Here's what's in your Prime Interest today:
There's a new Bitcoin
sherriff in town. It's called the Digital Asset Transfer Authority --
or DATA. And it's not just limited to Bitcoins, it will self-govern most
of the actors in the digital currency space, including Ripple. Again,
this is on a purely voluntary basis. With regulators increasingly
cracking down on various crypto-currencies, DATA is attempting to get
ahead of the game -- and craft best practices to interact with
regulators. Bob talks with Trace Mayer, entrepreneur, and Andreas
Antonopoulos, internet security expert, and asks if the new regulatory
authority, DATA, goes against the original purpose of Bitcoins -- namely
anonymity. Then we head to the hills of Virginia's gold belt to see
what takes longer: mining bitcoin or mining gold. Finally Bob duels Mark
Levine on the Snowden affair.
Plus, hedge funds are
coming to a 401-K near you. The so-called "alternative investment"
space has been morphed into something that "unsophisticated investors"
can purchase. Mutual funds -- once the domain of the retail investor --
are increasingly being used to mimic hedge funds -- along with their
high fees. And if the SEC ever gets around to implementing the JOBS Act
legislation passed over a year ago, hedge funds themselves will be able
to advertise their investment wares to the public. All we can say is
And, we like to point out unintended consequences
here. There's a glaring example in the planned economy of China.
Except they didn't plan for a shadow banking network to destabilize
their financial market. When reality stared them in the face, the
Chinese authorities clamped down and ended up freezing short term
lending markets. Turns out this led to a tremendous selloff in their
burgeoning $4 trillion bond market. Sounds like 2008 redux to us.
it was a great day for high frequency traders. At least the ones who
bought privileged access to key economic data released earlier this
morning. The University of Michigan's Consumer Sentiment Survey fell by
5.1 points -- meaning consumers -- you and me -- don't have as much
confidence in the economy. Fortunately, the HFT firms made a killing in
the fifty milliseconds or so that they were able to front-run the