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Eric Zemmour: Far-right candidate found guilty of hate speech

BBC News - World - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 16:19
Eric Zemmour called unaccompanied migrant children coming to France "thieves" and "murderers".
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Test: Denne 32" 4K-skærm er gabende kedelig på papiret, men er blevet min favorit i prisklassen

Computerworld: Seneste om teknologi - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 15:59
Det er noget så ordinært som en 4K-skærm på 32" til lige over 3.000 kroner og uden nogen former for "bling"-effekt i features eller design. Det lyder kedeligt. Men det er det slet ikke.
Categories: IT

Warren Buffett missed out on $10 billion in gains by dumping Wells Fargo stock — but he probably doesn't regret cashing out

Businessinsider - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 15:51
Warren Buffett.
  • Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway missed out on $10 billion in gains by dumping Wells Fargo stock.
  • Berkshire left another $5 billion on the table by exiting JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs in 2020.
  • Buffett may not regret the Wells Fargo sales, as he's been critical of the bank's management.

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway missed out on about $10 billion of gains by dumping its Wells Fargo stock in 2020 and early 2021.

The famed investor's company owned 346 million Wells Fargo shares at the end of 2019, giving it a 8.4% stake in the bank. Berkshire virtually eliminated that position over the next five quarters, leaving it with only 675,000 shares at the last count.

Buffett and his team pocketed roughly $10 billion from the stock sales, based on Wells Fargo's average share price of $30 during the period. However, the bank stock has now rebounded to $58, its highest level since August 2018. If Berkshire had kept the position intact, it would be worth $20 billion today — almost triple its $7 billion cost base.

Notably, Berkshire owned 500 million Wells Fargo shares at the end of 2016. That stake would have been worth $29 billion today, making it the conglomerate's number-three portfolio holding after Apple ($153 billion) and Bank of America ($48 billion).

Regardless, Buffett probably doesn't regret selling Wells Fargo, despite being a shareholder for more than 30 years and counting it among his cornerstone holdings in the past. The investor castigated the lender's fake-accounts scandal as a "total disaster" in February 2020, accusing its executives of ignoring the problem when they should have raced to address it.

Wells Fargo's bosses also ignored Buffett's recommendation that they hire a CEO from outside Wall Street to avoid angering regulators. Moreover, Sen. Elizabeth Warren urged the Federal Reserve last year to dismantle the bank and blasted it as a "simply ungovernable" company with a "broken culture."

Given the numerous controversies clouding Wells Fargo's outlook, Buffett might be happy to have cut ties at a cost of $10 billion in gains.

Buffett sold several other bank stocks in 2020, as he was worried about the pandemic and feared Berkshire's stock portfolio was overexposed to the financial sector. For example, he exited JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs in 2020, two stocks that are now trading close to record highs.

Berkshire likely sold its JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs stakes for about $6.1 billion and $2.4 billion, respectively, based on their average share prices during the selling periods. If Buffett hadn't cashed them out, those two positions would be worth $9.5 billion and $4.7 billion each today.

In other words, Buffett's sales may have cost him a combined $15 billion in unrealized gains across only three holdings. Still, the investor has roughly doubled the $2.1 billion he plowed into Bank of America in the summer of 2020, meaning he didn't entirely miss the rally in bank stocks.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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Bitcoin is losing its dominance over other cryptocurrencies in payments to merchants, crypto processor BitPay says

Businessinsider - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 15:34
Blue bitcoin
  • Bitcoin's leaderboard position in crypto payments to merchants is falling, according to BitPay.
  • Bitcoin use at merchants that use BitPay fell to 65% in 2021 from 92% in 2020, the company told Bloomberg.
  • Ether and stablecoins made up a substantial chunk of payments made to merchants last year.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Bitcoin's dominance in making cryptocurrency payments appears to be fading.

Both people and businesses are using other crypto coins to make cross-border payments, bitcoin payment service provider BitPay recently told Bloomberg.

Transactions made in bitcoin towards merchants that use BitPay tumbled to about 65% of payments in 2021, a sharp drop from 92% in 2020, the company said. Ether made up 15% and stablecoins were 13%. The least-used tokens to make payments were those added only recently to BitPay's roster — dogecoin, shiba inu, and litecoin — which accounted for 3%.

This shift away from bitcoin happened partly due to a preference for stablecoins, while other cryptocurrencies were dropping, Atlanta-based BitPay said. Another factor might be users not wanting to spend bitcoin if they think its price could increase 10-fold within a year. 

Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies pegged (or have a fixed exchange-rate) to a real-world asset like gold or the dollar. These are designed in a manner to maintain a stable price over time. For instance, one USD Coin (USDC) is intended to always be worth one dollar. Meanwhile, bitcoin is a highly volatile crypto asset.

People used their cryptocurrency to buy luxury goods including cars, jewelry, boats, watches, and even gold, according to BitPay. The company's transactions for luxury goods soared 31% in 2021 from 9% in 2020, while overall payment volumes rose 57% year on year. It had 50% revenue growth last year.

10-year-old BitPay aids companies including Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple in enabling customers to make cryptocurrency payments. Its transaction volumes can serve as a reference for which types of tokens are being used most.

Cryptocurrencies have recently taken a hit after the Federal Reserve's December meeting further fueled market expectations of a possible rate hike in March, enough to weaken crypto and tech stocks. This has heightened concerns about a liquidity squeeze, which can be a pressure on risk assets.

