Bridgewater founder is not a believer in cryptocurrencies

Ray Dalio, founder of the world’s largest hedge fund, says ‘bitcoin is a bubble’

Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio said Tuesday he is not a believer in cryptocurrencies. “Bitcoin today you can’t make much transactions in it. You can’t spend it very easily,” Dalio said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “It’s not an effective storehold of wealth because it has volatility to it, unlike gold,” the hedge fund founder added. “Bitcoin is a highly speculative market. Bitcoin is a bubble.”

The investor said there are two important facets to being considered a valid currency: ease of transactions as a medium of exchange and being a “storehold of wealth.” “It’s a shame, it could be a currency. It could work conceptually, but the amount of speculation that is going on and the lack of transactions [hurts it],” he said.

http://www.cnbc.com…  Mon.,  09  October 2017

Amazon is a real challenger to Facebook and Google in digital advertising

Amazon An Ad Force To Be Reckoned With

Big-name advertisers are starting to take notice that Amazon is sharpening its assault on the ad business.

The Seattle-based e-commerce giant is increasingly becoming top of mind for advertisers, with product and search ads on Amazon.com, and its data on shoppers being used to run display ads all over the web. Its ad business is already worth over $2 billion.

Kristin Lemkau, chief marketing officer at JPMorgan Chase, said, “I think that they are a force to be reckoned with, they are excellent with everything they do. You have to do business with Amazon.”

http://www.eblnews.com…  Fri.,  06  October 2017

EU wants Apple to pay taxes

EU takes Ireland to court for not claiming Apple tax windfall

The European Commission said on Wednesday it was taking Ireland to the European Court of Justice for its failure to recover up to 13 billion euros ($15.3 billion) of tax due from Apple Inc (AAPL.O), a move labeled as “regrettable” by Dublin.

The Commission ordered the U.S. tech giant in August 2016 to pay the unpaid taxes as it ruled the firm had received illegal state aid, one of a number of deals the EU has targeted between multinationals and usually smaller EU states.

http://www.reuters.com…  Thu.,  05  October 2017

Uber is one step closer to a massive investment from SoftBank

Uncertain future for Travis Kalanick

A deal between Uber and SoftBank is nearly done. Today (Oct. 4) Uber announced in a statement it would move forward with a proposed investment from Japanese tech giant SoftBank which could close “in the coming weeks,” and also voted in favor of a number of corporate governance reforms. The decisions bode poorly for Uber founder Travis Kalanick, who has sought to retain his influence over the company after stepping down as CEO in June, and could pave the way for broader changes in Uber’s international operations.

SoftBank, which said in August it’s interested in investing in Uber, hasn’t made public the size of its proposed investment, but a person with knowledge of the deal said that SoftBank, along with other investors, will invest $1.25 billion directly in Uber at a $69 billion valuation, and will also purchase 14% to 17% of outstanding shares from existing investors. The person also added that Uber will go public by 2019, something which Uber’s new CEO hinted at in August.

http://www.qz.com…  Wed.,  04  October 2017

First big Wall Street firm to deal directly in the cryptocurrency market

Goldman Sachs Explores a New World: Trading Bitcoin

Goldman Sachs is flirting with the idea of setting up a bitcoin trading shop. The Wall Street powerhouse is in the very early stages of potentially setting up a bitcoin trading operation, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal’s Paul Vigna, Telis Demos, and Liz Hoffman. “In response to client interest in digital currencies we are exploring how best to serve them in this space,” a Goldman spokeswoman told The Journal.

