily] notional turnover is on the high end of normal for the stock. And at that level, as we see in the graphic [above], price variance, at [310]bps, is not only way beyond what we see for SPDR S&P 500, at 0.25bps, but way beyond what we see for bitcoin! Bitcoin price variance is a mere [49]bps at the $5m turnover level."

Ross said more than 4,800 stocks fall into the same camp as Fonar. He thinks a lack of liquidity among small cap companies can be remedied by changing the way they are traded. 

"Most are relying on continuous markets, where a buyer missing a seller by seconds can result in opportunity costs that noticeably harm investment returns," Ross said. "But there is no reason to rely on inapt and outdated market structure when computer technology is so vastly superior to what it was even a few years ago."

Ross said small stocks would see better trading on a market with an auction model, not a continuous model. Trades in a continuous market model are executed on an ongoing basis whenever a buy order is matched up with a sell order, whereas orders in an auction model are all collected and then matched at a specific point in time.

To be sure, Ross' CODA Markets is a dark pool that conducts trading via the auction model. Still, other market structure buffs agree that an auction model can help address the illiquidity many small caps face.

"I think it’s a good addition to the market, as buyside traders consistently tell us that finding small/midcap liquidity is one of their biggest challenges," Richard Johnson of Greenwich Associates told Business Insider.

Johnson said there are a number of companies on the Street looking to launch an on-demand auction model. 

"Stocks can be traded in automated on-demand auctions—auctions that summon latent liquidity to execute small cap trades with no information leakage and far less market impact," Ross said. "Whereas continuous markets fragment liquidity through time, auction markets aggregate it—tamping volatility and making better prices for investors."

SEE ALSO: Ripple, the company behind cryptocurrency XRP, is betting big on Asia

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The 5 issues to consider before trading bitcoin futures

One corner of the stock market sees even crazier trading than bitcoin

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

trader excited animated crazy

  • Bitcoin is known for its wild price swings, but there's one sector of the stock market that is even crazier, according to Don Ross, the chief executive officer of PDQ Enterprises.
  • Ross told Business Insider trading in US small caps can be even more volatile than bitcoin. He thinks an auction model for trading in small caps would remedy that volatility. 


Bitcoin, the red-hot cryptocurrency, is known for its spine-tingling volatility. 

Its wild price swings have gripped the attention of Wall Street and make most moves in US equities look trivial. 

Screen Shot 2018 01 10 at 2.50.14 PMBut there's one area of the stock market where trading is even crazier than bitcoin, where big trades can have a sizeable impact on the price of a stock, according to Don Ross, CEO of PDQ Enterprises, operator of CODA Markets, a Chicago-based dark pool.

That's US small caps. 

"As a major hedge fund chief investment officer put it recently," Ross said. "Trading small caps can be like 'sticking your hand in a fan to see if it’s running.' You may get your trade done, but you’re likely to be bloodied."

That's because there is often limited liquidity in the market for small caps. Thus, a big trade can impact the price so much that it ultimately will eat into the returns a trader is seeking to capture. 

To illustrate his point, Ross points to Fonar, a small cap company trading on Nasdaq. When Fonar sees a lot of trading activity, its price is far more impacted than when bitcoin sees a lot of trading activity. Here's Ross:

"$5m in [daily] notional turnover is on the high end of normal for the stock. And at that level, as we see in the graphic [above], price variance, at [310]bps, is not only way beyond what we see for SPDR S&P 500, at 0.25bps, but way beyond what we see for bitcoin! Bitcoin price variance is a mere [49]bps at the $5m turnover level."

Ross said more than 4,800 stocks fall into the same camp as Fonar. He thinks a lack of liquidity among small cap companies can be remedied by changing the way they are traded. 

"Most are relying on continuous markets, where a buyer missing a seller by seconds can result in opportunity costs that noticeably harm investment returns," Ross said. "But there is no reason to rely on inapt and outdated market structure when computer technology is so vastly superior to what it was even a few years ago."

Ross said small stocks would see better trading on a market with an auction model, not a continuous model. Trades in a continuous market model are executed on an ongoing basis whenever a buy order is matched up with a sell order, whereas orders in an auction model are all collected and then matched at a specific point in time.

To be sure, Ross' CODA Markets is a dark pool that conducts trading via the auction model. Still, other market structure buffs agree that an auction model can help address the illiquidity many small caps face.

"I think it’s a good addition to the market, as buyside traders consistently tell us that finding small/midcap liquidity is one of their biggest challenges," Richard Johnson of Greenwich Associates told Business Insider.

Johnson said there are a number of companies on the Street looking to launch an on-demand auction model. 

"Stocks can be traded in automated on-demand auctions—auctions that summon latent liquidity to execute small cap trades with no information leakage and far less market impact," Ross said. "Whereas continuous markets fragment liquidity through time, auction markets aggregate it—tamping volatility and making better prices for investors."

SEE ALSO: Ripple, the company behind cryptocurrency XRP, is betting big on Asia

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The 5 issues to consider before trading bitcoin futures

John McAfee ‘Boggled’ at ‘Hubbub’ Over Admission to Paying for Hookers and Drugs Using Cryptocurrency

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

The post John McAfee ‘Boggled’ at ‘Hubbub’ Over Admission to Paying for Hookers and Drugs Using Cryptocurrency appeared first on CCN

Cybersecurity pioneer John McAfee is no stranger to controversy. The eccentric computer programmer has attracted numerous headlines over the years for various reasons — most of which have nothing to do with antivirus software, his first claim to fame. In addition to promising to eat his d–k on national television if the bitcoin price fails

The post John McAfee ‘Boggled’ at ‘Hubbub’ Over Admission to Paying for Hookers and Drugs Using Cryptocurrency appeared first on CCN

There will soon be a new way to bet on the technology behind bitcoin

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

Nasdaq

  • Investors will soon have a new way to bet on the technology behind bitcoin. 
  • A new exchange-traded fund tracking blockchain companies by RealityShares is set to start trading on Nasdaq on Wednesday January 17, a person familiar with the matter told Business Insider. 


An exchange-traded fund that bets on companies with blockchain technology is set to start trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market on Wednesday January 17, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Exchange operator Nasdaq and Reality Shares, an ETF issuer and index provider, unveiled an index in November designed to capture the growth of blockchain technology. The Reality Shares Nasdaq Blockchain Economy ETF by Reality Shares will be based on that index and is anticipated to start trading Wednesday, a source told Business Insider.

"The Index is designed to measure the returns of companies that are committing material resources to developing, researching, supporting, innovating or utilizing blockchain technology for their proprietary use or for use by others," a preliminary filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission said.

It appears the fund will be the first of its kind to trade on a US exchange. VanEck's Semiconductor ETF gives exposure to the blockchain ecosystem via semiconductor companies which make chips required for bitcoin mining. 

Blockchain is best known for being the technology underlying cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, but it also has multiple applications outside of cryptocurrencies.

As a decentralized ledger, blockchain can facilitate exchanges of assets without the need of a middle-man. As such, it has gripped the attention of Wall Street with companies such as Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and Morgan Stanley all participating in at least one blockchain consortium.

The ETF, however, will track companies in a number of additional industries including retail and tech, according to the index website. 

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The 5 issues to consider before trading bitcoin futures

San Francisco's airport has nearly caused 3 of the worst disasters in aviation history all within the same year because of a terrifying flaw

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

aeromexico

  • An Aeromexico jet planned to land on a runway occupied by a commercial jet before air traffic controllers ordered the Aeromexico jet to abort its landing at San Francisco International Airport on Tuesday morning.
  • The jet was approved to land on an open runway, but it became misaligned as it flew closer to the airport.
  • This is the third time in the past six months a near-accident has been averted at the airport.
  • Some believe the incidents could have been avoided if a runway proposed over 10 years ago had been built.

 

An Aeromexico passenger jet intended to land on a runway occupied by a commercial jet before air traffic controllers ordered the Aeromexico jet to abort the landing, the San Jose Mercury News first reported. The incident marks the third time in the past six months that San Francisco International Airport has come close to experiencing a collision.

Aeromexico flight 668 was approved to land on an open runway at SFO on Tuesday morning, but as the aircraft approached the airport, air traffic controllers realized it was lined up to land on another runway that was occupied by a Virgin America Airbus A320 jet. They ordered the Aeromexico flight to delay its landing and circle back around. The flight was able to land safely.

"Aeromexico is investigating the events occurred at the San Francisco International Airport and informs that the safety of our passengers and operations was not compromised at any time," the company told Business Insider in a statement.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident, which marks the third time in six months a commercial flight has avoided a near-accident at San Francisco International Airport. 

In July, an Air Canada jet almost landed on a taxiway occupied by four jets, and in October, another Air Canada jet landed after failing to respond to orders from air traffic control to abort the landing and remain in the air. During the latter incident, air traffic control was not sure if another aircraft would clear the runway by the time the Air Canada jet was ready to land.

Some believe the incidents could have been avoided if a new runway that was proposed over 10 years ago had been built. The proposal was rejected after opposition from environmental groups, according to the Mercury News.

SEE ALSO: Take a look inside the hidden bedrooms on board Boeing's 787 Dreamliner

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The 5 issues to consider before trading bitcoin futures

You may soon be able to use the blockchain to formally consent to sex

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

couple kissing

  • Dutch blockchain company LegalThings is creating a blockchain-based app that will establish legally binding contracts for sexual consent.
  • The app was created in the wake of the #MeToo movement; the company hopes to establish clear lines of communication around sexual acts. 
  • Critics of the app argue that it oversimplifies sexual consent.


Blockchain technology could soon be used for something a bit sexier than keeping track of bitcoin transactions or the movement of goods within corporate supply chains.

Dutch startup LegalThings announced Wednesday it plans to release an app designed to allow people to more easily give explicit and formal consent to sex. Through an easy-to-use interface, couples or groups will be able to use the app, dubbed LegalFling, to enter into binding contracts that are recorded on a blockchain, the digital ledger technology that's designed to save permanent records of transactions in multiple places.

The app is meant to be a "fun" solution for navigating the often ambiguous nuances of sexual consent, said Arnold Daniels, LegalFling's creator and the co-founder of LegalThings' co-founder in an email to Business Insider. But Daniels acknowledged it may need more work.

"We want to start a dialogue and get input from those with more expertise on this subject," Daniels said in an email to Business Insider. "This is a delicate subject that we'd like to get right."

Unfortunately for Daniels and LegalFling, instead of sparking a dialogue the app is instead drawing sharp criticism, at least from some quarters.

LegalFling represents a "deeply flawed" effort and is a far cry from how sexual consent should actually work, Gizmodo reporter Melanie Ehrenkranz wrote in a piece on her site.

"A blanketed [sic] contract ahead of engaging in sexual contact signals that consent is simply a one-time checklist," Ehrenkranz wrote. "Consent, however, is something that occurs continually throughout a sexual encounter."

Ironically, LegalThings, according to its website, decided to develop LegalFling specifically in response to the #MeToo movement that swept across social media last year, in which women made public their stories of being sexually harassed, abused, and raped. That movement has brought to the forefront questions of consent with regards to sexual behavior. LegalThings was hoping to address such questions with LegalFling, which it plans to release in the next few weeks, by providing a way for users to clearly communicate their intentions.

"Before making it public, we need to get enough input to be confident we're addressing the problem in the right way," Daniels said in his email. 

LegalFlings

But the company has a broader goal in mind for LegalFling. It wants to use the app to showcase its Live Contracts, which are digitized agreements in which both the deals themselves and the various ways they're implemented are recorded in a blockchain. LegalThings wants to use LegalFling to demonstrate the ease of entering into a legally binding Live Contract, Daniels said.

"We want to show that creating an agreement doesn't have to be a ten-document-long legal document," he said. 

Although the contracts are made using an app and recorded in a virtual ledger, there can be real consequences for breaking them, even when it comes to agreements related to sexual conduct, Daniels said.

"For instance, you may have consented to taking nude pictures, [and] the contract clearly states that these must be deleted upon request and may never be shared," he said. If you violate the agreement, you could be slapped with a $50,000 fine, he said.

"If needed, litigating a violated [non-disclosure agreement] is much easier than having to go to law enforcement and take it to criminal court," Daniels said.

SEE ALSO: Kodak's the latest company to benefit from jumping on the blockchain bandwagon — but its move actually makes sense

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Here are the best iPhone apps of 2017

STOCKS HIT A RECORD HIGH: Here's what you need to know

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

trader

US stocks climbed to a new record as energy stocks led the way higher.

The S&P 500 increased 0.7%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average spiked 0.8% and the more tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 rose 0.79%.

First up, the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 25,557.91, +188.78, (+0.74%)
  • S&P 500: 2,766.06, +18.01, (-0.65%)
  • Nasdaq: 7,209.15, +55.61, (+0.78%)
  • US 10-year yield: 2.53%, -0.02
  • WTI crude oil: $63.58, +$0.01, +0.02%

1. A stock trade that crushed the market last year could come crashing back to earth. The so-called growth trade may lose ground to its rival, the value trade, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

2. Ripple's XRP is exploding after announcing a partnership with MoneyGram to speed up transfers. As part of the collaboration, MoneyGram is expected to test the XRP cryptocurrency to improve transfer settlement times and costs.

3. Goldman Sachs identifies 13 stocks that will see profits explode higher in 2018. It's part of the firm's ranking of stocks in the S&P 500 that are expected to see the biggest earnings growth this year.

4. Walmart is abruptly closing 63 Sam's Club stores and laying off thousands of workers. Sam's Club has not said how many employees are losing their jobs. Each of the company's warehouses employs about 175 people, meaning more than 11,000 people could be impacted. 

5. David Rosenberg says the excesses in markets are practically unlike anything we've ever seen. The chief economist at Gluskin Sheff provides the example of how US economic growth is now more dependent than ever on asset inflation.

ADDITIONALLY:

An infamous mystery trader refuses to give up on a bet that the stock market will go nuts

Billionaire investor Steve Cohen is about to make his return to the hedge fund industry — and he's already amassed a substantial war chest

China says reports that it will stop buying US Treasury debt is 'fake news'

White House praises Walmart for raising wages due to the tax bill, despite the company laying off thousands of workers on the same day

Morgan Stanley just announced its 2018 managing director promotions

BARCLAYS: Google search data has a 'very high correlation' with Netflix's US subscriber growth

GE has lots of good stuff going on — but it’s not enough to turnaround the company just yet

Landlords offer record freebies to New York City apartment hunters in 'challenging year'

SEE ALSO: An infamous mystery trader refuses to give up on a bet that the stock market will go nuts

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: THE BOTTOM LINE: Chipotle vs. Qdoba, the bear case on Apple, and diagnosing a bitcoin bubble

STOCKS HIT A RECORD HIGH: Here's what you need to know

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

trader

US stocks climbed to a new record as energy stocks led the way higher.

The S&P 500 increased 0.7%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average spiked 0.8% and the more tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 rose 0.79%.

First up, the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 25,557.91, +188.78, (+0.74%)
  • S&P 500: 2,766.06, +18.01, (-0.65%)
  • Nasdaq: 7,209.15, +55.61, (+0.78%)
  • US 10-year yield: 2.53%, -0.02
  • WTI crude oil: $63.58, +$0.01, +0.02%

1. A stock trade that crushed the market last year could come crashing back to earth. The so-called growth trade may lose ground to its rival, the value trade, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

2. Ripple's XRP is exploding after announcing a partnership with MoneyGram to speed up transfers. As part of the collaboration, MoneyGram is expected to test the XRP cryptocurrency to improve transfer settlement times and costs.

3. Goldman Sachs identifies 13 stocks that will see profits explode higher in 2018. It's part of the firm's ranking of stocks in the S&P 500 that are expected to see the biggest earnings growth this year.

4. Walmart is abruptly closing 63 Sam's Club stores and laying off thousands of workers. Sam's Club has not said how many employees are losing their jobs. Each of the company's warehouses employs about 175 people, meaning more than 11,000 people could be impacted. 

5. David Rosenberg says the excesses in markets are practically unlike anything we've ever seen. The chief economist at Gluskin Sheff provides the example of how US economic growth is now more dependent than ever on asset inflation.

ADDITIONALLY:

An infamous mystery trader refuses to give up on a bet that the stock market will go nuts

Billionaire investor Steve Cohen is about to make his return to the hedge fund industry — and he's already amassed a substantial war chest

China says reports that it will stop buying US Treasury debt is 'fake news'

White House praises Walmart for raising wages due to the tax bill, despite the company laying off thousands of workers on the same day

Morgan Stanley just announced its 2018 managing director promotions

BARCLAYS: Google search data has a 'very high correlation' with Netflix's US subscriber growth

GE has lots of good stuff going on — but it’s not enough to turnaround the company just yet

Landlords offer record freebies to New York City apartment hunters in 'challenging year'

SEE ALSO: An infamous mystery trader refuses to give up on a bet that the stock market will go nuts

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: THE BOTTOM LINE: Chipotle vs. Qdoba, the bear case on Apple, and diagnosing a bitcoin bubble

Bitcoin Can’t Be Valued: NYU’s ‘Dean of Valuation’

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

The post Bitcoin Can’t Be Valued: NYU’s ‘Dean of Valuation’ appeared first on CCN

New York University’s “Dean of Valuation” said that one cannot accurately value bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. ‘Dean of Valuation’ Says Bitcoin Can’t Be Valued Aswath Damodaran, a professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business, made this claim in response to recent comments from investing icon Warren Buffet, who stated his belief that bitcoin and other … Continued

The post Bitcoin Can’t Be Valued: NYU’s ‘Dean of Valuation’ appeared first on CCN

Kodak slaps its name on a sketchy bitcoin mining business

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

Kodak's attempt to ride the cryptocurrency wave isn't just limited to offering its own virtual coins. CES attendees have learned that Kodak has attached its name to a Spotlite-run bitcoin mining business that will lease you a "Kodak KashMiner" compu...

Arizona Lawmakers Want to Let People Pay Taxes in Bitcoin

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

A new bill submitted to the Arizona Senate would, if approved, allow people to pay their state tax liabilities using bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.

Morgan Stanley just announced its 2018 managing director promotions (MS)

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

Morgan Stanley

  • Morgan Stanley just announced a 153 new managing director promotions.
  • The position at the investment bank is among the most coveted on Wall Street. 


