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One of the Biggest Diamonds in History Has Just Been Dug Up

One of the biggest diamonds in history has been discovered in the mountainous kingdom of Lesotho in southern Africa. Gem Diamonds Ltd. found the 910-carat stone, about the size of two golf balls, at its Letseng mine in the country. It’s a D color Type IIa diamond, which means it has very few or no nitrogen atoms and is one of the most expensive stones. The diamond is the fifth-biggest ever found. The Letseng mine is famous for the size and quality of the diamonds it produces and has the…

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Asia Stocks Rise as Earnings Awaited, Won Weakens: Markets Wrap

Asian equities edged higher ahead of the start of the region’s earnings season this week, with investors betting that the outlook for economic growth and profits is strong enough to support record-high stock prices. The Korean won fell. Shares from Sydney to Seoul climbed with markets in Tokyo closed Monday for a holiday. Samsung Electronics Co. and a slew of Japanese retailers and manufacturers are among companies giving profit updates this week. South Korea’s currency reversed gains as authorities said they would take action to stem one-sided moves in the won. Oil…

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2018 Feels Ripe for Big Unexpected Crisis, Eurasia Group Says

This year could see a geopolitical crisis on the scale of the financial crash a decade ago, Eurasia Group warned in its annual outlook. Describing global political challenges as “daunting,” the New York-based political risk consultancy said that “if we had to pick one year for a big unexpected crisis — the geopolitical equivalent of the 2008 financial meltdown — it feels like 2018." The biggest uncertainty surrounds China’s move to fill a vacuum as U.S. influence continues to decline, stoking tensions between the two powers, it said. That’s likely to…

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How China Will Shake Up the Oil Futures Market

China, the world’s biggest oil buyer, is on the verge of opening a domestic market to trade futures contracts. It’s been planning one for years, only to encounter delays. The Shanghai International Energy Exchange, a unit of Shanghai Futures Exchange, will be known by the acronym INE and will allow Chinese buyers to lock in oil prices and pay in local currency. Also, foreign traders will be allowed to invest — a first for China’s commodities markets — because the exchange is registered in Shanghai’s free trade zone. There are…

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Goldman Sees Crypto, Credit Shadowing Robust 2018 U.S. Economy

Financial imbalances including those in credit markets and cryptocurrencies will shadow an otherwise robust 2018 U.S. economy, said Goldman Sachs Group Inc. economist Jan Hatzius. Hatzius has already made some predictions for the new year: four Federal Reserve quickening to an average of 2.6 percent, the jobless rate not inverting. In a new report, Hatzius reiterated his expectation for overall economic strength, while flagging some concerns. “Asset valuations in some areas — especially credit — have risen to high levels by historical standards,” Hatzius said in the “10 Questions for…

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China to Overtake U.S. Economy by 2032 as Asian Might Builds

The growing leapfrogging the U.K. and France next year to become the world’s fifth-biggest economy in dollar terms. It will advance to third place by 2027, moving ahead of Germany. In 2032, three of the four largest economies will be Asian — China, India and Japan — and, by that time, China will also have overtaken the U.S. to hold the No. 1 spot. India’s advance won’t stop there, according to the CEBR, which sees it taking the top place in the second half of the century. Also by 2032,…

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Novogratz Halts Hedge Fund, Says Bitcoin May Drop to $8,000

Michael Novogratz, the former macro manager who’s turned into one of the biggest champions of bitcoin, shelved plans to start a cryptocurrency hedge fund and predicted that the digital money may extend its plunge to $8,000. “We didn’t like market conditions and we wanted to re-evaluate what we’re doing,” Novogratz said Friday in a phone interview. “I look pretty smart pressing the pause button right now.” Novogratz, 53, said he told potential investors last week that he changed his mind, two days before his Galaxy Digital Assets Fund was due to…

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Ray Dalio Says End of the SALT Deduction Will Further Divide the Nation

