Posts belonging to Category bonds

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.

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.

Amazon is Eyeing the Banking Industry

How Amazon is planning to break into Wall Street

Banks have been warily watching Inc. for signs it would threaten their world. The tech giant’s latest move looks more like an opportunity — at least for one of them. A proposal to start offering a product similar to checking accounts is “for now not showing any signs of disrupting the industry,” Brian Foran, an analyst at Autonomous Research, said in a note to clients Monday. “While the ‘Amazon effect’ has dictated trading in several sectors, for banks it seems a much tamer story.”

Amazon is in talks with JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Capital One Financial Corp. about the product, people familiar with the matter said Monday. The targets are millennial consumers, the people said, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private. The strategy could help Amazon lower fees it pays to financial firms and give it a bigger window into customers’ income and spending habits. The Wall Street Journal reported the talks earlier Monday.…  March 07, 2018

Berkshire got a $29 billion gift from new tax code

Aversion to debt

Warren Buffett published his annual letter on Saturday, and it came with some of the usual trimmings: sage advice and reflections on the past year’s success.

With bonds, the “coupon rate” is the interest rate that an issuer uses to calculate regular interest payments to investors. The longer the term of a bond, the higher the coupon is likely to be; you’re paid more to wait longer to get your principal back. Higher risk, too, affects the coupon, with high-yield bonds from less solid companies offering more generous interest payments than you’ll get from higher-rated corporations or from U.S. Treasury bonds. Buffett told investors that Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB)made a $65.3 billion net gain in 2017 — but “only $36 billion came from Berkshire’s operations.”
The rest was a gift from the new U.S. tax code.…  Febuary 26, 2018

Dow futures tumble over 400 points

Markets: Fasten your seat belts

The Dow has already plummeted more than 1,800 points over the previous two trading sessions. Monday was particularly brutal: the index tumbled a record 1,175 points. The 4.6% plunge was the Dow’s worst day since August 2011 and knocked it into the red for the year.
The tremors also spread to the other side of the globe, with stocks in Asia plummeting overnight. Japan’s Nikkei lost more nearly 5%, while stocks in Hong Kong dropped almost 4%.  Febuary 06, 2018

Which hedge funds deliver double-digit gains for 2017?

A $3 trillion industry

A handful of hedge funds ended 2017 with double digit returns, their investors said, at a time the $3 trillion industry took in fresh money and posted its best returns in years, industry data show.
Activist hedge fund Marcato Capital Management, which waged proxy fights at Buffalo Wild Wings and Deckers Outdoor Corp. last year, ended 2017 with a 25.6 percent gain at its flagship fund while its smaller Encore portfolio climbed 22.6 percent.

Atlantic Investment Management, which focuses on bets that inexpensive stocks will appreciate in value, posted a 16.4 percent gain in its Cambrian Global Fund. … Thu., 11  January 2018

Eastman Kodak unveils cryptocurrency

Stock doubles

Shares of Eastman Kodak Co (KODK.N) more than doubled on Tuesday after the one-time leader in photography became the latest company to jump on the cryptocurrency bandwagon.

The storied Rochester, New York-based company said in a statement it is launching a cryptocurrency called “KODAKCoin” for photographers, part of “KODAKOne,” an image rights management platform in a licensing partnership with WENN Digital.

The platform uses blockchain technology, the backbone of bitcoin and other digital currencies that have surged in recent months and raised fears of a price bubble. … Wed., 10  January 2018

Wall Street worried by the lack of worry

Some investors are acting as if the market will never go down again

The stock market is sizzling. Companies are touting the bonuses they are giving thanks to lower taxes. And consumers are spending with gusto.
But some experts are worried that a sense of invincibility is starting to creep in among investors. Some are acting as if the market will never go down again.
“Investors are starting to feel a little too overconfident for my liking,” Jamie Cox, managing partner for Harris Financial Group, said in a recent report. “There is a clearly a confidence I haven’t seen in 10 years.” … Tue., 09  January 2018

Global Debt Hits Record $233 Trillion

The ratio of debt-to-gross domestic product is now 318 percent

Global debt rose to a record $233 trillion in the third quarter of 2017, more than $16 trillion higher from end-2016, according to an analysis by the Institute of International Finance. Private non-financial sector debt hit all-time highs in Canada, France, Hong Kong, South Korea, Switzerland and Turkey.

At the same time, though, the ratio of debt-to-gross domestic product fell for the fourth consecutive quarter as economic growth accelerated. The ratio is now around 318 percent, 3 percentage points below a high set in the third quarter of 2016, according to the IIF. … Mon., 08  January 2018

SEC warns bitcoin, cryptocurrency investors at risk

Investors should “exercise caution”

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission warned Thursday that investors should “exercise caution” with cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, noting state and federal regulators may not be able to recoup any lost investments from illegal actors.

Many promoters of initial coin offerings (ICOs) and other cryptocurrency investments are not following federal and state securities laws, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton and Commissioners Kara Stein and Michael Piwowar said in a statement. While regulators are trying to police these quickly growing markets, the SEC urged investors to be vigilant. … Fri., 05  January 2018