Morgan Stanley announced Thursday a new class of 153 new managing directors, according to a person familiar with the matter. 

Of the new promotions, 64% came from the Institutional Securities, Investment Management, and Wealth Management divisions. Ninety-five of the new MDs work in the Americas; 38 in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa; and 20 in Asia. 

The managing director title, one step below partner at the prestigious investment bank, is among the most coveted on Wall Street.

The 153 promotions bests the 2017 tally of 140, and is just shy of the 2016 class of 156, according to a person familiar with the matter. 

This story is developing.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: A crypto expert explains the difference between the two largest cryptocurrencies in the world: bitcoin and Ethereum

The technology behind bitcoin is only halfway through its evolution

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

Servers for data storage are seen at Advania's Thor Data Center in Hafnarfjordur, Iceland August 7, 2015. REUTERS/Sigtryggur Ari

  • In a wide-ranging report on blockchain and cryptocurrencies, Credit Suisse said blockchain would reach full maturity in 2025.
  • Market watchers can expect 2018 to be a year in which "certain products go viral" and "new providers/models emerge."

The hype around bitcoin, and its underpinning blockchain technology, is real. But we are still a ways off from blockchain reaching full maturity. 

Blockchain, which is best explained as a decentralized ledger, is best known for being the technology behind red-hot bitcoin. But its potential use-cases do not just reside in the world for digital currencies or financial services, according to a wide-ranging report by Credit Suisse, the Switzerland-based bank. 

According to the bank, a survey conducted by the World Economic Forum found 58% of executives anticipate 10% of global GDP to "be stored on the blockchain before 2025."

That's the year Credit Suisse expects the technology to reach full maturity. At the moment, the technology is in the middle of the prototype and pilot stage.

Market watchers can expect 2018 to be a year in which "certain products go viral" and "new providers/models emerge," according to the bank.

Here's a chart illustrating blockchain's development timeline:

Screen Shot 2018 01 11 at 1.32.33 PM

2017 saw a lot of blockchain partnerships come to fruition. In financial services for instance, a number of banks launched collaborative ventures to test out the blockchain. 

In December, UBS announced a pilot with a number of other banks, which will help prepare them for Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MIFID) II, a sweeping regulatory overhaul in Europe that went live this year.

Instead of trusting a third party to review data and then provide feedback about the accuracy of each party's data, the banks will rely on the blockchain.

Financial services is not the only industry that'll benefit from blockchain, according to the bank.

"In fields where there is perhaps more room to experiment with real-world applications, such as consumer products and manufacturing, we have seen companies begin to deploy blockchain solutions in 2017," Credit Suisse said. 

As for 2018, the bank said it will be a critical year. 

"Blockchain solutions will come into production as the “low-hanging fruit” of the industry is addressed – i.e. where blockchain’s use is immediately obvious, such as payments and trade finance," the bank said. 

SEE ALSO: 97% of all bitcoins are held by 4% of addresses

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: We talked to Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman about tax reform, Trump, and bitcoin

GE has lots of good stuff going on — but it’s not enough to turnaround the company just yet (GE)

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

General Electric

  • General Electric's shares have made an impressive turnaround at the beginning of the year.
  • GE stands to benefit from tax reform, buybacks, and the divestiture of its lighting and transportation business, but it's still too early to tell how well the company will perform, an Oppenheimer analyst said.
  • Given its low valuations from a tepid 2017, Warren Buffett said he would buy shares at "the right price."
  • To view GE's stock price in real-time, click here.

 

General Electric has a few positive things going for it, but it's still too early to tell if it's enough to provide a boost for the long haul, Oppenheimer Analyst Christopher Glynn said.

He sees several growth blocks on the horizon, including lower cash restructuring, prospective cash flows from a sale of its Baker Hughes gas and oil division, and the potential return of GE's dividend.

Last November, the company slashed its dividend by 50%, or $0.12 a share, and it is still wrapping up the divestiture of its lighting and transportation business.

GE also announced that it would shed its majority stake in Baker Hughes, its oil and gas unit. Glynn estimates the division is worth around $25 billion. He expects GE to register 62.5% of the proceeds from the $3 billion Baker Hughes authorized for buybacks.

Despite some positive signs, Glynn still cut his 2019 earnings forecast because of the company's weak 2018 guidance and slow contract asset growth, which has prompted the company to introduce some cost-cutting measures, including job cuts.

Shares of GE have jumped 6.8% year-to-date after tumbling as much as 40% in 2017. It is among the top performers in the Dow Jones industrial average this year. 

GE's stock is up about 2% on Thursday at $19.33 a share. 

To read more about why investors don't like GE's turnaround plan, click here.

General Electric stock price

SEE ALSO: General Electric's turnaround plan has investors dumping the stock

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: THE BOTTOM LINE: Chipotle vs. Qdoba, the bear case on Apple, and diagnosing a bitcoin bubble

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.

It's about three weeks until Steve Cohen returns to the hedge fund industry and he's already amassed a substantial war chest. 

Cohen was banned from managing other people's money after an insider trading scandal. The ban was lifted this year, and Cohen has already raised at least $3 billion for the new fund, according to people familiar with the matter. Here's our story

Elsewhere in investing news, an infamous mystery trader refuses to give up on a bet that the stock market will go nuts. Investing legend Bill Gross said women have historically 'gotten the short stick' — then listed six positive qualities of men. And China just sent out a warning, and it went right over Wall Street's head.

In deal news, 2018 has all the makings of a monster year for dealmakers. $10 billion Dropbox has filed the paperwork for an initial public offering. And Carlyle Group just promoted its latest crop of private equity all-stars — here are all the new partners and managing directors.

In crypto news, the crazy-good times for cryptocurrency traders may be over already. A major bitcoin conference is no longer accepting bitcoin payments because the fees and lag have gotten so bad. And 97% of all bitcoin are held by just 4% of addresses, Credit Suisse said in a note Thursday. 

Lastly, take a look inside the hidden bedrooms on board Boeing's 787 Dreamliner.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: A crypto expert explains the difference between the two largest cryptocurrencies in the world: bitcoin and Ethereum

CRYPTO INSIDER: Ripple explodes

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

rocket take off

Welcome to Crypto Insider, Business Insider’s roundup of all the bitcoin and cryptocurrency news you need to know today. Sign up here to get this email delivered direct to your inbox.

Ripple's XRP cryptocurrency is up more than 5% Thursday, reversing heavy losses from earlier in the week, after the company announced MoneyGram would use XRP to speed up payments and reduce settlement costs. 

Here are the current standings:

What's happening:

SEE ALSO: Bitcoin miners are reportedly fleeing China because it is cracking down on cryptocurrencies

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The CIO of a crypto hedge fund shares the 3 biggest risks of investing in cryptocurrencies

CRYPTO INSIDER: Ripple explodes

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

rocket take off

Welcome to Crypto Insider, Business Insider’s roundup of all the bitcoin and cryptocurrency news you need to know today. Sign up here to get this email delivered direct to your inbox.

Ripple's XRP cryptocurrency is up more than 5% Thursday, reversing heavy losses from earlier in the week, after the company announced MoneyGram would use XRP to speed up payments and reduce settlement costs. 

Here are the current standings:

What's happening:

SEE ALSO: Bitcoin miners are reportedly fleeing China because it is cracking down on cryptocurrencies

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The CIO of a crypto hedge fund shares the 3 biggest risks of investing in cryptocurrencies

US Marshals Service Will Auction off 3,800 Bitcoins, Worth $54 Million

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

The post US Marshals Service Will Auction off 3,800 Bitcoins, Worth $54 Million appeared first on CCN

The US Marshals Service is holding its first bitcoin auction in over a year.  The agency first held a series of auctions in 2014, selling Bitcoin forfeited by Ross Ulbricht in the United States clamp-down on the darkweb drug marketplace the Silk Road. In the last of these auctions, the agency sold 2,700 Bitcoin for

The post US Marshals Service Will Auction off 3,800 Bitcoins, Worth $54 Million appeared first on CCN

Gambling companies have the biggest presence in the red-hot ICO market

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

roulette dealers gambling casino

  • Gambling companies are leading the way in the initial coin offering market, according to Credit Suisse research. 
  • The report found gaming and gambling companies stand to benefit from the blockchain and cryptocurrency space. 

 

Investing in an initial coin offering (ICO) is a bit of a gamble in and of itself, so it's fitting that more gambling and gaming companies have raised money via the fundraising method than any other category.

ICOs took off in 2017 in tandem with the entire market for digital coins. It's sort of like a crypto twist on the initial public offering process, but for younger companies. Celebrities have played their part in hyping up the space, with entertainers from Paris Hilton to Floyd Mayweather Jr. promoting the fund-raising method for some companies. 

A wide-ranging report by Credit Suisse, the Switzerland-based bank found, found a "high number of gaming and gambling companies" have used the mechanism to raise money. Here's the chart from the report: 

Screen Shot 2018 01 11 at 11.22.50 AM 

"Momentum is such that ICO funding in the tech sector almost surpassed traditional angel and seed funding in 3Q17," the report said. "This trend shows no sign of slowing, leading to concerns from industry experts and regulators of over-capitalization."

In total, more than $4 billion has been raised via ICOs, according to estimates by Autonomous NEXT. Business Insider reported about the massive $500 million ICO to build a floating cryptocurrency casino in Macau

According to the Credit Suisse report, gambling companies such as casinos have a lot to gain from blockchain and cryptocurrencies. The anonymity of cryptocurrencies is one such benefit. 

"Demand for anonymous gambling is evident in the relatively high usage of pre-paid cards – such as the paysafecard– on gambling websites and in consumer behaviour surveys," the report said. "Gambling with cryptocurrencies – as opposed to fiat money – can currently be conducted without the need to provide identification documents, or in some cases, without the need to create an account."

Still, regulators are ramping up efforts to clamp down on initial coin offerings. China and South Korea are among the countries that have flat out banned ICOs. The Securities and Exchange Commission's recently launched Cyber Unit has halted a number of ICOs for not following securities laws. 

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

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NOW WATCH: The 5 issues to consider before trading bitcoin futures

Billionaire investor Steve Cohen is about to make his return to the hedge fund industry — and he's already amassed a substantial war chest

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

Steve Cohen SAC Capital

  • Billionaire Steve Cohen has amassed at least $3 billion in capital for his highly anticipated hedge fund launch, which is expected for February.
  • The fund is expected to close to new money on March 1.
  • Around 20 institutions have written checks of $100 million each.
  • The fund will not require a three-year lockup period – a term some investors found onerous.
  • The co-head of trading at Cohen's Point72, Jeff Miller, appears to have left the firm.


It's about three weeks until Steve Cohen returns to the hedge fund industry and he's already amassed a substantial war chest. 

Cohen was banned from managing other people's money after an insider trading scandal. The ban was lifted this year, and Cohen has already raised at least $3 billion for the new fund, according to people familiar with the matter. 

The fund is expected to open for business next month, and will close its books to new investors in March, three other people said, asking not to be identified. About 20 institutions have agreed to invest in the fund, writing checks of about $100 million each, one of the people said.

Cohen's return to the hedge fund business has been highly anticipated for months. He was barred from managing external assets in 2014 after his firm SAC Capital, pleaded guilty to insider trading. Cohen was never individually charged with insider trading. His failure, according to the SEC, was to supervise those traders as head of SAC Capital.

He has since been running an $11 billion family office, called Point72 Asset Management, which manages Cohen's fortune as well as money of some employees. Accepting outside investors' money again would allow Cohen to offset some of the costs of running the business. 

Two people said that Jeff Miller, Point72's co-head of US trading, appears to have left the firm ahead of the launch. An e-mail to Miller was returned as undeliverable, and he has been removed from the company's internal directory, another person said. Miller couldn't immediately be reached.

Mark Herr and Jonathan Gasthalter, spokesmen for Point72 and Cohen, declined to comment on Miller's status at the firm or the fundraising amount. Doug Blagdon, who led marketing Cohen's launch at ShoreBridge Partners, didn't respond to an email seeking comment. 

Miller worked for Cohen since 2003, according to a Bloomberg profile. His departure comes months after the departure of Phil Villhauer, another longtime Cohen staffer and former head trader.

One of the potential investors said that Cohen's team has been negotiating terms with investors, and some of those terms are in flux. One term, that investors agree not to withdraw funds for three years, has been scrapped, three people said. Several investors found the lockup of three years, high by standards of the hedge fund industry, onerous.

Wary investors

Raising $3 billion would make Cohen's comeback one of the biggest hedge fund launches of recent memory – and it's in line with what people close to the matter told us Cohen sought to raise back in October.

Some investors declined the offer to invest, despite having invested with him previously, because they think Cohen’s business has changed too much, particularly toward quantitative models that can be difficult to understand. Many of SAC’s big money-makers have also left over the years.

Others say the fees are too high, and that Cohen’s recent performance – which has been lackluster, save for a recent uptick – raise concerns. Point72 gained 12% last year through November, according to a person who said they have seen the figures.

An aura of mystique

An aura of mystique – and in some cases, paranoia –nonetheless shrouded the high-profile fundraising process. Several investors said they feared blowback if they spoke with the press about the launch.

Cohen’s marketers have been keeping the information outflow to a minimum, meanwhile, conducting private meetings rather than attending Wall Street’s marketing conferences.

“They don’t need to stoop down to that level,” said one investor who was familiar with the pitch.

At the early stages, Cohen's representatives had limited themselves to vague and almost bizarrely hypothetical conversations about the fund along the lines of: If a particular person named Steve Cohen happens to launch a fund, and that fund happens to open next year, what would it take for an investor to sign on?  

One person who plans to invest said that they purposefully did not ask for documents detailing the new fund because they did not want to be accused of sharing the details with anyone. The investor said they could get the information they needed by other means, and were already sufficiently aware of Cohen’s investment process.

The secrecy isn’t just related to the discussions, but also the specifics of how the fund will operate.

Investors who have considered the fund said Cohen planned to keep the investor base small.

One investor said they had been told they could not meet with the investment teams that would be responsible for managing the money, and couldn’t get answers on attribution for past performance, such as who the best performing managers had been at Point72. But that is also common among multi-manager firms like Citadel, Millennium and other competing firms.

Pretty much everyone would like to meet with Cohen – it’s standard to meet with a founder, especially when one is writing a big check – but no one was supposed to until this year. That was due to a regulatory restriction on Cohen.

But as several people familiar with the launch put it: if you needed to meet with Cohen to make the decision, you’re not the right kind of investor.

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An infamous mystery trader refuses to give up on a bet that the stock market will go nuts

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

the dark knight joker

  • A trader just rolled over a massive volatility bet that could pay out $262.5 million if all goes according to plan.
  • The wager is on a large increase in the CBOE Volatility Index, which serves as the stock market's fear gauge, and has been suppressed for most of the past year.


The stock market may be grinding out new high after new high, but one trader is remaining steadfast on the view that turbulence is right around the corner.

Just six weeks after rolling over a massive wager that the CBOE Volatility Index, or VIX, would surge from its subdued levels by January, the volatility vigilante has essentially extended that bet into February. The so-called rollover carries the same maximum potential payout as before: an eye-popping $262.5 million.

Known to some as the "VIX Elephant," the mystery investor has stubbornly clung to this trade since initiating it on July 21 of last year. That's involved a pair of rollovers on September 25 and December 1, and now January 11.

The trader has lost just $45 million since first making the trade, according to data compiled by Pravit Chintawongvanich, the head of derivatives strategy at Macro Risk Advisors. That pales in comparison to the possible payout, which could go a long way towards explaining the person's dogged persistence, according to another person familiar with the trade.

image008

Still, it remains a risky trade, considering the VIX's recent tendency to trade near all-time lows. The so-called fear gauge is down 12% in 2018 after falling 21% last year, and and investors continue to pile into the short-volatility trade, which has evolved into one of the market's most crowded positions.

Let's unpack the trade:

  • To fund it, the investor sold 262,500 VIX puts expiring in February with a strike price of 12.
  • The trader then used those proceeds to buy a VIX 1x2 call spread, which involves buying 262,500 VIX February calls with a strike price of 15 and selling 525,000 VIX February calls with a strike price of 25.
  • Bullish call spreads are used when a moderate rise in the underlying asset is expected. Traders buy call options at a specific strike price while selling the same number of calls of the same asset and expiration date at a higher strike.
  • In a perfect scenario, in which the VIX hits but doesn't exceed 25 before the February expiration, the trader would see a $262.5 million payout.
  • It is possible for the VIX to spike too much. If it increased beyond 35, the investor would start to lose money since the person used a call spread, even though the direction of the trade was correct.
  • For context, VIX February futures are trading at 11.53, while the spot traded at 9.72 as of 11:58 a.m. on Thursday.
  • All data is from Bloomberg and was reviewed by a person familiar with the trade.

There are a couple of potential explanations for the trade. The first is that the trader decided the prolonged low-volatility environment would end in the next couple of months. While it seems as though it could stretch on forever, even the longest stretches of subdued price swings have eventually given way to fluctuations.

It's also possible the investor is simply hedging a similarly large bullish position on the US stock market. After all, the VIX trades inversely to the benchmark S&P 500 roughly 80% of the time, so a spike in the fear gauge would almost certainly accompany some weakness in equities.

And while this mystery trader is making waves with large bets, the person is not alone in wagering on a VIX spike. The trader known as 50 Cent — recently revealed to be affiliated with Ruffer LLP, a $20 billion investment fund based in London — rose to prominence with repeated bite-size volatility bets.

At this point, there's no telling if the VIX Elephant will eventually throw in the towel, especially if they're using this massive trade as a hedge. If the fear gauge doesn't make the person money this time around, odds are they'll just roll over once again. Stay tuned.

SEE ALSO: A stock trade that crushed the market last year could come crashing back to earth

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NOW WATCH: Bitcoin can be a bubble and still change the world

Making Voting, Elections Both Secure and Accessible with Blockchain Technology

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

voatz.jpg

Voatz, a startup based in Boston, MA, promises to dispel some of the biggest challenges associated with voting: access, security, transparency and efficiency. The company plans to achieve this goal by combining internet-based voting with blockchain technology.

