• Banks Facing Data Crisis May Need Political Help, Denmark Warns
    Bloomberg

    Banks Facing Data Crisis May Need Political Help, Denmark Warns

    (Bloomberg) -- First there was the financial crisis of 2008. Then years of negative interest rates. Now, banks face what one financial regulator calls the “real game changer.”Jesper Berg, the head of the Financial Supervisory Authority in Denmark, says the next big threat for banks is the rapid spread of big tech into financial services. The competitive tool is personal data and the playing field is far from even, he says.“The banks are constrained in what they can do with data, even using data across business lines, not to mention sharing it,” Berg said in an interview in Copenhagen.The concern is that banks need to comply with strict regulatory requirements to protect client data. But their industry is being infiltrated by competitors that aren’t necessarily subject to the same rules. Berg suggests that political intervention might be the way forward, if banks are to have a fighting chance.“The biggest issue that needs to be decided at a high level of politics is, do we somehow make rules in relation to sharing and use of data similar, or do we keep a difference?” Berg said. “We need to think about whether, and when, we set rules that are different for different types of companies, where the activity is basically the same.”Berg oversees a financial industry that has dealt with negative interest rates longer than any other, after Denmark’s central bank first went below zero in 2012. That’s weakened the finance sector, potentially putting it on the back foot as it tries to strengthen its defenses against new competitors. Lars Rohde, the governor of the Danish central bank, has warned that banks will need to rethink their entire business model to adapt to the new world.The BehemothsBecause of the vast pools of information they collect, tech giants like Google, Amazon and Alibaba already enjoy a competitive advantage over banks, Berg says.According to a February report by the global Financial Stability Board, the proprietary consumer data that big tech extracts from social media, combined with the industry’s access to cheap funding, mean it “could achieve scale very quickly in financial services.”Part of the ascent of tech companies within financial services has to do with PSD2, a European directive designed to open up the payments industry to competition. In practical terms, it means banks need to pass on their data for free to non-banks, provided customers agree.“You could say that we’ve gone to the extreme with PSD2,” Berg said. “Not only can banks not use the data fully internally, but they cannot sell it. They have to give it away.”ChinaThe FSB’s February report makes the point that reducing entry barriers for big tech might ultimately hurt competition in financial services. As an example, the FSB highlights China, where just two big tech firms account for over 90% of the mobile payments market.“Big data lives off selling information about you and me, so that other companies can target us more specifically,” Berg said. “The potential real game changer is big data, depending on what they choose to do.” That’s because “they know more about us than anyone else.”Tech companies that offer loans or take deposits will need to apply for licenses and abide by the same rules as banks, Berg said. But the requirements are far murkier for those that decide to operate as a platform for other financial service providers, and that puts banks at a competitive disadvantage.“The link to customers would essentially be with big tech,” Berg said.“And everyone knows that whoever has the link to the customers” ends up being able to “cream the profit,” he said.To contact the reporter on this story: Frances Schwartzkopff in Copenhagen at fschwartzko1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Tasneem Hanfi Brögger at tbrogger@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Financial Times

    Treating stablecoins like ETFs

    As the authors note, the Libra Association defines a basket of assets that can be traded for Libra tokens by selected intermediaries, called authorised resellers (ARs). ETFs use a similar system of authorised participants (APs). ARs purchase these assets on the market and give them to the Libra Association.

  • How to grow your Twitter following from 400 to 66,000 in one weekend: Get into a feud with Mike Huckabee
    MarketWatch

    How to grow your Twitter following from 400 to 66,000 in one weekend: Get into a feud with Mike Huckabee

    Mike Huckabee, whether it be on TV or across social media, is the undisputed king of the cringiest dad jokes. Of course, in these divided times, not everybody’s a fan.

  • Financial Times

    How women are failed by thoughtless design

    last week for Invisible Women, I had to interview her for a short video. Admittedly, this is a far from perfect example of the embedded bias that Ms Criado Perez attacks so successfully. Invisible Women lays out in cool, data-backed detail how more women die as a result of using default male crash test dummies for cars or succumb to heart attack, because tests, technology and research have in the past skewed towards men.

  • This touching letter about a retiree and his VHS tapes might make you feel a lot better about growing old
    MarketWatch

    This touching letter about a retiree and his VHS tapes might make you feel a lot better about growing old

    An 86-year-old retiree sent a thank you note to someone who sold him a VHS player — and the internet ate it up.

  • Is Camden Property Trust (CPT) A Good Stock To Buy?
    Insider Monkey

    Is Camden Property Trust (CPT) A Good Stock To Buy?

