In today’s episode of hungry for returns we are going to talk about technical analysis vs fundamental analysis. I’m going to show you the differences between them, their pros and cons, as well as which one is better for trading stocks, in my opinion. #technicalanalysis #fundamentalanalysis #tradingstocks #trading #typesoftrading Posted at: https://tradersfly.com/blog/technical-vs-fundamental-hfr-14/ 🔥 GET MY
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Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin Wall Street sign inscription as seen on various buildings, Wall St address, Downtown in lower ... [+] Manhattan is a significant road and area district for the American, the global economy, banking system, markets etc with headquarters of companies and financial institutions located there like the New York Stock Exchange NYSE. New York City, USA (Photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images) NurPhoto via Getty Images In the next few weeks expect to see plenty of articles that use the quote from the Democratic political adviser James Carville who said: “I used to think that if there was reincarnation, I wanted to come back as the president or the pope or as a .400 baseball hitter. But now I would like to come back as the bond market. You can intimidate everybody’. Bond cliches The point of deploying the quote is to illustrate the power of the bond market as a signaling device, and in the distant past as a mechanism to discipline government. Notably market strategists, such as Ed Yardeni, have spoken of “bond vigilantes referring to the fact that the bond market curbed excessive borrowing (and inflation) by governments by penalizing them for reckless borrowing with higher bond yields. This view of bond markets is essential to the understanding of the bond market crash of the past two weeks. For example, some long duration bonds such as Austria’s 2117 issue – which was a star performer – fell by close to 25%, a move that will be terrifying to ‘risk averse’ institutional and retail holders of such securities. Australia and New Zealand both also saw sharp rises in their bond yields. The move is interesting because for much of the past ten years, central banks have managed to hold bond yields down by aggressive security purchase programs. Indeed, there has recently been talk of ‘yield curve’ control by the Federal Reserve. Will bond yields hit 2%? The rise in bond yields is too chaotic to be the work of ‘vigilantes’ – rather it signals the arrival of a new ‘regime’ in financial markets, where in the context of the likely passage of President Biden’s stimulus plan and the imminent reopening of economies as people are vaccinated bond yields stay at a higher level, and periodically push higher. In this context, investors need to watch several indicators, many of which can lead to interesting opportunities. The first of these is the extent to which markets price inflation – through the bond and swaps market or through inflation hedges in the commodity markets. Headline inflation has risen but is, officially at least, well contained – that is the view of central bankers, most of whom have been wrong in their interest rate and inflation forecasts in the last ten years – in that regard, markets may force the inflation debate and continue to buy cyclical, inflation sensitive assets – oil, lumber and soft commodities are good, recent examples. Watch credit spreads The second element to watch are credit markets. Credit spreads have been reasonably well behaved during the rise in bond yields. However, given the backdrop where debt levels for both corporates, retail investors (margin debt) and governments are close to all-time highs, the rise in interest rates will at some stage spur worries of a credit crisis. This is the point at which the rise in yields will become deadly for equities. So while the MOVE bond volatility index has driven the equity volatility index, Vix, higher, the next phase is to watch yields on the riskier end of the credit markets. If that happens, the narrative that central banks control bond markets may unravel. Their first response, beyond sounding ‘concerned’ at market volatility, is to add to purchases of bonds and potentially to talk of yield control (i.e. placing an effective ceiling on yields). In time this might even prove more inflationary, at least in the case of inflation sensitive assets. It may also be the first real test of the central banking orthodoxy of the past ten years. The areas to watch here are smaller developed economies, like New Zealand, Switzerland and Australia, who bond markets have been very well behaved but where an upturn in growth could test their central banks control over interest rates.
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Recently, Messari Crypto Researcher, Mira Christanto published a report that looks into Asia’s cryptocurrency landscape in-depth, as 60% of the world’s population resides in the region. Christanto’s study shows that six out of the top ten largest cryptocurrency unicorns are located in Asia. Moreover, 98% of ethereum-based futures and 94% of bitcoin futures volumes stem from Asia. Asia’s Financial Landscape Is Ripe for Disruption When it comes to cryptocurrencies, Asia accounts for a huge number of crypto users, companies, miners, traders, and more. The cryptocurrency and blockchain researcher from messari.io, Mira Christanto, explains that Asia has a “history of dictators, currency depreciation, [and] capital controls – all ripe for disruption.” This has likely led to Asia being the most active cryptocurrency markets, according to Christanto’s recent findings. Her recently published study called “Asia’s Crypto Landscape” covers the “key exchanges, funds, and market makers that define crypto in China, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Southeast Asia, with commentary on regulatory and investment trends.” Countries like China, Japan, Hong Kong, India, South Korea, Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, and more are covered in the 98-page study. “Leading crypto countries, such as China, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, and Singapore, have deep pools of liquidity, while other countries have a great potential to scale,” Christanto’s report says. “The nature of traditional finance has played a key role in the adoption of crypto: capital controls pushed investors towards cryptocurrencies in China and South Korea while low-yields pushed adoption in Japan,” she added. “By the end of 2019, six of the top ten largest crypto firms in the world were located in Asia,” Christanto’s data further shows. “As of January 12, 2021, of the top 20 token projects with headquarters, 42% of the market capitalization is based in Asia. Asia has an outsize role in the crypto markets due to a variety of reasons.” Christanto’s report continues: Each country has its own nuances, but factors include high penetration of public market investing, high-technology pedigree, the prevalence of WiFi, deep penetration of e-payments, propensity for gambling, and high percentage of computer- science graduates. Furthermore, Asia’s development as a finance hub has helped contribute to fintech progress. Japan, Shanghai, and Hong Kong are among the top five largest stock markets in the world. Asia’s Thriving Crypto Landscapes A few key factoids from Christanto’s study show: Binance, Huobi, and Okex combined have about the same bitcoin holdings as Coinbase. Hong Kong is home to some of the largest crypto derivatives companies in the industry. Japan is a unique market with the largest retail foreign exchange industry, representing a third of total global foreign exchange (FX) and Contract for Differences (CFD) retail volume. South Korea has the highest penetration of crypto investors with a third of workers invested in crypto. Singapore is one of the more lax Asian markets for crypto-specific regulations, though strict on AML, KYC, fit-and-proper controllers, and FATF Travel Rule compliance. The Philippines has one of the largest overseas foreign workers populations in the world, ranking fourth in global remittance recipients. Asia’s Crypto Landscape findings also indicate that a great number of countries in Asia have thriving landscapes and all for different reasons. For instance, Vietnam’s capital controls “means the crypto spot market operates somewhat in isolation,” Christanto says. Vietnam’s market is retail driven, the report notes and “when bitcoin prices are volatile, the Vietnam market lags by a couple of days.” In Malaysia Luno is the top exchange in the country as the firm founded in 2013 in Cape Town, South Africa is dominant there alongside Singapore. Christanto and messari.io’s research also saw help from the independent blockchain infrastructure platform Blockdaemon. Mira Christanto’s messari.io research report on the Asian crypto landscape can be read in its entirety here. What do you think about Christanto’s 98-page study covering the Asian crypto landscape? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below. Tags in this story Asian Landscape, Bitcoin (BTC), China, Crypto Research, crypto-economics, Cryptocurrencies, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Market Shares, Messari Crypto Researcher, Messari.io, mining, Mira Christanto, Philippines, report, Singapore, South Korea, Southeast Asia, study, thailand, trading, unicorns, Vietnam Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons, Messari.io, Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article. Read disclaimer
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In 2014, an Austrian entrepreneur offered investors a rare chance to purchase shares in Jumio, his fast-growing and profitable payments company. The deal was not a typical venture capital transaction. Instead of purchasing new shares, investors could buy out earlier shareholders, in what are known as private secondary transactions. Daniel Mattes, who calls himself a “visionary” on his Instagram page and has been a judge on the Austrian version of Shark Tank, the American reality TV series for entrepreneurs, told at least one prospective buyer he had no plans to reduce his own stake in the business, according to a US Securities and Exchange Commission complaint filed in 2019. Mattes also signed off on documents that, according to the complaint, claimed Jumio made a small profit and revenues of more than $100m in 2013 — a significant sum for a three-year-old company. Two years later, Jumio filed for bankruptcy, and the company’s shares became worthless. In reality, according to the SEC, Jumio had only made one-tenth of the revenues it claimed, and Mattes had bypassed his board of directors to sell about $14m of his own shares. Jumio’s case highlighted the risks of an opaque but fast-growing corner of finance: the global market for shares in private start-ups such as TikTok owner ByteDance, Elon Musk’s SpaceX and payments company Stripe. In 2019, the market was estimated to host almost $40bn in lightly regulated trades, according to one participant, more than doubling its volume from 2014. Attendees wear costumes at a TikTok Creator's Lab hosted by ByteDance in Tokyo. The global market for shares in such private start-ups is an opaque but fast-growing corner of finance © Shiho Fukada/Bloomberg Recently, the market has been hotter than ever. Though private companies have largely tried to restrict trading, brokers say hedge funds, mutual funds and other institutional investors have begun pouring in, buying large blocks of existing shares in start-ups that are nearing initial public offerings or big acquisitions. Often, the investors receive scant rights to information on financial performance. Technology upstarts and financial institutions including big banks have rushed to capitalise on the interest by brokering deals and forming trading venues, setting up a battle that could fundamentally alter the market’s structure and potentially allow companies to stay private indefinitely. The boom reflects how cash-flush investors are clamouring for stakes in fast-growing businesses, with low interest rates pushing non-traditional funds deeper into private markets. To meet the demand, brokers now face two key challenges: increasing the supply of shares in desirable companies while preventing fraud and manipulation in a competitive market. Until recently, private secondary markets resembled “that guy with a trenchcoat that’s selling you watches in Times Square”, says Inderpal Singh, who leads a private secondary market project at the start-up marketplace AngelList. “In the last year, there’s been a big shift.” In addition to AngelList, JPMorgan and the software start-up Carta have begun facilitating trades in private companies. They compete with established players like Nasdaq and Forge Global, which purchased the rival marketplace SharesPost in a $160m deal last year, as well as scores of smaller independent brokers. Carta and some other intermediaries have advocated that the SEC relax restrictions on who can purchase shares in private companies, potentially opening up the market to a broader swath of investors. But some observers remain sceptical that the growing market can protect investors against bad actors. Mattes, who paid $17m to settle the charges, did not admit or deny the SEC’s allegations, though he resigned from Jumio in 2015 following an internal investigation. The entrepreneur did not respond to questions sent to his personal website. The rush to expand trading could lead to fraud and manipulation, says Stephen Diamond, a professor of law at Santa Clara University who has studied private secondary transactions. “All too often in Silicon Valley, people want to basically ignore the consequences of unhealthy market structures,” Diamond says. Facebook's initial public offer is displayed on a news ticker in New York in 2012. The IPO created a frenzied market where independent brokers facilitated thousands of trades with little oversight from the company © Michael Nagle/Bloomberg The Facebook episode The debates reflect a decade-long shift in capital markets as companies grow larger than ever in private — securing billion-dollar valuations and “unicorn” status while pushing back their public debuts. As a consequence, start-ups, investors and employees have accumulated trillions of dollars’ worth of shares that cannot easily be bought and sold, barring a public listing or acquisition. Private secondary markets grew in importance in the lead-up to Facebook’s initial public offering in 2012. Investors rushed to buy the social media company’s shares, creating a frenzied market where independent brokers facilitated thousands of trades with little oversight from the company. The trades created headaches. One Facebook executive left the company after he reportedly purchased stock ahead of a big funding announcement. Facebook sometimes lost track of who owned its shares, complicating preparations for its IPO. Facebook’s struggles caused many start-ups to adopt strict clauses in their legal documents that prevented employees from trading shares without company approval. Some companies have gone even further, requiring sellers to receive approval from boards of directors months in advance of any transaction. Though the restrictions have made trading difficult, brokers say the market has been busier than ever in the past 12 months, with big investors such as Tiger Global Management hunting for shares in start-ups that look like sure bets for blockbuster public listings. Tiger Global has used secondary sales to gain stakes in companies such as China’s ByteDance and the software group Snowflake, according to fund documents and people familiar with the trades. Other hedge funds and mutual funds routinely purchase new stakes in companies worth tens of millions of dollars, brokers