Posts belonging to Category banks



Bitcoin briefly surged above $11,000

One analyst predicts that price could hit $40,000 “in a few months”

After reaching the $10,000 mark for the first time in more than a year Friday, the price of bitcoin briefly surged above $11,000 on Saturday but was struggling to push past the fresh threshold in Sunday trading. Bitcoin BTCUSD, -2.87% was recently up 0.3% at $10,723.37 Sunday evening Eastern U.S. time, according to CoinDesk. Over the weekend, bitcoin traded as high as $11,307.69 intraday, its highest level since March 2018.

It was the third price milestone in a week, after the world’s largest cryptocurrency topped the $9,000 level for the first time in 13 months last Sunday. Bitcoin’s price is up 193% year to date, with most of the gain coming in the past three months. Last week, one bitcoin analyst predicted that prices could hit $40,000 “in a few months” now that the $10,000 level had been cracked. “Bottom line: Crypto winter looks over,” Fundstrat’s Thomas Lee said. After topping out above $19,000 in December 2017, bitcoin prices sank to as low as $3,122 in December 2018.

As of Sunday evening, bitcoin’s market cap sat at roughly $190 billion, according to Coinmarketcap.com.

http://www.marketwatch.com

The Federal Reserve left its key interest rate unchanged

Rate cuts are on the way

The Federal Reserve left its key interest rate unchanged Wednesday but signaled that it’s prepared to start cutting rates if needed to protect the U.S. economy from trade conflicts and other threats.

The Fed kept its benchmark rate — which influences many consumer and business loans — in a range of 2.25% to 2.5%, where it’s been since December.

It issued a statement saying that because “uncertainties” have increased, it would “act as appropriate to sustain the expansion.” That language echoed a remark Chairman Jerome Powell made two weeks ago that analysts interpreted as a signal that rate cuts were on the way.

http://www.abcnews.go.com

Facebook’s Cryptocurrency Libra Is Coming

Everything We Know So Far

Codenamed Libra and possibly named GlobalCoin, Facebook’s big blockchain play will reportedly create a crypto-based payments ecosystem across Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, and beyond. Here’s what we know right now. Facebook’s long-rumored cryptocurrency is about to get its big debut. The formal launch is expected sometime in 2020 after a testing phase later this year, but the social network is gearing up to officially announce it with a white paper on Tuesday laying out the basics of its crypto token. Here’s everything we know so far.

We’ve heard rumblings about a secret blockchain project since last May, when Cheddar’s Alex Heath reported that Facebook had been exploring blockchain and the creation of its own cryptocurrency for use within its apps since 2017. Facebook’s goal is to launch a virtual token allowing the company’s billions of users across Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp to make digital payments. This includes both internally among other users within Facebook’s app ecosystem, and externally on e-commerce purchases and third-party services without ever leaving their Facebook-owned app of choice. The BBC reported it’ll be called GlobalCoin, but personally I’m still pulling for Facebucks.

http://www.pcmag.com

 

UK: Remain parties beat Hard Brexiteers in European elections

Pro-Remain parties outperformed hard Brexit parties

The European election results in the UK have been hailed as a victory for political parties in favour of Remaining in the European Union, after anti-Brexit parties collectively won more votes than those parties calling for a “hard” exit.

Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party was the biggest individual winner on Sunday night, coming first place overall with 32% of the national vote and a projected victory of 29 out of the 80 seats available to the United Kingdom in the European Parliament.

However, anti-Brexit campaigners quickly pointed out that the combined vote share of the Brexit Party and fellow pro-Brexit UKIP was smaller than that of parties which explicitly campaigned to reverse Brexit.

Theresa May agrees to resign if her Brexit deal is defeated again

Parliament votes on her Brexit bill in the week of June 3

British Prime Minister Theresa May fended off pressure Thursday from Conservative Party lawmakers demanding she set a date for her resignation, buying herself a few more weeks to try to unblock Britain’s Brexit impasse.
But she agreed to give a timetable next month for her departure, raising the prospect that Britain will get a new prime minister before it leaves the European Union — currently scheduled for Oct. 31.

Leaders of a powerful committee that oversees Conservative leadership contests met May to express growing frustration party ranks at her refusal to name an exit date following her failure to take Britain out of the EU by the original Brexit date of March 29.

https://www.washingtontimes.com/

Australia is top choice for millionaires fleeing homelands

108,000 millionaires migrated across borders last year

The world’s wealthy are increasingly on the move.

About 108,000 millionaires migrated across borders last year, a 14 per cent increase from the prior year, and more than double the level in 2013, according to Johannesburg-based New World Wealth.

Australia, US and Canada are the top destinations, according to the research firm, while China and Russia are the biggest losers. The UK saw around 3000 millionaires depart last year with Brexit and taxation cited as possible reasons.

https://www.afr.com/

US Fed sounds warning on high stock prices, corporate debt load

Persistent risks

The US central bank warned Monday of persistent risks to the financial system posed by elevated stock prices and historically high corporate debt loads as well as the impact of President Donald Trump’s trade wars.

But major banks and insurance companies appear healthy and there is a low risk they would face a crash crunch during a run by panicked investors, the Federal Reserve said in its latest report on financial stability.

http://www.france24.org/

Half of England is owned by less than 1% of the population

Astonishingly unequal

Half of England is owned by less than 1% of its population, according to new data shared with the Guardian that seeks to penetrate the secrecy that has traditionally surrounded land ownership.

