Feed aggregator

Trump says not considering firing U.S. special counsel Mueller

Top Reuters News - 35 min 23 sec ago
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump, when asked on Sunday if he was considering firing U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller, told reporters, "No. I'm not."

Bitcoin hits bigger stage as exchange giant CME launches futures

Top Reuters News - 36 min 16 sec ago
NEW YORK (Reuters) - CME Group Inc, the world's largest derivatives exchange operator, began trading bitcoin futures on Sunday, with the contract opening at what is currently its session high and dropping over 6 percent within the first half hour.

Power outage leads to partial shutdown of Atlanta airport

Top Reuters News - 41 min 56 sec ago
(Reuters) - Hundreds of flights were delayed or canceled at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Sunday as a power outage left passengers at the world's busiest airport stranded in darkened terminals or in aircraft idling on tarmacs.

U.N.'s Zeid toughens warning of 'genocide' in Myanmar

Top Reuters News - 1 hour 23 min ago
GENEVA (Reuters) - The top U.N. human rights official has said he would not be surprised if a court one day ruled that acts of genocide had been committed against the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar, according to a television interview to be shown on Monday.

Trump says not considering firing U.S. special counsel Mueller

Reuters US Politics - 1 hour 51 min ago
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump, when asked on Sunday if he was considering firing U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller, told reporters, "No. I'm not."

Regulating Cryptocurrencies--and Why It Matters

Charles Hugh Smith - 2 hours 45 min ago
Nations that attempt to limit cryptocurrencies' ability to solve these problems will find that protecting high costs and systemic friction will grind their economies into dust. There's a great deal of confusion right now about the regulation of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. Many observers seem to confuse "regulation" and "banning bitcoin," as if regulation amounts to outlawing bitcoin.Further confusing things is the regulation of cryptocurrency exchanges, where cryptocurrencies are bought and sold.In China, for example, cryptocurrencies are not outlawed, but exchanges were shut down until regulators could get a handle on how to deal with the potential for excesses such as fraud, misrepresentation, etc.A Wild West free-for-all is conducive to scammers, and so some thoughtful regulation that protects users is to be welcomed.Governments tax income and capital gains. This is how they fund their activities. Clearly, gains reaped from cryptocurrencies are no different from gains reaped from other speculations and investments, so they should be recorded and taxed in the same manner.Some enthusiasts of cryptocurrencies seem to think that regulations requiring the reporting and taxation of gains made buying and selling cryptocurrencies is tantamount to destroying cryptocurrencies.I think this view has it backwards: fully legalizing and regulating cryptocurrencies as financial instruments legitimizes them in a much wider circle of potential users, and common-sense regulations are to be encouraged and welcomed, not viewed as threats to cryptocurrencies.I want to stress that beneath all the speculative frenzy we see in the cryptocurrencies, what will retain value and remain scarce and in demand is whatever solves problems.Cryptocurrencies have the potential to solve two problems:1. reducing the cost and friction of financial intermediaries.2. holding value as the $250 trillion in phantom wealth created in the asset bubbles of the past 12 years vanishes.These are real problems: financial intermediaries introduce a great amount of friction and cost globally, and even a modest reduction in cost and friction (time, effort, compliance, recording transactions, etc.) would add up very quickly.The global value of real estate, stocks, bonds and debt-assets such as mortgages and auto loans is around $500 trillion. By my rough estimate, about half of this was created in the past 12 years as central banks inflated enormous bubbles.A house that was worth $200,000 in 2005 is now worth $500,000, but it provides no additional value as shelter; it is the exact same house with the exact same utility value. So the additional $300,000 of current market value is entirely phantom wealth.The same can be said of all the other assets whose value has skyrocketed: the underlying assets/collateral haven't changed enough to justify the current valuations.Once the bubbles in stocks, bonds, housing, commercial real estate and debt-assets start popping, the owners of all that phantom wealth will be desperate to sell what is dropping in value and convert that wealth into assets that are either holding their value or appreciating.Virtually all of this newly created financial "wealth" is ephemeral. Bitcoin et al. are routinely criticized as being "worthless" due to their digital/ephemeral nature.But critics rarely if ever examine the equally ephemeral nature of $250 trillion in financial "wealth."Bitcoin in particular has two features which may be viewed as having value as all these coordinated bubbles pop:1. The organization and distribution of bitcoin is mathematical. It is not something that can be changed at the whim of a handful of self-serving people in a room (i.e. central bankers).2. It is limited in quantity.Some critics claim this can be changed, but that's not the way it works. A group of bitcoin miners can propose a new version of bitcoin that will issue a trillion coins, but if nobody supports their new version, it dies.In other words, the marketplace of users decides what has value and what doesn't.Regulations that enable cryptocurrencies to solve the two problems listed above should be welcomed, as these problems are structural and impact everyone in some fashion.Nations that attempt to limit cryptocurrencies' ability to solve these problems will find that protecting high costs and systemic friction will grind their economies into dust.