What is Voatz?

Voatz enables voters to make their voices heard conveniently by allowing mobile voting via any smartphone or tablet connected to the internet. The platform integrates blockchain technology and cutting-edge security to maintain the integrity of the electoral process.

“Voatz tackles two of the core challenges in voting –– low participation in local elections and the need for better citizen engagement. Its mobile-first solution is poised to be a category leader, democratizing voting across government, corporate, academic, and union elections," explained Julie Lein, managing partner of the Urban Innovation Fund.

Accessibility and Security via Blockchain Technology

Unlike current voting systems, Voatz can ensure tamper-proof record keeping, identity verification and proper auditing by incorporating a secure, immutable blockchain. Therefore, citizens on the Voatz platform will have virtual certainty of the accuracy of their internet-based voting results.

Alongside concerns over voter fraud and security, conversations around voter accessibility are focusing attention on underrepresented citizens who often lack proper forms of voter ID, such as the poor or the elderly, and those who live in remote areas with limited access to proper infrastructure services.

Voatz co-founder and CEO Nimit Sawhney told Bitcoin Magazine that Voatz is working to connect disenfranchised citizens so that the platform plans to remain accessible to all, regardless of geography or socioeconomic status.

“Aside from major government-issued IDs such as driver’s licenses, state IDs or passports, Voatz has experience using the ten different kinds of official documents for the purposes of verifying a voter’s identity.”

Sawhney noted that Voatz has started testing its secured tablet ballot stations in hospitals and elder-care centers. He explained that the Voatz platform also removes friction in the registration process, especially in states where “motor voter” (the National Voter Registration Act) is available.

The Effect of Voting Technology on Disenfranchised Citizens

Sawhney explained that the Voatz platform is designed to make it easier for disenfranchised voters to participate. The platform is flexible and meant to simplify current barriers to voting.

“Voters who are willing to go through the initial security/vetting process can use their own devices. If a voter doesn’t have a compatible device, he or she can use certain shared devices such as the Voatz Tablet Ballot Station to vote in person after going through a security verification process.”

In the case of public elections, Sawhney notes that traditional voting methods will remain available as well, and that Voatz is just another, more convenient option.

The Future of Voatz and Democracy

Voatz technology has been incorporated in pilot programs by more than 70,000 voters in elections and voting-related events in multiple jurisdictions. State political parties, leading universities, labor unions and nonprofits have successfully used the Voatz platform. Voatz is also in the process of deploying its technology for town-meeting voting in Massachusetts.

The Voatz team recently completed the 2017 Techstars and MassChallenge startup accelerator programs in Boston. For their cutting-edge system, the team has been awarded the 2017 Harvard SECON Prize, the 2017 MassChallenge Gold Award and the 2016 MIT Startup Spotlight Favorite Prize.

On Monday, Voatz announced a $2.2 million seed funding round led by Overstock.com’s subsidiary, Medici Ventures. Jonathan Johnson, president of Medici Ventures, shared his enthusiasm for the project, and vision for the future of democracy:

“The Voatz team has developed a leading solution to usher in an era of greater efficiency and transparency in voting. Democracy will benefit greatly from critical improvements [that] blockchain technology can bring to voting systems.”

The Voatz platform is currently invite-only and will be accessible to a wider audience in the coming weeks.

The post Making Voting, Elections Both Secure and Accessible with Blockchain Technology appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

The US government will auction off $54 million of bitcoins

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

A man holds his hand up while bidding on a work of art inside the auction house Christie's during the Post-War and contemporary Art sale November 15, 2006 in New York City. Christie's estimates that works by Warhol, Willem de Kooning, Roy Lichtenstein and others could go for up to $220 million in what the auction house says may be the most valuable post-World War II and contemporary art auction in history. Warhol's 'Mao' portrait from 1972 went for over 17 million, setting an all time record for the artist. (Photo by )

  • The US Marshals Service announced Thursday that it plans to auction off approximately 3,813 bitcoins, worth about $54 million, that were seized in "various federal criminal, civil, and administrative cases."
  • Potential bidders have to register before January 19, and will need to put down a cool $200,000 deposit in order to participate. The deposit must be in US dollars and transferred via ACH. The Department of Justice does not appear to accept bitcoin.
  • The coins will be auctioned off in blocks of 500, 100, and 813 — meaning the smallest amount you could potentially purchase would be 100 BTC. At Thursday's prices, that would be roughly $1.409 million, though it's not clear whether the government auction will fetch prices below or above where the cryptocurrency is trading on other exchanges.
  • Since it's not an open auction and bids are secret, winners will be notified on January 22, the agency says. 
  • The price of bitcoin was down roughly 5% Thursday as many cryptocurrencies fell following reports South Korea was planning to crack down on exchanges. 

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NOW WATCH: The chief global strategist at Charles Schwab says stocks will keep soaring in 2018

Bitcoin Cash Price Makes Push for $3,000 as Wider Market Stumbles

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

The post Bitcoin Cash Price Makes Push for $3,000 as Wider Market Stumbles appeared first on CCN

The bitcoin cash price made a run at the $3,000 barrier in the face of a wider market downturn. Bitcoin Cash Price Makes Run at $3,000 Much like the older sibling it forked away from at the beginning of August, bitcoin cash has seen its market share drop during the early days of 2018. After … Continued

The post Bitcoin Cash Price Makes Push for $3,000 as Wider Market Stumbles appeared first on CCN

97% of all bitcoins are held by 4% of addresses

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

A man walks past an electric board showing exchange rates of various cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (top L) at a cryptocurrencies exchange in Seoul, South Korea December 13, 2017.  REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

  • In a wide-ranging note on cryptocurrencies and blockchain, Credit Suisse explored the concentration of wealth in bitcoin. 
  • '97% of all bitcoins are held by 4% of addresses,' according to the bank. 

 

Is bitcoin just another toy for the 1%?

It's a question analysts at Switzerland-based bank Credit Suisse explored in a big note on cryptocurrencies and blockchain sent out to clients on Thursday. 

"The concentration of wealth at a small group of addresses – be it individuals or exchanges –means that a few key players in the game can have a massive influence on the bitcoin market," the bank said. 

Screen Shot 2018 01 11 at 10.35.32 AMThose "hodlers," as they're referred to in the crypto world, are holding onto their bitcoin for dear life. As such, wealth in the ecosystem has become very concentrated. 

97% of all bitcoin are held by 4% of all bitcoin addresses, according to the bank. 

By way of comparison, the wealthiest 1% own just about half of the world's wealth, according to analysis by Credit Suisse in November. 

The bank said the wealth concentration points to bitcoin's use-case as a store of value, akin to gold. 

"Significant proportions of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are apparently being held like precious assets, thereby severely restricting the flow and availability of the digital currencies," bank said. 

2017 was a breakneck year for bitcoin investors. The red-hot cryptocurrency soared to an all-time high near $20,000 in December. It ended the year up 1,300%. 

As for bitcoin's market capitalization, it soared from $15.6 billion at the start of 2017 to an all-time high above $320 billion in December, according to data from CoinMarketCap.com.

SEE ALSO: The biggest problem facing cryptocurrencies right now is people trying to buy stuff with them

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NOW WATCH: A crypto expert explains the difference between the two largest cryptocurrencies in the world: bitcoin and Ethereum

Nike is going into 'battleship' mode to launch itself to the top of the hot athletic apparel market (NKE)

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

Nike



The athletic apparel space is more popular and competitive than ever before, and Nike is going on the offensive to expand its share of the sector.

Laurent Vasilescu, an analyst at Macquarie, says that the company is in "battleship mode" as it gears up to take on the likes of Under Armour, Lululemon, and Adidas.

The company is in the middle of a massive shift in how it does business. Once the king of the sneaker and athletic apparel market, Nike lost its crown because a slow manufacturing process kept it from reacting quickly to customer demands and shifts in taste.

Nike currently has about 1 million human workers in its supply chain, according to Vasilescu. The company is trying to speed up its manufacturing process by introducing more automation, which would also reduce costs and increase margins.

The apparel brand is also trying to rethink how it interacts with its customers. Nike recently said it would be pulling back on relationships with some 30,000 retail partners to focus more intensely on high-quality customer experiences. The brand has already reversed its notorious decision not to sell on Amazon. A focus on selling more directly to consumers is going to be a strong tailwind for Nike, Vasilescu said.

In addition to bettering the customer experience, Nike is taking a play from the tech space and trying to increase the average selling price of its products to increase margins. Apple recently released the iPhone X, one of the most expensive smartphones targeted at a mainstream audience, and the demand for the phone seemed unaffected by its high price.

Nike is trying something similar. Nike's VaporMax sneaker was priced at $190, and "drove the inflection in... net selling prices," Vasilescu said. Nike took this success in stride and has plans to release several other new premium product lines with the potential to increase average selling prices.

Vasilescu rates Nike as an "outperform" and has a price target of $72, which is 12.5% higher than its current price around $64.

Nike is up 0.86% this year.

Read about how Nike lost its crown as king of the sneaker market here.

nike stock price

SEE ALSO: There's a simple formula that explains how Nike lost its sneaker mojo

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NOW WATCH: THE BOTTOM LINE: Chipotle vs. Qdoba, the bear case on Apple, and diagnosing a bitcoin bubble

Kodak rolls over some of its cryptocurrency gains

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

Screen Shot 2018 01 11 at 11.02.58 AM

  • Kodak stock is down more than 12% in trading Thursday.
  • Shares more than doubled this week after the once-bankrupt company said it was pivoting to blockchain.


At CES this week, Eastman Kodak announced it would launch its own cryptocurrency and leverage the blockchain to protect photographic copyright.

The once-bankrupt company’s stock almost tripled on the news that it was also jumping on the blockchain bandwagon, but is now sinking once again, down 12% in trading Thursday.

While many companies that have seemingly no relation to the cryptocurrency universe, like iced tea, have pivoted to blockchain and also seen their stock prices rise, BI’s tech reporter Becky Peterson points out that Kodak's technology could actually be a huge help in tracking the use of copyrighted images on the internet.

As part of the new service, photographers can license their photos through KodakOne and will be paid in KodakCoin, which can then be exchanged for dollars. The exchange rate between the two is yet to be determined and the coin will go on sale January 31 as part of an Initial Coin Offering, or ICO.

A beta version of KodakOne will launch in Q4 2018, and a full commercial version will go live in Q2 2019, the company said. 

Kodak, which is based in Western New York State, is still up 195% since the announcement. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2012 and announced it would stop making digital cameras in order to focus on the enterprise digital imaging market. 

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NOW WATCH: The 5 issues to consider before trading bitcoin futures

Kodak rolls over some of its cryptocurrency gains

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

Screen Shot 2018 01 11 at 11.02.58 AM

  • Kodak stock is down more than 12% in trading Thursday.
  • Shares more than doubled this week after the once-bankrupt company said it was pivoting to blockchain.


At CES this week, Eastman Kodak announced it would launch its own cryptocurrency and leverage the blockchain to protect photographic copyright.

The once-bankrupt company’s stock almost tripled on the news that it was also jumping on the blockchain bandwagon, but is now sinking once again, down 12% in trading Thursday.

While many companies that have seemingly no relation to the cryptocurrency universe, like iced tea, have pivoted to blockchain and also seen their stock prices rise, BI’s tech reporter Becky Peterson points out that Kodak's technology could actually be a huge help in tracking the use of copyrighted images on the internet.

As part of the new service, photographers can license their photos through KodakOne and will be paid in KodakCoin, which can then be exchanged for dollars. The exchange rate between the two is yet to be determined and the coin will go on sale January 31 as part of an Initial Coin Offering, or ICO.

A beta version of KodakOne will launch in Q4 2018, and a full commercial version will go live in Q2 2019, the company said. 

Kodak, which is based in Western New York State, is still up 195% since the announcement. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2012 and announced it would stop making digital cameras in order to focus on the enterprise digital imaging market. 

SEE ALSO: Sign up to get the most important updates on all things crypto delivered straight to your inbox.

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NOW WATCH: The 5 issues to consider before trading bitcoin futures

Warren Buffett Says Bitcoin 'Definitely Will Come to a Bad Ending'

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

The Berkshire Hathaway CEO told CNBC the firm would never have a position in cryptocurrencies

Carlyle Group just promoted its latest crop of private equity all-stars — here are all the new partners and managing directors (CG)

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

Mercedes Formula One driver Nico Rosberg of Germany (L) and Lotus F1 Formula One driver Romain Grosjean (R) of France spray champagne on the face of Red Bull Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany on the podium after the Indian F1 Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi, October 27, 2013.  Vettel became Formula One's youngest four-times world champion on Sunday after winning the Indian Grand Prix for Red Bull.

  • Private equity giant Carlyle Group just announced 58 senior promotions, including eight new partners and 19 new managing directors.


Private equity giant Carlyle Group has announced its 2018 crop of new partners, managing directors, and principals.

Carlyle, which manages $174 billion in assets and has 1,550 employees, announced 58 senior promotions across its 31 offices around the world: eight to partner, 19 to managing director, and 31 to principal (also known as "director" in the firm's offices in Europe and Asia). 

Here are all the names:

New partners

David Bluff – Asia Buyout; Sydney

Bryan Corbett – Corporate Private Equity Operations; Washington

Rob de Jong – AlpInvest; Amsterdam

Joost Dröge – International Energy; London

J Robert Maguire – International Energy; London

Grishma Parekh – Direct Lending; New York

Christopher Perriello – AlpInvest; New York

George Westerkamp – AlpInvest; Amsterdam

 

New managing directors

Roman Bas – Investor Relations; New York

Joanne Cosiol – Legal & Compliance; Washington

Martin Glavin – Europe Loans & Structured Credit; London

Merrill Goulding – Distressed Credit; London

Vincent Hahn – Energy Credit; New York

Erica Herberg – Fund Management; New York

Ram Jagannath – US Buyout; New York

Scott Jenkins – US Real Estate; Washington

Thomas Levy – US Real Estate; Washington

Vikram Lokur – Investor Relations; Singapore

Roderick Macmillan – Global External Affairs; London

Kevin McCarthy – Power; New York

William McMullan – US Buyout; New York

Gregory Nikodem – US Buyout; Washington

Guido Funes Nova – International Energy; London

Mario Pardo – Europe Buyout; Barcelona

Eduardo Ramos – Peru Buyout; Lima

Julian Rampelmann – AlpInvest; New York

Todd Ruggini – AlpInvest; New York

 

New principals/directors:

Sebastian Barriga – South America Buyout; Lima

John Borys – AlpInvest; New York

Joseph Bress – US Buyout; New York

Emily Chang – Energy Credit; New York

Aquila Chu – AlpInvest; Hong Kong

Piet-Hein den Blanken – AlpInvest; Amsterdam

Sarah Epps – US Real Estate; Washington

Jason Hsu – Asia Real Estate; Shanghai

Hajime Kawafuji – Japan Buyout; Tokyo

Broes Langelaar – AlpInvest; Amsterdam

David Lobe – Legal & Compliance; Washington

Brian Marcus – Global Credit Management; New York

Tanaka Maswoswe – US Buyout; Washington

Ryan Morrison – US Real Estate; Washington

Richard Plackter – US Real Estate; Washington

Paul Randazzo – US Real Estate; Washington

Taylor Roach – Direct Lending; New York

Jeannine Santarelli – Global Human Resources; New York

Michael Savage – Global Financial Services Buyout; London

Robert Schmidt – US Buyout; New York

James Shillito – Equity Opportunity; New York

Steven Simone – Investor Relations; Washington

Eugene Stacy – US Real Estate; Washington

Mark Tamburello – Direct Lending; New York

Alan Thompson – Global Technology & Solutions; Arlington

Tracie Van Dorpe – Global External Affairs; Washington

Michael Washecka – US Real Estate; Washington

Yi Yu – Asia Buyout; Beijing

Aaron Zhang – Asia Buyout; Shanghai

Justin Zhou – Asia Buyout; Beijing

Andrew Zimmermann – Corporate Accounting; London

SEE ALSO: RISING STARS: Meet 16 investment bankers age 35 and under doing huge deals

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NOW WATCH: We talked to Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman about tax reform, Trump, and bitcoin

Defying Wider Market Downtrend, Bitcoin Cash Eyes $3K

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

Bitcoin cash looks set for a gravity-defying move, with chart analysis suggesting gains to above $3,000 may be in order.

MoneyGram Adopts Ripple’s XRP in Open-Ended Pilot for International Money Transfers

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

The post MoneyGram Adopts Ripple’s XRP in Open-Ended Pilot for International Money Transfers appeared first on CCN

International money transfer service MoneyGram has announced that it will adopt Ripple’s XRP token into its payments system in a bid to increase the speed and reduce the cost of cross-border payments. Ripple and MoneyGram — the world’s second-largest provider of money transfers — made the announcement on Thursday, explaining that the two companies would

The post MoneyGram Adopts Ripple’s XRP in Open-Ended Pilot for International Money Transfers appeared first on CCN

US Marshals Service to Auction Off $54 Million in Bitcoin

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

The U.S. Marshals Service has announced that it will auction off more than 3,800 bitcoins later this month.

MoneyGram to Pilot Ripple's XRP Token

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

International money-remittance firm MoneyGram is partnering with Ripple to test the startup's XRP token for international payments.

Ripple's XRP is exploding after announcing a partnership with MoneyGram to speed up transfers

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

Ripple XRP price

  • MoneyGram has partnered with Ripple to use its XRP cryptocurrency in money transfers.
  • MoneyGram's stock is up 13% after the news, while XRP reversed early losses to go up 1%. 


Shares of MoneyGram, the second-largest money transfer company in the world, spiked 13% Thursday after the company said it had signed a partnership with Ripple to test using the company’s XRP cryptocurrency to improve transfer settlement times and costs. XRP is climbing as well, up as much as 10%. 

Last week, Western Union spiked on an unverified rumor that it planned to also use XRP. Ripple said in a tweet that it has signed three of the world’s five largest money transfer companies, but did not elaborate on which.

New York Times reporter Nathaniel Popper also said last week that he was unable to verify many of the cooperating banks the company had previously announced. CEO Brad Garlinghouse denied those claims. 

