The Real Significance of the Bitcoin Boom (and Bust)
The volatile rise and fall of Bitcoins has prompted lots of stories explaining why the online virtual currency is a classic bubble. Many compare it with Tulipmania in 17th Century Holland, where the prices of rare tulip bulbs soared to absurd heights and then crashed, ruining the speculative investors who had bought them. But the Bitcoin phenomenon is more than a bubble. It says something important about the current and future state of the global economy. The scale of the recent boom and bust has been staggering indeed. At the start of the year, a Bitcoin was worth $13.51. Earlier this week, it traded as high as $266. And on Thursday, it plummeted to less than $100, as one of the exchanges where Bitcoins are traded closed temporarily. This would be comparable to the exchange rate for the British pound soaring from $1.62 (where it was on Jan. 1) to $31.90 and then falling back to $12. Such monumental appreciation and volatility is clearly the result of speculation – people buying the ...
Financial Independence? Today’s Young People Don’t Expect It Anytime Soon
In a mere two years, the proportion of teenagers who expect to be financially dependent on their parents until their mid-20s has doubled. That gives us all another reason to feel sympathy for parents who have teenagers right now. A new survey conducted by Junior Achievement, a group that teaches kids about money and jobs, found that 25% of teens think they won’t be able to support themselves until their mid-20s. Two years ago, just 12% of teens surveyed said that they’d have to reach the 25-to 27-year-old age bracket before being able to pay all of their own bills. Correspondingly, the proportion of teens who expect to achieve financial independence by the ages of 18 to 24 has plummeted, from 75% in 2011 to 59% today. Are these kids just unmotivated? Maybe some of them are, but many more are facing escalating college costs and poor job prospects. An alarming number have a poor understanding of budgeting and basic finance as well. Plus, the old stigmas attached to relying on one’s ...
Triple-Dip Fears Ease With Upbeat PMI Survey
Strong growth in Britain's services sector means the nation will avoid a feared triple-dip recession, according to new research.
US Economy Expands at 0.4 Percent Rate
WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy grew at a slightly faster but still anemic rate at the end of last year. However, there is hope that growth accelerated in early 2013 despite higher taxes and cuts in government spending. The economy grew at an annual rate of 0.4 percent in the October-December quarter, the Commerce Department said Thursday. That was slightly better than the previous estimate of 0.1 percent growth. The revision reflected stronger business investment and export sales. Analysts think the economy is growing at a rate of around 2.5 percent in the current January-March quarter, which ends this week. Steady hiring has kept consumers spending this year. And a rebound in company stockpiling, further gains in housing and more business spending also likely drove faster growth in the first quarter. The 0.4 percent growth rate for the gross domestic product, the economy’s total output of goods and services, was the weakest quarterly performance in almost two years and followed a much ...
U.S. group takes over British search and rescue service
Britain's search and rescue helicopter services, whose pilots include Prince William, will be sold to United States-based Bristow Group in a 1.6 billion pound ($2.4 billion) deal that ends 70 years of military involvement in saving lives at sea and on land.
Found 1 month ago on channel Reuters