Wall Street Journal
Machine learning: Capital One is launching a formal study to see how machine learning can help customers manage their finances. "During the coming months and years, Capital One's machine learning capabilities could give customers greater insights into budgeting," the paper reported. "For example, advanced machine-learning algorithms could make smart predictions about upcoming bills such as rent, and irregular expenses such as those tied to seasonal weather changes, to help customers manage their spending." The credit card company has created a new Machine Learning Center of Excellence and is recruiting people with artificial intelligence experience, the paper said.
Brighter than gold: The price of bitcoin rose to a record high on Thursday, but the surge was notable for another reason: it reached parity with the price of gold for the first time. The digital currency hit $1,252 on Thursday, $10 above its all-time high of $1,242. At the same time, the price of bullion fell 0.7% to $1,241. "While it's debatable whether or not one bitcoin is the equivalent of one ounce of gold," the Journal said, it is notable because bitcoin backers "are promoting it as a 21st-century version of gold."
The doctor is in: By a vote of 58-to-41, Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon, was confirmed by the Senate as Housing and Urban Development secretary. While many questioned Carson's qualifications for the role, he said at the hearing, "I actually believe that there is a tremendous nexus, a great intersection, because good health has a lot to do with a good environment."
Snapchat?: In what the paper describes as one of the most successful debuts in the industry, Goldman Sachs has taken in $3 billion in its exchange-traded funds in just 18 months. But "few have noticed, illustrating the conundrum for banks that have come late to the $2.7 trillion U.S. ETF market," the paper said. "While banks have decided the sector's significant growth potential is too good to miss, ETFs remain a tiny niche relative to the core businesses of investing and lending at banks" such as Goldman and JPMorgan Chase.
More, please: Wells Fargo's board is facing "an investor rebellion" as several of its largest institutional shareholder are pressuring the bank to do more in the wake of the phony accounts scandal. Several investors told the paper "the board had been too slow to respond to the scandal that erupted six months ago, and that questions remained over whether longstanding directors had failed in their oversight duties." While John Stumpf lost his job as chairman and CEO and two board members were replaced, "more must be done," New York City comptroller Scott Stringer said.
Cause for worry?: "Management turmoil and legal run-ins" may be the least of Bridgewater Associates' problems, the FT reports. Investors in the world's largest hedge fund are also "nervous about Bridgewater's core investing philosophy," which is built heavily on the 35-year-long bull market in bonds that may be coming to an end as interest rates rise.
"The goal is to make Capital One a preeminent machine-learning company." — Adam Wenchel, vice president of data innovation at Capital One