Bitcoin has been tossed into the virtual gutter at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week, as top US financial leaders warned the vitrual currency could be used to fund terrorism and predicted that regulation would put it out of business. Jack Lew, US Treasury secretary, said: “From the government’s point of view, we have to make sure it does not become an avenue to funding illegal activities or to funding activities that have malign purposes like terrorist activities. High quality global journalism requires investment. “It is an anonymous form of transaction and it offers places for people to hide,” Mr Lew said in an interview with CNBC at Davos. Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan chairman and chief executive, told the same channel: “The question isn’t whether we accept it. The question is do we even participate with people who facilitate Bitcoin?” Ultimately, Mr Dimon said, Bitcoin would be subjected to the same regulatory standards as other payment systems and “that will probably be the end of them”. [FT]
Here’s Kent Engelke, explaining the math he used to come up with that prediction. Take the 7% of presidents who have been impeached or resigned, ignore the fact that 0% of impeached presidents have actually been removed from office, then add 3%, just for the hell of it.
“If ObamaCare is the fiasco that some headlines are suggesting it is, I place the odds around 10% the president will resign before next November’s election,” said Kent Engelke, managing director at the brokerage Capitol Securities Management. Engelke, who has more than 27 years of experience in the securities industry, says he got the 10% number from a simple calculation: 7% of all U.S. presidents faced impeachment or resignation (Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were impeached, while President Nixon resigned). He adds in another 3% due to the heightened animosity between president Obama and Republicans in congress.
And here’s Dick Bové, acting as the voice of reason on this one. Read more »
Bonus Watch ’13: Some Of You Are Going To Be Happy With The Number Your Boss Writes Down And Pushes Across The TableBy Bess Levin
Others, not so much. Read more »
The euro could be in danger of disappearing within the next decade if France does not continue pushing economic reforms, BlackRock Capital boss Larry Fink said Tuesday. Fink expressed his concern about the health of one of Europe’s largest economies at The New York Times’s DealBook Conference, mentioning France’s recent downgrade by Standard & Poor’s. “I don’t think in 10 years time we can have a euro if we don’t have a strong France and a strong Germany,” he said in an interview shown on CNBC. “It’s all predicated on two very strong countries and the competitiveness of France is still deteriorating.” [CNBC]
Stock market analyst Tom DeMark spends many weekends in his home office in Scottsdale, Ariz., pondering the fate of the markets. The founder of Market Studies studies the price movements of stocks, bonds, commodities, currencies, and indices to try to determine where things may be headed, and investors pay for the privilege of knowing his thoughts. DeMark has thousands of subscribers to his company’s service through Bloomberg, and he has served as a consultant to Leon Cooperman and Paul Tudor Jones in the past. His only personal client at the moment is SAC Capital founder Steven Cohen, who has retained DeMark for 15 years as a special adviser…This past weekend, DeMark says, his prognostications for the stock market started to look rather bleak. His Dow Jones Index chart covering the period from May 2012 to the present seems to be tracking, almost precisely, the months leading up to the 1929 stock market crash. [BusinessWeek]
Let the outflow begin: as of last week, headhunters say UBS’s investment banking staff have banked their (allegedly paltry) cash bonuses for 2012 and are ready and willing to leave the bank. “Cash bonuses hit their accounts on March 25th,” one fixed income headhunter told us, speaking on condition of anonymity. “A lot of UBS fixed income people are trying to leave and already under offer. You will see around 20% of their fixed income people leaving over rest of this year,” he predicted. [eF]
Assent. Dissent. Abjure. Embrace. Mock. Mock each other’s mocking. Generally talk among yourselves. Read more »
Charlie Gasparino: If Congress And Obama Get Their Shit Together, This Market’s Gonna Take Off Like A Chevy Iroc Z Down The Jersey TurnpikeBy Bess Levin
He’s calling it now. Read more »