Billionaire legislation. The Senate bill mirrors the House legislation by calling for the repeal of state and local tax deductions, while allowing up to $10,000 for property tax deductions. According to a study by the Tax Policy Center, 7 percent of taxpayers would pay more tax in 2019, 10 percent in 2025, and 48 percent in 2027, compared to current law. On average in 2027, taxes would change little for lower- and middle-income groups and decrease for higher-income groups. Tax Revenues On its face, ending so-called Read more about the…

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The Strange Case of the Look-Alike Credit Cards

First National Bank of Marin was a small Las Vegas lender with an image problem. Federal investigators accused it of issuing credit cards to strapped consumers, then piling on so many fees and obligations that some new clients couldn’t buy a sandwich without hitting their credit limit. But by 2006, it had settled the claims and was ready to expand. It changed its name to Source: Credit One Bank If that looks familiar, there’s a good reason. In 2008, credit-card titan Source: Capital One Financial Corp. And so began the improbable story of…

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Bitcoins Wild Ride: A Rally, a Rout and Outages on the Exchanges

Bitcoin plunged as much as 20 percent hours after a rally past $11,000 generated a surge in traffic at online exchanges that led to intermittent outages. The plunge capped a wild day for the largest cryptocurrency that included a breakneck advance to a high of $11,434 before the reversal took it as low as $9,009. As of 3:36 p.m. in New York, it traded at $9,911.10, virtually unchanged from where it began the session. The heaviest selling came amid earlier led to selloffs in cryptocurrencies. Coinbase, one of the biggest…

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New Uber CEO Keeps Finding Horrors at Every Turn

The appointment of Dara Khosrowshahi as head of cyberattack Uber had been concealing since last year that exposed personal data on 57 million customers and drivers globally. The company, which said it had paid hackers $100,000 to delete the data and keep quiet, disclosed the incident in a statement to Bloomberg on Tuesday, following an investigation commissioned by the board. The chief security officer and one of his deputies were ousted for their actions following the hack. Khosrowshahi’s role so far looks less like a turnaround artist and more like…

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Asia’s Richest Banker Spots a Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity

For India, it’s a $207 billion mess, a pile-up of bad loans years in the making that’s dragging on growth. For the nation’s wealthiest banker, it’s the kind of opportunity that very rarely presents itself. What has billionaire Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd., in an interview. “Through this you could actually get assets that would give disproportionate returns for long periods of time.” Funds controlled by Kotak Mahindra are looking at deals involving the assets and debts of some of the first 12 companies going through the bankruptcy courts, Kotak said. Industries…

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Da Vincis Christ Portrait Shatters Art Record With $450 Million Sale

“Jesus Christ.” That was the reaction of mega art dealer Larry Gagosian after a rediscovered painting by Leonardo da Vinci became the most expensive work ever sold, soaring to $450.3 million at a Christie’s auction in New York on Wednesday. Alex Rotter, the auction house’s co-chairman of postwar and contemporary art in the Americas, placed the winning bid on behalf of an unidentified client after a 19-minute war that saw offers at $200 million, $300 million and $350 million fall short. The result obliterated previous world records for an art sale of…

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Worlds Biggest Wealth Fund Wants Out of Oil and Gas

The $1 trillion fund that Norway has amassed pumping oil and gas over the past two decades wants out of petroleum stocks.   Norway, which relies on oil and gas for about a fifth of economic output, would be less vulnerable to declining crude prices without its fund investing in the industry, the central bank said Thursday. The divestment would mark the second major step in scrubbing the world’s biggest wealth fund of climate risk, after it sold most of its coal stocks. “Our perspective here is to spread the risks for the…

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Norway Idea to Exit Oil Stocks Is Shot Heard Around the World

Norway’s unloading its shares of Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc and other oil giants to diversify its holdings and guard against drops in crude prices. European oil stocks fell. Big Oil is under pressure, read more here Norway’s Finance Ministry, which oversees the fund, said it will study the proposal and will take at least a year to decide what to do. The fund has already sold off most of its coal stocks. “People are starting to recognize the risks of oil and gas,” said Jason Disterhoft of…

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