Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Debut, part two: Bitcoin prices fell about 2% on their first day of trading on CME Group’s futures exchange. About $100 million worth of bitcoin contracts changed hands, “a relatively small slice” of the billions of dollars’ worth of available bitcoin but about 25% more than was traded on rival Cboe Global Markets’ first day of trading a week earlier.
How crazy have things gotten in the cryptocurrency world? One of the hottest investments in the sector “comes from a software startup that doesn’t plan to sell any software and describes what it is selling — something called a digital token — as having ‘no purpose.’” The company, block.one, has raised about $700 million so far this year, which is larger than all but 10 of the nearly 200 initial public offerings in the U.S. this year.
Other cybercurrencies want to be the next bitcoin.
The important thing to understand about bitcoin, the Washington Post says, “is that it's not just a failed currency. It's also a failed payment system. Just because you call something a currency doesn't mean it is one. It has to be a stable store of value that people actually use to buy things with. Bitcoin fails on both accounts.”
Don’t tell that to the Pantera Bitcoin Fund, which told its investors it’s made a 25,004% return on its bitcoin investments since 2013, with most of the gains coming this year.
Wall Street Journal
Juggling act: Mary Mack, the head of Wells Fargo’s retail bank, has been given the additional role of heading its big consumer lending unit, which includes “two key businesses that are undergoing regulatory scrutiny: mortgage and auto lending,” the paper says. The unit also includes student loans and personal lines of credit. Mack will now oversee about 115,000 employees, up from 90,000 previously.
She replaces Franklin Codel, who was fired last month after making critical comments about bank regulators to a former employee.
Cyber protection: Three experts on cyberattacks against financial institutions discuss the risks and what can be done about it.
Moving money: Fintech startups including WorldRemit, TransferWise and Remitly are among the leading companies vying to become the top global app for international money transfers.
Taking a hit: Five big financial institutions — including Citigroup, Bank of America and AIG — will need to take writedowns totaling almost $50 billion if the U.S. tax reform bill passes. The companies, which endured big losses during the financial crisis, would have been able to use those losses to offset future profits under current law, but the new tax bill “would reduce the expected financial benefits sharply,” the paper says. But while that would hurt their after-tax income, it should have a limited impact on shareholders, the paper adds.
New York Times
Remembering a champion: Long-time M&T Bank Chairman and CEO Robert Wilmers “used that platform to attack post-crisis rules that lumped mid-tier players with mega-banks. His death on Saturday at 83 robs the industry of one of its staunchest defenders.”
“Most bank bosses ran for cover after last decade’s financial meltdown, choosing to let lobby groups do their bidding in arguing against the Dodd-Frank Act and other regulations,” he said. “JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon was a notably outspoken exception. Mr. Wilmers was another.”
“We are creating a more holistic approach to delivering retail banking services to our customers.” — Wells Fargo CEO Timothy Sloan about Mary Mack additional role at the bank.