say. Conference-goers at a Stripe booth during a GeekWire summit in Washington. The boom in private secondary markets reflects how cash-flush investors are clamouring for stakes in fast-growing businesses © David Ryder/Bloomberg On the other side of the trades, existing shareholders such as venture capitalists have sought to unload stakes in highly-valued companies as they delay public listings. The market can also be an important source of cash for start-up employees, who receive a large portion of their pay in stock options. Several new entrants, such as Carta’s private stock exchange CartaX, now hope to formalise the market and capture trading fees that have been spread between dozens of independent brokers. “There is now, in the past few years, not a push to go all the way back to the days of strict prohibitions on secondary trading, but a push to have more avenues for organised liquidity,” says Cameron Contizano, a partner at law firm Goodwin Procter who works on secondary transactions. Meanwhile, investor demand has pushed up prices for companies such as ByteDance, SpaceX and Stripe. Barrett Cohn, chief executive of the private securities broker Scenic Advisement, says he advised companies on twice as many secondary transactions in 2020 compared with the previous year. Of the last dozen deals Scenic worked on in the past few quarters, only one resulted in shares being sold at a discount to a company’s most recent stock price, he says. Competing for business The rise in trading volumes and the rush to capture the market will shape the way private shares change hands. San Francisco-based Carta, a company best known for selling shareholder management software to start-ups, has become a lightning rod in debates about the market’s direction. Its 45-year-old chief executive, Henry Ward, has set out an ambitious goal to build the “private stock exchange” for tech start-ups. Ward wants the CartaX marketplace to compete with the Nasdaq exchange, providing a listing venue where companies could potentially stay private indefinitely. The exchange uses an auction model that Ward says will result in superior prices for sellers. But the project has already drawn strong responses from rivals and market participants. Some brokers and start-ups say CartaX amounted to an attempt to monopolise the market, and the company is naive to think it could unseat public exchanges. Scenic’s Cohn says Carta has made it increasingly difficult for its clients to export their shareholder data for use in other kinds of secondary transactions, such as tender offers. Marc Andreessen, the Netscape co-founder and Carta board member. Platforms like CartaX may struggle to meet their targets if private companies remain selective about who owns their shares © David Paul Morris/Bloomberg “We’re not trying to make the New York Stock Exchange go away,” says Kelly Rodrigues, chief executive of the brokerage Forge, which has begun offering software that companies can use to manage secondary transactions. Forge also bills itself as the “stock market for private companies”. Others say the most desirable start-ups would not want to use CartaX because few private companies want to subject their shares to monthly or quarterly auctions marketed by the exchange. Eric Folkemer, head of Nasdaq Private Markets, says it has already set up a similar marketplace with price discovery tools for companies such as the workplace collaboration company Asana that want to facilitate trading in their shares before going public. “We have it,” says Folkemer. “The question is, does the market want it?” JPMorgan has put its money behind Zanbato, a private share trading system that is taking a different approach from Carta, acting as a central matchmaker for more than 100 banks and brokers executing orders on behalf of clients. Nico Sand, chief executive of Zanbato, says the exchange has made a conscious choice to focus on trades between large, qualified buyers with more than $100m in assets, who regulators assume have high amounts of financial expertise and require less oversight. Zanbato has applied for a patent for a trading system with “firm orders”, a legal contract that forces buyers and sellers to transact shares in a private company after they have submitted orders with desired prices and quantities, says Sand. He says the concept, which is standard in public markets, is necessary for creating efficient trading in private shares. “At the end of the day, it comes down to formalising the market structure in a way it’s not currently formalised.” ‘The third configuration’ So far, Carta is the only company that is listed for trading on CartaX. This month, investors purchased almost $100m in shares following the company’s first auctions on the exchange, in trades that valued the company at $6.9bn — more than double the valuation it received from venture capitalists less than one year ago. Marc Andreessen, the Netscape co-founder and Carta board member, said in a blog post that he would encourage start-ups backed by his venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz to consider listing on the exchange. He also said the firm would buy shares in companies on the exchange. “The third configuration — beyond the false binary of simply private or public — is here,” Andreessen wrote. But Ward has set targets for the exchange that some people familiar with its workings described as overly ambitious. A SpaceX rocket lifts off from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The company is one of the most active companies in secondary trading and hosts an internal marketplace where employees and venture capitalists can sell stock to invited investors © Craig Bailey/USA TODAY NETWORK/Reuters Ward told investors he expected CartaX to generate about $1.1bn in annual revenues by 2024, according to a presentation viewed by the Financial Times. Under the most optimistic scenario, the marketplace would bring in $3.9bn in revenues that year, the presentation said. Carta declined to comment for this article. CartaX charges 1 per cent fees to both buyers and sellers, implying it would need to facilitate about $55bn in trades a year to reach Ward’s expectations. Those volumes would require about 3 per cent of the shares in all billion-dollar start-ups to change hands every year, according to Financial Times analysis of data from CB Insights, which estimates that 546 “unicorns” hold a collective value of $1.8tn. Platforms like CartaX may struggle to meet their targets if private companies remain selective about who owns their shares. SpaceX, one of the most active companies in secondary trading, already hosts an internal marketplace where employees and venture capitalists can sell stock to invited investors. “They have a lot of demand from buyers,” says Hans Swildens, chief executive of Industry Ventures, which has invested in Carta. “The question, like all the other marketplaces, is supply.” Venture capitalists say the new exchange could also face competition from an unlikely source — special purpose acquisition companies (Spacs), which have recently lured relatively young start-ups to public markets. CartaX would force companies to share two years of financial statements prepared using generally accepted accounting principles, in order to comply with a securities exemption the exchange is using to allow participation from an unlimited number of accredited investors. Lawyers and governance experts say the requirement could help solve inconsistencies in information disclosure in private markets. But others say it would be a burden for young companies, which often remain private to avoid sharing their financial information to a broad audience of investors, reflecting a central tension in the market as brokers and traders attempt to capitalise on the surge of interest in secondary transactions. “The ‘move fast and break things’ culture of start-ups militates precisely against this,” says Diamond at Santa Clara University. “That, to me, is the fundamental paradox here.”
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Whenever I check my emails, a number appears in the top right-hand corner of my computer screen that used to fill me with a horrible sense of despair. It shows how many emails are in my inbox and as I type, I can see there are many thousands of them. Another number on the top left-hand side shows something that once caused even more misery: the emails that are unread. There are thousands of them too. For a while I did what people tell you to do to deal with a bloated inbox. Set up filters. File stuff to folders. Set aside time to mass delete. But the scale of the digital bilge was overwhelming. So then I did something far more effective. I gave up.  I have never looked back from the liberating strategy of letting the mess wash in. Yet I was pleased to see one email arrive the other day with news that Cal Newport, a US academic, had written a new book called A World Without Email. It promised to free workers from the tyranny of the inbox and I immediately tracked down a copy. Newport has become an authority on smarter ways to work. At 38, the computer science professor has knocked out seven books in the past 16 years, including a 2016 hit, Deep Work, whose title has become a catchphrase for achieving focus in a frantically distracted world. He also has a podcast, a blog, a newsletter and three sons under the age of nine. He typically does not work past 5.30pm on weeknights and keeps most of his weekends free. I am guessing he knows how to work productively. Whether he knows how to end the scourge of too much email is another thing. What I like best about his book is that it shows the email problem is far worse than thought. What might have been a mild nuisance 10 years ago has turned into a serious productivity sap.  The average worker now sends and receives about 126 business emails a day, Newport reports, and a lot of white-collar workers devote more than three hours a day to the Sisyphean task of dealing with them. They do this knowing many messages are irrelevant and few require instant answers. Why? In part because our ancient brains are hard-wired to fret about ignoring social obligations. That made evolutionary sense when we lived in interdependent tribes. Today, it explains the distress that erupts at the sight of a screen of unanswered emails. The trouble is, email is so cheap and easy that it has given rise to what Newport calls the “hyperactive hive mind” — a new way of office working that revolves around an ongoing conversation of unscheduled messages. Email and its more fevered cousin, Slack, no longer simply interrupt important tasks. They fuel an endless, attention-draining digital discussion about those tasks that we have come to regard as both normal and unavoidable.  In other words, the scourge of email is part of a wider, systemic problem that cannot be solved with one-off productivity “hacks”, such as writing better subject headings or using Gmail’s autocomplete function. It requires a much bigger structural overhaul, akin to the way Henry Ford revolutionised carmaking with the assembly line. This is, I think, a profound insight. I am less convinced by some of Newport’s ideas for what can be done about it. That is partly because organisations differ so much that there are few one-size-fits-all answers. Also, some of his suggested solutions require online project management tools such as Trello that drive more focused work on specific tasks. For a computer scientist like Newport they may be more familiar than they are to others. Many firms would balk at testing some of his other ideas — set hours when a worker cannot be interrupted; hiring an “attention capital ombudsman”; supercharging” administrative support in workplaces. Such changes, Newport admits, can be “a pain in the short term”, though he is confident the long-term productivity gains are worth it. I think he is right. One day, a new Henry Ford will be rewarded for fixing the imperfect working world that was unwittingly forged through tech breakthroughs such as email. Meanwhile, Newport has defined the scale of a problem too few of us knew existed pilita.clark@ft.com Twitter: @pilitaclark
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Maria do Socorro explains in graphic detail the spate of ailments affecting newborns in her remote community in the Amazon: her grandson died after being born with his intestines outside his body, while others were missing organs or had undeveloped bones. For the 56-year-old community leader, there is little doubt about the cause of these illnesses. She said the rainforest town had for years suffered from toxic waste pollution from the local operations of Norwegian aluminium producer Norsk Hydro. Long a simmering environmental scandal in Brazil, the allegations were brought on to the international stage this month when Socorro’s community sued the Norwegian giant in a Dutch court, seeking damages for claims that “the incorrect disposal of toxic waste” from operations in the area had caused a variety of health ailments, polluted the rainforest and destroyed economic opportunities. “We cannot have future generations because the children are born and then die. Whole families are contaminated,” said Socorro from the Barcarena township in the northern state of Pará. The case — filed just days before the UK’s top court ruled that Royal Dutch Shell could face legal action in London brought by thousands of Nigerian villagers over alleged pollution — is the latest international trial pitting large, resource-hungry companies against impoverished rural communities. It also comes amid mounting pressure on companies to abide by strict environmental standards, a push being spearheaded visibly by Scandinavian investors. One of the allegations in the lawsuit is that the pollution has caused birth defects © Alessandro Falco/Bloomberg “If business can be global, why can’t justice? These companies have businesses everywhere, but then when they do something wrong they want to smother the possibility of people getting compensation,” said Pedro Martins, partner at law firm PGMBM, which is representing 40,000 alleged victims bringing the suit against Norsk Hydro. “International corporations have different standards for how they do business in the northern and southern hemispheres as if life in the southern hemisphere does not have the same value.” Through local entities, Norsk Hydro runs three facilities — a bauxite mine, a refinery and a smelter — in Pará, a vast Amazonian state that is a flashpoint for illegal deforestation, gold mining and land-grabbing. The company said it would respond to the request before the court in the Netherlands, where its subsidiaries controlling the local entities at issue are headquartered. It denied that in 2018 pollutants from its facilities spilled over during heavy rains and polluted nearby rivers and earth. The company declined to comment further. A source close to the company said, however, that it did “not see the [health] effects that have been claimed. The actual impact is hard to see and there aren’t any studies showing that.” A combination of poor sanitary conditions and the tropical climate could be behind many of the health issues, he added: “There are a lot of feelings and not so many things relating to actual facts.” Locals say bauxite, lead and aluminium pollution have turned the region’s rivers red. A study from the Evandro Chagas Institute, a Brazilian public health body, found in 2018 that the region’s waters were so polluted with industrial waste from the Norsk Hydro facilities that they “cannot be used for recreation, fishing, or human consumption”. Like many Amazonian communities, much of the Barcarena township depends heavily on fishing and farming for survival, work that they now say is impossible. “I invite these Norwegians to come and