“The payments problem doesn’t just affect banks, it also affects companies like MoneyGram, which help people get money to the ones they care about,” Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse said in a press release. “By using a digital asset like XRP that settles in three seconds or less, our clients can move money as quickly as information.”

XRP saw significant losses, down as much as 13%, Wednesday evening into Thursday morning on news South Korean regulators planned to crack down on cryptocurrency exchanges. But the token had begun to pare those losses after the Moneygram news, and was up 2.39% in the last 24 hours at the time of writing.

XRP powers Ripple’s XRapid cross-border payments for emerging markets product as well as its other liquidity and transfer services.

XRP is currently trading at $1.97, according to Markets Insider data, much lower than its high of $3.315 reached late last year. The cryptocurrency is still up 5517% over the past 12 months, but down 31% over the past week. 

MoneyGram sent nearly $600 billion in cross-border payments in 2016, according to its website. 

"Every day blockchain technology is changing the norm and encouraging innovation,” CEO Alex Holmes said in a release. “Ripple is at the forefront of blockchain technology and we look forward to piloting xRapid. We’re hopeful it will increase efficiency and improve services to MoneyGram’s customers."

Moneygram stock price

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NOW WATCH: How the sale of Qdoba will impact Chipotle's future

Pre-ICO and Branded Bitcoin Miners: Kodak Quickly Cashes in on ‘Blockchain Moment’

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

The post Pre-ICO and Branded Bitcoin Miners: Kodak Quickly Cashes in on ‘Blockchain Moment’ appeared first on CCN

Photography pioneer Kodak has not wasted any time cashing in on its pivot to blockchain. Kodak Begins Raising Cash in Pre-ICO The company, which has languished in recent years as a result of an industry shift to digital imaging technology, is the latest firm to make a profitable — if unexpected — entry into the

The post Pre-ICO and Branded Bitcoin Miners: Kodak Quickly Cashes in on ‘Blockchain Moment’ appeared first on CCN

Ripple's XRP is exploding after announcing a partnership with Money7Ggram to speed up transfers

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

Ripple XRP price

  • Moneygram has partnered with Ripple to use its XRP cryptocurrency in money transfers.
  • Moneygram's stock is up 13% after the news, while XRP reversed early losses to go up 1%. 


Shares of Moneygram, the second-largest money transfer company in the world, spiked 13% Thursday after the company said it had signed a partnership with Ripple to test using the company’s XRP cryptocurrency to improve transfer settlement times and costs. XRP is climbing as well, up 2.42%. 

Last week, Western Union spiked on an unverified rumor that it planned to also use XRP. Ripple said in a tweet that it has signed three of the world’s five largest money transfer companies, but did not elaborate on which.

New York Times reporter Nathaniel Popper also said last week that he was unable to verify many of the cooperating banks the company had previously announced. CEO Brad Garlinghouse denied those claims. 

“The payments problem doesn’t just affect banks, it also affects companies like MoneyGram, which help people get money to the ones they care about,” Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse said in a press release. “By using a digital asset like XRP that settles in three seconds or less, our clients can move money as quickly as information.”

XRP saw significant losses, down as much as 13%, Wednesday evening into Thursday morning on news South Korean regulators planned to crack down on cryptocurrency exchanges. But the token had begun to pare those losses after the Moneygram news, and was up 2.39% in the last 24 hours at the time of writing.

XRP powers Ripple’s XRapid cross-border payments for emerging markets product as well as its other liquidity and transfer services.

XRP is currently trading at $1.97, according to Markets Insider data, much lower than its high of $3.315 reached late last year. The cryptocurrency is still up 5517% over the past 12 months, but down 31% over the past week. 

Moneygram sent nearly $600 billion in cross-border payments in 2016, according to its website. 

"Every day blockchain technology is changing the norm and encouraging innovation,” CEO Alex Holmes said in a release. “Ripple is at the forefront of blockchain technology and we look forward to piloting xRapid. We’re hopeful it will increase efficiency and improve services to MoneyGram’s customers."

Moneygram stock price

SEE ALSO: Sign up to get the most important updates on all things crypto delivered straight to your inbox.

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NOW WATCH: PAUL KRUGMAN: Bitcoin is a more obvious bubble than housing was

Ripple's XRP is exploding after announcing a partnership with Money7Ggram to speed up transfers

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

Ripple XRP price

  • Moneygram has partnered with Ripple to use its XRP cryptocurrency in money transfers.
  • Moneygram's stock is up 13% after the news, while XRP reversed early losses to go up 1%. 


Shares of Moneygram, the second-largest money transfer company in the world, spiked 13% Thursday after the company said it had signed a partnership with Ripple to test using the company’s XRP cryptocurrency to improve transfer settlement times and costs. XRP is climbing as well, up 2.42%. 

Last week, Western Union spiked on an unverified rumor that it planned to also use XRP. Ripple said in a tweet that it has signed three of the world’s five largest money transfer companies, but did not elaborate on which.

New York Times reporter Nathaniel Popper also said last week that he was unable to verify many of the cooperating banks the company had previously announced. CEO Brad Garlinghouse denied those claims. 

“The payments problem doesn’t just affect banks, it also affects companies like MoneyGram, which help people get money to the ones they care about,” Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse said in a press release. “By using a digital asset like XRP that settles in three seconds or less, our clients can move money as quickly as information.”

XRP saw significant losses, down as much as 13%, Wednesday evening into Thursday morning on news South Korean regulators planned to crack down on cryptocurrency exchanges. But the token had begun to pare those losses after the Moneygram news, and was up 2.39% in the last 24 hours at the time of writing.

XRP powers Ripple’s XRapid cross-border payments for emerging markets product as well as its other liquidity and transfer services.

XRP is currently trading at $1.97, according to Markets Insider data, much lower than its high of $3.315 reached late last year. The cryptocurrency is still up 5517% over the past 12 months, but down 31% over the past week. 

Moneygram sent nearly $600 billion in cross-border payments in 2016, according to its website. 

"Every day blockchain technology is changing the norm and encouraging innovation,” CEO Alex Holmes said in a release. “Ripple is at the forefront of blockchain technology and we look forward to piloting xRapid. We’re hopeful it will increase efficiency and improve services to MoneyGram’s customers."

Moneygram stock price

SEE ALSO: Sign up to get the most important updates on all things crypto delivered straight to your inbox.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: PAUL KRUGMAN: Bitcoin is a more obvious bubble than housing was

South Korea to ban cryptocurrency trading amid fears of tax evasion

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

In a move that's sent bitcoin spiralling, officials in South Korea have announced plans to ban cryptocurrency trading in the country. The plans come against a backdrop of concerns regarding tax evasion, as cryptocurrency trading in the country is hig...

The way the Queen and Prince Philip hold hands and exchange glances reveals these telling details about their relationship, according to body language experts

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

Queen and philip

  • Queen Elizabeth II has been married to Prince Philip for over 70 years.
  • Two experts analysed photographs of the pair over time.
  • They rarely show public affection, yet some small gestures suggest that they are still deeply committed to one another.
  • Her Majesty naturally takes the lead but the Duke is never far behind. 
  • They share a special touch.


Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Phillip are not known for their wild public displays of affection, but the little they do show reveals a lot.

Patti Wood, the author of SNAP: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma, and Blanca Cobb, behind Methods of the Masters, analysed photographs of the Queen and her Prince over time — and told Good Housekeeping that little has changed over the years. 

While the younger royals appear to be more comfortable with showing their down-to-earth sides to the public, it's understandable that the older generation is a little more stiff.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh marked their platinum wedding anniversary — an impressive 70 years of marriage — in November 2017. They've been through a lifetime of royal duties, the death of their daughter-in-law Princess Diana, and if the rumours are true, even affairs.

Yet the one thing that has never changed is their uncompromising commitment to one another.

21 queen elizabeth prince philip wedding ap

Cobb told Good Housekeeping: "When you look beyond the royal formality of Prince Phillip and Queen Elizabeth's public appearances, you clearly see Prince Philip's love and adoration for his Queen."

queen throwback

And the feeling appears to be mutual.

queen philip

But according to Wood, being the Monarch and all, the Queen feels the need to assert her independence, and she is "always trying to be seen as her own person."

queen philip

He naturally lets her take the lead, but he's never far behind.

queen philip 2

They even have a secret touch that isn't all about affection.

queenie

"This type of hand hold is seen time and time again," said Wood. "It's more formal than interlocking fingers but it's unique to them. It's their way of reassurance and comfort."

Although these days, she pointed out, the touch is also for practical reasons, as at 91 years old Her Majesty is not as strong as she once was. "In her older years, the Queen holds hands with the Prince for assistance as opposed to affection."

queen philip 3

And the Prince is always dutifully ready and waiting. "He's constantly looking at the Queen to make sure that she's okay. He's completely in tune with her needs," Cobb added.

During public appearances, you'll often catch them engrossed in a private conversation, a feat for any couple after a lifetime of marriage.

queen and her prince

And they really do seem to still share the look of love...

Queen Philip Reuter s Paul Hackett

...And make each other smile.

queen smiling

SEE ALSO: There's a theory for why Prince William always holds George's hand in public while Kate looks after Charlotte — and experts on royals say it could be true

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: We talked to Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman about tax reform, Trump, and bitcoin

Ripple announces XRP trial with cross-border remittance firm MoneyGram

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

 Well, well, well. Ripple, the company behind the controversial XRP cryptocurrency which has been criticized for obfuscating the nature of its partnerships with financial organizations, has announced a tie-up with global payment network MoneyGram. MoneyGram, which saw a $1.2 billion acquisition from Alibaba’s Ant Financial affiliate collapse over concerns from the U.S. government, said it… Read More

Switzerland ramps up its crypto credentials

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

conventional equity

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Amid booming investor enthusiasm for cryptocurrencies, one country in particular has been making serious efforts to capitalize on the trend and build up a powerful domestic cryptocurrency industry — Switzerland.

The country has long boasted a robust financial services industry, and as of late, it's been trying to strengthen that reputation by becoming a hub for this new subsector, as investor money keeps pouring into cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs).

Now, Switzerland is ramping up its attractiveness for cryptocurrency players even further, as two new developments show:

  • The Swiss government has set up a Blockchain Taskforce to establish a clear-cut framework for companies using the tech. Blockchain technology is the base on which most cryptocurrencies, most notably Bitcoin, are built. Led by the country's finance and economics and education ministers, the group will review blockchain guidelines that have been issued in partnership with the State Secretariat for International Financial Matters, a federal agency tasked with enforcing financial market policy. It will then create a framework that gives companies using blockchain technology or working specifically with cryptocurrencies freedom to innovate, while reducing risk in the sector. Given the gray area many other countries' legislation leaves blockchain and cryptocurrency players in, such clarity will likely make Switzerland even more attractive for these companies.
  • A government-backed nonprofit has published a code of conduct for ICO conductors. Crypto Valley Association (CVA), a Swiss nonprofit tasked with bolstering Switzerland's blockchain and cryptocurrency industries, has published a code of conduct for companies issuing ICOs. Among other things, the document asks ICO operators to tell investors how money raised in a token sale will be used, how the token in question works, and what risks are associated, in language understandable to people with minimal tech savvy. The CVA places a lot of emphasis on investor protection, but the code's purpose is likely more pragmatic. Despite ICOs' wild popularity, frequent media reports of scams and bad governance around ICOs risk putting off more conventional investors. By trying to clean up the stable and increase transparency, the CVA is probably trying to make ICOs more appealing to a wider swathe of the public, likely to bring in more money through ICOs into the country.

Besides benefiting Switzerland, these initiatives could have more international advantages. If Switzerland now manages to bring some much-needed regulatory clarityand transparency to the booming but chaotic crypto space, the country's approach could become a model for regulators in other countries on how to oversee it. Given the difficultieswatchdogs elsewhere seem to be facing in regulating cryptocurrencies and ICOs — often resorting to reactionary or heavy-handed measures to control the space — such a blueprint would be welcomed.

Sarah Kocianski, senior research analyst for BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has compiled a detailed report on blockchain in banking that:

  • Outlines banks' experiments with blockchain technology. 
  • Details blockchain projects at three major banks — UBS, Credit Suisse, and Banco Santander — based on in-depth interviews. 
  • Discusses the likely trends that will emerge in the technology over the next several years.
  • Highlights the factors that will be critical to the success of banks implementing blockchain-based solutions.

 Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:

  1. Subscribe to an All-Access pass to BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and over 100 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you'll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >> Learn More Now
  2. Purchase & download the full report from our research store. >> Purchase & Download Now

Join the conversation about this story »

Oil is hitting new peaks: Here's a super-quick guide to what traders are talking about right now

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

Traders gather at the booth that trades Abbott Laboratories on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, December 10, 2012.    REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

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

Here's Lutz:

"Morning!  US Futures are up small following yesterday when the S&P snaps its longest wining streak to start a year since 1964.  S&P and Nasdaq are gaining 10bp as Sovereign yields continue to trickle lower as the dust settles on the China headers yesterday.   It’s pretty red overseas tho, as the DAX drops 20bp - Consumer names weaker as Pandora drops 15%, while Tech stocks continue their sharp retreat.  In London, FTSE is up small as Sterling keeps dropping, but the Retailers are being pressured on Tesco and M&S.  The Miners are acting well as China’s Premier was “upbeat” on the Economy, while Staples are enjoying a tailwind.  Volumes decent, with Germany trading 20% over average, and London 70%.   In Asia, Nikkei slides 20bp as Consumer stocks were hit for 1%+ - Hang Seng up 13 sessions in a row, gaining 15bp as a Fin rally offset losses in Tech - Shanghai up 10 in a row, tying the longest streak on record - KOSPI dropped 50bp as Samsung continued falling, while Aussie was off 50bp

 "The US 10YY is down 2bp to 2.54% as China Refutes the Treasury Story yesterday, calling it “Fake News” – JGB’s recovered a bit, pressing their yields away from the BOJ’s 10bp “ceiling” – The $ up 4thday in 5 as Weaker German GDP outweighs Stronger EU Industrial Production, pressing Euro near $1.19, Sterling off for 4thday on continued Brexit angst – but that A$ acting well on the best retail salesin 4 years, while the Canadian dollar and Mexican peso continue sliding on NAFTA angst.   Bitcoin hit for 10%+ as South Korea plans trading ban - Ore and Rebar lost small overnight in China, but Copper is trending 30bp higher, while Oil continues popping to new peaks, approaching $64 in the overnight."

Here are 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: Why bitcoin checks all the boxes of a bubble

Oil is hitting new peaks: Here's a super-quick guide to what traders are talking about right now

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

Traders gather at the booth that trades Abbott Laboratories on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, December 10, 2012.    REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

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

Here's Lutz:

"Morning!  US Futures are up small following yesterday when the S&P snaps its longest wining streak to start a year since 1964.  S&P and Nasdaq are gaining 10bp as Sovereign yields continue to trickle lower as the dust settles on the China headers yesterday.   It’s pretty red overseas tho, as the DAX drops 20bp - Consumer names weaker as Pandora drops 15%, while Tech stocks continue their sharp retreat.  In London, FTSE is up small as Sterling keeps dropping, but the Retailers are being pressured on Tesco and M&S.  The Miners are acting well as China’s Premier was “upbeat” on the Economy, while Staples are enjoying a tailwind.  Volumes decent, with Germany trading 20% over average, and London 70%.   In Asia, Nikkei slides 20bp as Consumer stocks were hit for 1%+ - Hang Seng up 13 sessions in a row, gaining 15bp as a Fin rally offset losses in Tech - Shanghai up 10 in a row, tying the longest streak on record - KOSPI dropped 50bp as Samsung continued falling, while Aussie was off 50bp

 "The US 10YY is down 2bp to 2.54% as China Refutes the Treasury Story yesterday, calling it “Fake News” – JGB’s recovered a bit, pressing their yields away from the BOJ’s 10bp “ceiling” – The $ up 4thday in 5 as Weaker German GDP outweighs Stronger EU Industrial Production, pressing Euro near $1.19, Sterling off for 4thday on continued Brexit angst – but that A$ acting well on the best retail salesin 4 years, while the Canadian dollar and Mexican peso continue sliding on NAFTA angst.   Bitcoin hit for 10%+ as South Korea plans trading ban - Ore and Rebar lost small overnight in China, but Copper is trending 30bp higher, while Oil continues popping to new peaks, approaching $64 in the overnight."

Here are 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: The CIO of a crypto hedge fund shares the 3 biggest risks of investing in cryptocurrencies

(+) Technical Analysis: Bitcoin Tests $13,000 as Hectic Correction Continues

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

The post (+) Technical Analysis: Bitcoin Tests $13,000 as Hectic Correction Continues appeared first on CCN

The post (+) Technical Analysis: Bitcoin Tests $13,000 as Hectic Correction Continues appeared first on CCN

Ripple's XRP and other major cryptocurrencies are getting smoked after a report says South Korea is cracking down on exchanges

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

Screen Shot 2018 01 11 at 8.41.31 AM

  • Cryptocurrency prices are falling after a Reuters report said that the South Korean government is preparing a bill to further crack down on the industry. 
  • Ripple's XRP is being hit the hardest, down nearly 13%.
  • Japan is likely to benefit from crackdowns in South Korea and China. 


Cryptocurrency markets around the world were rattled Thursday after a report said that South Korean leaders were preparing a bill to ban cryptocurrency trading. 

Bitcoin initially slumped more than 9% Wednesday night on the news, and was still down 8% Thursday morning. Ethereum, the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, was down 5% while Ripple's XRP, the third-largest, was down 13%. 

South Korean authorities also reportedly raided cryptocurrency exchanges in the country, according to Reuters.

In total, the value of all cryptocurrencies has fallen 18% from previous highs reached on Sunday — sitting at $682.44 billion Thursday morning, according to CoinMarketCap.com. The website, one of the most popular for crypto pricing data, caused a stir earlier this week by unexpectedly shifting its data to exclude South Korean exchanges, appearing to show a drop in global prices and inducing some feat selling.

Asia at large is a hot market for Ripple’s XRP cryptocurrency, and the coin is taking the biggest hit Thursday, down nearly 13% at the time of writing. 