    Our extensive research has shown that imitating the smart money can generate significant returns for retail investors, which is why we track nearly 750 active prominent money managers and analyze their quarterly 13F filings. The stocks that are heavily bought by hedge funds historically outperformed the market, though there is no shortage of high profile […]

  • NAIOP Industrial Deal of the Year: Seefried Properties wins for Amazon
    American City Business Journals

    NAIOP Industrial Deal of the Year: Seefried Properties wins for Amazon

    "The sheer size and scale of the Amazon deal are really what stood out to make it the 2019 Deal of the Year."

  • GuruFocus.com

    Urbem's 'Quality Strategy' Series: The Qualitative Traits

    Investing is both a science and an art Continue reading...

  • President Trump blasted by Jewish group for his ‘vile and bigoted remarks’
    MarketWatch

    President Trump blasted by Jewish group for his ‘vile and bigoted remarks’

    Trump drew fire from Jewish groups on Sunday for comments he made the night before at the Israeli American Council.

  • GuruFocus.com

    Top Insider Buys Highlight for the Week of Dec. 6

    Insiders invest in Cigna, Dollar Tree, Keurig Dr Pepper and Expedia Continue reading...

  • Another Hedge Fund Bites The Dust: $350 Million in Sales Coming
    Insider Monkey

    Another Hedge Fund Bites The Dust: $350 Million in Sales Coming

    Matthew Iorio's White Elm Capital is returning money to its investors at the end of the year. Based in Greenwich Connecticut, Matt Iorio's White Elm Capital is a top-tier hedge fund that flied under many investors' radar screens. A former managing director at Stephen Mandel's Lone Pine Capital, Matt Iorio is a Tuck School of […]

  • Bloomberg

    Trump Downplays North Korea Missile Tests, Says Kim ‘Too Smart’

    (Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump downplayed Pyongyang’s latest actions, including missile tests, saying North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “is too smart and has far too much to lose, everything actually” if he acts in a hostile way toward the U.S.Still, Trump said on Twitter that North Korea “must denuclearize as promised,” a day after its envoy to the UN said in a pointed statement that such a move was off the table. Trump said Kim signed a “strong Denuclearization Agreement” when the pair met in Singapore in 2018, although steps toward North Korea giving up its nuclear ambitions were never formalized.North Korea said it conducted a “very important test” at its long-range projectile launch site on Saturday. The outcome of the test was “successful” and will play a key part in changing North Korea’s strategic position in the near future, the state-run Korean Central News Agency said in a statement Sunday, citing a spokesman at the Academy of the National Defense Science. It didn’t elaborate or say what was tested.Not Dismantled?The Sohae Launch Facility, which Kim once said he dismantled in a concession to Trump, was being monitored for possible missile or engine tests since a satellite image from Thursday showed new activity. A South Korean presidential official was reported as saying Sunday that the country is “closely watching” the situation after the test was announced.The statement suggests that “it’s likely a test of a solid-fuel engine for intercontinental ballistic missiles,” said Kim Dong-yub, head of the research at the Institute for Far Eastern Studies in Seoul.The latest provocation follows launches of a score of missiles this year alone, including two short-range ballistic missiles in late November. Kim has refrained from tests of nuclear bombs and missiles capable of carrying them to the U.S. for more than two years as he pursued unprecedented talks with Trump.‘New Path’But in recent months, he has warned that he would find a “new path” if the U.S. doesn’t ease up on sanctions and other policies that Pyongyang views as hostile. The Trump administration has called for North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons before it can receive rewards, a move Pyongyang sees as political suicide.‘Diplomatic Solution’“We keep a close eye on North Korea all the time,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Saturday at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California. “The best path forward with regard to North Korea is a diplomatic solution, a political agreement, that gets us to a denuclearized peninsula. That’s all in everybody’s interest.”The two sides revived a war of words last week with Trump calling Kim a “Rocket Man” again, and a North Korean official bringing back the “dotard” nickname for Trump.Pyongyang imposed a year-end deadline for the U.S. to propose a plan it would be satisfied with in return for its abandonment of a nuclear arsenal. Washington’s decision will determine what “Christmas gift” it will get from Kim and could prompt the North to take a “new path” from 2020, it warned.Just a TrickNorth Korea’s envoy to the United Nations said in a statement on Saturday that the “sustained and substantial dialogue” sought by the U.S. with Pyongyang was a “trick” done to suit its domestic political agenda.“We do not need to have lengthy talks with the U.S. now and denuclearization is already gone out of the negotiating table,” Ambassador Kim Song said.Trump abruptly ended a summit with Kim in Hanoi in February after the president said the North Korean leader asked for all U.S. sanctions to be lifted in exchange for the dismantling of the country’s main nuclear facility.When new images showed that the North was rebuilding a long-range rocket site at the Sohae facility, just days after the summit collapse, Trump said he’d be very disappointed in Kim if it’s true.\--With assistance from Glen Carey and Jihye Lee.To contact the reporter on this story: Kanga Kong in Seoul at kkong50@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Shamim Adam at sadam2@bloomberg.net, Ros KrasnyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Hedge Funds Are Crazy About ANGI Homeservices Inc. (ANGI)
    Insider Monkey