bathe in our waters. I challenge them. They have good water there in Norway. Our wealth just goes there,” said Socorro, who heads Cainquiama, a group representing mainly indigenous people and quilombolas — the descendants of runaway slaves. Nearly all of the claimants in the suit have complained about chronic pain, hair loss and skin conditions. The suit also contains claims in relation to birth defects, such as those that have affected Socorro’s grandson, who was born with gastroschisis — a hole in the abdominal wall. A pipe belonging to alumina refinery Alnorte, which is owned by Norsk Hydro, in Barcarena © Ricardo Moraes/Reuters “Studies around the world have shown the effects [of toxic metals] on pregnant women, foetuses and children at birth,” said Marcelo de Oliveira Lima, a public health researcher at the Chagas institute. “But our studies so far did not go deep enough to show the [connection]. Other studies are still being done.” The case is a sensitive one for Norwegian investors and the government, which owns a 34 per cent stake in Norsk Hydro. Oslo has long attempted to hold Brasília to account for the environmental destruction of the Amazon, even publishing its own data on deforestation in the world’s largest rainforest. “There seem to be quite some dispute about the facts in this case and in particular about the actual harm of the spill to local environment and whether the company is somehow to blame by neglecting important safety measures,” said Jeanett Bergan, head of responsible investments at the KLP pension fund, Norway’s largest pension provider. “We know Norsk Hydro as a responsible corporate actor when doing businesses abroad. I do not think [this case] will damage the credibility of Norwegian actors.” Climate Capital Where climate change meets business, markets and politics. Explore the FT’s coverage here  Martins, the lawyer leading the group action, said they brought the case in the Netherlands because of the inertia of the Brazilian court system. He believes the case can reach a verdict in 18 or 24 months. Brazil is no stranger to environmental disasters. This month, miner Vale agreed to a $7bn settlement with authorities over a dam breach in 2019 in the Brumadinho township that killed hundreds of people and polluted vast tracts of lands with industrial sludge. BHP was sued in a British court over a dam failure in Brazil’s Mariana township in 2015 that left 19 dead. The case was thrown out because parallel proceedings were taking place in Brazil. “The Hydro case draws attention for having caused significant environmental damage,” said Luiz Eduardo Rielli, director of sustainability consultancy Novi. “After three years, what I care most about is: What lessons have been learned? How can we ensure that new damages do not occur?” Additional reporting by Richard Milne in Oslo and Carolina Pulice in São Paulo
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As lockdowns across Europe drag on into spring, the Austrian government says it has a strategy to get life back to normal in weeks rather than months — not with vaccines, but tests. The country of 8.8m people will from Monday make 3.5m Covid tests available free to its citizens each week. The plan could allow restaurants and bars to start welcoming customers back by mid-March. Non-essential shops and schools are already open and many Austrians have returned to their workplaces. “We are on the way to becoming the testing world champion,” said chancellor Sebastian Kurz. “Our goal is to be able to control the incidence of infection, or at least mitigate any growth in infection numbers, as best we can, by testing as much as possible.” As Covid cases climb, Austria has grown frustrated with the EU’s slow vaccine rollout. The bloc’s performance particularly rankles because last May — in deference to EU solidarity — Kurz turned down a tentative offer from Benjamin Netanyahu to partner with Israel in its vaccination drive with Pfizer, two Austrian officials told the Financial Times. Kurz has a close working relationship with the Israeli leader and the two regularly discuss the pandemic. The missed opportunity for the kind of swift vaccination programme pioneered by Israel underscored the importance for smaller countries such as Austria to be flexible in their approach to the virus, a political adviser close to the chancellor said.  Austria’s faith in testing has put it at odds with other European countries where the Covid policy is almost solely focused on immunisation as a means of escaping another wave of the pandemic. That has left much of the continent languishing under stricter lockdown conditions than those enforced when the pandemic first hit a year ago. Britain is Europe’s vaccine leader, with more than 28 doses of vaccine delivered per 100 residents. Austria has managed just 6 — slightly less than the 6.3 EU average. But last week the UK government said it still expected to impose four more months of restrictions to control the virus. For critics, Vienna is walking a tightrope: cases in Austria have ticked up from the low of 14.9 per 100,000 residents a fortnight ago to a rolling seven-day average of 19.2. The next two weeks will be crucial: if numbers continue to rise Austria’s strategy will unravel. But the focus on testing will also be closely watched. Chancellor Angela Merkel told lawmakers in her party last week she believed mass testing would be a critical in helping Germany ease its way back to normality. A hairdresser and her customer in Vienna wear FFP2 protective face masks. © Alex Halada/AFP/Getty Thomas Czypionka, head of health policy at the Institute of Higher Studies in Vienna, said “a tight net of testing” would provide the opportunity to reopen businesses and schools by controlling transmission of the virus. “This is a different kind of strategy. It’s not perfect, but its worth a try.” The Austrian initiative should in part be understood in the context of the government’s poor handling of the second wave, according to Czypionka. Feted for his nimble handling of the crisis last spring, Kurz has since faced criticism as the number of cases soars. In November, Austria recorded the highest number of new infections per million inhabitants in western Europe. Testing is crucial, according to Czypionka, because people’s willingness to tolerate restrictions and their disastrous economic consequences had reached its limit. “People have lost faith. This is the real reason the government is having to open up.” © Ronald Zak/AP He was nevertheless confident that the testing strategy was a good one: “It’s cheaper than keeping a country in lockdown.” While Austria’s first experiment with mass-testing began in December, with limited success, the latest drive is markedly different. Testing will be linked to the phased emergence from lockdown itself — using reliable PCR tests for entry into venues, and quick result lateral flow tests for home use. Officials at the chancellery said they believed this “nudge” approach — where even small incentives can prove powerful motivators for social change — has been highly successful. Hair salons have been open in Austria since February 8. But their use is conditional on testing: customers must present proof of a negative test no later than 48 hours before an appointment. The idea is now being thrashed out for the hospitality sector. An announcement is expected to be made this week, but the government is hopeful that entry tests at restaurants, bars and cafés could allow for a reopening of some — with strict hygiene measures also in place — as early as March 14. “My heart bleeds because tens of thousands of businesses have not been allowed to open for months. We will do everything we can to ensure that the catering and hotel industry can welcome guests again soon. I'm on the side of the industry,” tourism minister Elisabeth Köstinger said last week. Capacity for tests has been increased dramatically. There are now 800 pharmacies across Austria offering tests, and a further 650 specialist testing stations. From Monday, the government hopes to make up to five postal tests — which can be ordered by telephone hotline or online — available to every Austrian each week. Schools are testing pupils twice a week and workplaces have been brought onboard. The government is subsidising more than 1,000 Austrian companies — representing a workforce of just under 500,000 — to provide them with free regular tests for those who want to return to the workplace. Testing was the best way to avoid an “indefinite lockdown”, Kurz declared last week, as he promised Austrians the government would do whatever it could to safely reopen public life.
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Risk-averse Europeans have embraced share trading during the coronavirus pandemic, encouraged by soaring stock markets, rising household savings and the popularity of low-cost trading platforms. The number of people in Germany who own shares directly or via funds rose by 2.2m to 12.4m last year — with the sharpest rise among those aged under 30, according to a recent report by the Deutsches Aktieninstitut, which represents German publicly traded companies. This is a significant shift for a country with relatively low levels of share ownership and where people are traditionally conservative with their money — often preferring to earn meagre interest on bank deposits rather than invest in shares. Christine Bortenlänger, managing director of Deutsches Aktieninstitut, said the “sensational” increase in share ownership, which included 600,000 people aged under 30 buying their first share last year, was “a good sign for the equity culture in Germany”.  Yet there is a long way to go before Germany catches up with other countries. Even after the latest surge, only 15 per cent of Germans have a direct investment in the stock market, compared to about 55 per cent in the US and 33 per cent in the UK. The investing craze is also catching on in the Netherlands, where the number of households investing in shares either directly or through funds increased 17 per cent to 1.75m last year, the biggest increase since the 1990s, according to a recent survey by Kantar. In France, 1.34m people bought at least one share last year, of which 400,000 had not done so since 2018, according to the French market watchdog. The total was down slightly from the previous year when the numbers were boosted by the privatisation of the gaming monopoly, Française des Jeux.  The rise in retail share trading in Europe reflects a number of factors. Stock markets have rebounded sharply from the initial impact of the pandemic, Europeans have saved money they would have otherwise spent on holidays and going out, while many have been stuck at home with extra time on their hands during lockdowns.  It has also become easier and cheaper in recent years for Europeans to invest in the stock market thanks to newly launched “neo-brokers” that have undercut the banks' high brokerage fees by offering zero-commission trading via user-friendly apps.  “Europe is Americanising and whereas investing used to be a hobby it is now a necessity because interest rates are so low and the pension systems of European countries are becoming unsustainable,” said Nick Bortot, founder of Dutch neo-broker Bux, which has attracted over 400,000 clients since launching 18 months ago.  The last time there was a similar boom in share ownership in Germany it did not end well. Millions of people bought shares for the first time in the 1996 privatisation of Deutsche Telekom and on the Neuer Markt technology exchange, both of which plummeted when the dotcom bubble burst, putting many Germans off the idea of buying shares. European interest in share trading has been further boosted by the recent uproar about retail investors pushing up the share prices of some US companies, such as console retailer GameStop, and triggering losses at hedge funds. Christian Hecker, co-founder of German neo-broker Trade Republic, said 5 per cent of its customers traded GameStop shares, while 80 per cent were investing an average of €300 a month in long-term savings. Its customer numbers quadrupled last year to 600,000, half of them buying shares for the first time.  “We have three huge problems in Europe: a demographic decline that is putting pressure on pensions, negative interest rates and the expectation of rising inflation, which all create a toxic mix for savers,” said Hecker.
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After saying that cryptocurrencies “rank as the poorest hedge for major drawdowns in equities, with questionable diversification benefits,” JPMorgan says investors can put 1% of their portfolios in cryptocurrencies. This can help “achieve any efficiency gain in the overall risk-adjusted returns of the portfolio,” the firm’s strategists explained. Investors Can Allocate 1% of Portfolios to Bitcoin, Says JPMorgan JPMorgan Chase now sees benefits in adding a small percentage of bitcoin to a multi-asset portfolio. The firm’s global head of research, Joyce Chang, and vice president of strategic research, Amy Ho, wrote in a note to clients Wednesday: In a multi-asset portfolio, investors can likely add up to 1% of their allocation to cryptocurrencies in order to achieve any efficiency gain in the overall risk-adjusted returns of the portfolio. However, the strategists clarified: “Cryptocurrencies are investment vehicles and not funding currencies. So when looking to hedge a macro event with a currency, we recommend a hedge through funding currencies like the yen or U.S. dollar instead.” While many analysts believe that bitcoin is a way to hedge against significant fluctuations in traditional asset classes, including stocks, bonds, and commodities, JPMorgan has doubts. It was only last week that the investment bank claimed bitcoin was an “economic sideshow,” adding: Crypto assets continue to rank as the poorest hedge for major drawdowns in equities, with questionable diversification benefits at prices so far above production costs, while correlations with cyclical assets are rising as crypto ownership is mainstreamed. JP Morgan also said that the recent prices of bitcoin are well above the cryptocurrency’s fair value estimates. The firm further asserted that mainstream adoption increases bitcoin’s correlation with cyclical assets, which rise and fall with economic changes. This reduces bitcoin’s benefits of diversifying portfolios. Nonetheless, its most recent report recommends that investors can add a small percentage of bitcoin to their portfolios. The investment bank has come a long way since its CEO Jamie Dimon called the cryptocurrency a fraud back in September 2017. Earlier this month, JPMorgan’s co-president Daniel Pinto said that he is certain the demand for bitcoin “will be [there] at some point.” The executive confirmed: “If over time an asset class develops that is going to be used by different asset managers and investors, we will have to be involved.” Moreover, the firm’s analysts have predicted that bitcoin’s price could reach $146,000 as the cryptocurrency’s competition with gold heats up. What do you think about JPMorgan’s view on bitcoin? Let us know in the comments section below. Tags in this story Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article. Read disclaimer