South Korea has been a hot spot for other cryptocurrencies as well, and the tokens have traded at significant premiums on its exchanges due to tight controls on capital in the country. Bitcoin, for instance, has traded at a more than 40% premium on South Korean exchanges relative to those in the US. According to Josiah Hernandez, chief strategy officer at Coinsource, that demand will make it hard for regulators to follow through on a full ban.

China is also preparing to tighten its grip on the red-hot cryptocurrency space this week, with two of the largest bitcoin mining operations in the country looking to set up shop elsewhere in Singapore, the US and Canada. The country banned wildly popular initial coin offerings, or ICOs, last year.

Japan is likely the beneficiary of crackdowns in other Asian countries. Sebastian Quinn-Watson, an executive at Blockchain Global, told Business Insider this week, "End point, high quality, well-run exchanges will thrive and poorly-run exchanges will perish and the consumer and market will benefit."

SEE ALSO: Sign up to get the most important updates on all things crypto delivered straight to your inbox.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: THE BOTTOM LINE: Bitcoin mania, a Nobel Prize-winning economist talks Trump, and a deep dive on unstoppable tech stocks

Ripple's XRP and other major cryptocurrencies are getting smoked after a report says South Korea is cracking down on exchanges

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

Screen Shot 2018 01 11 at 8.41.31 AM

  • Cryptocurrency prices are falling after a Reuters report said that the South Korean government is preparing a bill to further crack down on the industry. 
  • Ripple's XRP is being hit the hardest, down nearly 13%.
  • Japan is likely to benefit from crackdowns in South Korea and China. 


Cryptocurrency markets around the world were rattled Thursday after a report said that South Korean leaders were preparing a bill to ban cryptocurrency trading. 

Bitcoin initially slumped more than 9% Wednesday night on the news, and was still down 8% Thursday morning. Ethereum, the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, was down 5% while Ripple's XRP, the third-largest, was down 13%. 

South Korean authorities also reportedly raided cryptocurrency exchanges in the country, according to Reuters.

In total, the value of all cryptocurrencies has fallen 18% from previous highs reached on Sunday — sitting at $682.44 billion Thursday morning, according to CoinMarketCap.com. The website, one of the most popular for crypto pricing data, caused a stir earlier this week by unexpectedly shifting its data to exclude South Korean exchanges, appearing to show a drop in global prices and inducing some feat selling.

Asia at large is a hot market for Ripple’s XRP cryptocurrency, and the coin is taking the biggest hit Thursday, down nearly 13% at the time of writing. 

South Korea has been a hot spot for other cryptocurrencies as well, and the tokens have traded at significant premiums on its exchanges due to tight controls on capital in the country. Bitcoin, for instance, has traded at a more than 40% premium on South Korean exchanges relative to those in the US. According to Josiah Hernandez, chief strategy officer at Coinsource, that demand will make it hard for regulators to follow through on a full ban.

China is also preparing to tighten its grip on the red-hot cryptocurrency space this week, with two of the largest bitcoin mining operations in the country looking to set up shop elsewhere in Singapore, the US and Canada. The country banned wildly popular initial coin offerings, or ICOs, last year.

Japan is likely the beneficiary of crackdowns in other Asian countries. Sebastian Quinn-Watson, an executive at Blockchain Global, told Business Insider this week, "End point, high quality, well-run exchanges will thrive and poorly-run exchanges will perish and the consumer and market will benefit."

SEE ALSO: Sign up to get the most important updates on all things crypto delivered straight to your inbox.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: THE BOTTOM LINE: Bitcoin mania, a Nobel Prize-winning economist talks Trump, and a deep dive on unstoppable tech stocks

Bitcoin, Ethereum Prices Plot Cautious Recovery as Korean Government Cools Trading Ban Rumors

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

The post Bitcoin, Ethereum Prices Plot Cautious Recovery as Korean Government Cools Trading Ban Rumors appeared first on CCN

The cryptocurrency market is eyeing a cautious recovery after financial regulators in South Korea publicly stated that they do not agree with the cryptocurrency trading ban that has been proposed by the country’s justice minister. In the meantime, though, nearly every major coin is trading below its previous-day level, and the ethereum price has snapped

The post Bitcoin, Ethereum Prices Plot Cautious Recovery as Korean Government Cools Trading Ban Rumors appeared first on CCN

Delta is rallying after reporting solid earnings (DAL)

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

Delta airbus A321neo PW



Delta shares are trading higher by 3.8% at $57.98 a piece after the company reported a beat on both the top and bottom lines.

Delta reported earnings of $0.96 per share on operating revenue of $10.25 billion. Wall Street analysts had predicted earnings of $0.88 on revenue of $10.13 billion.

Higher costs during the third quarter were offset by increased traffic over the holiday season. The company said its holiday momentum will continue into the first quarter and its closely-watched total unit revenue number will increase between 2.5% and 4.5%.

Delta is the first airline, and one of the first public companies, to report its fourth-quarter results. Other airlines, including American and Southwest, were up following the good news from Delta.

Delta is up 2.27% this year.

See which other companies are reporting earnings today on our Earnings Calendar.

delta stock price

SEE ALSO: Delta beats across the board and gives a rosy outlook

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NOW WATCH: Why bitcoin checks all the boxes of a bubble

Investing legend Bill Gross says women have historically 'gotten the short stick' — then lists 6 positive qualities of men

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

Bill Gross

  • Investing guru Bill Gross said in his latest newsletter that he supports the recent wave of support for women and the Me Too movement.
  • Gross also listed a few things that men deserved to be recognized for, including needing "fewer pairs of shoes and purses."
  • Much like men, Gross said, bonds are also in a bear market and the recently-passed tax bill should also provide a small economic boost.


In his latest monthly investment letter, investing guru Bill Gross wanted to applaud the Me Too movement and support women, but also make sure you don't forget about men.

"Women have gotten the short stick or metaphorically the short rib ever since Eve, and I’m with Oprah for president and much, much more but hey, guys have got a few positive qualities that need to be mentioned," Gross, a bond portfolio manager for Janus Henderson Investors, said to start the newsletter.

Gross then goes on to list a few positive qualities that are exclusive to men, they are:

  1. "Men need fewer pairs of shoes and purses."
  2. "Men live 10 years less on average. They truly are the weaker sex. Feel sorry for ‘em ladies, not angry."
  3. "Men shouldn’t be criticized for not putting the toilet seat down. If they need to put it down, they will. If women do too, they can use their foot just like everyone else."
  4. "Men run faster, jump higher and are much better at not communicating."
  5. "Sure men start wars but great things actually are a result of them. Canned foods owe their origin to Napoleon, microwave ovens to the invention of radar during WWII, and the Internet (not Al Gore) to the fear of Russia bombing U.S. telephone lines during the Cold War. Way to go guys. Keep starting those wars."
  6. "Men always know where the remote control is. Right next to them."

Gross concludes the commentary by saying that men should take a less active role in society.

"Actually most of the world’s problems would go away if men just stayed home, watched football and learned to talk to their partners during commercial breaks," he wrote. "There are certainly enough of them."

Pivoting toward investing, Gross compares the current state of the bond market to the situation of men: "Bonds, like men, are in a bear market."

Gross has been calling for an end to the more than 30-year bond bull market at least as far back as May 2013, but says the recent surge in bond yields signal that this time is the real deal.

In addition to bonds, Gross predicts that the recently-passed tax legislation will help boost the economy in the short-run and cause inflation to reach the Federal Reserve's 2% goal, prompting more interest rate hikes. The Fed rate hikes combined with less bond buying by foreign central banks will also contribute to the bond bear market according to Gross. 

"Oprah shouted, "Their time has come." The bear bond market’s time has come as well. Many would say, including yours truly – "It's about time'."

You can read the full newsletter here»

SEE ALSO: The 3-decade bond bull market is in dange

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: THE BOTTOM LINE: Chipotle vs. Qdoba, the bear case on Apple, and diagnosing a bitcoin bubble

There’s a looming internal battle at the Fed — and Neel Kashkari just fired the first shot

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

FILE PHOTO: Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari speaks during an interview at Reuters in New York February 17, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

  • The Minneapolis Fed released a "Final Plan to End Too Big to Fail" aimed at addressing the issue of banks seen as benefiting from implicit taxpayer backing.
  • As the financial crisis turns 10, there is internal discord at the Fed as to whether post-crisis financial rules solved the problem
  • Incoming Fed Chair Jerome Powell told Congress there are no more too-big-to-fail banks, citing new tools regulators have to wind them down.
  • A report from the Treasury's Official of Financial Research suggests that toolkit is far from complete, and may not be ready in time for the next crisis. 


The Federal Reserve is a consensus-driven institution, but that doesn’t mean sharp internal disagreements do not arise on a fairly regular basis.

This time, the disagreement centers on banks that, because of their size and interconnectedness to the financial system, have been considered "too big to fail," meaning they are likely to receive taxpayer bailouts if they run into serious trouble. These include giants like JPMorgan, Bank of America, Citigroup and others. They are seen as underpinning too much of America’s financial network to be allowed to falter. 

Incoming Fed Chair Jerome Powell, who will be taking over for Janet Yellen at the start of next month, declared during his confirmation hearing to the Senate Banking Committee, that the problem of banks benefiting from such de facto taxpayers subsidies was a thing of the past.

He argued the Fed now has the tools to wind down large financial firms without causing ripple effects, including drafts of "living wills" on how banks would be portioned off in case of failure and so-called resolution authority that allows for more aggressive interventions that were not available before the 2008 financial meltdown.

However, a new report from the Minneapolis Fed highlights an internal divide that will come to a head after Powell takes office. The regional Fed’s president, Neel Kashkari, a former Goldman Sachs banker, has been vocal about doing more to address megabanks that pose systemic threats in the wake of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

As the financial crisis reaches its 10th anniversary, Kashkari has released a "Final Plan to End Too Big to Fail.

It argues that “leaving capital requirements at current levels leaves taxpayers at risk of a future crisis and bailout.”

Kashkari warned in a statement that "American taxpayers are still on the hook today. There is no excuse for inaction, and history will judge us poorly if we so soon forget the lessons we just learned."

Mission not accomplished

Kashkari’s view is more in line with market perceptions of large banks, which are still seen as largely shielded from catastrophic losses by implied government support.

"Dodd-Frank did a lot of things, but ending Too Big To Fail can’t be listed among its accomplishments," Isaac Boltansky, director of policy research at Compass Point, told Business Insider recently. 

"The system is far safer given the capital and liquidity rules, and new mandates such as living wills and orderly liquidation authority should blunt panic in a crisis, but I doubt anyone in Washington or on Wall Street truly believes the federal government would stand idly by in the event of another systemic banking crisis."

For that reason, the Minneapolis Fed’s plan calls for regulators to "dramatically increase common equity capital for banks with assets exceeding $250 billion," forcing them to to issue common equity equal to 23.5% of risk-weighted assets, with a corresponding leverage ratio of 15% — nearly three times the current level.

The report also calls on Treasury to certify that individual large banks are no longer systemically important or else subject those banks to extraordinary increases in capital requirements—up to 38% over time.

In order to tackle potential problems outside traditional banks, in non-bank financial firms that compose the "shadow" banking system, the plan would also impose a tax on the borrowings of such firms with assets over $50 billion.

A separate account from the Treasury’s Office of Financial Research also suggests that, despite Powell’s optimism, the toolkit for dealing with too big to fail is still far from complete

"Resolution under either US bankruptcy law or a special resolution authority has potential weaknesses for handling global systemically important bank failures in some scenarios,” the OFR said in its annual report last month. “The treatment of derivatives held by a failing financial firm continues to present a conundrum for policymakers seeking to balance contagion and run risks against moral hazard concerns.”

Moreover, the ability to wind down nonbank financial firms “remain less developed than for banks, despite the material impact of some nonbank failures in the past and the growing importance of nonbanks, particularly central counterparties, in the financial system.” Shadow banks can include everything from hedge funds and private equity to insurance and mutual funds. One of the biggest flashpoints of the 2008 crisis came from just one such institution — insurance giant AIG, which required multiple bailouts.

Kashkari makes a case for taking preemptive steps against a future shock sooner than later.

"With today’s strong economy, now is the perfect time to act to strengthen our financial system," he said. "We must not wait, and we must not go backwards. If we wait until the next crisis to implement these reforms, it will be too late."

SEE ALSO: One simple 'no' could come back to haunt the man who is about to take over for Janet Yellen at the Fed

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There’s a looming internal battle at the Fed — and Neel Kashkari just fired the first shot

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

FILE PHOTO: Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari speaks during an interview at Reuters in New York February 17, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

  • The Minneapolis Fed released a "Final Plan to End Too Big to Fail" aimed at addressing the issue of banks seen as benefiting from implicit taxpayer backing.
  • As the financial crisis turns 10, there is internal discord at the Fed as to whether post-crisis financial rules solved the problem
  • Incoming Fed Chair Jerome Powell told Congress there are no more too-big-to-fail banks, citing new tools regulators have to wind them down.
  • A report from the Treasury's Official of Financial Research suggests that toolkit is far from complete, and may not be ready in time for the next crisis. 


The Federal Reserve is a consensus-driven institution, but that doesn’t mean sharp internal disagreements do not arise on a fairly regular basis.

This time, the disagreement centers on banks that, because of their size and interconnectedness to the financial system, have been considered "too big to fail," meaning they are likely to receive taxpayer bailouts if they run into serious trouble. These include giants like JPMorgan, Bank of America, Citigroup and others. They are seen as underpinning too much of America’s financial network to be allowed to falter. 

Incoming Fed Chair Jerome Powell, who will be taking over for Janet Yellen at the start of next month, declared during his confirmation hearing to the Senate Banking Committee, that the problem of banks benefiting from such de facto taxpayers subsidies was a thing of the past.

He argued the Fed now has the tools to wind down large financial firms without causing ripple effects, including drafts of "living wills" on how banks would be portioned off in case of failure and so-called resolution authority that allows for more aggressive interventions that were not available before the 2008 financial meltdown.

However, a new report from the Minneapolis Fed highlights an internal divide that will come to a head after Powell takes office. The regional Fed’s president, Neel Kashkari, a former Goldman Sachs banker, has been vocal about doing more to address megabanks that pose systemic threats in the wake of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

As the financial crisis reaches its 10th anniversary, Kashkari has released a "Final Plan to End Too Big to Fail.

It argues that “leaving capital requirements at current levels leaves taxpayers at risk of a future crisis and bailout.”

Kashkari warned in a statement that "American taxpayers are still on the hook today. There is no excuse for inaction, and history will judge us poorly if we so soon forget the lessons we just learned."

Mission not accomplished

Kashkari’s view is more in line with market perceptions of large banks, which are still seen as largely shielded from catastrophic losses by implied government support.

"Dodd-Frank did a lot of things, but ending Too Big To Fail can’t be listed among its accomplishments," Isaac Boltansky, director of policy research at Compass Point, told Business Insider recently. 

"The system is far safer given the capital and liquidity rules, and new mandates such as living wills and orderly liquidation authority should blunt panic in a crisis, but I doubt anyone in Washington or on Wall Street truly believes the federal government would stand idly by in the event of another systemic banking crisis."

For that reason, the Minneapolis Fed’s plan calls for regulators to "dramatically increase common equity capital for banks with assets exceeding $250 billion," forcing them to to issue common equity equal to 23.5% of risk-weighted assets, with a corresponding leverage ratio of 15% — nearly three times the current level.

The report also calls on Treasury to certify that individual large banks are no longer systemically important or else subject those banks to extraordinary increases in capital requirements—up to 38% over time.

In order to tackle potential problems outside traditional banks, in non-bank financial firms that compose the "shadow" banking system, the plan would also impose a tax on the borrowings of such firms with assets over $50 billion.

A separate account from the Treasury’s Office of Financial Research also suggests that, despite Powell’s optimism, the toolkit for dealing with too big to fail is still far from complete

"Resolution under either US bankruptcy law or a special resolution authority has potential weaknesses for handling global systemically important bank failures in some scenarios,” the OFR said in its annual report last month. “The treatment of derivatives held by a failing financial firm continues to present a conundrum for policymakers seeking to balance contagion and run risks against moral hazard concerns.”

Moreover, the ability to wind down nonbank financial firms “remain less developed than for banks, despite the material impact of some nonbank failures in the past and the growing importance of nonbanks, particularly central counterparties, in the financial system.” Shadow banks can include everything from hedge funds and private equity to insurance and mutual funds. One of the biggest flashpoints of the 2008 crisis came from just one such institution — insurance giant AIG, which required multiple bailouts.

Kashkari makes a case for taking preemptive steps against a future shock sooner than later.

"With today’s strong economy, now is the perfect time to act to strengthen our financial system," he said. "We must not wait, and we must not go backwards. If we wait until the next crisis to implement these reforms, it will be too late."

SEE ALSO: One simple 'no' could come back to haunt the man who is about to take over for Janet Yellen at the Fed

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: THE BOTTOM LINE: Chipotle vs. Qdoba, the bear case on Apple, and diagnosing a bitcoin bubble

Walmart is raising wages and issuing bonuses after tax reform (WMT)

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

Walmart employee



Walmart said it will raise the starting wage for its employees, and issue one time bonuses up to $1,000, as a direct result of the new US tax plan.

Shares of the retailer are trading 0.36% higher at $100.03 after the announcement.

Walmart is raising its starting hourly wage to $11, a move that will cost the company $300 million in addition to previously planned wage hikes. The company is also issuing bonuses based on seniority that will top out at $1,000. The bonuses are expected to cost another $400 million.

Walmart employs 2.3 million people worldwide, according to the company.

Issuing one time bonuses has been a popular response after US President Donald Trump signed his party's new tax plan into law. The new law cuts the corporate tax rate to 21%, down from 35%.

“Tax reform gives us the opportunity to be more competitive globally and to accelerate plans for the US,” Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart, said in a news release.

Walmart has gained 1.16% so far this year.

Read more about the potential growth Netflix still has ahead of it.

walmart stock price

SEE ALSO: Netflix still has a ton of room to grow — even with Disney in the ring

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NOW WATCH: THE BOTTOM LINE: Bitcoin mania, a Nobel Prize-winning economist talks Trump, and a deep dive on unstoppable tech stocks

Walmart is raising wages and issuing bonuses after tax reform (WMT)

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

Walmart employee



Walmart said it will raise the starting wage for its employees, and issue one time bonuses up to $1,000, as a direct result of the new US tax plan.

