Crypto Exchange FTX sets up a $2 Billion Venture fund. Leading the fund is Amy Wu who came from Lightspeed Venture Partners, where she led investments in gaming, crypto, and other startups, including Nassau, Bahamas-based FTX. She will head FTX’s mergers and acquisitions, partnerships, and gaming initiatives in addition to leading FTX Ventures. Read more here.
Musk says Tesla is accepting Dogecoin. The company will be accepting payment for some merchandise with dogecoin, a return for the electric-vehicle maker to accept digital currencies for some payments. The company’s website showed some items, including one labeled a “Giga Texas Belt Buckle,” priced in the cryptocurrency. Tesla vehicles can’t be paid for with dogecoin.
Ford Motor Co.’s market value tops $100 billion exceeding rivals General Motors Co. and electric truck startup Rivian Automotive Inc. Investors are betting on the 118-year-old automaker’s prospects in the dawning electric age. The milestone comes as Ford is doubling production of the electric F-150 Lightning pickup going on sale this spring. Read more here.
Rio de Janeiro is investing in Bitcoin. The Mayor of Rio de Janeiro committed to putting 1% of the city’s balance sheet into bitcoin. His comments were made during Rio Innovation Week, where a panel discussion included Rio de Janeiro mayor Eduardo Paes and Miami mayor Francis Suarez. It appears that he sees the economic prosperity potential that has been pioneered by Mayor Suarez in Miami and President Bukele in El Salvador. Read more here.
Foreclosures drop in December, capping off all-time low year. Foreclosure filings dropped 8% in December as a once-feared wave of mortgage defaults has largely failed to materialize, according to a new report from Attom Data Solutions. Just over 9,000 properties entered the foreclosure process last month, a 12% drop from the previous month. One of the main factors holding foreclosures down has been the red-hot seller’s market.
Traditional offices are becoming a thing of the past. The prevailing thought is that companies are going to lease fewer office spaces in the future than they did prior to the pandemic. We have too many existing offices. Now that most are working remotely, a lot of it needs to be transitioned to living spaces or co-working spaces. The ones that will still need office spaces are Tech, R&D, Medical offices, and Life Science. Source(21:32)
Manhattan rents break another record, as the market shows signs of cooling. The median rent in Manhattan reached nearly $3,400 in December, the highest price ever recorded for the typically sleepy month, but slowing lease activity citywide suggests a gradual return to pre-pandemic norms, according to new market reports. Newly signed leases were down almost 39% from the same time last year to 3,335 from 5,459, when a rush of mostly affluent renters began returning to the city amid rising vaccination rates.
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Jack Dorsey's Block Inc., is building a Bitcoin mining system and hiring a team for the effort. The team will aim to solve problems with access to mining equipment, the power consumption, and reliability of the equipment, as well as the noise it generates. Ultimately, Block wants it to be possible for anyone to mine Bitcoin from home. The effort aligns with Dorsey’s conviction that Bitcoin can be the internet’s dominant cryptocurrency.
Blackstone to spend $1 billion to offer tenants reduced rent. The company will spend $1 billion to acquire rental houses and lease them out at below-market rates, billing the program as a private-sector answer to soaring housing costs. The program called Choice Lease will provide tenants who meet an income threshold a 10% discount on monthly rent payments and the option to purchase their homes at below-market rates.
Citi to sell Southeast Asian assets in a $3.6 Billion deal with Singapore's United Overseas Bank. Citigroup Inc. agreed to sell consumer-banking businesses in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam to United Overseas Bank Ltd. for about S$4.9 billion ($3.6 billion) as Chief Executive Officer Jane Fraser continues her push to simplify the New York-based bank. Read more here.
The death of mutual funds is coming. ETFs account for 24% of Vanguard's assets but 92% of their netflows in 2021. The acceleration of ETFs is upon us says, Michael Batnick. Mutual funds are gonna die a slow death as it will take decades for the money to drip out. If 90% of the inflows are going into ETFs, and then you figure the average owner of a mutual fund is older than the average owner of an ETF, then netflows are definitely going negative eventually. Source(44:13)
Powerful market maker Citadel Securities may IPO. Ken Griffin’s Citadel Securities sold a $1.2bn stake to Sequoia and Paradigm. 27% of all the deals that are executed in the market somehow go through Citadel Securities. And it’s an even bigger chunk in the retail market. So when Ken Griffin decided to sell a big stake in his company for the first time since Citadel Securities was founded 21 years ago, that got people thinking about one thing: IPO. Source(7:08)
Google plans to accelerate Quantum Computing technology, according to a recent report from Business Insider. The start-up is known as Sandbox Technology (not to be confused with the blockchain-based game The Sandbox). This project is supposedly housed within X, Alphabet's moonshot department that works on developing future high-growth businesses. If Sandbox is somehow spun out from X, it will likely be looking for institutional investors. Read more here.
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