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Harvard Professor of Economics and former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Kenneth Rogoff says that central banks won’t allow bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to become mainstream. “Eventually over the long course of history, the government first regulates and then it appropriates, and I think we can see that happening here,” he warned. Harvard Professor’s Warning About Bitcoin American economist Kenneth Rogoff shared his views on the future of bitcoin, its regulation, and the recent bull run in an interview with CNBC TV18 last week. Rogoff is the Thomas D. Cabot Professor of Public Policy and a professor of economics at Harvard University. He also served as chief economist at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from 2001–2003. “Zero interest rates can produce a lot of funny asset valuations. So that is certainly part of it,” he responded to a question about the rise in popularity of bitcoin and its recent bull run. “Clearly, there are a lot of wealthy people and well-known financiers, often very senior, who publically said they are investing in it [bitcoin] and that has given confidence.” Nonetheless, the professor of economics cautioned: “But I have to say, regulation is in its early innings – if there is no final use case for bitcoins, [and] I don’t think it’s going to be, [then] ultimately this bubble will pop, but it could take a decade.” Given the recent BTC price surge and the subsequent spike in its market capitalization, Rogoff was asked why central banks and governments have not passed strict regulations to control its trading or even banned it. “I think they are all over it,” the professor replied, pointing out that the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the G7, and the G20 are all closely watching the cryptocurrency. “Every central bank is looking at this and trying to decide what to do,” he emphasized. “The real issue is that for the moment it is not really used for a lot of meaningful transactions, except in war-torn states, where I think people use it to get money in and out. That’s certainly a good use,” Rogoff opined. The economist proceeded to predict: “As it really starts to compete with ordinary, fiat currencies, government currencies, I think they’ll clamp down on it like a ton of bricks. They are not going to allow that to happen.” Comparing bitcoin to modern art, the economist elaborated: Right now it is an asset class and I suppose in the way modern art is, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is in the mainstream. I think that is extremely misleading. Central bankers will never ever allow that. A growing number of companies are investing in bitcoin, such as Elon Musk’s Tesla, which recently put $1.5 billion in the cryptocurrency, and Jack Dorsey’s Square, which invested $170 million more in BTC. Tesla will also be accepting bitcoin as a means of payment in the near future. Citing bitcoin’s rising adoption and a growing acceptance as a legitimate means of payment, such as what is happening in the U.S. city of Miami, Rogoff was asked if regulating bitcoin would become more difficult for governments. “I don’t think regulating it is all that difficult,” he replied. “I think that there has been a hesitation to move too quickly because there has been a lot of innovation in the cryptocurrency space and governments want to allow that to proceed.” In conclusion, professor Rogoff warned: But make no mistake, the governments need to retain control over taxation, controlling crime, etc. They need to maintain control over the unit of account — the currency. Yes, private innovation can come out for a while, but eventually over the long course of history, the government first regulates and then it appropriates, and I think we can see that happening here. What do you think about professor Rogoff’s bitcoin warning? Let us know in the comments section below. Tags in this story Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article. Read disclaimer
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As new institutional and retail investors enter the cryptocurrency space on a daily basis, large-cap top performers like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) attract the lion's share of investor's attention as they are the well-known 'secure' blockchain projects.  Once these new investors get a taste of the mainstay cryptocurrencies and how to navigate the volatile markets, their attention soon turns to smaller cap coins as they search for the up-and-coming projects that could be the next big thing. Currently, CoinMarketCap shows that there are 8,475 tokens and more are added daily. This makes it difficult to keep up with the latest developments and find solid projects with real-world potential. With that in mind, here are some interesting projects that have been gaining strength over the past few weeks.  MRPH/USDT Morpheus Network (MRPH) is a blockchain platform focused on logistics and supply chain optimization through the use of its SaaS middleware platform which is integrated with emerging technologies. Supply chain managers are able to use the platform to create a digital representation of their network as information collected is transformed into actionable data, with all steps in the supply chain being notarized on the Morpheus blockchain. MRPH was trading at a price of $0.412 on Jan.15 before an influx of trading activity lifted the token more than 920% to a high of $4.44 on Feb.8. MRPH/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView The rapid rise in price was due in part to the fresh attention the project received from several well-known YouTube influencers and recent verifiable MRPH partnerships, such as China’s Qingdao Maple Leaf International Trading Co. and the possibility of a partnership with Coca-Cola in Latin America. Speculations aside, the Morpheus platform currently has more than 100 integrations with industry-leading service providers including DHL, FedEx, SWIFT, Oracle, and Salesforce. With significant real-world partnerships and the attention of cryptocurrency influencers, MRPH has strong fundamentals and is likely to gain more attention from investors. BMI/USDT Bridge Mutual (BMI) is a more recent arrival to the decentralized insurance space but it has quickly garnered the attention of investors. The insurance platform offers coverage for stablecoins, centralized exchanges and smart contracts. It also allows users to provide insurance coverage, determine insurance payouts, and recie compensated for taking part in the ecosystem. BMI’s initial decentralized exchange offering (IDO) was conducted on Jan. 30 with a token price of $0.125 and it was first listed on Uniswap for $1.03. Since listing, BMI has rallied by 540% to a high of $5.46 on Feb. 3. Currently, BMI trades at $3.24 following the downturn in the market that began on Feb. 21. BMI/USD 1-hour chart. Source: CoinGecko Decentralized insurance has thus far been dominated by Nexus Mutual (NXM), but BMI’s arrival offers a fresh challenger to a field with growing demand due to the risky nature of investing in DeFi platforms. REEF/USDT Reef (REEF) is a Polkadot-based DeFi platform that aims to offer cross-chain trading powered by a yield engine and smart liquidity aggregator that enables automation of the exchange process. One issue Reef developers hope to provide a solution for is high gas fees on the Ethereum blockchain that are currently making DeFi unusable for many community participants. The team also hopes to help connect liquidity pools from separate networks, avoiding the need for multiple accounts which can be difficult to keep track of. REEF/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView Work on the project began in the second half of 2020 with the completion of its IDO on Sep.30. Following its listing on Binance and Uniswap in late December of 2020, REEF price bottomed out at $0.0067 on Jan.13 and has since increased more than 750% to a high of $0.054 on Feb.11. DeFi remains one of the hottest growth areas in the cryptocurrency sector and Reef is well-positioned to capitalize on its continued growth. As the Polkadot ecosystem grows its user base and provides solutions that provide relief from high Ethereum transaction costs, cross-chain functionality projects like Reef stand ready to benefit as decentralized finance goes mainstream.
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Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin Decorating your first apartment? Here's everything you need to know. Sidekix Media on Unsplash Buying furniture for a first apartment or home can feel stressful because it involves a great amount of decision-making. It’s also a challenge because there are so many major purchases to make, often with a budget in mind. And while it's completely possible to create a stylish space within most reasonable budgets, the most important thing to consider is what pieces of furniture are really worth spending money on. Should you splurge on the side table but scrimp on the sofa? Are expensive mattresses truly worth the price? Will a cheap bed frame fall apart? The answers might be surprising. Here’s everything to know about buying furniture for your first home. Measure Everything First Don’t click “add to cart” or even start shopping before you have an accurate measurement of the space. If you rent, ask the property manager for a floor plan with dimensions. But, if that isn’t available, measure the space yourself. Buy a high-quality tape measure and write everything down. Draw out a floorplan on your own, especially if the shape of the room is unique.  This is essential to make sure the furniture will not only fit, but will be the right size. After all, a sofa might physically fit in the living room, but if it takes up eighty percent of the space, it’s not the right piece. On the other hand, it’s essential to consider whether or not there will be enough seating for everyone to fit comfortably or for one person to lie down. Dining tables are another challenge. Would a square or round table look best? Is it possible to pull off an irregular-shaped table for a bolder look?  Do you even need a dining table if you’re single and eating dinner on the sofa every night? This is where the practical part of interior design comes in. To see how everything will flow together, outline the dimensions of the future on the floor with Scotch Blue Original Painter’s Tape. This is the best way to get an accurate visual of what the layout and flow will be like. Blue painter's tape is a great tool for planning rooms. getty This type of tape is easily removed and won’t ruin wood floors or carpeting. Using it will also prevent mistakes and buyer’s remorse as well as ensure you will have enough space to move around in the room. Don’t Bring Mom’s Old Dining Chairs, But Consider Bringing That Dresser If your mom has been saving that old coffee table, sofa, or desk for you, really consider whether it is worth bringing. It may be best to politely decline, even if it feels uncomfortable. The problem with accepting furniture that’s dated-looking or simply not your style, is that you’ll ultimately end up trying to decorate around it. There's no way to may this work in a modern or mid century modern home. getty For example, while that traditional flower print sofa might be in perfectly good condition, it’s simply not going to work if you’ve had your heart set on mid century modern style. However, there are some exceptions to these rules. If you're gifted a neutral piece of furniture like a sofa or dining chairs, even if you aren't completely in love, those on limited budgets should consider finding a way to make it work. Can you add or change a slipcover? Consider how you can accessorize. New pillows and a throw have a larger design impact than many people think. Another exception to this rule is wood furniture. Is it possible to refinish or repaint a piece? If you aren’t good at DIY, paying someone else to do this for you may be less expensive than buying something new. Spend Money On The Right Pieces As a general rule of thumb, if you’re buying furniture for your first apartment, aim to buy pieces you want to keep for approximately five years. This means considering what is and what isn’t worth spending money on. Items that get the most wear and tear such as sofas, mattresses (a good night’s sleep is always worth it) and dressers are worth allocating a higher portion of your budget to. That’s because these pieces need to be somewhat durable. However, there are some pieces that you can avoid overpaying for. Nightstands are a great example of this. They also tend to be marked up because retailers know that consumers must buy two. Opt for small side tables instead. While you won’t have drawers, it’s a very design-forward look. Floating shelves are another stylish swap for nightstands and perfect for smaller rooms. West Elm currently has shelves for less than $50. Choose a floating shelf with enough space for a bottle of water, a phone, and perhaps a book or two.  Then consider adding a sconce instead of using a lamp. If you own your home, have the have sconces hardwired. Renters should consider plug-and-play sconces instead. The Novogratz is a great place to shop for these accessories.   This bed frame from Wayfair is big in style but very low in price. Wayfair Bed frames are something that are surprisingly easy to scrimp on. While many people are concerned about durability, even inexpensive bed frames can be durable and look more expensive than the price tag would have you believe. Wayfair and sister site, Joss and Main have lots of options in this category. Just make sure to read the reviews. Wait For A Sale If you’re buying a lot of new furniture, it’s smart to wait for a sale or see if any kind of discount is available. According to RetailMeNot, discounts in the furniture category average approximately seventeen percent off. This can be a major savings for anyone who is furnishing an entire home. In 2020, the best discounts were offered in May, September, and October, aligning to holidays such as Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Prime Day. It is likely there will be similar sales this year. In terms of promotion types, most furniture retailers run flat-discount sales, such as “up to 70 percent off” in a particular category, but RetailMeNot also recommends using loyalty codes and signing up for emails to save money. Consider Buying Used There are several ways to buy used furniture. One way that's often overlooked is floor models. Many major furniture stores sell off their floor models when an item, color, or style is being discontinued, including more upscale stores like Crate and Barrel. These products are normally in good condition with a little bit of wear and tear. Inventory will always vary so it’s best to ask someone working at the store if they know when the floor models will become available.  There’s also a plethora of used pieces available from places like Facebook Marketplace and NextDoor. The long-established Craigslist and newer apps like OfferUp are other options. Buy Decor and Accessories Last While looking for the perfect sofa, you might encounter the area rug of your dreams, but don’t buy it just yet. Here’s the problem with accessorizing first— you will likely end up trying to revolve your entire décor scheme around an accessory of two. It ultimately makes the process more difficult. Instead, save the link to your favorites or add it to a Pinterest board. In terms of accessories, it’s important not to forget things like the aforementioned area rug, lamps, picture frames, art, and other décor. This isn’t a category where you should overspend. Try going to your local Homegoods. This chain is a virtual treasure trove for affordable accessories. Florida, Stuart, HomeGoods store display. (Photo by: Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via ... [+] Getty Images) Universal Images Group via Getty Images But if you’d rather shop exclusively online, Wayfair has a very large selection of decor that won’t break the bank. Wayfair has lots of great accessories, like the acrylic tray. Wayfair Remember, you don’t have to buy every pillow, throw, and storage box by your move-in date. Take your time when it comes to choosing accessories. Most of all, enjoy the process.