    Hedge Funds Are Crazy About ANGI Homeservices Inc. (ANGI)

    We can judge whether ANGI Homeservices Inc. (NASDAQ:ANGI) is a good investment right now by following the lead of some of the best investors in the world and piggybacking their ideas. There's no better way to get these firms' immense resources and analytical capabilities working for us than to follow their lead into their best ideas. […]

  • Benzinga

    Bulls And Bears Of The Week: Facebook, Intel, Netflix, Tesla And More

    Benzinga has examined the prospects for many investor favorite stocks over the past week. Bullish calls included e-commerce, electric vehicle and semiconductor leaders. Bearish calls included video streaming giant and biotech giants.

  • Bloomberg

    France’s Le Maire Calls on U.S. to Back Global Digital Tax Plan

    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire urged the U.S. to support a global overhaul of how the digital economy is taxed.Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said the U.S. supports the efforts of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, but he has suggested the first part of the OECD’s plan should be optional. Le Maire said on Sunday that this proposal “won’t work.”The U.S. needs to show “good faith” in the talks, Le Maire said on France 3 television, calling on Washington to back the plan that’s on the table. If no global deal can be reached, Europe will restart talks on introducing its own tax, he said.Read more: Why Digital Taxes Are the New Trade War Flashpoint: QuickTakeThe debate over how to tax big tech companies is heating up, with the U.S. threatening to impose tariffs on about $2.4 billion of French products in retaliation for a new French digital levy. Washington maintains that the tax will discriminate against U.S. companies, including tech giants such as Facebook Inc. and Amazon.com Inc.Le Maire said the French tax isn’t discriminatory, because it also hits European and Asian companies. Any retaliatory tariffs would have no legal basis, and France is prepared to fight them in the World Trade Organization if necessary, he said.“This is uselessly aggressive toward France,” Le Maire said.To contact the reporter on this story: Helene Fouquet in Paris at hfouquet1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ben Sills at bsills@bloomberg.net, Patrick Henry, James AmottFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Stop With the ‘Gifting’ and Just Give

