• Second-Home demand up 77% from Pre-Pandemic levels. Demand for vacation homes was up 77% from pre-pandemic levels in December, Redfin reports. The wealthy are still flush with cash and have access to cheap debt, which is why second-home purchases remain far above pre-pandemic levels and are expected to continue this year. For now, the second-home market appears to remain strong, especially in nontraditional destination cities far from coastlines or mountains, which aren’t typically popular second-home markets.

  • Rents are still increasing sharply year-over-year. The Zillow measure is up 12.6% YoY in November, up from 12.0% YoY in October. And the ApartmentList measure is up 17.8% as of December, up from 17.7% in November. Both the Zillow measure (a repeat rent index), and ApartmentList are showing a sharp increase in rents. Clearly, rents are increasing sharply, and are expected to continue to spill over into measures of inflation in 2022.

  • Kazakhstan's deadly protests hit Bitcoin, as the world's second-biggest mining hub shuts down. Part of the protest was about internet access and there was a big internet shutdown. That internet shutdown took about 15% of Bitcoin's total mining network offline. Kazakhstan is second to the U.S. as a mining hub for Bitcoin. Source(3:21)

  • Meta Platforms's head of communications is leaving the company in a Friday afternoon post to employees. John Pinette had overseen the company’s external communications since 2019. Prior to joining what was then Facebook, he advised both Microsoft and Alphabet. Mr. Pinette declined to comment further when reached late on Friday. A Meta spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Read more here.

  • U.S. November consumer borrowing marked the largest gain in 20 years. U.S. consumer credit soared by $40 billion in November, more than double expectations and compared with a $16 billion gain in October, according to Federal Reserve data released Friday. That translated into an 11% annual gain. Revolving credit, such as credit cards, rose at a 23.4% rate after a 7.8% gain in October.

  • Accounting firms are scooping up virtual land in the Metaverse. Prager Metis International LLC, a New York-based accounting and advisory firm, on Friday said it opened a virtual three-story property on a site it bought for nearly $35,000 in late December. Other accounting firms are also venturing into the metaverse. PricewaterhouseCoopers in late December said its Hong Kong unit acquired virtual real estate in the Sandbox. Read more here.


  • PayPal plans to launch its own Stablecoin as part of its cryptocurrency push, according to the company, which confirmed the development after evidence of the move was discovered inside its iPhone app. Evidence was first discovered in PayPal’s app by developer Steve Moser. Hidden code and images show work on what is dubbed a “PayPal Coin.” The code indicates such a coin would be backed by the U.S. dollar.

  • The U.S. is planning to hand out $10 billion to help upstart companies gain access to capital in a bid to rev up business in disadvantaged communities and spur a broader economic recovery from the pandemic. The State Small Business Credit Initiative will direct money to states, territories, and tribal governments for programs that provide venture capital or encourage private lenders to issue loans to small firms. The money comes from the $1.9 trillion coronavirus-aid package Congress passed last March. Read more here.

  • Reddit is tapping Wall Street banks Goldman Sachs Group and Morgan Stanley for its IPO, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Friday. A second source says  JPMorgan Chase is a top underwriter. Reddit is aiming for a valuation of over $15 billion at the time of its flotation. Goldman Sachs and Reddit did not immediately respond to Reuters' requests for comment. Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase declined to comment.

  • Large value stocks will outperform large growth stocks by 20%, predicts Michael Batnick. If that happens, that would almost change the indices and the market cap weighting of the S&P says Downtown Josh Brown. If you look at the ratio chart of Berkshire divided by ARKK, it's going vertical. Given that the interest rates are rising, he thinks the shift from growth to value is here this year. This means that it's going to be tough to have an overweight FAANG portfolio. Source(38:51)

  • The Great Markdown has started. 2022 will be the year of correction, says investor David Sacks. More generally the high growth stocks have corrected more than the indices. That would imply that there might be more corrections to come against the indexes. The growth stocks already took the bulk of the hit but what triggered it this week is the Fed basically said something that was completely different than what they previously announced to us just three weeks ago and so the market basically just seized up and went into convulsions. Source(27:49)

  • Elon Musk says Tesla will raise the price of “Full Self-Driving” driver assistance to $12,000 from the original price of $10,000 on January 17, for customers in the U.S. only. When a follower asked him about Tesla’s FSD subscription product, Musk noted that the monthly subscription price will rise when FSD goes to wide release. He also teased a new release of FSD Beta, an invitation-only program that offers more advanced features to select drivers who meet Tesla’s qualifications. Read more here.
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