I'm offering my new book Money and Work Unchained at a 10% discount ($8.95 for the Kindle ebook and $18 for the print edition) through December, after which the price goes up to retail ($9.95 and $20).Read the first section for free in PDF format.

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Diminished winds help California battle historic wildfire

Top Reuters News - 2 hours 55 min ago
VENTURA, Calif. (Reuters) - Calming winds on Sunday helped slow the spread of a California wildfire that already ranks as the third largest in state history, having scorched 269,000 acres (109,000 hectares) along the scenic Pacific Coast north of Los Angeles.

Lieberman, Israeli leaders push for 'terrorist' death penalty

MiddleEasteye - 2 hours 57 min ago
Language Undefined

Israel last carried out death penalty when Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann was convicted in 1961 and hanged year later

Aconex receives $1.19 billion takeover offer from Oracle Corp

Top Reuters News - 3 hours 20 min ago
(Reuters) - Aconex Ltd said on Monday it had received a A$1.56 billion ($1.19 billion), or A$7.80 in cash per share, buyout offer from U.S. software major Oracle Corp .

Saudi-led coalition air raids kill 10 women in Yemen: Reports

MiddleEasteye - 3 hours 24 min ago
Language Undefined

UN lists Yemen as world's number one humanitarian crisis, with seven million people on brink of famine

Flights delayed at Atlanta airport after power outage

Top Reuters News - 3 hours 41 min ago
(Reuters) - Flights were delayed at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Sunday after a partial power outage, leaving passengers at the world's busiest airport stranded in dimly lit terminals or in aircraft idling on tarmacs.

M&T Bank's CEO Robert Wilmers dies: bank

Top Reuters News - 3 hours 55 min ago
NEW YORK (Reuters) - M&T Bank's chairman and chief executive officer, Robert Wilmers, died on Saturday night at home after nearly 35 years leading the Buffalo, New York-based company, the bank said on Sunday.

U.S. helped thwart major attack in St. Petersburg: U.S., Russia say

Top Reuters News - 3 hours 59 min ago
MOSCOW/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States provided intelligence to Russia that helped thwart a potentially deadly bomb attack in St. Petersburg, U.S. and Russian officials said on Sunday, in a rare public show of cooperation despite deep strains between the two countries.

Sen. John McCain won't vote on Republican tax bill: report

MarketWatch Market Pulse - 4 hours 6 min ago

Republican Sen. John McCain will return home to Arizona and miss his party's final tax bill vote expected this week, CBS News reported on Sunday. The House is expected to take up the bill on Tuesday. Republicans likely have the votes they need for passage after two holdouts, Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee and Marco Rubio of Florida, pledged their support last week. McCain was hospitalized recently due to side effects from his chemotherapy treatments. Read the full story: Here’s what’s in the Republican tax deal

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Humana in talks to buy Kindred Healthcare with equity firms: source

Top Reuters News - 4 hours 9 min ago
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. health insurer Humana Inc is in advanced talks to acquire acute care provider Kindred Healthcare Inc in partnership with private equity firms Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe and TPG, a source familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

Universal Coverage in California Is Doable - For a Price

RealClearPolitics - 4 hours 21 min ago
Dan Walters, Sacramento Bee
California could afford universal health care. Lawmakers would just have to admit they want to insure undocumented immigrants.

Trump & Allies Are Trying to Destroy Mueller

RealClearPolitics - 4 hours 26 min ago
Julian Zelizer, CNN
Julian Zelizer writes that Trump's fierce attacks on Robert Mueller, coupled with weak congressional probes into Russia, could bring an untimely end to Mueller's critical work.