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Considering an expensive gift this season for someone you love?  CNBC urges you to be careful: “What to think about before you gift a Peloton or other big-ticket item this holiday.” And if by chance you’re as curmudgeonly about grammar as I, you bristle at this casual use of “gift” as a verb.Yet the usage is everywhere. “Holiday gifting made easy!” we’re assured by Nordstrom. Amazon offers what it calls “Prime Gifting.”  US News and World Report actually manages to use the word as verb and noun in the same headline: “How to Gift Stock and Other Financial Gifts.”Grammarians have battled for years over whether “gift” and “give” are interchangeable verbs. It’s time somebody gave a definitive answer. And the answer this Grammar Scrooge gives is no. Except in a narrow set of circumstances — I will describe them shortly — we can never gift a thing to another person. We can only give. To those who would give a different answer, let me give you the gift of explaining why you’re wrong.The use of “gift” as a verb has ancient roots. Everyone who puzzles over this conundrum points out that the Oxford English Dictionary attests this usage as early as the 16th century. True enough. The OED lists early examples aplenty. But these early examples share a vital aspect that’s been left unremarked by the commentators. Once we understand that aspect, we’ll understand why our current fad for “gifting” is misguided.The oldest citation is from a British poem, “A Merry Jest of a Shrewd and Curst Wife Lapped in Morel’s Skin,” probably published around 1550 and believed to have provided the foundation for “The Taming of the Shrew”: “The friendes that were together met He gyfted them richely with right good speede” — “He” in this case meaning “God.”(1) Among the OED’s many other examples we find a 1639 reference to “a parcel of ground which the Queen had gifted to Mary Levinston” and an 18th century reference from Henry Fielding to “the Inspiration with which we Writers are gifted.”But notice what they have in common. The Queen already owned the parcel before gifting it; she did not acquire it in order to make a present of it. As for Fielding, he is referring to a natural-born quality, gifted if at all by God – precisely the point being made by the unknown author of “Morel’s Skin.” Nearly all the OED’s early examples involve either a giver who gifts what the giver already owns, or a situation in which the giver is Nature or God.(2)This distinction is subtle but important. There’s a world of difference between gifting a thing you already own and going out to buy a thing you don’t. As it happens, the distinction is also consistent with the traditional usage in law. Every case I have found prior to the 20th century that uses “gift” as a verb refers to a transfer of an asset that the giver already owns.  Most involve inheritance. (Quite a few, I sorrow to report, involve slavery, for the courts in the antebellum South adjudicated many a dispute over the ownership of human beings.) Similarly, books published in the 19th century overwhelmingly reserve the usage for gifts either from God or from the giver’s existing assets.This usage is in keeping with one of the important but vanishing uses of gift as a noun: a reference to a right or honor that can be transferred, as in the phrase “within my gift.” The grant of certain titles is within the gift of the monarch. The imposition of terms of surrender is within the gift of the winning side. “Keep on improving,” wrote a New York pastor in 1868 to a misbehaving parishioner, “and you shall have the highest title within my gift.” This is the sense in which the word is used in an old and much-quoted Pennsylvania case: “There is a virtual unanimity of opinion among all reasonable men that it is against public policy for a public official to appoint himself to another public office within his gift.”(3)Historical usage isn’t always the best guide, but here we would do well to preserve the older sense in which “gift” and “give” are both verbs but carry two different meanings. So let’s reserve “gifting” for the situation in which we part with something we already own. I can gift to Goodwill that sweater I no longer wear, but the sweater I buy new at the mall as a Christmas present I can only give. If I buy you a gift card for the bookstore, I can only give it to you. But if you gave me the card last year and it’s not to my taste, I can gift it to a friend. (Apparently that’s no longer considered impolite.)And for those who believe no column is complete without a mention of Donald Trump, let’s use coverage of the president to supply two closing examples of proper praxis. Earlier this year, when the prime minister of Israel visited the White House, Newsweek headlined: “Benjamin Netanyahu Says He’s Gifting Donald Trump Case of Wine.” This usage was incorrect unless Netanyahu already owned the wine before deciding to give it as a gift. On the other hand, when Donald Trump Jr. told an interviewer last year that his father was a “re-gifter,” he was using the word correctly, because his example was Trump Sr.’s evident habit of passing on to his son monogrammed gifts he himself had received but didn’t want.Re-gifting a shirt isn’t the same as transferring land or title. Still, the distinction I’m advocating preserves both verbs but gives them independent meanings. To separate our usage this way also imbues the verb “to gift” with a particular power. Gifting becomes a sacrifice in a way that giving never quite is. When we gift, we part with a thing that has been with us for a while; when we give, our possession was always planned to be brief. (1) As printed, the poem reads “Be gifted,” but this is widely agreed to be a typographical error.(2) I say “nearly all” because two or three admit of more than one interpretation.(3) Yes, this view, if correct, might bear on the question whether a president has the power to pardon himself.To contact the author of this story: Stephen L. Carter at scarter01@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Sarah Green Carmichael at sgreencarmic@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Stephen L. Carter is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is a professor of law at Yale University and was a clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. His novels include “The Emperor of Ocean Park,” and his latest nonfiction book is “Invisible: The Forgotten Story of the Black Woman Lawyer Who Took Down America's Most Powerful Mobster.” For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Financial Times

    Jeff Bezos warns US military it risks losing tech supremacy

    Jeff Bezos has warned American military leaders that the US risks losing its superiority in technologies that have been key to its national security. Speaking at the Reagan National Defense Forum, an annual gathering of US military leaders and defence contractors, the Amazon chief executive officer suggested that China’s attempt to steal an edge in important technologies represented a new type of threat to US military supremacy, which has been based for decades on a clear technological superiority.

  • Financial Times

    The painful truth about feedback at work

    It was an unremarkable press release, except for the bit at the end that explained what Bridgewater was, and how the firm had “a culture of radical truth and radical transparency”. The critic has a duty to entertain and let potential audiences know if they should part with their cash.

  • Financial Times

    How to take back control from the Big Tech barons

    It’s a question that’s been on my mind because of a recent conversation I had with a famous technology investor in Silicon Valley. Railroad tycoon Thomas Scott allegedly helped tip the 1876 presidential race to Rutherford B Hayes by using his wealth and connections to secure Hayes southern political support in exchange for his blessing Scott’s efforts to create the second transcontinental railroad. The deal done, Hayes was inaugurated four days later, having ridden to Washington aboard Scott’s private railway car.