Category Archive : Finance

Moody’s Downgrades Outlook for Global Banks

Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded the outlook for global banks. Slowing growth, low interest rates, and volatile operating conditions turned the ratings firm’s outlook on banks from stable to negative.

Trade tensions between the U.S. and China “appear entrenched, with negative consequences for banks in those countries as well as in other export-oriented economies and for banks funding trade,” Moody’s said. Read More

Weak U.S. Industrial Data Leads Array of Worrying Economic Indicators, Gold Remains Steady

There are several reasons experts presently warn of potential economic downturn. China’s growth has been slowing, despite recent positive reports, as the trade war wages on and geopolitical tensions increase. Among others, countries like Singapore and South Korea, who export manufactured goods to China, are slowing.

Positive economic signs do persist, with consumption remaining steady at 2%, and private residential investment increasing in the third quarter of 2019. (though this has steadily declined since the end of 2017). Despite this, business investment has begun to fall. Read More

How Bad is Bitcoin Mining for the Environment? New Research Suggests Not So Bad.

Bitcoin mining emissions were on par with Estonia, suggesting that the climate change impact of the first digital asset is less than previously reported. Furthermore, the research seems to suggest that where Bitcoin is mined contributes to how much carbon Bitcoin emits. With so much of the mining being done in China, one might wonder if that country’s infrastructure is more to blame than Bitcoin. Read More

High-End Finance Jobs Will Be Displaced By AI, Too

Artificial intelligence is not just coming for the jobs of barbers and baristas. It is coming for high-paid professions, too. Even financial professionals could see increasing pressure from technology, too.

According to a recent Brookings Institution report, white-collar jobs and occupations requiring higher education, as well as production workers, will see their jobs eaten by AI.  The report uses a new analysis of patent data by Stanford University graduate student Michael Webb. Read More

Global Debt Remains At Record High

Global debt will reach more than $255 trillion, according to the Institute of International Finance. Nearly $32,500 for each for the 7.7 billion people on the planet.

At the end of their report, economists warned that “high debt burdens could curb efforts to tackle climate risk.”

The IIF reported: “Global climate finance flows remain far short of what’s needed for an effective transition to a low-carbon economy.” Read More

If We Were to Have a Global Digital Currency in the next 5-10 years, Who Would Control It?

350 Bankers and financial industry professionals think the United States will be the first to create a global digital currency – not China.

37% of attendees of the ACAMS anti-money laundering (AML) and financial crime conference, when asked by Chainalysis, said they believe the U.S. would be the first to launch the first worldwide digital currency over the next five to ten years. Read More

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Former Goldman Sachs Executive Says Obama-Era Tax Cuts Are Obsolete

Treasury Department officials are reportedly rolling back a tax rule issued under former president Barack Obama’s administration. The rule sought to prevent American companies from moving money offshore in an effort to avoid US taxes.

The Treasury issued final regulations that eliminated documentation requirements dating back to Obama. The department will propose regulations in the future changing other parts of the offshore tax rules. Read More

Here’s Why Bitcoin Hasn’t Been Regulated Into Oblivion, According to Facebook’s Calibre Head

David Marcus is leading up Calibre, Facebook’s cryptocurrency project. As reported by CNBC, he said Wednesday that Bitcoin is digital gold, and not a good currency for transactions.

“I don’t think of Bitcoin as a currency,” Marcus told an audience at the New York Times DealBook Conference in New York. “It’s actually not a great medium of exchange because of its volatility. I see it as digital gold.” Read More

Is This The End of ‘One Country, Two Systems’ Between China & Hong Kong?

One Country, One System?

China could change its “one country, two systems” arrangement that has been in place since 1997. The agreement stipulates that the United States is legally bound to treat Hong Kong separately from mainland China for matters concerning trade and economic policy. With troops from the mainland at the border of Hong Kong, the protests and trade war could escalate. Read More

Where’s All The Institutional Demand for Bitcoin Futures?

Bakkt futures and custodial exchange traded 50 BTC (~$400,000) in daily futures contracts during its second week of trading, a significant decline from its opening week, as reported by WSJ.

$5.8 million was traded on Bakkt, which was created by the Intercontinental Exchange, during its first week. The following week traders moved but $2 million. That is just $400,000 daily trading volume. Read More

Free to Trade: Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, and E-Trade Eliminate Commissions

Last week, almost every major online brokerage company – including Charles Schwab (SCHW), TD Ameritrade (AMTD) and E-Trade (ETFC) – stopped charging commissions, making it free to trade.

“For every broker out there, trying to sell services with explicit fees is going to be almost impossible. The next frontier will be centered around providing more financial well-being solutions — expanding beyond just brokerage products,” said Bill Capuzzi, CEO of Apex Clearing, a custodian of securities on behalf of brokerage firms. Read More

AS IMF Argentina Decision Looms, Bitcoin Demand Increases in Third-Largest Latin American Country

The International Monetary Fund must choose to either make more than $5 billion in funds under Argentina’s loan deal available to the government facing default or not. The IMF had agreed to a $57 billion line of credit with the South American nation last year, and funds were meant to be paid this month.

But pro-business President Mauricio Macri took a defeat in a primary election last month, resulting in a crash of the peso and capital controls. Populist candidate Alberto Fernandez is considered the front-runner to win the Oct. 27 election. And now there is doubt about whether or not the IMF will disburse the cash until after the election. Read More

Gold Reverses as Global Stock Markets Gain Momentum

Spot gold hit a six-year high late last week. It is the first time since April 2013 prices soared so high – peaking at a value of $1,5334.31 an ounce. Due to this price bump, US gold futures rose by roughly 1.3% to $1,537 an ounce. Despite the positive momentum, these high levels could not be sustained over the weekend.

Several factors drive the current and future value of gold and silver. Weakness in the Argentine Peso, civil unrest in Hong Kong, and the US-China trade war has forced investors to seek safehaven. Read More

Bitcoin Futures Contracts Debut Next Month as SEC Delays Bitcoin ETF Decisions

The US Securities and Exchange Commission continues to delay its Bitcoin ETF decision on the Bitwise Bitcoin ETF Trust and the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust, while Bakkt claims its acquired a New York state trust charter through the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), enabling the company offer its physically-settled bitcoin futures contracts.

For the cryptocurrency community, the Bitwise and VanEck delays are nothing new. Rejection or approval of those investment vehicles will now have to wait until October 2019. Read More

How the Facebook Libra Announcement Affected Shares of Western Union, MoneyGram, PayPal & Square

Western Union shares declined Tuesday amid the Facebook announcement of its new cryptocurrency, Libra, which is supposed to be integrated with Facebook, and its subsidiary apps Instagram, WhatsApp, and more. Western Union, a legacy consumer-to-consumer money sending platform was among the worst performers on the S&P Index on Tuesday, as it fell 2.4%. It closed at $19.57 a share.

Facebook’s cryptocurrency Libra is supported by a legion of well-known companies from both within the crypto industry and outside of it, including payment companies like Visa, Mastercard and PayPal. Blockchain companies involve Coinbase, Xapo and others. The cryptocurrency is expected to launch in the first half of 2020. Read More