Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR) stock jumped as much as 9% Friday following news another activist shareholder has taken a sizable stake in the networking gear company.
The world's two fastest-growing economies came down hard on Bitcoin in recent weeks.
Dips followed, but ultimately the virtual currency began to slough off the news and continued to gravitate toward a loose, but tightening, trading range.
And as a former senior advisor to a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, I've seen a lot of opportunities to make a killing on technology over the years.
I'm talking about everything from ultra-fast semiconductors, to advanced sensors, to the rise of the Internet and today's mobile revolution.
But in all those years, I've never seen anything reach critical mass as quickly as Bitcoin.
Consider that less than three years ago, few but a small cadre of hardcore tech geeks had even heard of this new crypto currency.
Today, however, this virtual money is traded on roughly 80 global exchanges. It's also accepted at thousands of retailers throughout the U.S.
And it has handed some savvy investors gains of 1,000% or more in as little as a few months' time.
Yet, skepticism persists. Predictions of Bitcoin's imminent demise by a wide range of so-called "experts" have proved premature at best.
Fact is, Bitcoin to date has met every challenge thrown at it and come back stronger.
Bitcoin prices climbed back over $1,000 yesterday (Monday), less than two weeks after the virtual currency crashed below $500.
The jump in Bitcoin prices was sparked by news that social game operator Zynga Inc. (Nasdaq: ZNGA) will now be accepting the virtual currency.
In a match made in Internet Heaven, those playing Farmville 2, CastleVille, ChefVille, CoasterVille, Hidden Chronicles, Hidden Shadows, and CityVille will be able to exchange Bitcoin for in-game purchases.
I've said it before, and even though I've been threatened, in not so subtle ways, and been warned not to piss off certain people in power, I'm going to keep on saying it:
JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM) is a criminal enterprise.
Yesterday (Monday) the mega enterprising bank began talks to settle civil and criminal charges that it ignored signs its banking client Bernie Madoff was a Ponzi-running, lying, cheating crook. (Which he was.)
So-called "bail-ins," which give banks the right to dip into your savings to pay for their lousy financial decisions, have been on the table for years, ever since Cyprus tested the idea.
But they're moving beyond the "testing phase" now.
The latest clue came from a seemingly benign banking conference on December 2, when one man revealed some frightening central government intentions.
And anyone taking careful notes understands the consequences.
You see, the most direct impact will be felt by the biggest account holders. But the indirect impact will hit everyone.
401(k)s… IRAs… Individual brokerage accounts…
The market will not like the newfound acceptance for bail-ins. And it won't get any warning – neither will we. Not from the mainstream financial outlets, anyway.
They're not even covering it.
Jon Stewart just did a very funny piece on "The Daily Show" about a new derivatives dust-up that Bloomberg News broke.
Earlier this year, a big Wall Street firm bought a credit default swap on debt that a private company owed to a third party. So the firm was set up to make money if that company missed any payments.
From the Editor: Shah Gilani is one of the few people who can show you how it really is. In this case, he's going to show you the real reason the Fed chose not to taper. If you're overly idealistic, don't read this. It will only anger you. That, of course, is why Shah's naming names today…
Ben Bernanke is the don of the greatest criminal enterprise in the world.
And yesterday his made monsters, the Five Families, lined up to kiss his ring, again.
By not "tapering" or reducing the $85 billion a month ($45 billion in Treasuries and $40 billion in agency mortgage-backed securities) the Fed is buying from banks, the Fed is saying to its hit men, "We are family, and as long as Johnny Law is coming after you, we've got your back."
What a surprise. The big banks are not playing by the rules — the rule of law, that is.
The Justice Department announced that it is pursuing a civil lawsuit against Bank of America on the grounds that the bank lied about the quality of the mortgages underlying its mortgage-backed securities (MBS) prior to the housing collapse and financial crisis. The Justice Department is still on a high from its successful civil lawsuit against Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s (NYSE:GS) mid-level toxic securities shill, Fabrice Tourre.
The charges allege out-and-out fraud in Bank of America's soup-to-nuts loan origination and securitization of mortgages. Loans, bad from the start, were knowingly bundled and securitized into trade-able MBS, unbeknownst to buyers.
While the big banks may have the attention of the Street right now, it's the smaller regional and community banks that are among the best stocks to buy now.
These small bank growth stocks are starting to show dazzling growth as their balance sheets improve dramatically. And they are still very early in the recovery cycle, so there is still plenty of time for individual investors to catch this train…
On July 21, the Dodd-Frank Act turned three years old.
But, unlike most three-year-olds who can walk and talk, this one hasn't gotten out of the crib yet…
You see, the Dodd-Frank Act was a promise to protect Americans from the excesses and ruthlessness of Wall Street. It was meant to streamline the regulatory process.
But three years later, we are still waiting for its full implementation.
In fact, as of last week, only 155 of 398 rules required by this law are considered final.
That's because instead of focusing on the systemic problems that caused the crisis, the pen to write the bill ended up in the hands of disconnected agencies and lobbyists.
Instead of fixing the serious problems of current law, Dodd-Frank failed to curtail Wall Street – just a few years after a major financial crisis.
At a time when Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, and Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, have pushed for a new Glass-Steagall Act to reduce risk, some voices like Treasury Secretary Jack Lew argue that the Dodd-Frank bill will alleviate the problems of Too Big to Fail, systemic risk, and cronyism.
But we know that such arguments are spurious at best.