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Coming every Saturday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link. Top Stories This Week Increasing stock market volatility drags Bitcoin and altcoin prices lower Bitcoin has had an exceptionally trying week, and it doesn’t bode well for March — a month that’s traditionally bearish for the world’s biggest cryptocurrency. After hitting record highs of $58,300 last Sunday, Bitcoin suffered a dramatic reversal of fortunes — crashing to $46,000 on Tuesday. Elon Musk might not have helped matters… in the run-up to the correction, he had tweeted that BTC and ETH seemed high. Analysts and investors alike breathed a sigh of relief on Wednesday when Bitcoin managed to retake $50,000 — with some proclaiming that the asset had undergone a “healthy correction.” But this narrative proved shaky when BTC plunged yet again on Friday to lows of $44,454.84. All of this comes amid a backdrop of unease in the traditional markets, and this week’s price activity suggests BTC faces an uphill struggle if it’s going to appreciate further. Generally, analysts are looking for $50,000 to become an established support before expecting any bullish continuation. MicroStrategy purchases another $1 billion worth of Bitcoin, now owns 90,000 BTC A flurry of good news throughout the week may have prevented things from going bad to worse for Bitcoin. Early in the week, two institutions announced they were doubling down on their BTC buy-ins.  MicroStrategy purchased an additional 19,452 coins, with CEO Michael Saylor declaring that his company has no intention of slowing down. It came after Square announced it had purchased 3,318 BTC for $170 million — following on from a $50-million spending spree in October 2020. Bitfinex and Tether also announced that they had reached a settlement with the New York attorney general, linked to ongoing allegations that Tether misrepresented the degree to which USDT stablecoins were backed by fiat collateral. Under the terms of the deal, both companies will have to pay $18.5 million in damages, report on their reserves periodically, and stop serving customers in the state. On Friday, JPMorgan helped to cheer up the markets by telling clients that allocating 1% of a portfolio to Bitcoin would serve as a hedge against fluctuations in stocks, bonds and commodities. Cardano is now a top-three cryptocurrency as ADA price soars 27% in 24 hours Moving beyond Bitcoin, there’s been a lot of movement in the altcoin markets.  Last week, Binance Coin had stolen the show with a stunning triple-digit surge that helped it become the world’s No. 3 cryptocurrency. Fast forward to this week, and it’s now been overtaken by Cardano’s ADA. A fresh wave of optimism and buying volume on Friday pushed its price to a new all-time high, and momentum for the project has been building throughout February. Open interest for ADA futures also rose to $580 million, surpassing Litecoin to become the third-largest derivatives market. Despite NFTs entering into a bull market — with a report suggesting that they’ll explode in popularity even more as 2021 continues — it’s definitely been a week to forget for Ether. After touching new all-time highs of $2,000 last weekend, ETH has tumbled by more than 26% this week… taking it below $1,500 at times. All of this comes as an exodus from the Ethereum blockchain continues, with 1inch becoming the latest DeFi project to expand to Binance Smart Chain. Musk no longer world’s richest man after Tesla and Bitcoin slump As the old saying goes: “The sun don’t shine on the same dog’s ass every day.” The sun was certainly shining on Elon Musk when the week began. One analyst had suggested that Tesla had made $1 billion in profit since making its Bitcoin investment. That’s more than the profit generated by selling electric vehicles (what it’s known for) across the whole of 2020. Alas, that was before the carnage seen on the crypto markets. To make matters worse, Tesla’s share price has dropped by more than 20% from the highs of $890 seen on Jan. 26. These joint factors prompted Musk to lose his crown as the world’s richest man. Some analysts wasted little time in attributing TSLA’s crash to its association with Bitcoin. But there’s another threat on the horizon, with reports suggesting that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission could investigate Musk’s alleged impact on BTC and DOGE through his many, many tweets. The billionaire made a concerted effort to shrug off these concerns, suggesting he would even welcome such a probe. Coinbase has held Bitcoin on its balance sheets since 2012 We’ve been learning a lot more about Coinbase this week as it gears up to launch on the stock market. One particular hipster-ish announcement came when the exchange declared that it’s held Bitcoin and other cryptos on its balance sheet for nine years. Coinbase sought to package this announcement as a paean to other corporations that might be considering a similar move — touting itself as an authority in advising institutions about how to deal with their own prospective investments. In other news, the company submitted its S-1 report to the Securities and Exchange Commission this week. The filing revealed that the exchange generated revenues of $1.1 billion in 2020 — 96% of which came from transaction fees. Net income in 2020 came in at $327 million… a stark contrast to the $46 million loss seen the year before. Winners and Losers At the end of the week, Bitcoin is at $46,609.99, Ether at $1,470.17 and XRP at $0.43. The total market cap is at $1,429,222,267,885. Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Fantom, Pundi X and Cardano. The top three altcoin losers of the week are Dodo, Horizen and Venus. For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.  Most Memorable Quotations “As gas price stays too high, we see a lot of projects, tokens and users coming to BSC, and this is the right moment for 1inch to expand to other blockchains.” Sergey Kunz, 1inch co-founder “Since our founding in 2012, Coinbase has held bitcoin and other crypto assets on our balance sheet — and we plan to maintain an investment in crypto assets as we believe strongly in the long-term potential of the cryptoeconomy.” Coinbase “Incredible scale for a technology that critics claimed couldn’t scale.” Ryan Watkins, Messari researcher “It’s very rare to see pre-GPU era bitcoins move, it only happened dozens of times in the past few years. And no, it’s probably not Satoshi.” Antoine Le Calvez “The company now holds over 90,000 bitcoins, reaffirming our belief that bitcoin, as the world’s most widely-adopted cryptocurrency, can serve as a dependable store of value.” Michael Saylor, MicroStrategy CEO “[I’m] very positive on Bitcoin, very happy to see a healthy correction here.” Cathie Wood, Ark Investment Management founder “We are now sitting on 2.35x the previous cycle ATH OF 20k. WE ARE JUST GETTING STARTED.” Bitcoin Archive “Square believes that cryptocurrency is an instrument of economic empowerment, providing a way for individuals to participate in a global monetary system and secure their own financial future.” Square “I think you can expect that we’ll have a billion people storing their value — in essence, a savings account — on a mobile device within five years, and they’re going to want to use something like Bitcoin.” Michael Saylor, MicroStrategy CEO  “We’ve experienced 2018 & 2019. This is nothing.”  Michaël van de Poppe, Cointelegraph Markets analyst “I do think people get drawn into these manias who may not have as much money to spare. So, I’m not bullish on Bitcoin, and my general thought would be: If you have less money than Elon, you should probably watch out.” Bill Gates, Microsoft founder “But we’re now to the point where ETH 1.0 — oh, we need ETH 2.0 so soon, come on, Vitalik, get it going, man — ETH 1.0, most regular users are priced out of using the majority of applications on Ethereum.” Lark Davis, crypto influencer “I lost most of my life savings and haven’t received a response from a human. I’d think they would refund or they would lose all their customers. I’m sick to my stomach but will join the lawsuit with plenty of proof(screenshots) if not refunded.”  u/dtk6802, Reddit user “In our view, many institutional investors are entering with a buy-and-hold mentality given their understanding of Bitcoin as digital gold.” Martin Gaspar, CrossTower research analyst “I think Tesla is going to double down on its Bitcoin investment.” Dan Ives, Wedbush analyst Prediction of the Week 1 billion people will store life savings on their phone in Bitcoin by 2026 — MicroStrategy CEO We love an outlandish prediction here at Hodler’s Digest… and Michael Saylor certainly delivered the goods this week. The MicroStrategy CEO declared that Bitcoin will be the savings method of choice for a staggering 1 billion people in just five years’ time. That’s despite the fact that just 21 million BTC exist… and his company already owns 90,000 of it. Saylor’s comments came after U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen launched her latest attack on Bitcoin, describing it as “inefficient.” In a confident interview with CNBC, he declared that Bitcoin “is the dominant digital monetary network,” adding: “I think you can expect that we’ll have a billion people storing their value — in essence, a savings account — on a mobile device within five years, and they’re going to want to use something like Bitcoin.” FUD of the Week  Bill Gates warns Bitcoin buyers: If you have less money than Elon Musk, watch out Microsoft founder Bill Gates had a big warning for Bitcoin buyers this week. Speaking to Bloomberg, he warned: “Elon has tons of money, and he’s very sophisticated so, you know, I don’t worry that his Bitcoin would randomly go up or down.” Gates said it would be a mistake for the average investor to blindly follow the mania of optimism surrounding Musk’s market moves, telling those who aren’t billionaires to “watch out.”  Criticizing Bitcoin’s energy consumption, he added: “I do think people get drawn into these manias who may not have as much money to spare. So, I’m not bullish on Bitcoin, and my general thought would be: If you have less money than Elon, you should probably watch out.” This isn’t to say that Gates thinks digital currencies are a bad thing. He just believes that they should be transparent, reversible and (essentially) centralized. Whale who sold Bitcoin before 2020 crash cashed out $156 million before this week’s 20% dip As you’d expect, a post-mortem is now fully underway after this week’s carnage in the crypto markets. Curiously, data from Santiment suggests that the initial crash may have been linked to a huge transaction that took place after Sunday’s all-time high of $58,300. The transfer of 2,700 BTC — worth $156 million at the time — was the second-biggest transaction of 2021. It’s possible that this whale cashing out contributed to unbearable selling pressure in the market, which snowballed into the largest one-hour candle in Bitcoin’s history. If enough alarm bells weren’t ringing, this self-same wallet also dumped 2,000 BTC just before last March’s infamous flash crash. Crypto influencer warns Ethereum fees will drive users away A prominent crypto influencer has warned that Ethereum’s competitors will continue to siphon away users should Eth2 fail to launch soon amid ever-increasing gas fees. Lark Davis said Ethereum’s skyrocketing fees has meant that only “rich investors” can afford to use the network, prompting smaller users to switch to competitors like Binance Smart Chain.  Describing the current gas fee prices as “totally loco,” Davis urged Ethereum developers to expedite the launch of Eth2 in response to the skyrocketing to prevent a further exodus of users to cheaper alternatives.He added: “We’re now to the point where ETH 1.0 — oh, we need ETH 2.0 so soon, come on, Vitalik, get it going, man — ETH 1.0, most regular users are priced out of using the majority of applications on Ethereum. […] A transaction on Uniswap costs $50 on average these days, and that is just crazy.” Best Cointelegraph Features Sam Bankman-Fried: The crypto whale who wants to give billions away He’s just 28 years old, but Sam Bankman-Fried has already amassed a $10-billion fortune. But unlike most people in crypto, he’s building up this fortune to give half of it away. Can’t beat ‘em? Join ‘em: Mastercard and Visa make a case for Bitcoin Mastercard is set to open the shop doors to crypto as a means of payment in 2021, but it will likely be a challenge for the firm. Bitcoin price flies solo? Institutional crypto push may be overrated Bitcoin’s market cap broke the $1-trillion barrier without a final push from institutions — could their influence be overrated?
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The total assets under management across all crypto exchange-traded products (ETPs) worldwide have risen 50% this month to nearly $44 billion. Among listed products, Grayscale’s bitcoin trust tops the list with the most assets under management while Bitwise’s fund was the best performing bitcoin product by market price over the last 30 days. Cryptocompare published its “Digital Asset Management Review” for the month of February on Friday. The report states that the total assets under management (AUM) across all exchange-traded products (ETPs) increased 50% to $43.9 billion from mid-January to Feb. 23. The price of bitcoin was above $50K on Feb. 23. It has since fallen to $46,876 at the time of writing, based on data from markets.Bitcoin.com. The crypto exchange-traded product with the most AUM was Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) with $35 billion in assets under management, according to the report. As of Feb. 26, GBTC’s AUM has dropped to $30.72 billion due to the lower BTC price. Other listed crypto products with the most AUM include Grayscale’s Ethereum Trust, Litecoin Trust, and Bitcoin Cash Trust. The bitcoin fund by 3iq (QBTC) also made the top five list with $1.27 billion under management. Most of the investments into crypto exchange products are made by institutional investors, particularly hedge funds. In its Q4 2020 report, Grayscale wrote that “Institutions are here,” noting that institutions accounted for 93% of all its capital inflows during the period. As for exchange-traded notes (ETNs), ETC Group’s BTCE has the largest AUM with $1.01 billion. Wisdomtree’s BTCW came second with $314.8 million and 21shares’ ABTC with $257.8 million. The report also ranks exchange-traded certificates. XBT Provider by Coinshares’ Bitcoin Tracker Euro holds the highest AUM with $1.72 billion, followed by Bitcoin Tracker One with $1.06 billion. The best performing bitcoin exchange-traded product by market price over the last 30 days was Bitwise 10 Crypto Index Fund (BITW) with 156%, the report notes. Its performance exceeded both Cryptocompare’s CCCAGG BTC/USD Index performance (64%) and MVIS’ MVDA Index performance (48.9%). Furthermore, North America now has two bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETF): Purpose Bitcoin ETF and Evolve Bitcoin ETF. The former accumulated $165 million on its first day of trading. What do you think about investing in crypto exchange-traded products? Let us know in the comments section below. Tags in this story Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons, Cryptocompare Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article. Read disclaimer
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We ask the buidlers in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector for their thoughts on the industry… and we throw in a few random zingers to keep them on their toes! This week, our 6 Questions go to Kain Warwick, the founder of Synthetix. Kain Warwick is the founder of Synthetix, a derivatives liquidity protocol on Ethereum. Synthetix has processed billions of dollars in trading volume. Warwick previously founded Blueshyft, Australia’s largest cryptocurrency payment gateway.  1 — What’s a problem you think blockchain has a chance to solve but that hasn’t been attempted yet? I might just still be a 2017 idiot here, but I still feel equity settlement, having a decentralized ledger for equity settlement, is a sensible thing that will happen. But it can’t happen until regulators are comfortable with it happening, etc. The efficiencies it will add are just too obvious to be avoided. There are certain things that come with that, that mean it’s gonna take a while before we see that. There have been weird little experiments, but I think a large-scale transition to something like that is still a ways away. But it will be hugely impactful when it happens. 2 — Which is sillier: $500,000 Bitcoin or $0 Bitcoin? Why? $0 Bitcoin. There is just zero chance — it’s literally impossible for Bitcoin to go to zero. There is not a market where someone would not have a buy price for every Bitcoin above zero. It’s just functionally impossible. Whatever the canonical Bitcoin is, even if it’s not the one that it is right now — that specific chain or whatever — it has a price above zero. There’s always a market for something, there’s always a buyer of last resort for something, and Bitcoin has way more buyers of last resort — it’s never going to zero. 3 — What should we be teaching our kids? I think we should teach our children to not blindly accept authority, which is a hard thing to do because there are so many things in children’s lives that are structured and controlled that they don’t have control over. And so, to teach them to be respectful of certain things while also being mindful that they should be questioned is a delicate balance to strike. 4 — What’s the silliest conspiracy theory out there… and which one makes you pause for a moment? Probably the silliest conspiracy theory is the Bill Gates microchip vaccine theory, and probably the one that gives me pause for a moment is the Elon Musk microchip conspiracy theory. 5 — Which people do you find most inspiring, most interesting and most fun in this space? I feel like Andre Cronje is an easy and obvious one. You never know what the fuck he’s going to be doing. Larry Cermak’s good, Anthony Sassano is good, Mariano Conti is good, he’s always high value. Obviously, G (DegenSpartan) is always good. 6 — What talent do you lack and wish you had? How would you use it if you had it? I lack the talent to draw things, and I would be starting my own NFT project if I had the ability to draw.  
