More than 100 points off the DJIA. The index fell 0.8 per cent to 14550.35 and the S&P 500 dropped 1.1 per cent, on a combination of poor jobs data and an oil price slump that hit energy stocks (Bloomberg). Private-sector job growth slowed to 158,ooo positions in March against the 200,000 widely expected (Financial Times).
Fed policy and asset purchases watch: Bullard — “It is full steam ahead right now” (Bloomberg); Williams — “we could start tapering our purchases” by the summer if labour markets show substantial improvement (FRBSF). Read more
Requests have been made, so here is a quick “story so far” on Bitcoin. Consider this a perfect dinner party cheat.
First off, Bitcoin is best described as a virtual crypto/digital parallel currency that is completely decentralised and unregulated (for now) by the current powers that be. It is understood to be the brainchild of one Satoshi Nakamoto, whose identity is alleged to be an alias in its own right. Many people believe the paper behind the Bitcoin system to be some anarchic manifesto purposefully designed to disrupt and destabilise the current economic status quo. Read more
The ‘Cypriot precedent’ and experiment with capital controls, a first for the eurozone, are still reverberating around the EU. Gilles Thieffry, a Partner at GTLaw, Geneva, writes on possible legal implications.
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Here’s something to ponder.
Which of the following do you think is the latest Bitcoin price chart and which is the latest Google Trend indicator of Bitcoin Google Search interest? Read more
Bill Gross has penned some very deep and meaningful thoughts in his latest note, which happens to include the following (rather creepy?) pic:
Here’s the gist of the piece for some caption-competition inspiration: Read more
Don’t go to Australia (but do click to enlarge the charts):
The value of Bitcoins — which trade on what is best described as an OTC basis — has been soaring of late. And suddenly everyone is talking about bitcoins. Yadda yadda yadda.
Here’s the latest bubblicious chart, courtesy of Bitcoin charts: Read more
Live markets commentary from FT.com
The SEC has given US companies permission to tweet their earnings || Health insurers prevail in Medicare fight with Washington || A debate in the open on the Fed || BP puts US wind power units up for sale || IMF will contribute €1bn over three years to Cyprus bailout || Ofgem fines SSE £10.5m over mis-selling || Putin decree targets elite’s foreign assets || Israel strikes at sites in Gaza Strip || Several EU data watchdogs take action against Google || Vitol expands into grain trading || Markets roundup and FT Alphaville’s latest Read more
The China Banking Regulatory Commission last week issued several strict-sounding new rules applying to the issuance of Wealth Management Products. The investment products have seen massive growth in the past year, with assets tripling to RMB10tn in the past two years, equivalent to 10 per cent of all China’s bank deposits.
Apart from upsetting share prices of mainland Chinese banks, what are the new rules actually going to achieve — if anything? Read more
Two charts for your morning consideration:
The Salz Review, looking at business practices at Barclays, is out. Click to read.
As the pari passu saga in New York rattles towards its end… (or is it?)
The contest of wills and/or highly-paid lawyers between Elliott and Argentina goes on elsewhere, of course. Read more
Eslewhere on Wednesday,
- Charter rates plunging again?
- Silver is acting more like a base metal.
- A shift away from RORO.
- William Shakespeare, grain hoarder. Read more
Asian shares mixed, Japan higher as BoJ board convenes || Pre-collapse HBOS chiefs to be castigated by parliamentary report || RBS lines up Bostock as new finance chief || SEC says market-moving information can be published on Twitter etc || Several EU data watchdogs tackle Google || Martin Wolf on China slowdown risks || Asian wage rises affect worldwide prices Read more