Shares of the retailer are trading 0.36% higher at $100.03 after the announcement.

Walmart is raising its starting hourly wage to $11, a move that will cost the company $300 million in addition to previously planned wage hikes. The company is also issuing bonuses based on seniority that will top out at $1,000. The bonuses are expected to cost another $400 million.

Walmart employs 2.3 million people worldwide, according to the company.

Issuing one time bonuses has been a popular response after US President Donald Trump signed his party's new tax plan into law. The new law cuts the corporate tax rate to 21%, down from 35%.

“Tax reform gives us the opportunity to be more competitive globally and to accelerate plans for the US,” Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart, said in a news release.

Walmart has gained 1.16% so far this year.

Read more about the potential growth Netflix still has ahead of it.

walmart stock price

SEE ALSO: Netflix still has a ton of room to grow — even with Disney in the ring

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: PAUL KRUGMAN: Bitcoin is a more obvious bubble than housing was

Nevermind Bitcoin, blockchain will redefine business

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

Focusing on Bitcoin's price is misguided. Instead, look at the bigger picture - blockchain.

Japan's Fisco Launching $2.66 Million Cryptocurrency Fund

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

Japanese Corporate analyst and bitcoin exchange operator Fisco has announced that it will launch a cryptocurrency fund this month.

Bitcoin Price Stays Heavy Amid Korean Regulatory Reports

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

Despite the two-way action on the price of bitcoin over the last 24 hours, the bears still appear to have the upper hand.

The Queen and Princess Diana's bra-fitter has been stripped of its royal warrant after its former owner revealed royal secrets in a tell-all memoir

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

collage queenie pants 2

  • Luxurious lingerie company Rigby & Peller has been popular with the female members of the royal family for 57 years.
  • But when the former owner published personal accounts of the royal family in her memoirs, the company was stripped of its royal warrant.
  • June Kenton compared one of the Queen's personal apartments at the Palace to "an old-fashioned dentist's waiting room."

 

When June Kenton and her husband Harold bought Rigby & Keller in 1982, the luxurious lingerie brand already had a long clientele list of "Ladies with a capital L" and "the aristocratic creme de la creme" — not to mention a royal warrant.

"Even the grandest ladies need to be well-supported," said Kenton, who measures her clients by eye rather than using conventional methods.

However, when Kenton published her memoirs, titled "Storm in a D-Cup," in March 2016, the royal corsetiere quickly ceased to be invited to conduct fittings at the palace.

As a result of the memoirs, which recount Kenton's personal experiences of fitting various members of the royal family, wandering through Buckingham Palace, as well as other anecdotes from her time in the lingerie business, Rigby & Peller lost its royal warrant this week.

june kenton getty stuart c. wilson stringer

Rigby & Peller has nine boutiques across the UK including locations in Mayfair, Chelsea, and its flagship store in Knightsbridge. Brassieres typically retail for around £80 to £110 ($110 to $150).

Kenton has spent plenty of time with both the Queen and Princess Diana through the years. She regularly travelled to Buckingham Palace to conduct fittings for the Queen over the span of almost 35 years, and even claims that she became "good friends" with Diana when it turned out they both attended the same sports rehabilitation clinic in Chiswick, West London, every week.

Even after Kenton and her husband sold their majority stake in the business in 2011, Kenton remained on the firm's board and continued to fit the Queen's bras having established a strong, professional relationship with the monarch.

In order to be issued a royal warrant, a brand or retailer must have supplied goods or services to the royal family for at least five out of the last seven years. If a company loses its royal warrant, any promotional material or shop signs bearing the royal coat of arms must be removed within a given time frame agreed between the Royal Warrant Holders Association and the Retailer.

Russell Tanguay, director of warrants at the Royal Warrant Holders Association, confirmed to the MailOnline that Rigby & Keller no longer holds a royal warrant on Tuesday.

Kenton's memoirs contain accounts of the author fitting the Queen, Princess Diana, the Queen Mother, and Princess Margaret.

The memoirs specifically recall one of the Queen’s fittings conducted in her private apartments at the palace which Kenton described in an unglamorous fashion, comparing them to "an old-fashioned dentist's waiting room" with "a jumble of mismatched [furniture]."

A post shared by Rigby & Peller (@rigbyandpeller) on

As well as uncovering the drab side of Buckingham Palace, Kenton also revealed that Princess Diana previously accepted posters of bikini and lingerie models for princes William and Harry.

"I never met William or Harry — though she was always talking about them," Kenton revealed in her book. "I gave her posters of models in lingerie and swimwear for them to put up in their studies at Eton."

Kenton has not been invited back to the palace since the memoirs were published in 2016.

SEE ALSO: Why the Queen might not attend Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: A crypto expert explains the difference between the two largest cryptocurrencies in the world: bitcoin and Ethereum

MACQUARIE: Cryptocurrencies could be the 21st century's version of the Model T Ford

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

henry ford model t

  • Cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology underpinning them could end up being like the 21st century's version of the invention of the motor car, Macquarie analyst Viktor Shvets argues.
  • Shvets compares the technological advances in the crypto space to those made by Henry Ford in the early 1900s.
  • "The key that links cryptos with Henry Ford and the main difference between (say) bitcoin and tulips is that cryptocurrencies are based on sustainable and evolving technological foundations (just as cars were in the early 20th century)," he writes.


LONDON — Cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology underpinning them could end up being like the 21st century's version of the invention of the motor car, a new note from analysts at Australian investment bank Macquarie argues.

In the note titled "Why history matters" Macquarie's Viktor Shvets — an analyst known for his bold, and often esoteric market commentary — compares the rise of cryptocurrencies to another technological innovation, Henry Ford's mass production of the automobile in the early 20th century.

"What has Henry Ford to do with bitcoins?" — Shvets asks, before noting that when Ford first started to build cars there were around 2,000 different companies making a total of around 10,000 cars globally each year. 80 years later, Shvets says, "the number of car makers dropped below 50 and the industry was making over 30m vehicles."

But what does this have to with bitcoin? Well, Shvets argues, a similar trajectory could manifest itself for cryptocurrencies.

"Today, there are over 1,000 cryptocurrencies and their combined value (depending on time of day) is ~US$600-800bn, or ~1% of global money in circulation," he says, before asking whether cryptos will, within "a decade or so become the dominant force in transactions and store of value."

Further comparisons can be made, Shvets says, in the technological advances that bitcoin and similar cryptocurrencies represent, much like Ford's innovations with the automobile. Here he is once again (emphasis ours):

"The key that links cryptos with Henry Ford and the main difference between (say) bitcoin and tulips is that cryptocurrencies are based on sustainable and evolving technological foundations (just as cars were in the early 20th century). To argue that the blockchain is good but cryptos bad is to forget that without various forms of ledger balances (or cryptocurrencies), blockchain is an empty vessel."

Shvets then goes on to make parallels between early stage investing in the car industry at the beginning of the 2oth century, and investing in cryptocurrencies now. Basically, he concludes, smart people will make money, those who invest indiscriminately, will not.

Here he is one final time (emphasis ours):

"If one indiscriminately invested in hundreds of car makers in 1900, the chances are that one would have sustained significant losses. It was still a time for venture capitalists rather than conventional investors. However, by the 1920s, investment in the surviving automakers would have yielded considerable returns while buying buggies (even at low PERs) would have led to losses."

"It was a similar process in the dot.com bubble. Although there were hundreds of new companies and the shape of the future was becoming clear, neither hardware, networks nor software were ready. As in the case of cars in 1900, it was a time for venture capitalists. But by 2010-15, most elements for technological progression were in place. Hence, investment in tech today is akin to buying car makers in 1920s, not speculating on start-ups in 1900."

Earlier this week, Goldman Sachs predicted that bitcoin can be a legitimate and widespread form of money if adopted in countries and regions with less well developed monetary systems.

"The widespread use of the dollar outside the US — and full dollarization in some countries — suggests there is already demand for an internationally accepted medium of exchange and store of value," said Goldman's Zach Pandl and Charles Himmelberg in a note on Wednesday. 

"In those countries and corners of the financial system where the traditional services of money are inadequately supplied, bitcoin (and cryptocurrencies more generally) may offer viable alternatives."

Shvets' arguments about cryptocurrencies come as a major global sell-off grips the market following reports that South Korea has a bill in the works to ban cryptocurrency trading.

"South Korea's justice minister said on Thursday the ministry is preparing a bill to ban cryptocurrency trading through its exchanges," Reuters reported.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: We talked to Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman about tax reform, Trump, and bitcoin

Immigrants are pouring into these US states

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

The US Census Bureau recently released its 2017 population estimates for each of the 50 states and Washington DC. In addition to data on how state populations grew or shrank overall between 2016 and 2017, the Bureau also included information on the components of population change.

One of those components is net international migration, or the number of immigrants moving to each state from another country minus the number of people who left that state for another country. While every state had positive net international migration — more immigrants than emigrants — net immigration rates relative to the size of state populations varied widely.

States with high rates of immigration included Florida, with 7.0 net immigrants per 1,000 residents, and Massachusetts and New York each with 6.6 net immigrants per 1,000 residents. On the other end of the scale, Montana saw just 0.3 net immigrants per 1,000 residents.

Here's each state's net immigration per 1,000 residents between July 1, 2016 and July 1, 2017:

state international migration

SEE ALSO: Here are the US states where more people are dying than being born

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NOW WATCH: Why bitcoin checks all the boxes of a bubble

Landlords offer record freebies to New York City apartment hunters in 'challenging year'

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

party celebration new year's times square

  • Landlords in New York City offered concessions like a month of free rent to lease a record share of apartments last month, according to the real-estate appraiser Miller Samuel. 
  • Apartment hunters are getting these perks amid a deluge of new rental properties on the market, especially at the high end. 
  • "That will continue in 2018 and exacerbate the softness at the top," said Jonathan Miller, the CEO of Miller Samuel.


 

Apartment hunters in New York City can continue to expect offers of free rent and other freebies this year, according to the real-estate appraiser Miller Samuel.

In December, landlords offered concessions, used to speed up lease signings, on a record 36.2% of apartments on the market, according to a report Thursday co-prepared with Douglas Elliman Real Estate. The market share of concessions hit new highs in Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn — the three boroughs under coverage.

"2017 was a challenging year for landlords," said Jonathan Miller, the CEO of Miller Samuel.

Samuel attributed this to a barrage of new, higher-priced units that landlords want to fill soon after they're ready.

"There's nothing apparent that is going to change the narrative that a lot of new product is entering the market," Samuel told Business Insider. "That will continue in 2018 and exacerbate the softness at the top."

The freebies appear to be effective, but with mixed results that partly depend on the number of new apartments, Miller said. The number of new leases signed in Manhattan jumped 48% last month compared to the same period in 2016. At the same time, the median net effective rent, which factors in concessions like a month of free rent, fell by 2.5% year-on-year to $3,291. 

This was due to an influx of units, especially in the higher end of the market, Miller said. But in Queens, where new supply wasn't as strong, the number of first-time leases fell year-on-year by 29%. 

Investors looking for higher returns in a low-interest-rate world helped drive New York's apartment boom after the recession, Miller added.

But that's not solving an affordability problem in the cheaper end of the market, which is less profitable to invest in. And for many people, a month of free rent isn't a good deal beyond a certain price point.

"Because modest-priced apartments are in short supply, you're going to continue to see tenants scramble for greater affordability by moving further away from wherever they work, or moving to the suburbs," Miller said. 

SEE ALSO: Warren Buffett says bitcoin 'definitely will come to a bad ending'

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NOW WATCH: Why bitcoin checks all the boxes of a bubble

A stock trade that crushed the market last year could come crashing back to Earth

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

trader

  • The stock market "growth trade" dominated in 2017, dwarfing equity benchmarks.
  • The strategy was especially strong in comparison to the so-called value trade, although Bank of America Merrill Lynch thinks the tables could be turned in 2018.


In 2017, as the scorching-hot stock market posted a seemingly endless string of record highs, the "growth trade" was one of the shining stars.

The strategy, which involves buying stock in companies expected to see outsized profit expansion, provided returns that dwarfed benchmarks, as the Russell 1000 Growth Index surged 28%. It also handily beat the so-called value trade, used by investors who seek stocks trading at discounted prices.

In fact, growth beat value by 17 percentage points, the biggest gap since 2009, when the 8 1/2-year equity bull market was just getting underway. But the party is over, and the tables may soon be turned, says Savita Subramanian, Bank of America Merrill Lynch's head of US equity and derivatives strategy.

Screen Shot 2018 01 10 at 3.14.49 PM

At the heart of a possible growth-versus-value trade reversal is GOP tax reform, says BAML. The firm points out that the newly-passed tax plan will "accelerate the profits cycle," something that gives an edge to the value strategy. That's because when a large swath of the market is experiencing robust earnings expansion, it's more difficult for existing growth stocks to keep standing out.

The chart below shows this dynamic in action. As seen on the left, the growth trade vastly outperforms when profits are slowing down. But as the right side shows, value is actually the better bet when they're accelerating.

Screen Shot 2018 01 10 at 3.33.38 PM

But that's not to say that the growth trade is dead in the water. According to a quantitative model maintained by BAML, growth investing is a strategy that outperforms in the final stages of a stock bull market.

And given that some market experts are saying that the ongoing rally is on its last legs, depending on how 2018 unfolds, it's still entirely possible that growth will emerge victorious again.

SEE ALSO: Stocks are trading in a way not seen since the peak of the tech bubble

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: THE BOTTOM LINE: Bitcoin mania, a Nobel Prize-winning economist talks Trump, and a deep dive on unstoppable tech stocks

2018 has all the makings of a monster year for dealmakers

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

trader happy celebrate

  • 2017 was a bumper year for mergers and acquisitions, but 2018 could be even bigger.
  • Several factors will continue to drive M&A in 2018, including global economic expansion and US corporate tax reform, according to a report by Citigroup. 
  • An increase in activist investing could scuttle deals, however.


2017 finished off as a robust year for mergers and acquisitions, with $3.7 trillion in deals — the third-highest annual tally since the financial crisis. Megadeals over $10 billion soared in the second half of the year. 

But 2017's impressive run could just be a prelude to an even frothier deal environment in 2018. 

"The market reaction to these deals was positive in 2017, highlighting the benefits of accelerating growth, improving technological capabilities, and broader geographic reach. These benefits will continue to drive M&A into 2018 with several evolving themes," Citigroup's corporate finance team wrote in a 2018 outlook report to its clients.  

Multiple trends — including an influx of corporate cash from tax reform — are aligning that could make it a monster year for M&A, according to Citi.

Here are some of the factors driving M&A enthusiasm:

  • Economic strength across the globe. "In 2018, 75% of major economies are expected to generate more than 2% GDP growth, compared to only 57% in 2011," Citi writes. "Aggregate corporate earnings are expected to rise by 10.1% in 2018, up from 7.0% in 2016."
  • The Amazon effect is lingering in corporate boardrooms. "Rapid technological change is requiring companies to think unconventionally about the types of deals that are necessary to adapt to changing demographics, consumer behavior, and technological innovation," Citi writes. The report continued: "More firms are exploring transactions that blur traditional sector boundaries to create shareholder value."
  • US corporate tax reform will provide cash flexibility for acquisitions. "The domestic provisions of the tax reform result in an estimated annual 12% increase in cash flow for the median U.S. firm which, over a five-year period, creates 0.5x incremental leverage capacity," Citi writes.
  • The repatriation of offshore profits could provide a boost, too. "The top 15 firms have more than $10 billion each and the next 20 have over $5 billion each. While access to this cash provides immediate dry powder for additional M&A, many of these firms already have significant financial flexibility," Citi writes. 
  • Companies are already chasing growth — Federal Reserve action will likely heighten that dynamic. Citi expects the anticipated rate hikes from the Fed to further flatten the yield curve — the phenomena in which short- and long-term bonds start providing similar returns — pushing investors toward growth stocks. "As central bank unwinding continues, we expect an ongoing equity market premium for growth, requiring companies to remain focused on organic and M&A-driven growth initiatives," Citi writes. 

One theme that could scuttle deals that's worth a mention: a marked increase in activist investing. Citi notes that roughly 8% of US M&A deals and 4% in Europe now face opposition from activists.

"Activist interference can be highly disruptive; almost one third of deals with activist interference were not completed," Citi writes, referencing 2017 figures. 

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: A crypto expert explains the difference between the two largest cryptocurrencies in the world: bitcoin and Ethereum

The golden age of crypto trading might already be over

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

trader brexit sad

  • Bitcoin traded at wildly different prices during the month of December, but things have calmed down in the New Year. 
  • That means crypto traders are making less money from taking advantage of different prices on different exchanges. 


The crazy good times for cryptocurrency traders might be over already.

December was a huge month for cryptocurrency trading. Bitcoin hit its all-time high above $19,000 and daily volumes for crypto-trading soared over $50 million for the first time. It was also a golden age for arbitrage trading. 

Arbitrage is when a trader buys an asset trading in one market at a lower price and then sells it at a premium on another market. During bitcoin's run-up to $20,000 (and subsequent sell-off) in December, bitcoin was trading at wildly different prices on the main US exchanges.

The spread, or price difference, between GDAX and Kraken, another exchange, was more than $1,000 on December 10, according to data provided by CoinRoutes. For much of December, bitcoin was trading at a big premium on GDAX compared to the other US exchanges and spreads north of $500 between some exchanges were very common. 

The new year, however, has ushered in a new era of much tighter spreads between the main US exchanges. 

"GDAX is more or less normal and there is no obvious exchange driving the price higher," Dave Weisberger, CEO of CoinRoutes, told Business Insider

The question is whether these spreads will blow out again the next time there's another bout of wild volatility.

"Volatility has been relatively lower – often arbitrage opportunities appear when the market is in a big rally or sell-off," Garett See, chief executive at DV Trading, a cryptocurrency trading firm, told Business Insider.

Screen Shot 2018 01 10 at 1.56.18 PM

But John Spallanzani, a trader who is set to join Miller Value Partners, told Business Insider that the December golden age of arbitrage trading will likely never return. 

"We may not see the huge spreads between countries and exchanges that we saw in 2016 and 2017 ever again," Spallanzani said.

