JPMorgan Sees S&P 500 Hitting 3,000, Warns on Tech Stocks (BBG)
The strategist sees large-cap tech, the group that’s done the heavy lifting in a 2017 rally that’s added 18 percent to the S&P 500, turning into a laggard next year. Tech stocks in the index have surged 37 percent so far this year, pushing valuations to the highest level in eight years. They account for almost one-quarter of the measure by weighting. “Strong fundamentals but rich valuation, crowded positioning and tax reform rotation are a significant potential headwind.”
Tax Overhaul Would End Company Breaks for Executive Pay (WSJ)
More than a quarter—28%—of executives had taxable compensation above the $1 million limit, according to Kevin Murphy, a finance professor at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business. That figure would rise to 70% under the proposed rules, partly because finance chiefs, previously excluded, would now be included.
How Deutsche Bank Enabled A Dirty Offshore Bank To Move Dark Money (BuzzFeed)
Deutsche carried on approving the Cyprus bank’s dollar transactions for decades even as red flags piled up and another Western banking giant cut ties. It withdrew its services with “extreme regret” only after the US government accused FBME of facilitating money laundering for “weapons proliferators, terrorists, and transnational organized criminals” in 2014.
The FCC Just Killed Net Neutrality. Now What? (Wired)
Broadband providers say the public has nothing to worry about. AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon, among others, have promised not to block or throttle content. But those promises leave internet providers with quite a bit of room to prioritize their own content, or content from their partners. AT&T, for example, already allows its DirecTV Now video-streaming service to bypass mobile subscribers’ data limits. Verizon does much the same with its Go90 video service. Netflix, on the other hand, still counts towards data caps. The end of the FCC’s current rules will allow companies to expand the ways they prioritize certain services over others.
What’s Stifling Pay Raises Is Also Curbing Economic Growth (NYT)
The Industrial Revolution could not have taken place without the invention of the steam engine, but it took the relatively high cost of labor in Britain to nudge business owners to find clever ways to use steam to cut their labor costs. A century later America, rich in land and resources but short of labor, developed its own style of manufacturing, even more productive than Britain’s, which helped make the U.S. the world’s richest economy. Just as expensive oil encourages us to wring more utility out of each gallon of gas, high wages encourage companies to make the most of their work forces — and to make full use of whatever new technologies promise to economize on payroll. It is not the technology which is at fault, but the incentives firms face to use it that are letting us down.
Bitcoin’s fractioning problem (FT Alphaville)
Here’s a thought experiment. If I purchase 0.000,000,001 of a bitcoin from Kadhim for $100, should the value of one bitcoin now be considered to be $100bn per bitcoin? If not why not? Ah, you say. Because the vast majority of buyers would not be prepared to buy for that absurd valuation. But here’s the thing. Are the vast majority of “buyers” really prepared to buy for the current valuation? Or are they simply thinking in dollars worth rather than in bitcoin’s worth? ALSO: Have cryptoassets created $0.5 trillion in social value?
FTAV Person of Interest 2017: The Longlist (Alphaville)
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI: Pity the historians who have to explain how a bumptious frat boy from the Kappa Theta Davos chapter came to tongue-shine his way into the White House for just long enough to deliver the office’s first official position on autofellatio. Of all the batshit crazy happenings in the Trump presidency, Mooch’s ten-day stint as Director of Comms will surely rank somewhere near the middle.
Are Walmart’s New Ways to Help Employees Pay Bills a Way to Hold Off Raises? (24/7 Wall St)
Most Americans who make more than the $10 an hour minimum wage do not have to pull money forward to cover their daily expenses. Their base pay is enough to cover these expenses without a very short-term loan. The “financial wellness services” are a means to hold wages low. Walmart does not merely pay these people low wages. It reasons that unskilled labor does not carry enough business value to pay the people more. And, based on Walmart’s margins and the large number of unskilled people it employs, the programs may be the best and most the retailer will do to aid its associates.
Wall St. bros are really into crystal healing now (NYPost)
“I was seeking a deeper purpose, but I was blocked,” says Hill, a Riverdale, Bronx, native, of his realization. So, four years ago, he turned to crystals for help, dropping tens of thousands of dollars on rocks and selling off most of his possessions, including the majority of his 35 suits and a Rolex Explorer watch, to fund his new habit. He went on a spiritual retreat in Brazil, gave up his apartment in the Meatpacking District and now spends much of his time in the Venice section of Los Angeles.