Posts belonging to Category stocks

Global economic releases today. … Jargon, Comments, About. Search: Current Forex Market Session Click a city for session articles. London · New York · Sydney · Tokyo. GMT. RSS · Twitter · Facebook · Google · LinkedIn · Financial  …  March 242018

Britain unveils new fintech plans, including cryptocurrencies

G20:  no consensus for global regulation of cryptocurrencies

Britain announced a task force on Thursday to exploit the technology underpinning cryptoassets, such as bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, as part of new plans to help fintech companies find more customers.

British finance minister Philip Hammond said he was committed to helping fintech grow and flourish by taking a series of domestic steps and forging links overseas.

“As part of that, a new task force will help the UK to manage the risks around cryptoassets, as well as harnessing the potential benefits of the underlying technology,” Hammond told a fintech conference hosted by the finance ministry.

Investors have flocked to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin despite wild price swings.

Regulators have warned that investors could lose all their money, but see promise in the blockchain technology that underpins cryptoassets.

Britain’s announcement comes after finance ministers from the Group of 20 richest economies (G20) were unable this week to find enough consensus for global regulation of cryptocurrencies.

Sanctions against China for the “theft” of US intellectual property

Threats of retaliatory measures

President Donald Trump is poised on Thursday to unveil sanctions against China for the “theft” of US intellectual property, a White House official said, teeing up a second potential confrontation in as many months. Spokesman Raj Shah told AFP that Trump will announce actions following an “investigation into China’s state-led, market-distorting efforts to force, pressure, and steal US technologies and intellectual property.”

Beijing has already warned the Trump administration against the move, urging him not act “emotionally.” It is just weeks since Trump short-circuited White House deliberations and announced a raft of sanctions on foreign-produced steel and aluminum off the cuff.

That move prompted the resignation of top economic advisor Gary Cohn, a global stock market selloff, legal disputes and threats of retaliatory measures.

On Wednesday Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned that the prospect of a trade war was a growing threat to the world’s largest economy. But the impulsive president is showing no sign of backing down.

Machines have replaced human stock market traders

Impact on the next financial crisis could be devastating

The February sell-off in stocks demonstrated the impact of automated trading on markets, according to Charles Himmelberg, Goldman Sachs’ cohead of global markets research.
“In this new market structure, machines have replaced humans, and speed has replaced capital,” Himmelberg said in a note.
This new ecosystem dominated by machines has dried up the sources of liquidity that would be needed in the next major wave of selling, he said.

Trump’s election consultants filmed saying they use bribes and sex workers to entrap politicians

Dirty tricks to swing elections

Cambridge Analytica, a  company at the centre of the Facebook data breach (harvesting of more than 50 million profiles), boasted of using honey traps, fake news campaigns and operations with ex-spies to swing election campaigns around the world, a new investigation reveals.

Executives from Cambridge Analytica spoke to undercover reporters from Channel 4 News about the dark arts used by the company to help clients, which included entrapping rival candidates in fake bribery stings and hiring prostitutes to seduce them.

In one exchange, the company chief executive, Alexander Nix, is recorded telling reporters: “It sounds a dreadful thing to say, but these are things that don’t necessarily need to be true as long as they’re believed.”…  March 20, 2018

The Probability Of A U.S. Recession

Identifying and discussing two U.S. recession probability models

There are a variety of economic models that are supposed to predict the probabilities of recession. While I don’t agree with the methodologies employed or probabilities of impending economic weakness as depicted by the following two models, I think the results of these models should be monitored. Please note that each of these models is updated regularly, and the results of these – as well as other recession models – can fluctuate significantly.

The first is the “Yield Curve as a Leading Indicator” from the New York Federal Reserve. I wrote a post concerning this measure on March 1, 2010,titled “The Yield Curve as a Leading Indicator.” Currently (last updated March 6, 2018, using data through February) this “Yield Curve” model shows a 9.1421% probability of a recession in the United States twelve months ahead. For comparison purposes, it showed a 10.4146% probability through January, and a chart going back to 1960 is seen at the “Probability Of U.S. Recession Predicted by Treasury Spread.” (pdf)

The second model is from Marcelle Chauvet and Jeremy Piger. This model is described on the St. Louis Federal Reserve site (FRED) as follows:…  March 19, 2018

Soros: Only the EU can break Facebook and Google’s dominance

Social media giants have left the US government impotent – Europe must lead the way

The current moment in world history is a painful one. Open societies are in crisis, and forms of dictatorships and mafia states, exemplified by Vladimir Putin’s Russia, are on the rise. In the United States, President Donald Trump would like to establish his own mafia-style state but cannot, because the constitution, other institutions, and a vibrant civil society won’t allow it.

Not only is the survival of open society in question; the survival of our entire civilisation is at stake. The rise of leaders such as Kim Jong-un in North Korea and Trump in the US have much to do with this. Both seem willing to risk a nuclear war in order to keep themselves in power. But the root cause goes even deeper. Mankind’s ability to harness the forces of nature, both for constructive and destructive purposes, continues to grow, while our ability to govern ourselves properly fluctuates, and is now at a low ebb.

Facebook and Google effectively control over half of all digital advertising revenue. To maintain their dominance, they need to expand their networks and increase their share of users’ attention. Currently they do this by providing users with a convenient platform. The more time users spend on the platform, the more valuable they become to the companies.…  March 16, 2018

China wants half of the electric vehicle business

China signed a deal to secure a huge amount of the global supply of cobalt, key component of electric cars batteries

China has signed a huge deal to secure the lion’s share of global cobalt supply — a core component of electric car batteries. The deal will see GEM — a $4.6 billion company listed on the Shenzhen stock exchange — purchase 50,000 tonnes of cobalt from mining company Glencore over the next three years. According to the Financial Times, that’s equal to half of the world’s total cobalt supply in 2017 — and comprises around one third of Glencore’s total production estimates through 2020.

The Glencore deal locks in China’s position as a market leader in the manufacturing of electric car batteries globally — given that it already produces more than 80% of the world’s refined cobalt. Prices for the metal have doubled over the past two years as electric vehicle manufacturers scramble to secure adequate supplies.…  March 15, 2018

Walmart will start delivering groceries to shoppers across the US

Direct assault against Amazon

Walmart is expanding its grocery delivery service across the US this year, the company announced Wednesday.

The service, which offers same-day delivery in as little as three hours, will be expanded from six metro areas to more than 100, ultimately reaching more than 40% of US households by the end of the year.

Walmart will charge a flat fee of $9.95 for delivery and require a minimum order of $30 to access the service.…  March 14, 2018

Huge Chinese Demand for Natural Gas

United States is well-positioned

China’s push for cleaner air and fuel is driving an unprecedented demand for natural gas, and the United States is well-positioned to seize this opportunity and export even more of its growing gas production to the thirsty nation.

U.S. companies have plans for even more liquefied natural gas (LNG) export trains and facilities to come online in the coming years, and this winter’s surge in Chinese LNG demand and imports underpins a second wave of LNG investment in the United States, analysts and company executives believe.…  March 13, 2018