China Bans Financial Companies From Bitcoin Transactions

China Bans Financial Companies From Bitcoin Transactions

China’s central bank barred financial institutions from handling Bitcoin transactions, moving to regulate the virtual currency after an 89-fold jump in its value sparked a surge of investor interest in the country.

Bitcoin isn’t a currency with “real meaning” and doesn’t have the same legal status as a currency, the People’s Bank of China said. The public is free to participate in Internet transactions provided they take on the risk themselves, it said.

An unregulated digital currency may pose a threat to China’s capital controls. Regulatory oversight may restrain demand for Bitcoin in China, which exchange operator BTC China said has become the world’s biggest trader with more than half of global volumes. Surging Bitcoin prices have spurred investor protection concerns and prompted former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan to call it a “bubble.”

Bitcoin prices plunged after the PBOC announcement.

“The concern is that it interferes with normal monetary policy operation,” said Hao Hong, head of China research at Bocom International Holdings Co. in Hong Kong. “It represents an unofficial leakage to the current monetary system and trades globally. It is difficult to regulate and could be used for money laundering. I think the central bank is right to make this move.”

The People’s Bank of China, China Banking Regulatory Commission and other regulators have held discussions about drafting rules for trading platforms that facilitate the buying and selling of the virtual money, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said. They were not authorized to speak because the information is not public.

Job Cuts Loom at European Banks as Economy Pinches Fees

Job Cuts Loom at European Banks as Economy Pinches Fees

European banks, which eliminated more than 140,000 jobs in two years, are poised to keep shrinking.

Lenders in the region probably will cut at least 5 percent of trading and advisory staff next year, according to a survey of three London-based investment-bank recruiters, and the reductions could reach 15 percent, two of them said. That would be twice the 7 percent shrinkage across the industry since 2011.

European firms are lagging behind U.S. counterparts in meeting stricter limits on leverage, putting pressure on them to cut assets. At the same time, a stagnant economy is crimping fees from investment banking and merger advice, eroding returns. That may force banks to eliminate more jobs next year, dispose of whole businesses and surrender market share in fixed income.

“As European banks focus on leverage, they’re losing market share to U.S. firms,” said Philippe Bodereau, the London-based head of European credit research at Pacific Investment Management Co., the world’s largest fixed-income manager. “We’re seeing a lot of banks that are starting to cut balance sheets. Cost control will remain a big item.”

Banks in Europe with global securities businesses, including Deutsche Bank AG and Barclays Plc, posted a 13 percent drop in third-quarter investment-banking revenue, hurt by lower fixed-income trading, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That exceeded a 9 percent decline at the largest U.S. firms.

Bloomberg on Banksy: ‘It is not my definition of art’

Bloomberg on Banksy: ‘It is not my definition of art’

Banksy is more than halfway through his monthlong New York City residency, with installations and graffiti by the elusive British street artist popping up throughout the city. And Mayor Michael Bloomberg is not exactly thrilled.
“I’ll leave it up to our Department of Cultural Affairs,” Bloomberg told reporters on Wednesday when asked what he thought about Banksy’s work. “But look, graffiti does ruin people’s property and it’s a sign of decay and loss of control.”
But is it art?
“Art is art, and nobody’s a bigger supporter of the arts than I am,” Bloomberg continued. “I just think there are some places for art and there are some places [not for] art. And you running up to somebody’s property or public property and defacing it is not my definition of art.”
Earlier this week, a stencil of the World Trade Center’s twin towers, with a burnt flower emerging from one of the buildings, appeared in Tribeca. The day before, a stencil figure washing a spray-painted quote from the movie “Gladiator” appeared on a wall in the Woodside section of Queens.

“It may be art, but it should not be permitted,” Bloomberg said of the graffiti. “And I think that’s exactly what the law says.”
“GET BANKSY!” The New York Post declared on its Thursday cover.
Of course, the law is not stopping Banksy.

Bloomberg Poll Shows Americans Waking Up to Government Fraud

Bloomberg Poll Shows Americans Waking Up to Government Fraud

68 percent of Americans believe the nation is “on the wrong track,” however it’s far higher than that

Julie Wilson
September 25, 2013

A new Bloomberg National Poll reveals Obama’s approval rating has hit an all time low since the president went into office in 2009, as reported by the Washington Examiner. However, Obama’s approval rating is much, much lower than this as Bloomberg Polls have been notoriously known to be unreliable.

Just last week released a poll showing fewer Americans than ever trust the government to handle international problems, “with 49% saying they have a great deal or a fair amount of confidence.”

In early Aug., a Gallup Poll revealed that Obama’s economic approval slipped to 35 percent, down 7 percentage points from 42 percent in June.

According to Bloomberg, nearly half of the nation (49 percent), officially view Obama in a negative light, and his push for Obamacare isn’t helping. The Bloomberg poll shows a 53 percent disapproval rating on the economy, compared to 38 percent approval.