If Goldman follows through, it will be the first blue-chip financial services firm to break into the cryptocurrency market, which this year has exploded in value. Goldman’s C-Suite has kept pretty quiet about digital coins. The rest of Wall Street has mixed reviews. On one hand, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon called bitcoin “a fraud” and likened it to the tulip-bulb bubble of the 1600s. On the other, James Gorman, Morgan Stanley’s CEO, has taken a more moderate position on bitcoin, saying last week it was “more than just a fad.”

http://businessinsider.com…  Tue.,  03  October 2017

Raising trade tensions between Europe and China

Complaint against dumping of e-bikes by Chinese companies

European producers of electronic bikes (e-bikes) have filed a complaint with the European Commission against cheap Chinese e-bike imports, saying that they are sold in the bloc at excessively low prices with the help of unfair subsidies. The European Bicycle Manufacturers Association (EBMA) lodged the complaint alleging dumping of e-bikes by Chinese companies which they say are flooding the market at prices sometimes below the cost of production. The Commission has until late October to determine whether to start an investigation.

The EBMA is also preparing a related complaint alleging illegal subsidies and asking for registration of Chinese e-bike imports, which could allow eventual duties to be backdated. Such an investigation would be the latest in a string of probes into Chinese exports ranging from solar panels to steel and could raise trade tensions with Beijing, particularly with a subsidy inquiry into the support provided by the Chinese state.

http://www.reuters.com…  Mon.,  02  October 2017

A ban of gasoline-powered cars imposed in 2030 says California’s governor

“Let’s ban gasoline-powered cars”

It’s often said that national climate policy is Made in California and now Governor Jerry Brown reportedly wants to ban the internal combustion engine from its roads.

“I’ve gotten messages from the governor asking, ‘Why haven’t we done something already?’” Mary Nichols, chair of the powerful California Air Resources Board, told Bloomberg. “The governor has certainly indicated an interest in why China can do this and not California.”

China is planning to set a deadline by which its automakers must end production of fossil fuel–powered cars. If California did something similar, it would trigger a cascade of changes in the automotive world. Californians buy about 2 million cars a year, accounting for around 20 percent of national sales. Because people in the state buy a big percentage of the country’s cars, the industry designs all American vehicles to meet California standards.

A ban could come as soon as 2030, Nichols said.

http://www.grist.orgFri.,  29  September 2017

Next Financial Crisis

Where Deutsche Bank thinks the next financial crises could happen

Central banks unwinding quantitative easing, potential crises in China and Italy, elevated global trade imbalances and a backdrop of populism: Just some of the potential sources of the next financial crisis, according to the latest research from Deutsche Bank. In a report looking for the potential source of the next financial shock, Deutsche Bank strategists Jim Reid, Nick Burns, Sukanto Chanda and Craig Nicol warned that there are “a number of areas of the global financial system that look at extreme levels.”

“This includes valuations in many asset classes, the incredibly unique size of central bank balance sheets, debt levels, multi-century all-time lows in interest rates and even the level of potentially game changing populist political support around the globe. If there is a crisis relatively soon (within the next 2-3 years), it would be hard to look at these variables and say that there was no way of spotting them.” Although the strategists note that their list of potential sources for the next financial shock is “far from a prediction that they will occur,” their list is designed to show where some of the stresses are in the financial system and ones that could create global financial and economic problems.

http://www.cnbc.comThu.,  28  September 2017

J-Coin

Japan wants to launch a new digital currency: J-Coin

A consortium of Japanese banks are set to launch a new national digital currency in a bid to wean citizens off cash, the Financial Times reports.  The FT says that a consortium led by Mizuho Financial Group and Japan Post Bank plans to launch the new digital currency in time for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The new project, which has the support of Japan’s central bank and regulators, aims to develop technology to allow Japanese people to pay for goods and services with their smartphone.

http://www.businessinsider.comWed.,  27  September 2017

Apple shares flirt with correction territory

Suppliers asked to scale back shipments of parts for upcoming iPhone X

Shares of Apple Inc dipped on Monday and flirted with correction territory following a report that the company had told suppliers to scale back shipments of parts for its upcoming iPhone X.

Digitimes, citing unnamed sources, reported that Apple suppliers were shipping just 40 percent of the components originally ordered for the premium phone, which goes on sale in early November.

That added to concerns on Wall Street about demand for Apple’s new devices after the launch on Friday of the iPhone 8, a less expensive model than the iPhone X, drew smaller crowds than previous launches.

http://www.reuters.comTue.,  26  September 2017