Bitcoin Mania: Even Grandma Wants In on the Action (WSJ)
Rita Scott’s grandson convinced her in mid-November to get in on the latest investing sensation and buy bitcoin. “I thought it was a big coin,” the 70-year-old said. “I didn’t even know what it was, a piece of coin? Why would I invest in a piece of coin?” With a few hundred dollars of her money invested in it, Ms. Scott quickly caught on and started checking the price several times a day, even while playing poker at a casino in her hometown of Las Vegas. Late Monday, as the price approached $10,000 for the first time, her grandson sold the bitcoin that he and his grandmother held, netting what he said was a gain of around 45% over just a few weeks. SEE ALSO: This Is What Could Pop the Bitcoin Bubble
Hedge funds eye juicy returns of esoteric trends (FT)
Computer-powered trend-following hedge funds have enjoyed robust inflows in recent years, thanks to their lack of correlation to other popular strategies. But their performance has been mediocre recently, gaining about 2 per cent on average this year. However, a batch of hedge funds that trade less liquid, more exotic markets have clocked up attractive double-digit returns. These vehicles eschew mainstream markets and attempt to ride trends in areas such as Brazilian and Czech interest rate derivatives, natural gas, uranium funds and even cheese and milk contracts.
Morgan Stanley Says 2018 Will Be the End of the Credit Rally (BBG)
“It is not a coincidence that fundamental problems are becoming more apparent in one sector after the next, as the Fed continues to withdraw liquidity,” according to the strategists. “And as is often the case near a top, these risks are mistakenly being rationalized as purely ‘idiosyncratic’ problems.” ALSO: We are in the most dangerous period in the business cycle
Uber lawyer says board, ex-CEO knew of evidence withheld from Waymo case (Reuters)
“On the surface it looks like you covered this up,” Alsup told Uber in court, later adding he had never seen a case like this. “It seems like there are so many bad things that Uber has done in this case. Usually it’s more divided.”
It Started as a Tax Cut. Now It Could Change American Life. (NYT)
Some of this re-engineering is straight out of the traditional Republican playbook. Corporate taxes, along with those on wealthy Americans, would be slashed on the presumption that when people in penthouses get relief, the benefits flow down to basement tenements. Some measures are barely connected to the realm of taxation, such as the lifting of a 1954 ban on political activism by churches and the conferring of a new legal right for fetuses in the House bill — both on the wish list of the evangelical right.
Never mind the 1 percent—Let's talk about the 0.01 percent (Chicago Booth) Between 1995 and 2015, the income share (including capital gains) of the top 1 percent rose from roughly 15 percent to 22 percent, according to Piketty and Saez’s data. The income share of the top 0.1 percent rose from 6 percent to 11 percent, and the income share of the top 0.01 percent rose from 2.5 percent to about 5 percent. In terms of percentage points, the top 1 percent’s rose the most. In terms of the rate of increase, the 0.01 percent’s did.
Tax Reform Rotation (Macro Tourist)
I started with the proposition that much of the tax cut was built into the market, but expressed my worry that some smart excel crunching analysts were claiming the market was underestimating the tremendous impact of the corporate tax cut. If my theory was correct, then we should have seen those companies that would benefit most from the tax cut rally the most over the past couple of months. Yet when we have a look at the stocks that have risen the most, it’s not those stocks.
The DOJ’s case against the AT&T/Time Warner deal makes no sense (FT Alphaville)
The DOJ lawyers say pay-TV has “huge profit margins”, and that AT&T is keen to acquire original content from Time Warner ���to hinder the growth of online distributors that it views as a threat to the traditional pay-TV model”. Tellingly, the DOJ complaint cites no financial information to support its claims. Had they done so, they would have come up with a different narrative: AT&T is probably trying to buy earnings growth to offset the weakness of its core business.
New York City Has Genetically Distinct ‘Uptown’ and ‘Downtown’ Rats (Atlantic)
When the researchers drilled down even deeper, they found that different neighborhoods have their own distinct rats. “If you gave us a rat, we could tell whether it came from the West Village or the East Village,” says Combs. “They’re actually unique little rat neighbors.” And the boundaries of rat neighborhoods can fit surprisingly well with human ones.