The findings, described as “astonishingly unequal”, suggest that about 25,000 landowners – typically members of the aristocracy and corporations – have control of half of the country.

http://www.theguardian.com/

Uber’s self-driving unit valued at $7.25 billion

Softbank, Toyota and Denso will invest $1 billion

Uber’s autonomous vehicle unit has raised $1 billion from a consortium of investors including SoftBank Group Corp, giving the company a much-needed funding boost for its pricey self-driving ambitions on the eve of its public stock offering.

Uber Technologies Inc said on Thursday that the investment values its Advanced Technologies Group, which works to develop autonomous driving technology, at $7.25 billion. SoftBank will invest $333 million from its $100 billion Vision Fund, while Toyota Motor Corp and automotive parts supplier Denso Corp will invest a combined $667 million.

Toyota will also contribute up to an additional $300 million over the next three years to help cover the costs of building commercial self-driving vehicles, Uber said.

http://www.reuters.com/

Zoom Video Communications in its public market debut

The video-conferencing provider  valued at  $9,2 billion

Profitable video-conferencing provider Zoom Video Communications Inc.  is valued at more than $9 billion in its public market debut Thursday, more than nine times the amount it fetched in a private funding round just two years ago.

Zoom raised $751 million in an initial public offering Wednesday, selling 20.9 million shares Wednesday for $36 each, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

http://www.bloomberg.com/

Small enterprises (SMEs) are turning to non-bank financing sources

SMEs account for 60% of total value added

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are turning to non-bank financing sources at a faster pace than in the past, as bank lending to them has risen less than expected given today’s favourable credit conditions and business environment.

‘Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs 2019: An OECD Scoreboard‘ finds that online peer-to-peer lending and equity crowdfunding increased significantly in 2017, especially in countries with small markets. China, the United Kingdom and the United States continued to have the biggest online alternative finance markets for businesses. Venture capital investments were up in most countries, and the number of SME listings expanded by more than 13% in 2017, with total SME market capitalisation up 16.7%.

SMEs and entrepreneurs constitute the backbone of OECD economies, accounting for 60% of total employment and 50-60% of value added. They are key to strengthening productivity, delivering inclusive growth and helping economies adapt to changes like the digital transition, ageing populations and the changing future of work. This eighth annual edition of the OECD’s SME financing Scoreboard provides data on debt, equity, asset-based finance and financing conditions in 46 countries and an overview of policy measures to ease SMEs’ access to finance.

http://www.oecd.org/

Uber warns it may never make a profit

IPO filing indicates how far Uber remains from turning a profit

Technologies Inc has 91 million users, but growth is slowing and it may never make a profit, the ride-hailing company said on Thursday in its IPO filing.The document gave the first comprehensive financial picture of the decade-old company which was started after its founders struggled to get a cab on a snowy night and has changed the way much of the world travels.TheUber S-1 filing underscores Uber’s rapid growth in the last three years but also how a string of public scandals and increased competition from rivals have weighed on its plans to attract and retain riders.

The disclosure also highlighted how far Uber remains from turning a profit, with the company cautioning it expects operating expenses to “increase significantly in the foreseeable future” and it “may not achieve profitability.”

https://www.reuters.com/

EU leaders agree to delay Brexit until 31 October

“Please, do not waste this time.”

  • EU leaders agreed to offer the UK an extension on article 50 until 31 October, which Theresa May has accepted.
  • Donald Tusk, the president of the European council, said that until that deadline what happens will be in the hands of the UK. It can ratify the withdrawal agreement, and leave. It can change strategy, or it can decide to revoke article 50 and cancel Brexit. He says the UK will remain a friend of the EU and ended his press conference with an address to “our British friends”: “Please, do not waste this time.”
  • There will be a “review” of the situation on 30 June, but Tusk said the point of the review was to inform EU leaders what was happening and was “not a cliff edge”.
  • French President Emmanuel Macron said he took responsibility for blocking a long Brexit delay and convincing other European Union leaders to agree to a shorter one, sayiing he did so “for the collective good”.
  • In a press conference after the agreement was reached, May said “the choices we now face are stark and the timetable is clear”. She acknowledged the “huge frustration” that the UK had not yet left the EU.

https://www.theguardian.com/

What is Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) ?

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a fan of this geeky economic theory called MMT

  • MMT is a big departure from conventional economic theory. It proposes governments that control their own currency can spend freely, as they can always create more money to pay off debts in their own currency.
  • The theory suggests government spending can grow the economy to its full capacity, enrich the private sector, eliminate unemployment, and finance major programs such as universal healthcare, free college tuition, and green energy.
  • If the spending generates a government deficit, this isn’t a problem either. The government’s deficit is by definition the private sector’s surplus.
  • Increased government spending will not generate inflation as long as there is unused economic capacity or unemployed labour, MMT proposes. It is only when an economy hits physical or natural constraints on its productivity — such as full employment — that inflation happens because that is when supply fails to meet demand, jacking up prices.
  • MMT proponents argue governments can control inflation by spending less or withdrawing money from the economy through taxes.

https://www.businessinsider.com/

BREXIT: Parliament rejects for the third time the Brexit deal

Death knell for May’s Brexit deal as lawmakers reject it by 286 to 344

Lawmakers rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal for a third time on Friday, sounding its probable death knell and leaving Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union in turmoil on the very day it was supposed to leave the bloc.

The decision to reject a stripped-down version of May’s divorce deal has left it totally unclear how, when or even whether Britain will leave the EU, and plunges the three-year Brexit crisis to a deeper level of uncertainty.

After a special sitting of parliament, lawmakers voted by 286 to 344 against May’s 585-page EU Withdrawal Agreement, agreed after two years of tortuous negotiations with the bloc.

https://www.reuters.com/