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DeFi has steadily grown in prominence over the past year thanks in large part to the strong foundations established by decentralized exchanges (DEX) that enable easy access to the latest tokens and projects.  While there have been previous iterations of DEX user interfaces, such as IDEX or Etherdelta, it wasn’t until Uniswap launched that trading in the DeFi network really took off and facilitated the launch of the finance tokens. Here are six of the top-performing tokens in the decentralized finance sector. UNI/USDT Uniswap has risen from the humble beginnings of a simple user interface that allowed for a token swap between two ERC-20 tokens, to a rapidly evolving DeFi centerpiece that now sees an average daily trading volume of $1 billion and $3.95 billion worth of liquidity locked on the protocol. Uniswap liquidity and 24-hour volume. Source: Uniswap Originally the Uniswap platform operated without a native token and fees that were collected went into a liquidity reserve, but the project performed a surprise airdrop to platform users and liquidity providers following the launch of the rival SushiSwap (SUSHI) platform which offered the same interface as Uniswap at the time but also included the SUSHI governance token. Following its release and subsequent listing on several top exchanges, UNI quickly spiked above $7.00 before correcting as low as $1.93 on Nov.4. UNI/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView Since that time the price of UNI has continued to climb to a new all-time high of $32.50 on Feb.20. Excitement over the release of Uniswap v3 and the ability for token holders to stake their UNI and collect a portion of the fees continues to help drive demand and token price higher. SUSHI/USDT SushiSwap has a controversial origin story, from starting off as a clone of Uniswap to having the lead developer dump their tokens on the market and subsequently donating all funds towards project development, but has since emerged as a top DEX in terms of community involvement and token price. Governance and staking were early features that SUSHI holders benefited from, as well as increased incentives for early liquidity providers that some called a “vampire attack” on Uniswap. After listing, SUSHI price rallied from $1.16 on Aug. 29 to $8.84 on Sep.1, but lead developer ‘Chef Nomi’s’ token dump on the open market caused SUSHI to drop as low as $0.475 on Nov.4. SUSHI/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView Since that time SUSHI price has grown by more than 4,080% to a high of $19.77 on Feb.20 and SushiS has become the sixth-ranked DeFi platform in terms of total value locked (TVL) with $3.56 billion currently providing liquidity for the protocol. CAKE/USD PancakeSwap (CAKE) has seen a significant rise in price over the first two months of 2021 as the project emerged as a competitive DEX and the first billion-dollar project on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC). Skyrocketing fees on the Ethereum (ETH) network have opened the door for the BSC to drain liquidity and users from its top Ethereum-based competitors, and CAKE has stepped up to facilitate that process. The protocol offers an expanding list of staking pools, yield farming opportunities, a collectibles section and a built-in lottery, hitting many of the “hot topic” trends in cryptocurrencies on top of being a DeFi platform. Prior to late January 2021, CAKE generally traded below $0.70 with its all-time low of $0.194 on Nov. 3, 2020. Price action for the token began to pick up around the last week of January, around the same time as traders from r/Wallstreetbets were causing havoc in the traditional markets. CAKE/USD 1-hour chart. Source: CoinGecko Since its low of $0.194, CAKE has exploded 11,000% to an all-time high of $20.33 on Feb. 19 as the Binance Smart Chain emerged as the top competitor to the Ethereum network thanks to the significant resources of the Binance ecosystem. SRM/USDT Serum (SRM) is a decentralized derivatives exchange that operates on the Solana blockchain network. The DEX is a result of the collaboration between the Solana team and the operators of the FTX crypto derivatives exchange. Solana was chosen to host the DEX due to its potential to react 710,000 transactions per second (tps) with a current capacity tested to 50,000 tps. With the Ethereum network currently offering 15 tps and high fees due to network congestion, Solana and the Serum DEX could soon see increased usage from traders seeking a lower fee environment. SRM offers token holders the ability to stake their tokens to earn a yield as well as use them to reduce trading fees on the exchange by up to 50%. The exchange offers cross-chain support allowing for the trustless exchange of assets on different blockchains through a network comprised of more than 100 validators. SRM/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView Following a price breakout after launching during the summer of DeFi in 2020, SRM price reached a low of $0.78 on Nov.04 before finding support and heading higher. It has since increased by more than 944% to a new high of $8.13 on Feb. 25 as options outside of Ethereum begin to gain traction. LINA/USDT Linear Finance (LINA) is a new arrival to the DeFi scene which recently launched on the Binance Smart Chain after originally releasing as an ERC-20 token. Along with the ability to lock up tokens to mint Linear’s synthetic asset tokens, known as “Liquids,” the protocol allows users to access traditional assets like forex and commodities by utilizing dynamic price feeds and trading them in the decentralized finance setting. Linear’s cross-chain approach allows users to benefit from reduced fees and the built-in oracle solution helps combat the problem of oracle frontrunning currently experienced in protocols built on Ethereum. Future plans for LINA also include the rollout of governance capabilities and allowing community members to vote on the future direction of the project. This will include deciding the cost of transaction fees and how much to allocate to the insurance fund. LINA/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView Following its release in September 2020, LINA price dropped to a low of $0.0047 on Nov.19 before skyrocketing 3300% to a high of $0.112 on Feb.12 following its migration to the Binance Smart Chain and several partnerships and exchange listing announcements. Waves Exchange and a growing suite of DeFi apps Waves (WAVES) is a multi-purpose blockchain that is capable of supporting a variety of dapps and smart contracts including decentralized exchanges. One of the integral pieces of the Waves ecosystem is the Waves Exchange, which was initially launched as the Waves DEX in 2017 and offered fast, secure, and low-cost trading and staking for major cryptocurrency assets as well as tokens minted on the Waves protocol. While the Waves Exchange currently experiences an average 24-hour trading volume of $10 million, recent price gains in WAVES alongside an expanding suite of DeFi apps like Swop.fi could lead to an influx of activity for the Waves ecosystem as fees on the Ethereum network look to remain elevated until the full release of Eth2.
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On February 25, onchain analysts noticed two 2010 block rewards that were transferred after sitting dormant for over a decade. A lot of old blocks have been spent in 2021, and after the large strings of 2010 block rewards spent on January 3rd and 10th, another massive string of 20 block rewards from 2010 were moved on the 25th. In addition to these old bitcoin moves, block rewards from 2011 have started to wake in great numbers as well. 80 Block Rewards from 2010 Spent This Year, 4,000 Bitcoin Worth $188 Million For a good portion of 2020 and into 2021, news.Bitcoin.com and a small group of onchain researchers have been combing the Bitcoin (BTC) network for old-school spends. The technical term “spend” or “spent” simply means the bitcoins moved from one address to another single address or group of addresses. It doesn’t necessarily mean the person has relinquished ownership of the bitcoins, but most of our 2020 and 2021 discoveries look as though they have been sold on exchanges. Some old coins moved today (100 BTC from June 2010). It's very rare to see pre-GPU era bitcoins move, it only happened dozens of times in the past few years. And no, it's probably not Satoshi. pic.twitter.com/0jZXnmWUes — Antoine Le Calvez (@khannib) February 24, 2021 At block height 671,986, a group of two 2010 block rewards with 100 BTC was spent on February 25, and a number of publications reported on the movement. What hasn’t been noticed formally, is the massive amount of 2010 spends this year, and the large amount of 2011 movements as well. Although members of news.Bitcoin.com, Btcparser.com, and Russian blockchain researcher Issak Shvarts have been investigating these old-school spends thoroughly. Following the reports of the decade-old, 20 block reward spend on the 12th anniversary of the Bitcoin network, news.Bitcoin.com also noticed a massive 20 block spend from 2010 spent on January 10. Fifteen days later, and possibly the same suspect, another 20 rewards from 2010 on January 25, 2021, was spent. So far, this particular entity or entities have not moved a major string of bitcoins since then. But there have been plenty of single 2010 block reward spends and an increasing number of 2011 rewards. $94 Million Worth of 40 Block Rewards from 2011 Wake from Slumber in 2021 In 2021, there were 80 block rewards from 2010 moved to-date that held 4,000 BTC total. Currently, using today’s BTC exchange rates that’s more than $188 million worth of old-school coins. Leveraging Btcparser.com, news.Bitcoin.com has counted 40 block rewards from 2011 spent this year as well. That’s 2,000 BTC born in the year 2011 worth around $94 million today. The last massive spend from January 25, 2021, can be seen on the “Satoshi’s bags tracker” at theholyroger.com. The two 2010 block rewards spent on February 25 at block height 671,986 saw the BTC spent, but the corresponding BCH and BSV remain intact. Similarly, a number of the 2011 blocks that were spent this year have also seen only the BTC move. Many of the 2011 addresses combed during our research still have the corresponding BCH and BSV unspent as well. The individual or group who has been spending the consecutive strings of 2010 block rewards has been spending the bitcoin cash (BCH). Whatever the case may be, the sky-high BTC price jumping over the $58k handle last Sunday, and even where the price rests today, has caused old-school mining whales to wake bitcoins from slumber. What do you think about all the old-school bitcoin block rewards spent in 2021? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below. Tags in this story 2010, 2010 Block Reward, 2011, 2011 rewards, 50 BTC rewards, Awakening, Bitcoin, Bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin blocks, BTC, Btcparser.com, Coins wake up, Crypto, GPU-era Bitcoins, Satoshi Nakamoto, Satoshi’s bags tracker, theholyroger.com Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons, theholyroger.com, Twitter, Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article. Read disclaimer
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Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin Mortgage rates sign on the home and charts. getty Two negative impacts hit homebuyers last week: interest rates and winter weather. Mortgage interest rates have been on a slow but steady increase ever since the beginning of the year, but last week they jumped up to 2.97%, a full 15 basis points higher than the week before, according to the Freddie Mac weekly report. This combined with severe winter weather across large sections of the country meant applications decreased significantly, with purchase applications dropping 12% over the week on a seasonally adjusted basis, based on the Mortgage Bankers Association weekly survey. This was 7% higher than one year earlier, so low interest rates are still a lure for buyers but the gap is closing on how many more people are applying for a mortgage this year compared to last. Mortgage interest rates took a big jump Freddie Mac Refinance applications also saw a big dip, of 10% week-over-week, which was 50% higher than a year ago. Refinances are also steadily dropping as interest rates reverse course from the record lows seen during 2020. “Refinance activity fell...to its lowest level since December 2020," said Joel Kan, MBA's Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. A heavyweight influencing the data was the huge drop in activity in Texas—one of the states hardest hit by winter storms. Applications dropped 40% compared to the week before. That big a decrease is surely just a temporary blip since demand is rising in most of the major metropolitan areas of the state. But anyone hoping to purchase a home this year, no matter which state they live in should try to do so as soon as possible. Interest rates are going to get back over 3% very soon and will continue to increase after that.
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Warren Buffett during an interview with CNBC's Becky Quick on February 24, 2020. It turned out to be another year during which the billionaire investor shied away from game-changing acquisitions in a pricey market even after a sudden market cash and as his company holds a massive cash balance. Gerald Miller | CNBC As the coronavirus pandemic roiled markets during 2020, Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway bought back a record amount of company stock. And the buying spree has continued into 2021, according to the conglomerate's annual letter that was released Saturday morning. During the fourth quarter the company bought back around $9 billion of Berkshire shares, bringing the total 2020 repurchase to a record $24.7 billion. "Berkshire has repurchased more shares since year-end and is likely to further reduce its share count in the future," his annual letter stated. During the third quarter the conglomerate bought back $9 billion of its own stock, up from $5.1 billion during the second quarter. The figures compare to the $5 billion total the company spent on buybacks in 2019. Buffett emphasized that the company only engages in share repurchase programs when it believes shares are trading below their intrinsic value. "In no way do we think that Berkshire shares should be repurchased at simply any price," Buffett said in the annual letter. "I emphasize that point because American CEOs have an embarrassing record of devoting more company funds to repurchases when prices have risen than when they have tanked. Our approach is exactly the reverse." Berkshire's operating income, which Buffett urges shareholders to concentrate on, came in at $5.02 billion during the fourth quarter, up from $4.42 billion during the same period a year earlier. For the full year, operating earnings dipped 9% to $21.922 billion as the pandemic hit Berkshire's conglomerate of businesses. The company's net earnings — which account for Berkshire's big investments in the public market — jumped 23% on a year-over-year basis to $35.835 billion. For the full year, however, net earnings slid 48% to $42.521 billion. Berkshire Hathaway's class A shares hit a new all-time high on Thursday, after bouncing 52% from the March 23 low. For the year the stock is up about 5%, outperforming the S&P 500's 2% gain. Even after Berkshire's record 2020 buyback, the firm still has a sizable cash pile at $138 billion. The figure is down from $145.7 billion at the end of the third quarter. Subscribe to CNBC PRO for exclusive insights and analysis, and live business day programming from around the world.