"That arb boat has set sail," he said. 

That's not to say that crypto markets are suddenly all in sync. But things are much more muted. More often than not, there's a $100 spread, according to CoinRoute's Weisberger. 

"Prices across the cryptocurrency market tend to be dislocated and fragmented," Bobby Cho, the head of OTC trading at cryptocurrency trading firm Cumberland, said of the current environment. "If you ask ten different people about the price of some of the most liquid cryptos, like bitcoin or ethereum, you will still get different answers."

Still, capitalizing on arbitrage opportunities is sometimes easier said than done in crypto, which is known for its immature market infrastructure. If two exchanges show different quotes, it is for a limited quantity and depends on whether a trader can access the exchange and the trade settling.

Exchange latency, the speed at which information is communicated between exchanges and trading firms, is far slower in crypto than it is elsewhere on Wall Street.

SEE ALSO: Bitcoin can become a legit global currency — in theory, Goldman says

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South Korea may or may not ban bitcoin exchanges and that’s the news

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

 The price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies dropped significantly today off the back of ‘news’ that South Korea’s government might ban trading exchanges. As ever in the world of crypto, the slightest ripple of information can be taken out of context, and that appears to be the case here. Reuters reported comments from Korean Justice Minister Park Sang-ki who said claimed… Read More

South Korea may or may not ban bitcoin exchanges and that’s the news

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

 The price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies dropped significantly today off the back of ‘news’ that South Korea’s government might ban trading exchanges. As ever in the world of crypto, the slightest ripple of information can be taken out of context, and that appears to be the case here. Reuters reported comments from Korean Justice Minister Park Sang-ki who said claimed… Read More

Bitcoin Mining Giant Bitmain Enters Switzerland after China’s Curbs

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

The post Bitcoin Mining Giant Bitmain Enters Switzerland after China’s Curbs appeared first on CCN

Chinese bitcoin mining heavyweight Bitmain is foraying into Europe with a new subsidiary established in Switzerland. Currently under construction, ‘Bitmain Switzerland’ will see its base in Zug, commonly known as the world’s ‘crypto valley’, a report from Swiss newspaper Handelszeitung reveals. Among the subsidiary’s authorized is Bitmain chief executive and co-founder Jihan Wu, according to

The post Bitcoin Mining Giant Bitmain Enters Switzerland after China’s Curbs appeared first on CCN

A terrible Christmas for retailers could be disastrous for the UK's economic growth

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

A man cleans the window of a shop advertising a

  • Marks & Spencer and House of Fraser are the latest big retailers to report bad Christmas sales.
  • Conditions on the High Street are "very difficult" as consumers cut spending to cope with inflation and retailers engage in discounting battle to win the pounds that are being spent.
  • Supermarkets are the only bright spot.
  • A sustained slump for retail could have a serious knock-on effect on economic growth.


LONDON — Britain's retailers delivered Christmas trading updates over the past two weeks and the main takeaway is the trading situation on the High Street is bad. Very bad.

Multiple retailers have put out profit warnings in recent weeks after weak sales over the crucial Christmas period. A slump in consumer spending on leisure and fashion appears to be behind the trend, and it could indicate serious issues for UK economic growth.

Marks & Spencer and House of Fraser became the latest retailers to report problems on Thursday:

  • Marks & Spencer's third-quarter sales fell by 0.1%, with UK sales down by 1.4%. Clothing and home sales fell by 2.8%.
  • House of Fraser reported a 2.9% slump in sales at its shops during the six weeks to December 23 and a 7.5% slump in online sales. "In line with the market, sales during the first week of the post-Christmas sale were disappointing," the retailer said. Frank Slevin, House of Fraser Executive Chairman, blamed a "very difficult retail market."

M&S and House of Fraser are not alone: Debenhams' share price collapsed 20% last week after reporting a Christmas sales slump; Mothercare sales dropped 25% after a 7% drop in Christmas sales; and suit maker Moss Bros cut its profit forecast after "lower footfall than anticipated during December".

Upmarket department store John Lewis, which also owns supermarket Waitrose, bucked the trend by reporting a 2.5% rise in sales over Christmas on Thursday.

But even this silver lining had a cloud. John Lewis chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield said the sales rise only came because John Lewis kept its prices "competitive, despite higher costs mainly due to the weaker exchange rate." Profit margins will suffer because John Lewis is eating the rising costs, rather than passing them on to consumers.

"Looking ahead to 2018/19 we expect trading to be volatile due to the economic environment and anticipate that competitive intensity will continue, driven by the structural changes taking place in the retail industry," Mayfield said in a statement.

Why retailers are hurting

Retailers are facing several headwinds: National Living Wage, pension deficits in many cases, rising business rates, and competition from online-only rivals such as Amazon or ASOS. (Online fashion retailer Boohoo reported 100% growth on Thursday.)

FILE PHOTO: A shopper carries a Marks and Spencer bag in central London, Britain, May 20, 2015. REUTERS/Neil Hall/File PhotoBut the thing that has tipped many over the edge – going from low growth to negative growth — is a protracted slump in consumer discretionary spending.

Steve Rowe, Marks & Spencer CEO, said on Thursday: "In our Food business, ongoing trading pressures continued in the lead up to Christmas as consumer spending and choices reflected tighter budgets."

The pound slumped against the dollar and the euro after the 2016 Brexit vote, pushing up the cost of importing goods from overseas. This led to inflation peaking at 3.1% last year, a 6 year high.

The rising prices coincided with slow wage growth and, after initially raiding their savings, Brits slowed their spending on discretionary goods: fashion, leisure, restaurants.

This is highlighted by the fact that it's not just retailers suffering at the moment. Byron, a trendy burger chain that expanded rapidly at the start of the decade, said this week that it could be forced to close 20 restaurants due to "gathering economic headwinds [that are] starting to impact the sector more profoundly."

Discount wars

All of this has created a brutal trading environment for High Street shops. Consumers are cutting spending at a time when retailers' import costs are going up.

Not only are many retailers absorbing cost rises rather than passing them on to customers — meaning profit margins suffer — but many are in fact cutting their prices in a bid to boost sales.

Both Mothercare and House of Fraser blamed their particularly bad performances on the fact that they are not engaging in the discounting arms race that's going on right now.

Alex Williamson, CEO of House of Fraser, said in a statement on Thursday: "Our focus is on driving profitability rather than chasing revenue at any cost. We are not a business determined to sell everything to everyone at any price."

One bright spot: supermarkets

Not everyone is suffering.

tesco getty oli scarffThe one bright spot on the High Street is the supermarket. Tesco, Sainsbury's, and Morrisons have all reported decent Christmas trading figures over the last two weeks.

Supermarkets have been hit by inflation just the same as other retailers, but consumers appear to have cut back on entertainment and treat spending before changing their weekly big shop habits.

Still, even that could be changing. Discounters Lidl and Aldi were the fastest growing supermarkets over Christmas, according to recent data from Kantar.

Jefferies' supermarket team said in a recent note: "A further step up in discounters' growth over that period suggests that UK consumers remained, unsurprisingly, defensively minded."

Bad for retail = bad for the economy

All of this is not just important for investors who have put money into a supermarket or retailer's shares. It matters for the wider UK economy, in a big way.

Over 60% of all economic growth in Britain comes from people blowing their wage packet on everything from groceries and meals to new clothes and cinema tickets. If discretionary spending keeps slumping, so will economic growth.

Retail administrations jumped by 28% last year, data from Deloitte showed at the start of this week. It was the first rise in retailers going bust in five years.

Richard Hyman, an independent retail analyst, told Business Insider at the time he expects the trend to continue. He said: "Not only will it continue this year, but it will accelerate. All the headwinds gaining ground in 2017 will gain still more in 2018."

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NOW WATCH: We talked to Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman about tax reform, Trump, and bitcoin

Brexit could wipe £54 billion and 500,000 jobs from the UK economy by 2030, Sadiq Khan's impact papers warn

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

A Union Jack flag flies above the London Eye in London, Britain, September 11, 2017.

  • An impact assessment commissioned by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan warned the UK economy could lose £54 billion by 2030.
  • Khan commissioned the research after Brexit secretary David Davis said the government had failed to analyse the potential impact of Brexit on specific sectors.
  • The research also suggests 500,000 jobs could be lost under a "hard Brexit" scenario, with 87,000 at risk in London.


LONDON — Brexit could cost the economy £54 billion and 500,000 jobs by 2030 depending on the deal the UK strikes with the EU, according to a set of impact assessments commissioned by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

Khan commissioned a series of impact papers to determine the potential impact of different Brexit scenarios on key sectors of the UK economy after Brexit secretary David Davis said the government had not done so.

The scenarios examined include leaving the EU single market, leaving the customs union, or failing to secure a transition deal by March 2019, described as a "hard Brexit" in the study.

The research, carried out by Cambridge Econometrics, found UK economic output could be 3% lower by 2030 if Britain leaves the single market and customs union, while output in London could be 2% lower, indicating a significant blow to the economy.

Labour mayor Khan, who campaigned for Remain, said in a statement: "The analysis concludes that the harder the Brexit we end up with, the bigger the potential impact on jobs, growth and living standards.

"Ministers are fast running out of time to turn the negotiations around. A 'no deal' hard Brexit is still a very real risk — the worst possible scenarios."

The research suggests 500,000 jobs could be lost under a "hard Brexit" scenario, with 87,000 at risk in London. It said financial and professional services would be the "worst affected key sector," with 119,000 fewer jobs nationally.

The research is likely to infuriate cabinet ministers who have dubbed similar research "Project Fear," and who criticised the Treasury for research which incorrectly predicted the UK would slide into an immediate recession if it voted to leave the EU.

Khan defended the research. "It's astonishing that the Government has failed to do any proper impact assessments on what Brexit could mean for our economy," he said.

"Their complete lack of preparation is irresponsible leading to fears that they are putting party politics ahead of the national interest."

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NOW WATCH: The 5 issues to consider before trading bitcoin futures

'Seismic drop': Brexit clobbers City jobs as vacancies fall 37%

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

London, City, Bank, commute

  • Brexit uncertainty continued to "clobber" the City jobs market at the end of 2017. 
  • Number of new jobs in financial services fell 37% year-on-year in December, according to recruiting firm Morgan McKinley.
  • "There are signs that European employees are becoming less captivated by the draw of working in this country," Morgan McKinley's Operations Director Hakan Enver said.


LONDON — The number of new available jobs listed in the the UK's financial centre fell 37% in December year-on-year to 3,150, in another sign that Brexit is "clobbering" City hiring intentions, according to a survey by recruiting firm Morgan McKinley.

The number of people seeking jobs also dropped by a huge 30% from December 2016, while month-on-month that figure fell 40% from November.

Anyone moving jobs could expect a pay increase of around 14%, Morgan McKinley said.

"In December, the City is abuzz with holiday parties not hiring, so a drop is to be expected, but for it to be such a seismic drop is alarming," Hakan Enver, Morgan McKinley's operations director said in a statement.

"Brexit clobbered the City's workforce in 2017. Anyone sticking it out into 2018 is in it for the long haul," Enver said, adding that "there are signs that European employees are becoming less captivated by the draw of working in this country."

Here's the chart showing the plunge:

City hiring intentions December 2017

As Brexit talks progress, the City of London's continued role as the heart of the European financial centre remains under threat, with little clarity over what it might look like after Britain leaves the EU.

Signs remain clear that the UK is still headed for a so-called hard Brexit, which prioritises immigration control over membership of the European single market.

Such a move would also lead to the automatic loss of the City of London's EU financial passport. The loss of passporting rights could be devastating to the City of London. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said that 5,500 UK companies rely on passporting rights, with a combined revenue of £9 billion.

Morgan McKinley's survey comes just a day after another major recruiter, PageGroup said that demand for recruitment services in the UK is dropping sharply despite much of the rest of the world enjoying a white-collar jobs boom.

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Newsflash: Bitcoin Price Falls Near $12,600 Amid South Korea Trading Ban Fears

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

The post Newsflash: Bitcoin Price Falls Near $12,600 Amid South Korea Trading Ban Fears appeared first on CCN

Bitcoin price plummeted to a 2018-low on Thursday after South Korea’s justice minister reportedly proposed a complete shutdown of all cryptocurrency exchanges in the country. In a press briefing today, South Korea’s justice minister Park Sang-ki stated in quotes reported by local publication Yonhap News: “The ministry is preparing legislation that basically bans any transactions

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SocGen's notoriously pessimistic analyst senses a big opportunity in Japan

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

japan japanese flags

  • Albert Edwards, the notoriously bearish strategist at Societe Generale, actually has an optimistic take for once.
  • Speaking at his annual Global Strategy presentation in London, Edwards had a positive view on the Japanese economy.
  • Edwards pointed to rising inflation expectations, rising female participation in the labour market, and a possible acceleration in consumption as reasons to be cheerful about Japan.
  • Despite his upbeat tone, Edwards still warned that the current market boom will eventually "go horribly, badly wrong."


LONDON — Earlier this week, investors piled into the conference room of a London Marriott hotel to hear the annual doom laden presentation from Societe Generale's notoriously bearish global strategist Albert Edwards.

This year, however, there was a little bit of a difference. Edwards didn't seem quite himself, and actually made some reasonably positive assessments of certain areas of the market.

Sure, he still warned that the current market boom will eventually "go horribly, badly wrong," but Edwards' presentation was tinged with a strange sense of optimism that is sure to have made some attendees a little uncomfortable.

"I feel I'm not going to be as bearish as I normally am," Edwards said. "It's getting a bit wearing, and no one really wants to hear it that much."

One area of the world in particular was the object of Edwards' affections — Japan.

Japan's economy, long widely viewed as slow, cumbersome, and plagued by demographic issues, is starting to make a comeback, Edwards believes, first pointing to the way in which the country has managed to mobilise women into the workforce in recent years.

Japan is "doing some fantastic things about getting women into the workforce," Edwards told the audience, before pointing to the chart below:

Screen Shot 2018 01 10 at 12.20.59

"This compares female labour market participation in the US and Japan with the rest of the OECD. There has been a quite extraordinary acceleration since Abe came to power. This is certainly one part of his policy which has worked."

More and more women coming into Japan's workforce is understandably having a positive impact on the country's macroeconomic situation.

"Despite quite subdued wage inflation, when you add in the employment growth, nominal income growth is around 2% in Japan. That's actually showed quite a decent acceleration, even though wage growth hasn't," Edwards told the conference.

"In the UK or the US, consumption has been running way ahead of this in the last couple of years, so the savings ratio has collapsed. It is the opposite in Japan."

Here's the chart:

Screen Shot 2018 01 10 at 12.39.05"Consumption has undershot rapid income growth, and there's a real case to be put that consumption growth in Japan can accelerate very, very rapidly. As long as income growth holds, expect consumption to accelerate."

"GDP is already running at over 2% at the moment, so actually it could step up quite considerably. That could be a real surprise," he said.

One of the most often cited issues with Japan's economy is the sclerotic inflation picture. That could be about to turn, Edwards believes.

"Inflation expectations have been picking up everywhere, even in Japan," he said.

"The percentage of households who see positive inflation, as opposed to deflation, is now over 60%. What is interesting is that this has been trending up, despite headline inflation remaining close to zero."

"Normally you'd need a spike in headline inflation for those to drift up. If this drifts up, the real expected interest rate declines, and that is a monetary loosening in itself. If people think deflation is disappearing, they will stop postponing purchases, so this is very significant."

Increasing female participation in the labour market, the potential for a rapid acceleration in consumption, and rising inflation expectations. Edwards may be famously downbeat, but he was not short of reasons to be cheerful when it comes to the world's third largest economy.

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10 things you need to know in markets today

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

Asian markets

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

1. The European Union isn't being clear with the relationship it wants with Britain after Brexit, Philip Hammond argued in a speech in Germany on Wednesday evening. "In London, many feel that we have little, if any, signal of what future relationship the EU27 would like to have with a post-Brexit Britain," the chancellor said, adding that "it takes two to tango."

2. Reports that China may halt US government bond purchases may be incorrect. On Wednesday, a report from Bloomberg suggested thatChina may be looking to slow or halt purchases of US government bondsrippled across the markets. However, according to Reuters, citing a statement from China’s foreign exchange regulator, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), the report on US bond purchases "could be based on erroneous information."

3. The Canadian dollar and Mexican peso dived after a Reuters report suggested Canada is convinced President Donald Trump will pull the US out of the North American Free Trade Agreement.Trump is expected to make his move at about the same time that negotiators from the United States, Canada and Mexico meet in late January for the sixth and penultimate round of talks to modernize the treaty.

4. The New Year rally in Asian shares ran out of steam on Thursday as concerns about the U.S. administration's protectionist stance hit Wall Street while U.S. bonds were dented by speculation China may curtail buying. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan shed 0.1% in early trade, slipping further from Tuesday's 10-year peak.

5, South Korea's largest cryptocurrency exchanges were raided by police and tax agencies this week for alleged tax evasion, people familiar with the investigation said on Thursday. "A few officials from the National Tax Service raided our office this week," an official at Coinone, a major cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea, told Reuters.

6. Simultaneously, the country's justice minister said on Thursday the ministry is preparing a bill to ban cryptocurrency trading through its exchanges. "There are great concerns regarding virtual currencies and justice ministry is basically preparing a bill to ban cryptocurrency trading through exchanges," said Park Sang-ki at a press conference, according to the ministry's press office.

7. The U.S. Senate will next month hold a hearing with the country's top markets regulators to discuss the risks posed by cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters. The Senate Banking Committee will take testimony from Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman Christopher Giancarlo and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton in early February, the source said.

8. Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett said Wednesday that the firm had no interest in jumping on the cryptocurrency bandwagon. "We don't own any; we're not short any," Buffett said in an interview on CNBC. "We'll never have a position in them."

9. JPMorgan says that Amazon's market value could eventually grow to more than $1 trillion. "We believe Amazon has the potential to be a $1 trillion dollar company over time, as it remains early in the e-commerce and cloud secular shifts," JPMorgan analyst Doug Anmuth wrote in a client note. 

