Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Red hot: The rally in the price of bitcoin shows no sign of stopping. On Thursday the digital currency dropped $300 in one hour during the afternoon but still closed up for the day, as it rose more than $300 in the morning. The digital currency traded as high as $2,791 during the day, a 13% rise from the day before.
The Financial Times reports that some exchanges had trouble making some trades due to the price volatility.
In a separate article, the FT says the "speculative frenzy" in bitcoin and other so-called alt-coins over the past few weeks is easy to dismiss as just another financial bubble. "But that would be to miss an important point," it says. "Some of the projects [being funded by digital currencies] are best seen as experiments in radical decentralization, with a particular focus on the financial industry. If banks and insurance companies thought they could tame the blockchain, these are reminders that the potential exists for a devastating disintermediation."
Paying up: Wells Fargo, struggling with the departure of brokers in the wake of its retail banking scandal, is increasing its signing bonuses to attract financial advisors just as rival firms are cutting back on theirs. "Attracting the industry's top talent will always be a priority for Wells Fargo Advisors," a spokeswoman for the bank said. Wall Street Journal, Financial Times
A must to avoid: The Journal's Heard on the Street column advises investors to avoid Canadian banks. Although the nation's big banks don't face any imminent risks, "it is getting late in the Canadian credit cycle. This is no time to be betting on the country's banks," it says. Compared to their counterparts south of the border, Canadian banks' share prices are more expensive in relation to book value and hold lower levels of capital. Wall Street Journal, Financial Times
Wall Street Journal
Cart before the horse: There's a perfectly good reason why millennials aren't buying houses: they don't have any money. According to a survey by Apartment List, nearly 70% of people aged 18 to 34 years old say they have saved less than $1,000 for a down payment, while about 40% said they aren't saving anything.
"The study helps illuminate a tension at the heart of the housing market," the Journal comments. "The vast majority—some 80%—of millennials said they eventually plan to buy a home. But 72% said the primary obstacle is that they can't afford it."
Moving east: Vanguard, the world's second largest mutual fund company, is opening an office in Shanghai as part of its international expansion. "This new milestone solidifies our commitment to China," said Bill McNabb, the company's chairman and CEO. The company also plans to move into the U.K. through an online investment platform.
New York Times
A modest proposal: In light of the tiny sums banks pay out in interest to savers, Times financial columnist and former investment banker William D. Cohan asks: "As regulatory relief appears to draw near, what should we ask of big banks in return for the extraordinary franchise we, the American people, have granted to them?"
"The big American banks have had a very nice run since the financial crisis," he notes. "They are essentially an oligopoly, and they have the profits to show for it. It's time they agreed to give something back to us, the people who saved their bacon nearly 10 years ago."
Wrong venue: USAA has stopped advertising on the Sean Hannity program on Fox News, but says it's not because of anything Hannity did. "There was an error which led to our ads running during certain opinion-based programs, and as soon as that was discovered, the error was corrected," USAA said. "We will continually review our ad placements to ensure we are consistent with our policy."