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Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin A rooftop terrace at the Waterfront development in Daniel Island takes in a view of the nearby Wando ... [+] River Bridge. East West Real Estate Although the first body of water that may come to mind when one thinks about Charleston, South Carolina, is the exalted Atlantic, the coastal city is equally defined by the rivers and tributaries that stretch and sprawl like the root system of a magnolia tree and create the many peninsulas and islands that make Charleston a unique place to live. At the divide of the Cooper River and the Wando River, a landmass the shape of a thumb is formed—this thumb is the southern end of Daniel Island. Unlike the more famous Isle of Palms or Kiawah Island, Daniel Island is part of Charleston proper, perched in the desirable location across the Cooper River from downtown and adjacent to towns like Hanahan and Mt. Pleasant. The bridge connecting South Carolina's Daniel Island to Mt. Pleasant. getty And while it's part of a city founded back in 1670, Daniel Island's residential history only spans a mere quarter-century. Previously owned by the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, the island was primarily used as a farming, ranching and hunting preserve. It wasn't until 1997, when ownership changed that residential development began. In just a short period of time, Daniel Island has grown into an elegant, sophisticated planned community while holding on to its southern charm. Compared to the Charleston median listing price of $399,000, the median price point for active ... [+] listings on Daniel Island is $999,000. East West Real Estate "Daniel Island is expansive yet intimate," said Miller Harper of East West Real Estate. "It's the best of waterfront living but still within Charleston's city limits." The Homes With residential development beginning less than three decades ago, one might assume that homes on Daniel Island are predominately contemporary design—but a stroll along the oak-laden streets of neighborhoods like Smythe Park or Etiwan Park displays the strong ties to the long history of Charleston. Properties in Daniel Island often evoke the Charleston Single House, an architectural style that ... [+] combines Federal, Greek Revival and Victorian design elements. East West Real Estate Daniel Island homes, condominium complexes and townhomes are often designed to evoke the Charleston Single House—an architectural style that combines elements of Federal, Greek Revival and Victorian designs. Defined by their narrow facades and side-front doors, these structures were originated in Charleston and are found throughout the city. Like many homes in South Carolina, two- or even three-story porches, locally known as piazzas, are common and are physical representations of the charming lifestyle of Daniel Island. The Price With spacious, newer housing options and a foremost location near historic Downtown, Daniel Island is one of the more expensive Charleston markets—luxury homes can go for upwards of $3,500,000. Prices in luxury communities such as the new multi-use Waterfront development can range from ... [+] $500,000 to $1,900,000. East West Real Estate Compared to the Charleston median listing price of $399,000, the median price point for active listings on Daniel Island is $999,000. For this price, buyers can expect homes upwards of 4,000 square feet. Buying in luxury communities with first-class amenities like the new multi-use Waterfront development can range from $500,000 to $1,900,000. That being said, more affordable housing options are plentiful and diverse; many condos can be found for under $300,000. The residences at the Waterfront luxury community pair modern amenities with laid back yet ... [+] sophisticated interiors. East West Real Estate The Vibe Daniel Island is a contradiction—the community is placid and active all at the same time. "Residents of Daniel Island embrace a laid-back and waterfront lifestyle associated with living on one of Charleston's sea islands," said Harper. Access to waterfront for kayaking, fishing and sailing are just a stone's throw away. East West Real Estate Activities such as kayaking, fishing and sailing can all be done on the same day as lounging on the porch, listening to the teeming life of the riverside. Though downtown Charleston is nearby, Daniel Island has its own vibrant downtown scene with shops, bars and restaurants, like Laura Alberts, which serves southern favorites in an elegant courtyard environment. The Schools There are two schools located on Daniel Island—Daniel Island School (K-8) and Bishop England High School, a private Roman Catholic school. The swimming pool at the Waterfront luxury community. East West Real Estate Constructed in 2006, the Daniel Island School went through some growing pains as they attempted to keep up with the sharp increase of residential development in this once remote area. As a result, Philip Simmons Elementary and Philip Simmons Middle School were opened in 2016. Daniel Island School and Philip Simmons Middle School feed into Philip Simmons High School, which serves 390 students. In 2018, students at Daniel Island School performed well above state averages, with 79.3% percent of students meeting or exceeding standards for math on the College and Career Ready Assessments (SC READY) and 80.8% meeting or exceeding standards in English—the state average being 45% for both math and English. The restaurant at the Waterfront has a front-row seat to the surrounding waterway. East West Real Estate Bishops England High School serves about 700 students and ranks as one of the best private schools in South Carolina. The Surroundings Rivers provide traffic-free options about town by boat. Whether by car or by ferry, the commute to downtown Charleston is a quick 25 minutes. Popular weekend spots like Sullivan's Island or Isle of Palms are less than fifteen miles away. About a hundred miles to the north is Myrtle Beach and a hundred miles to the south is Savannah, Georgia. East West Real Estate is an exclusive member of Forbes Global Properties, a consumer marketplace and membership network of elite brokerages selling the world’s most luxurious homes.
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A sign outside of a facility occupied by TreeHouse Foods in Brantford, Ontario, Canada. Kristoffer Tripplaar | SIPA USA | AP Company: TreeHouse Foods Inc. (THS) TreeHouse Foods Inc. of Oak Brook, Illinois manufactures consumer packaged food and beverages, including a range of shelf-stable, refrigerated, fresh and frozen products. Its product categories include beverages, salad dressings, beverage enhancers, pickles, sauces, cereals, pasta and dry dinners, cookies and crackers, retail bakery, aseptic products, jams and other products. The North American Retail Grocery segment sells branded and private label products to customers within the United States and Canada. The Food Away From Home segment sells products to food service customers, including restaurant chains and food distribution companies within the United States and Canada. The Industrial and Export segment includes the company's co-pack business and non-dairy powdered creamer sales to industrial customers for use in industrial applications. Stock Market Value: $2.8 billion ($50.02 per share) Arrows pointing outwards Activist: JANA Partners Percentage Ownership:  7.51% Average Cost: $41.68 Activist Commentary: JANA uses a value-oriented and research-intensive approach to special situation public security investing, capitalizing on the transactional, legal and finance backgrounds of its principals. JANA has extensive activist experience. They use various shareholder tools including letters, proxy fights, shareholder communications and lawsuits to achieve their activist goals. However, they have crafted a reputation for a 'diplomacy first' approach. JANA also partners with highly credentialed executives who bring specific industry expertise to the situations and lend credibility to their arguments. The firm does not use activism simply to agitate boards and management, but to implement sound, well-conceived business strategies that they strongly believe will enhance shareholder value. Barry Rosenstein, managing partner at JANA, calls his activist strategy "V cubed". The three "Vs" are"(i) Value: you need to buy in at the right price with a margin of safety so that JANA still has a good investment in the event the activism does not work; (ii) Votes: you need to know whether you have the votes before commencing a proxy fight; and (iii) Variety of ways to win: you need to have more than one strategy to enhance value. What's happening: On January 29, 2021, JANA notified TreeHouse Foods of their intent to propose three nominees, Meredith Adler (Institutional Investor's top ranked analyst in the food and drug sector for 14 years), John Paul Gainor Jr. (former president and CEO of Dairy Queen) and Charles L. Myers (former portfolio manager at Fidelity), for election at the company's 2021 Annual Meeting. JANA believes this represents an attractive investment opportunity with TreeHouse nearly three years into a comprehensive turnaround. The firm has had constructive discussions with TreeHouse's board and management regarding avenues to resolve the company's undervaluation and total stockholder return, including evaluating a sale of the company, operations, capital allocation, corporate governance and compensation practices. Behind the scenes: JANA has extensive experience in this industry, with a successful track record in the consumer retail space and their involvement has led to sales of Pinnacle, PetSmart, Safeway, Whole Foods and ConAgra's spinoff of its Lamb Weston business. The firm knows TreeHouse well as a significant part of its assets were acquired from ConAgra at JANA's urging. JANA partner Scott Ostfeld is presently on the board of ConAgra, but don't look for ConAgra to be a potential acquirer. It is not interested in private label production, which is why it sold the Ralcorp business to TreeHouse in 2015 for $2.7 billion, less than three years from acquiring it for $5 billion. TreeHouse is a pure play private label business, which is an area of tremendous secular tailwinds. Private label brands are cheaper for consumers, more profitable for retailers and do not have the stigma of generic brands of yesteryear (think Whole Foods 365 or Costco's Kirkland).  As a result, shelf space has been migrating towards private label space, with tremendous growth in the US, which is not close to the penetration level of Europe. TreeHouse is multiple years into an extensive turnaround program that has helped it significantly improve its product portfolio, go-to-market structure, and supply chain and service operations. However, it is also a broken equity story in that these operational improvements have not been reflected in the stock price. As one of the only pure play private label manufacturers, with no real comps, TreeHouse is not a great public company. The opportunity is for it to be sold to private equity, who has a ton of dry powder and a lot of pressure to do deals. Moreover, JANA knows most of the potential buyers having sold many similar companies in the past to firms like Cerberus, Veritas, BC Partners and Clayton, Dubilier and Rice. So, what is TreeHouse worth? In 2018, Post sold part of its private label business to Thomas H. Lee Partners for over 10 times EBITDA. A 10 times multiple here would imply a six handle on a sale. Similar to their engagements in Whole Foods, ConAgra and Pinnacle, JANA has yet again teamed up with world-class executives who they are nominating to the board. While their expertise would not be as necessary in the context of a sale of the company, they could certainly help evaluate a potential sale, and they have tremendous experience in public markets as well, so they can help rehabilitate the equity story in the meantime. Ken Squire is the founder and president of 13D Monitor, an institutional research service on shareholder activism, and the founder and portfolio manager of the 13D Activist Fund, a mutual fund that invests in a portfolio of activist 13D investments.
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The cryptocurrency market faced another day of downward pressure as the unease in the traditional markets continues to spread following the recent interest rate spike on the 10-year U.S. Treasury bond.  Data from Cointelegraph Markets and TradingView shows that the price of Bitcoin (BTC) fell to a low at $44,710 late on Feb. 25 before buying at the key support returned to help the digital asset recover back above $46,500 but generally, analysts are looking for $50,000 to become an established support before expecting bullish continuation. BTC/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView Despite major BTC purchases by MicroStrategy, Tesla and MassMutual, a majority of institutional investors still have security and tax treatment concerns that prevent them from investing in Bitcoin, according to Galaxy Digital co-president Damien Vanderwilt. Institutional investment has been a significant source of optimism in the cryptocurrency sector in 2021, but its influence in helping BTC reach a market cap of $1 trillion may be overstated as recent analysis shows that stablecoin whales and retail traders still hold the most buying power. Interest rate increase puts pressure on GBTC On Feb. 25, the interest rate for the 10-year U.S. Treasury spiked to 1.52%, its highest level in over a year. According to Chad Steinglass, Head of Trading at CrossTower, the move led to market-wide pressure that pushed the “GBTC premium down as low as negative 6% and it closed around negative 2% today.” The analyst sees interest rate volatility as a major source of market volatility, as the long end of the curve steepens while the U.S. dollar is pushed lower. Daily cryptocurrency market performance. Source: Coin360 Cryptocurrencies fell under increased pressures as equity markets deteriorated throughout the day, possibly due to a “scramble for liquidity” resulting from traders “pushing up against margin calls and needing to free up cash.” Steinglass said: “I interpret the GBTC premium collapse as a sign that either retail is dumping to free liquidity, or large fund holders like ARKW are seeing outflows, which causes them to sell GBTC along with everything else.” Traditional markets are still choppy The 10-year Treasury yield pulled back .0582 basis points to 1.46 on Feb. 26, marking a 3.82% decrease from its high on the previous day. This leadi to a choppy day in the markets which saw the major indices close mixed. The NASDAQ finished the day up 0.56%, recovering some of its losses from the 3.5% drop on Feb. 25. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 and DOW finished the day in the red, down 0.48% and 1.51% respectively. A majority of the top cryptocurrencies also took on sharp losses on Friday, with the exception of Cardano (ADA), which became the third-ranked cryptocurrency by market cap after its price broke out to a new all-time high at $1.29. The current excitement for the altcoin appears to be connected to the upcoming 'Mary' mainnet launch scheduled for March 1. ADA/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView Basic Attention Token (BAT) has also battled back against the market sell-off to post a 6.43% gain following the Feb. 23 announcement of the upcoming Brave Decentralized Exchange (DEX). Ether (ETH) price is down 7.19%  and trading below $1,500, while Binance Coin (BNB) has dropped 8.36% to $224.14 The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $1.533 trillion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 61.3%.