10. Bitcoin can be a legitimate and widespread form of money but mostly in theory, for now, according to Goldman Sachs strategists. "The widespread use of the dollar outside the US — and full dollarization in some countries — suggests there is already demand for an internationally accepted medium of exchange and store of value," said Goldman's Zach Pandl and Charles Himmelberg in a note on Wednesday. 

And finally ... Bernstein analyst Inigo Fraser-Jenkins spent six months off work through illness. When he returned, he sent clients a 4,000-word note that reads like an existential crisis. It is titled, "Why I do this job." The note warns that if bankers don't create "some semblance of social utility" then they are "at risk of simply being shut down and turned into a utility by an act of fiat of politicians."

Join the conversation about this story »

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10 things you need to know in markets today

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

Asian markets

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

1. The European Union isn't being clear with the relationship it wants with Britain after Brexit, Philip Hammond argued in a speech in Germany on Wednesday evening. "In London, many feel that we have little, if any, signal of what future relationship the EU27 would like to have with a post-Brexit Britain," the chancellor said, adding that "it takes two to tango."

2. Reports that China may halt US government bond purchases may be incorrect. On Wednesday, a report from Bloomberg suggested thatChina may be looking to slow or halt purchases of US government bondsrippled across the markets. However, according to Reuters, citing a statement from China’s foreign exchange regulator, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), the report on US bond purchases "could be based on erroneous information."

3. The Canadian dollar and Mexican peso dived after a Reuters report suggested Canada is convinced President Donald Trump will pull the US out of the North American Free Trade Agreement.Trump is expected to make his move at about the same time that negotiators from the United States, Canada and Mexico meet in late January for the sixth and penultimate round of talks to modernize the treaty.

4. The New Year rally in Asian shares ran out of steam on Thursday as concerns about the U.S. administration's protectionist stance hit Wall Street while U.S. bonds were dented by speculation China may curtail buying. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan shed 0.1% in early trade, slipping further from Tuesday's 10-year peak.

5, South Korea's largest cryptocurrency exchanges were raided by police and tax agencies this week for alleged tax evasion, people familiar with the investigation said on Thursday. "A few officials from the National Tax Service raided our office this week," an official at Coinone, a major cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea, told Reuters.

6. Simultaneously, the country's justice minister said on Thursday the ministry is preparing a bill to ban cryptocurrency trading through its exchanges. "There are great concerns regarding virtual currencies and justice ministry is basically preparing a bill to ban cryptocurrency trading through exchanges," said Park Sang-ki at a press conference, according to the ministry's press office.

7. The U.S. Senate will next month hold a hearing with the country's top markets regulators to discuss the risks posed by cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters. The Senate Banking Committee will take testimony from Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman Christopher Giancarlo and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton in early February, the source said.

8. Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett said Wednesday that the firm had no interest in jumping on the cryptocurrency bandwagon. "We don't own any; we're not short any," Buffett said in an interview on CNBC. "We'll never have a position in them."

9. JPMorgan says that Amazon's market value could eventually grow to more than $1 trillion. "We believe Amazon has the potential to be a $1 trillion dollar company over time, as it remains early in the e-commerce and cloud secular shifts," JPMorgan analyst Doug Anmuth wrote in a client note. 

10. Bitcoin can be a legitimate and widespread form of money but mostly in theory, for now, according to Goldman Sachs strategists. "The widespread use of the dollar outside the US — and full dollarization in some countries — suggests there is already demand for an internationally accepted medium of exchange and store of value," said Goldman's Zach Pandl and Charles Himmelberg in a note on Wednesday. 

And finally ... Bernstein analyst Inigo Fraser-Jenkins spent six months off work through illness. When he returned, he sent clients a 4,000-word note that reads like an existential crisis. It is titled, "Why I do this job." The note warns that if bankers don't create "some semblance of social utility" then they are "at risk of simply being shut down and turned into a utility by an act of fiat of politicians."

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: These are the watches worn by the smartest and most powerful men in the world

Cryptocurrency markets are tanking after news of shutdown in South Korea

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

Capture.PNG

  • News of a bitcoin crackdown in South Korea sent the market for digital coins into a tailspin Thursday morning.
  • Reuters reported a day earlier that North Korea had a bill in the works to shut crypto trading.
  • Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency, was trading down more than 11% at the time of print.

 

The market for digital coins was under intense pressure Thursday morning amid reports that South Korea had a bill in the works to ban cryptocurrency trading.

"South Korea's justice minister said on Thursday the ministry is preparing a bill to ban cryptocurrency trading through its exchanges," Reuters reported.

That news was on the heels of a report that authorities were raiding cryptocurrency exchanges in the country.

“A few officials from the National Tax Service raided our office this week,” an representative of Coinone, a South Korean crypto exchange, told Reuters

According to the Reuters report, South Korean authorities also were looking into Bithumb, another cryptocurrency exchange.

At the time of print, bitcoin was trading down more than 11% at $13,415 a coin, according to data from Markets Insider. In total, the entire cryptocurrency market was down more than $100 billion at $636 billion. It hit an all-time high of $830 billion earlier this month, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

The news of the crackdown follows a Wall Street Journal report Monday that regulators in South Korea were preparing a wide-ranging inspection on six commercial banks that manage "virtual" bitcoin accounts. Virtual accounts, according to The Journal, are where investors can store fiat money when they buy or sell crypto.

“There is growing concern that banks, which should actively act as gatekeepers to prevent the distribution of crime and illegal funds, are aiding and encouraging them,” Choi Jong-ku, head of South Korea’s Financial Services Commission, said.

This is a developing story. Click here to refresh this post for updates.

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NOW WATCH: We talked to Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman about tax reform, Trump, and bitcoin

South Korea announces Bitcoin ban plan

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

Government cryptocurrency concerns include tax evasion and people developing gambling addictions

South Korea Reportedly Expands Crackdown on Crypto Exchanges

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

New reports suggest that the South Korean government is intensifying its moves against the country's bitcoin exchanges.

A dad-and-son cybersecurity firm impressed investors with its 'unique' software that plays a kind of hide-and-seek with hackers

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

cryptomove copy

  • CryptoMove, a cybersecurity startup led by a father-and-son team, just raised $6 million in a Series A funding round.
  • The round was led by Social Capital, a venture capital firm founded by ex-Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya. 
  • Social Capital was intrigued by CryptoMove's approach to security, which protects corporate data in part by keeping it in frequent motion, playing a kind of game of digital hide-and-seek with potential hackers. 


In 2017, venture capitalists invested more than $7.6 billion into cybersecurity startups, helping flood the marketplace with an assortment of new software built to prevent malicious attacks before they happen — or fix them once they do. 

Although CryptoMove was one of those cybersecurity startups that got funded last year, Mike Burshteyn, its CEO, doesn't consider his firm to just be part of the pack. CryptoMove's technology is superior to that of other cybersecurity companies and could change the way cybersecurity is done forever, he said.

"It's certainly a crowded space," Burshteyn said. "I don't think there's any question that security is overfunded. But we have no control over the timing of our invention."

While CryptoMove's name might make it sound like it's yet another cryptocurrency startup, the company's technology has nothing to do with bitcoins or blockchains. Instead its system is designed to secure companies' data.

CyptoMove's system breaks up data into small pieces and puts it into containers that are like rows of virtual vaults, Burshteyn said. Each vault contains a different piece of the data puzzle, and the system keeps the vaults moving at all times, rather than letting the data just sit in one place. Together, the techniques help keep data secure by making it difficult for the bad guys to figure out how to break in and steal the information. 

The company's software can run both on servers in corporate data centers and also on public cloud services.

'It's a father-son team, which traditionally, VCs get pretty scared of'

Founded in 2015, CryptoMove emerged from stealth mode and launched its product last year. Now, just a few months later, it's announcing that it's closed a $6 million series A funding round at the end of last year that was led by Social Capital, the venture capital firm started by Chamath Palihapitiya, an early Facebook executive. Burshteyn plans to use the money to help grow CryptoMove from a scrappy 11-employee startup into a thriving software company. 

But CyptoMove has already gone a long way from its beginnings. 

The company got its start when Boris Burshteyn, Mike's dad, recruited him to launch a business based on a security idea he'd been developing for a few years.

At the time, Burshteyn was working as an attorney, counseling large tech clients including Amazon and Google on how to handle cybercrime and data breaches. His dad, meanwhile, had had a long career as an engineer, including stints at Oracle and Cisco. Boris' experience helped inspire his idea for securing data; he brought it to Mike once it became clear to him that the idea had market potential. 

"My dad needed a business partner — it's pretty much that simple," said Mike Burshteyn.

It was this partnership that made Arjun Sethi, a partner at Social Capital, look more closely at the company.

"It's a father-son team, which traditionally, VCs get pretty scared of," Sethi said. "But we saw that they could work together for so long and build this type of product, so we decided we should take a deeper look."

CryptoMove already has some big, notable clients

Today, CryptoMove is a growing business with clients including the US Department of Homeland Security, and French bank BNP Paribas. 

Though many of CryptoMove's clients are hesitant to say publicly that they're using its technology – as Burshteyn puts it, "you wouldn't necessarily want to advertise the type of lock on your house" — client testimonials were a big part of CryptoMove's fundraising strategy. 

For Sethi, really seeing how the product worked made a big impact in his decision to invest in the company.

"It's pretty elegant in theory, but it's really hard to execute," Sethi said of CryptoMove's approach to security. "It's not a typical cybersecurity solution like everyone else, with a marketing engine behind the same product. It's a product that has a very specific value proposition that a lot of people haven't seen before." 

CryptoMove was excited to have Social Capital on board as an investor

Though CryptoMove raised $6 million, the funding round was oversubscribed, meaning investors collectively wanted to purchase a larger stake in the company than it wanted to sell. So the company had some control over which investors it decided to take on board.

Burshteyn said he was encouraged by Social Capital's work with Netskope, a cloud security company. Social Capital led the company's $5 million Series A round in 2013. 

"We were looking for a top-tier firm to come in, lead the round, and help us take our business to the next level," Burshteyn said. "Social Capital was very deep on the space. They got deeper on the business side and technically than other firms."

In addition to Netskope, Social Capital has backed other enterprise companies including Box, Slack, and SurveyMonkey. The firm made waves in recent months by using algorithms rather than in-person meetings to help it decide which companies to back in early funding rounds. The firm believes the algorithm-based technique will help move funding to founders who might otherwise be discriminated against.

But Social Capital didn't need its algorithms to convince it to invest in CryptoMove. Instead, the firm's team met with the company on multiple occasions, at different stages of its growth.

Burshteyn said he wouldn't have it any other way. Social Capital's hands-on and "team-based" approach was a big factor for him in deciding to work with the firm. 

"They were helpful before the round even closed so we saw a lot of value," he said. "They have started moving the needle for us."

SEE ALSO: Cybersecurity startups raked in $7.6 billion in VC money in 2017 — twice as much as the year before

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NOW WATCH: Here's what Trump's tax plan means for people at every income level from $20,000 to $269,000 a year

The couple that paid $90,000 for a ritzy private street in San Francisco is now suing the city to get it back

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

presidio terrace street san francisco 6912

  • A Bay Area couple paid $90,000 for one of the most exclusive streets in San Francisco. In November, city leaders voted to reverse the sale.
  • Now the couple is suing the city to win their street back.
  • They launched a GoFundMe page to finance the legal action.

 

In 2017, a Bay Area couple shook up a private street in San Francisco when residents found out the duo bought the cul-de-sac for $90,000 without the knowledge of its wealthy residents.

Homeowners railed against the buyers, Tina Lam and Michael Cheng, in a November hearing before the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. City leaders voted 7-4 to reverse the sale.

Now, the couple is suing the city to win their street back, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Lam, a Silicon Valley engineer, and her husband, Cheng, a real estate investor, have also launched a GoFundMe page to finance the legal action. They set a goal of $50,000.

presidio terrace street san francisco 6925

The story unfolding at Presidio Terrace, a private development made up of 35 mega-mansions, has captured the attention of people far beyond its stone walls. When news spread that residents lost ownership of the sidewalks, landscaping, and parking spots outside their homes — without their knowledge — some celebrated the comeuppance of San Francisco's ultra-rich.

In 2015, the city put the parcel up for sale in an online auction after the Presidio Terrace Homeowners Association failed to pay taxes on the street for more than a decade.

Lam and Cheng, who live in San Jose, scooped it up for just over $90,000, with plans to charge rent on street parking spots. Before the hearing at the Board of Supervisors, the couple offered to sell it back to residents for nearly $1 million, Supervisor Mark Farrell said at the hearing.

"I'm an engineer with a simple dream of owning a piece of San Francisco," Lam said during the hearing last November. "I'm not rich enough to live on that street, but I like to think that by owning it, I'm a San Franciscan in spirit."

presidio terrace gofundme

For at least 17 years, the Office of the Treasurer and Tax Collector mailed tax forms to the address of a now deceased bookkeaper. The $14 annual property tax went unpaid and racked up hundreds more dollars in penalties. The homeowners argued that they had been denied due process because the city's tax collection office did not make a reasonable attempt to contact them. 

Lam and Cheng told reporters ahead of the hearing that they planned to pursue ownership through the courts if the sale was resciended — and they're following through. Attorneys for the couple have filed a lawsuit against the city with the San Francisco Superior Court.

The couple's GoFundMe page, called the "Presidio Terrace defense fund," has raised $1,820.

"This fight is not just about the street. This is about defending property rights for everyone who is not super wealthy or doesn't look a certain way," the GoFundMe page says.

SEE ALSO: Inside one of the most exclusive streets in San Francisco that a couple bought for $90,000 and was forced to return to the city

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NOW WATCH: PAUL KRUGMAN: Bitcoin is a more obvious bubble than housing was

Overstock and Coinbase briefly mixed up Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash

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

 A glitch on Overstock’s website allowed users to send amounts of Bitcoin Cash to Overstock when the system was expecting Bitcoin, leading to drastic discounts on many items. Given that BTC is about $14,000 and Bitcoin Cash is $2,400, the mistake could have been quite costly. Originally reported by Brian Krebs, the exploit allowed you to send the required amount of BTC in Bitcoin Cash.… Read More

A major bitcoin conference is no longer accepting bitcoin payments because the fees and lag have gotten so bad

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

miami city skyline 2009

  • The North American Bitcoin conference has stopped accepting bitcoin payments for tickets due to fees and congestion associated with the cryptocurrency.
  • Bitcoin is red-hot right now, but the demand has put the network under unprecedented stress and sent transaction fees sky-rocketing.
  • Those issue makes it difficult to use bitcoin as a replacement for a traditional currency.


For all the hype around bitcoin right now, it's easy to overlook an important fact: It doesn't actually work very well as a currency.

While interest in the digital currency has exploded over the last 12 months, pushing its price up from $800 to $15,000, the network has buckled under the strain. Users face fees of upwards of $30 on every transaction, which can take hours to process. 

In fact, it has gotten so bad that even a major bitcoin conference has stopped accepting bitcoin payments for tickets altogether.

The North American Bitcoin Conference will be held in Miami on January 18-19, with last minute tickets going for $1,000 a pop. But would-be attendees can no longer pay for a ticket in bitcoin or in any other cryptocurrencies. On its website, the event's organizers explain: "Due to network congestion and manual processing, we have closed ticket payments using Cryptocurrencies — Hopefully, next year there will be more unity in the community about scaling and global adoption becomes reality."

It adds: "We have, and always will, accept cryptocurrencies for our conferences, up to fourteen days before the event. However, due to the manual inputting of data in our ticketing platforms when paid in cryptocurrencies, we decided to shut down bitcoin payments for last minute sales due to print deadlines."

Speaking to Bitcoin.com, conference organizer Moe Levin confirmed that transaction costs played a part in the decision. He told the site: "We wish this was easier, but no ticketing options exist which can handle large volumes of ticket sales, and transaction fees on the Bitcoin blockchain exceed $30 at certain times of the day."

Other organizations have also steered away from bitcoin due to fears over fees and price fluctuations in recent months. PC gaming marketplace Steam stopped accepting bitcoin as a payment method in December 2017, "due to high fees and volatility in the value of Bitcoin." And Microsoft temporarily suspended payments on its online store because it is "unstable" earlier in January, though it restored the option this week.

SEE ALSO: You can now rent a Kodak-branded bitcoin-mining rig — but you'll have to hand over half of the profits you make

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NOW WATCH: Here are the best iPhone apps of 2017

Nvidia clarifies an earlier statement that sent the stock sliding (NVDA)

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

jensen huang drive nvidia ces

  • Nvidia clarified its own blog post on Wednesday.
  • The original post suggested that Nvidia's GPUs were vulnerable to the Spectre flaw affecting most modern CPUs, which sent the company's stock lower.
  • Nvidia's GPUs are immune to the Spectre flaw.
  • Watch Nvidia's stock price move in real time here.


Nvidia graphics processing units are not, in fact, affected by the Spectre flaw present in nearly all computer, tablet, and phone CPUs, the company said on Wednesday.

This clarifies a blog post the company released late Tuesday that seemed to suggest that Nvidia's GPUs were affected by the Spectre flaw. The original blog post sent shares of Nvidia sliding in early trading Wednesday, and the company has since updated its post.

Nvidia told Markets Insider it has updated the display driver technology for many of its GPUs to help mitigate any issues from Spectre, and the original blog post meant to announce the updates, not suggest the company's GPUs were affected by the flaw.

Nvidia's shares ended the day up 0.78% higher at $223.68.

The Spectre and Meltdown flaws were originally discovered by Google engineers, and have sent computer makers scrambling to patch their hardware to protect against potential hacks. The vulnerabilities could allow for bad actors to have access to privileged data on a computer, even without the appropriate permissions.

The hacks are most worrisome for companies running cloud computing servers, as customers often rent time on the same machines, meaning hackers could spy on other customers' data being stored by cloud providers like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. Nvidia's graphics cards often are used alongside traditional CPUs in these servers to speed up certain programs.

Nvidia is up 11% this year.

Read more about the company's CES keynote here.

SEE ALSO: Nvidia is slipping after saying its chips are vulnerable to the biggest security flaw in recent memory

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NOW WATCH: THE BOTTOM LINE: Bitcoin mania, a Nobel Prize-winning economist talks Trump, and a deep dive on unstoppable tech stocks

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