Following David Woo's initial $1300 fair-value price target for Bitcoin, the BofAML strategist has had to suffer through some significant changes; not the least of which is China's increasingly strict Bitcoin regulation. The shifts, he notes, raise key questions about the future of Bitcoin as he asks "is this the end of Bitcoin?"
We all know Apple’s greatest hits, but which products and services would Apple’s leaders rather forget?
A look ahead into 2014.
Not satisfied with paying less taxes than his secretary, it seems Warren Buffett has decided that his employees should also pay more for their healthcare. His latest acquisition, Heinz, has recently announced a very significant cut in retiree health benefits. Of course, as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports, Heinz is not admitting this is due to Obamacare but the company is not alone with 60% of employers considering changes through 2013. In an effort to cope with the uncertainty of ongoing health payments, companies have chosen (potentially smaller) lump-sum benefits, leaving the employee to fund the rest. As one reitree noted, "I feel that they should stand behind the moral obligation of the preceding owners of this company and maintain the program," but, keeping promises does not seem to be the norm these days.
From the first headline to the last, the following brief month-by-month summary of the year shows just how far markets and global happenings have come...
This is one of the classic business and marketing failures of 2013.
Whatever one thinks of the New Normal economy, one sure can't say there is a shortage of flipping opportunities.
Nearly 100 years ago, on December 23, 1913, the Federal Reserve Act was signed into law, giving the U.S. exactly what it didn’t need: a central bank. Many people simply assume that modern nations must have a central bank, just as they must have international airports and high-speed Internet. Yet Americans had gone without one since the 1836 expiration of the charter of the Second Bank of the United States, which Andrew Jackson famously refused to renew. Not to be a party pooper, but as this dubious anniversary is observed, we should ask ourselves, Has the Fed been friend or foe to growth and prosperity? ... In actuality, the Fed’s modus operandi has been to trick capitalists into doing things that are not aligned with economic reality.
One of these is an "asset" that produces no profit based on an underlying architecture with low barriers to entry, the other is a virtual currency... and remember: Bitcoin has no intrinsic value, doesn't trade at 1000x 2013 (or 340x 2014) EBITDA, and is nowehere near 40x it next year's revenues. It is, after all, simply a non-fiat currency. Which is why it is a bubble, and why, according to experts, Twitter is a screaming buy.
VIX closed at its lowest in a month as stocks pushed on higher to new record-er highs (and Twitter hit $70). The Nasdaq underperformed today (after yesterday's outpeformance) as the Dow, S&P, and Russell all closed around 0.4% higher (and Twitter added 8.2%). Treasury bond yields rose notably all day with the 10Y at its 2nd highest closing yield of the year +5.4bps to 2.98% today (but Twitter is almost a double off its lows in 2 weeks). Commodities drifted higher all day with Gold back over $1200 (and that so-called fat finger in copper leaving it up large still on the day). The USD ended unch with slight weakness in JPY. From the Taper lows, the S&P is up 3.7% (but Twitter is up 30% in that period).
It seems not a day goes by when the mainstream media (or your local friendly asset gatherer) proclaims the drop in gas prices from a Middle-East-turmoiling Summer as "great news" and very positive and an implicit tax cut... as they try to juice hopes and dreams of a better-than-expected holiday spending season. The sad truth - something unusual in this new normal - is that regular gas prices (at $3.258) have never been higher on Christmas Eve. It seems context does matter...
Procuring physical gold seems to be a rather problematic and time-consuming process, as the Bundesbank is learning. Yesterday Buba head Jens Weidmann told Bild that gold valued at €1.1 billion has been repatriated so far. Putting a weight to this number: to date the Bundesbank has received shipments of a paltry 37 tons of gold from its existing storage place in either New York or Paris to Germany: "The gold reserves of the country will be stored in Frankfurt because it has a special storage with the corresponding equipment,” said Carl-Ludwig Thiele, a Bundesbank board member. The repatriated amount over the course of all of 2013 represents just over 5% of the total stated target of 700 tons, and is well below the 87.5 tons that the Bundesbank would need to repatriate each year if it were to collected the 700 tons ratably ever year in the 8 year interval between 2013 and 2020.
UPDATE: Silver prices just spiked higher also.
The last few months have seen Gold futures halted numerous times. Last week we saw stock futures collapse very rapidly in the middle of the night only to bounce aggressively. Yesterday it was the Treasury Futures turn to melt-up. Today, Copper futures just exploded 4.2% higher in a split second as huge volumes hit the COMEX. And then minutes later, it fades back.
*COPPER FUTURES JUMP AS MUCH AS 4.2%, REACH $3.4475 A POUND, HIGHEST SINCE APRIL
We are sure it will be blamed on a "fat finger" but once again it suggests the algos are losing control of the asylum... Makes perfect sense to try and buy 1100 contracts in 30 seconds on Christmas Eve... so much for fiduciary duty (cue "busted trades" headline).