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The Puerto Rico Oversight Board took steps to advance the territory's overdue audited financial statements Friday. Board members have said current comprehensive annual financial reports are aimportant for Puerto Rico to ultimately sell bonds again. The Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act indicates that Puerto Rico should have current financial information. Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Pierluisi said he was generally amenable to a Puerto Rico Oversight Board consultant's recommendations for changes to financial accounting, computer systems, and organization. Bloomberg News Puerto Rico’s fiscal year 2018 CAFR is not available despite the fiscal year having ended 32 months ago. Standard practice is for U.S. local and state governments to have CAFR’s available within six months after the end of the fiscal year. Several months ago the board hired John Hill, chief executive officer of the JHill Group, to advise the board on financial matters. Hill worked as chief financial officer to Detroit during its bankruptcy and, earlier, was executive director for the Washington, D.C. Control Board in the 1990s. At Friday's Oversight Board meeting Hill shared several suggestions to advance the creation and release of Puerto Rico’s CAFRs. Hill said the commonwealth should create an Enterprise Resource Planning System, create a strong Office of the Chief Financial Officer within Puerto Rico’s government, and implement an Enterprise Resource Planning System to consolidate agencies’ financial systems under one unified central government platform. Hill said advancing the CAFRs, creating the ERP System, and setting up an OCFO would support each other. However, Puerto Rico government workers are simultaneously working on both of the first two goals and this should stop, he said. There should be professionals just focusing on advancing the CAFRs. Hill said to catch up on the CAFRs it would make sense to have one CAFR cover several years. The board should prepare a timeline to complete the CAFRs and identify the money and other resources needed to get the project done in a reasonable time period. Board President David Skeel said he was intrigued by the idea of combining several years in a single CAFR. Gov. Pedro Pierluisi, who was a non-voting member at the board’s virtual meeting, said advancing the CAFRs would be one of his priorities. He said Hill’s recommendations were “well taken” and that his government would respond to them. The board voted unanimously to approve a letter to Pierluisi with Hill’s recommendations. Board Member Andrew Biggs was absent from Friday’s meeting. On Thursday Puerto Rico’s Treasury Department sent out a statement saying Puerto Rico Treasury Secretary Francisco Pares Alicea would take steps to pressure agency heads to provide the financial information for the fiscal year 2018 CAFR. He said this CAFR would be available in April or May. In another development at Friday’s board meeting, Board Executive Director Natalie Jaresko was asked what would happen to the central government bond deal if either bond insurer Assured Guaranty or bond insurer National Public Finance Guarantee withdrew their support, as the agreement permits before April 1. Jaresko said that while the agreement requires the support of the holders of 70% of outstanding par, the board said it was confident it could get this even without the bond insurers’ support. The board reached the agreement’s 70% threshold for activation less than 12 hours after it announced the agreement Tuesday, she said. The board is compiling lists of potential supporters of the agreement in case any of the signatories withdraw their support, the board announced Wednesday.
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Municipal bonds were little changed Friday after a sell-off in global bond rates helped send muni yields more than 40 basis points higher on the 10- and 30-year triple-A benchmark since the rout began on Feb. 17. The market took a much-needed breather Friday and U.S. Treasuries pared Thursday's losses to see the 10-year fall 12 basis points to 1.42% and the 30-year 17 basis points to 2.11%. Municipals were steady at 1.14% in 10 years and 1.82% in 30 years as trading was light but steady and participants readied for a new month and about $6.2 billion of new issues to kick it off, led by $1.25 billion of tax-exempt and taxable general obligation bonds from New York City. The 10-year muni/UST ratio rose in line with yield moves in both markets with the 10-year at 78% and the 30-year at 82%, according to Refinitiv MMD. ICE Data Services showed ratios rise one basis point to 77% in 10 years and up two basis points to 84% in 30. Municipal volume is estimated at $6.197 billion, lower than the $7.129 billion this week. There are $4.283 billion of municipal bond sales scheduled for negotiated sale next week versus a revised $5.465 billion that were sold this week. Bonds scheduled for the competitive slate total $1.913 billion compared with $1.663 billion this week. In February, total volume fell 27.5% to $30.608 billion from $42.229 billion in 2020. Issuance is down 24.2% in the first two months of 2021. February issuance was still higher than January's $24.023 billion. While there was a pause in the municipal market correction on Friday, there was a still a bittersweet climate as investors applauded the higher yields attained earlier in the week while issuers were slightly precautious about selling new debt next week. “The market has been through a lot in the last week and today was just a day for the market to catch its breath,” a New York trader said. He noted new issues continue to garner strong demand although the higher yields are a little daunting for issuers of large deals. Secondary trading was light but showed steady levels. Fairfax County, Virginia 5s of 2024 traded at 0.36%. North Carolina GOs, 5s of 2025 at 0.57%-0.55% versus Tuesday 0.46%-0.45%. Wisconsin GOs, 5s of 2026 at 0.63%-0.61%. Maryaldn GOs, 5s of 2029 at 0.98% and 5s of 2031 at 1.19%. Baltimore County, Maryland 4s of 2037 at 1.58%-1.52%. Washington GOs, 5s of 2041 at 1.76%-1.75%. Primary MarketAmong the new issues debuting next week at the new levels is a $1.25 billion New York City (Aa2/AA/AA-/) general obligation offering will dominate the calendar when the three-series deal is priced by BofA Securities. The issue consists of $900 million Fiscal 2021 Series F and Subseries F-1; $240 million Fiscal 2021 Series 1 reoffering; and $109.1 million Fiscal 2008 Series L Subseries L-5 reoffering. The University of Chicago (Aa2/AA-/AA+/) is set to sell $609.6 million of taxable corporate CUSIP fixed-rate bonds, serials 2044-2052, in a Citigroup-priced negotiated deal. Ohio is slated to sell $564.2 million of GOs in two-series — new money and refunding portions — priced by BofA Securities. The new-money series includes $226.4 million of Series SCH-A bonds and $107.8 million of Series SCH-B bonds. The refunding portion consists of $204.9 million Series HE-A and a $25 million taxable series. The San Francisco Bay Area Toll Authority (Aa3/AA/AA/) will come to market with two separate deals — both priced by BofA Securities. The larger of the offerings is a $372.3 million deal consisting of three series. A term rate Series A includes $124 million of term rate bonds; the Series B includes $156.8 million of index rate bonds; and Series F-1 includes $91.5 million of fixed rate bonds. The authority’s other deal is $354.3 million and consists of federally taxable fixed-rate bonds in a single 2021 Series F-2. The Texas Public Finance Authority will issue $326 million of lease revenue bonds for the Texas Department of Transportation-Austin Campus Consolidation Project. The taxable series 2021 bonds are structured to mature from 2022 to 2041 and is being priced by Barclays Capital Inc. The City of Orange, California, will sell $285.6 million of taxable pension obligation bonds in a deal being priced by Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. Inc. The serial bonds mature from 2022 to 2036 and the term bonds mature in 2040 and 2044. The Illinois Finance Authority (Aa2/AA-/AA+/) will sell $218.3 million of revenue bonds for the University of Chicago in a Series 2021 A structured from 2022 to 2023; 2025; 2028; and 2031 to 2034. Citigroup Global Markets Inc. will run the books. J.P Morgan Securities will price a Silicon Valley Clean Water (Aa2/AA//) $144.9 million of taxable wastewater refunding bonds in Series 2021 A and tax-exempt bonds in Series 2021 B wastewater refunding revenue bonds. J.P Morgan will also price a $137.9 million East Baton Rouge Sewerage Commission (/AA-//) offering of multimodal revenue refunding bonds in Series 2021 A. The Minnesota Housing Finance Agency is set to sell $125 million residential housing finance bonds in two series being priced by RBC Capital Markets. The Series 2021 Series A bonds are subject to the alternative minimum tax and are structured as $23.06 million serial bonds from 2022 to 2030 and $101.9 million Series 2021 B bonds maturing serially in 2022, 2025, 2026, and from 2030 to 2033 with terms in 2036, 2041, 2046, and 2051. Columbia, South Carolina, is set to price $120 million of waterworks and sewerage system refunding revenue bonds in a taxable series 2021 B structured as serials between 2023 and 2036 and terms in 2041 and 2049. The deal will be priced by Raymond James & Associates Inc. Mississippi (Aa2/AA/AA/) is set to price sell $119.7 million of taxable GO refunding bonds. The issue will be priced by Wells Fargo Securities. The National Finance Authority (A2///) on behalf of the VA Birmingham Health Care Center project is set to price $106 million of taxable federal lease revenue bonds in a federally taxable deal priced by Oppenheimer & Co. HJ Sims is set to price $102 million Town of Huntington Local Development Corporation revenue offering for the Gurwin Independent Housing Inc. Fountaingate Gardens project. The Series 2021 non-rated issue consists of Series A, B, and C. In the competitive market, Baltimore County, Maryland, (/AAA//) is set to sell three deals, $145 million of tax-exempt unlimited tax GOs, 2022-2041, at 9:45 a.m. on Wednesday. The issuer also has $219.6 million of taxable GOs, 2021-2032 at 11 a.m. and $88 million of taxables, 2022-2041, at 11:15 a.m. on Wednesday. New York City is set to sell $107 million of taxable GOs, 2028-2031, at 10:45 a.m. Wednesday. Cambridge, Massachusetts, (/AAA//) is set to sell $106 million of GOs, 2022-2041, at 11 a.m. Wednesday. EconomyStimulus payouts and added benefits for the unemployed helped personal incomes jump 10% in January, following a 0.6% gain a month earlier. Personal consumption expenditures climbed 2.4% after a 0.4% decline in December. Economists polled by IFR Markets expected a 9.9% spike in income and a 2.5% increase in consumption. “In the absence of the stimulus checks, personal income would have been flat in January; personal income excluding government transfers declined 0.1% for the month,” according to Wells Fargo economists Tim Quinlan and Shannon Seery. Morgan Stanley researchers expect the next stimulus package, which should come in March, will push up savings, “adding to a powerful tailwind of buying power that has been building among U.S. households — ready to be deployed as the economy is reopening.” The PCE index was up 1.5% from a year ago, after being 1.3% higher last month, while the core also rose 1.5% on an annual basis in January after a 1.4% gain in December. “Both measures of inflation revealed a modest acceleration but remained well below the Federal Reserve’s target of 2%,” noted Grant Thornton Chief Economist Diane Swonk. “The Fed will look past both of those increases as they are expected to be transitory. Any flare in inflation we see tied to the surge in demand from an easing in social distancing would have to show up as a sustained acceleration in wages to be persistent. That has not happened in four decades, which is why the Fed is skeptical it will happen today.” Morgan Stanley sees PCE inflation peaking near 2.6% in April and May. “On balance, data for January has largely beat expectations, pointing to stronger-than-expected growth in 1Q21,” they said. Also released Friday, the Chicago Business Barometer dropped to 59.5 in February from 63.8 in January, as new orders and productions posted the biggest drops in the month. Employment was the largest gainer. “Demand eased markedly in February with new orders dropping 11 points, its lowest level since August 2020,” according to the release. “Similarly, production shed 9.3 points, following two consecutive months of gains. Anecdotal evidence provides a mixed picture, with some firms experiencing a downturn due to the pandemic, while others report strong consumer demand.” The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index’s final February read was 76.8, up from the preliminary 76.2, but down from the 79.0 posted in January. Economists expected a bigger drop to 76.5. The current conditions index fell to 86.2 from 86.7 last month. It was also 86.2 in the preliminary read. The expectations index rose to 70.7 from 69.8 at mid-month. In January, the index was at 74.0. Secondary marketHigh-grade municipals were little changed, according to final readings on Refinitiv MMD’s AAA benchmark scale. Short yields were at 0.12% in 2022 and 0.19% in 2023. The 10-year sat at 1.14% and the 30-year at 1.81%. The ICE AAA municipal yield curve showed short maturities at 0.13% in 2022 and 0.20% in 2023. The 10-year stayed at 1.12% while the 30-year yield remained at 1.82%. The IHS Markit municipal analytics AAA curve showed yields at 0.12% in 2022 and at 0.16% in 2023 while the 10-year stayed at 1.09% and to 30-year at 1.77%. The Bloomberg BVAL AAA curve showed yields at 0.12% in 2022 and at 0.19% in 2023, while the 10-year stayed at 1.11%, and the 30-year yield at 1.82%. The three-month Treasury note was yielding 0.09%, the 10-year Treasury 1.42% and the 30-year Treasury was yielding 2.14% near the close. Equities were mixed with the Dow down 327 points, the S&P 500 down 0.04% and the Nasdaq up 0.94%. Gary Siegel contributed to this report.
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