"Our business ebbs and flows to some degree with the price. When the price goes down, people tend to spend less," BitPay CEO Stephen Pair said. "We have not experienced as much of a decline in volume with this recent pullback. It's probably just a reflection of more and more companies that need to use this as a tool to conduct payments."

Bitcoin was last trading at $42,662, down from an all-time high of $69,044 in November. It's risen just 16% in the last year, compared with the S&P 500's 23% gain.

Read More: Metaverse and meme coins have crashed into retail investing giant eToro's top 20 while some other cryptos have seen open interest plummet

Read the original article on Business Insider
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Her er de tre største malware-trusler mod Linux lige nu

Computerworld: Seneste om teknologi - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 15:31
Især de mange små IoT-enheder er for tiden hovedmål for hackere, der går efter Linux. Her er de tre største malware-typer rettet mod Linux lige nu.
Categories: IT

Fauci says pushback against 'easy-to-understand' COVID-19 protection measures like mask-wearing and vaccination is 'very disturbing'

Businessinsider - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 15:26
Dr. Anthony Fauci is US President Joe Biden's chief medical officer.
  • Pushback against public health measures to curb COVID-19 is "very disturbing", Dr. Anthony Fauci said.
  • He told a World Economic Forum meeting we'd be "better off" if we "pulled together as a society." 
  • The coronavirus gains "an advantage" when you don't implement public health measures in a unified way, he said.

Dr. Anthony Fauci has described as "very disturbing" the pushback against "normal, easy-to-understand" COVID-19 public health measures like vaccination and mask-wearing

Fauci, President Biden's chief medical advisor, said Monday: "If we all pulled together as a society, we would be much, much better off."

In a virtual session of the World Economic Forum, Fauci said: "It's very disturbing, I believe to all of us as public health officials and scientists, such a degree of pushback against regular, normal, easy-to-understand public health measures. Reluctance to wear masks, reluctance to promote vaccination, reluctance to do kinds of public health measures."

He continued: "You make the virus have an advantage when you don't implement, in a unified way, all the very well-recognised public health measures — particularly the vaccines."

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, added: "Even for a rich country like the United States, that supposedly was the best-prepared country for a pandemic, we are among a handful of the countries that have actually suffered the most. When you look now at the 65 million cases and the close to 900,000 deaths in our country, that is really, truly unfortunate, and something that we would have hoped would have been avoided."

The highly infectious Omicron variant of the coronavirus has a large number of mutations in the part of the virus that infects human cells. It tends to cause a milder illness than the formerly-dominant Delta variant but can still make people sick.

In the US, where the majority of new reported cases are caused by Omicron, 151,000 people were in hospital with COVID-19 as of Friday, more than twice the number recorded a month before, Oxford University's Our World in Data showed.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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Wealth of world's 10 richest men doubled in pandemic, Oxfam says

BBC News - World - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 15:17
Covid-19 has made the rich richer while poverty has increased, the charity Oxfam says.
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Meet the typical Walmart shopper, a 59-year-old white suburban woman earning $80,000 a year

Businessinsider - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 15:04
  • Walmart has more than 3,500 Supercenters across the US and made $555 billion in sales last year.
  • The retail giant has the highest customer loyalty among the leading brands in a survey of shoppers.
  • Walmart's average customer is a woman who is 59.5 years old, white, married, and earning $80,000 per year.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Walmart is the largest retailer in the world, pulling in more than $555 billion in sales last year. Each week, 220 million customers visit its stores across 24 countries.

In the US, the company has more than 5,000 locations, including 3,570 Supercenters, and it employs nearly 1.6 million people.

Because of the retail giant's scale, the average Walmart shopper has a lot in common with the average US consumer, according to data from the analytics firm Numerator prepared for Insider.

Roughly 95% of the shoppers in Numerator's panel visited Walmart two or more times in the past year. Not only that, Walmart has the highest customer loyalty of the leading retailers profiled by Numerator.

More than 95% of those who shopped in 2020 visited the store in 2021, while only 2.2% quit shopping there – the lowest percentage of leavers of any brand in the survey.

Numerator found that Walmart's typical shopper in the US is a white woman between 55 and 64 years old, who is married and living in the suburbs of the Southeast. She typically has an undergraduate degree and earns about $80,000 per year.

She visits Walmart at least once per week — about 63 trips per year — and picks up 13 products for a total cost of about $54 per trip. 13.5% of her spending takes place at Walmart, while she spends about 11% at Amazon.

Her primary shopping categories in-store are groceries, including chicken, fruit, snacks and sweets, but she also gets a lot of fast food. Her favorite five brands at Walmart are Turkey Knob, Cheetos, Betty Crocker, Dole, and Tyson.

Read more of our typical shopper profiles:

Read the original article on Business Insider
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Cathie Wood says Ark is open about its strategy to help regular investors 'stay on the right side of change'

Businessinsider - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 15:01
  • Cathie Wood says Ark is open about its investment strategy to help individual investors know what's coming.
  • Ark gives away its research because it wants parents to read it and influence their children, she told Time.
  • The Ark CEO said it wants to democratize investing in innovation and restore confidence in markets.

Cathie Wood has said Ark Invest shares its strategy to help retail traders understand the innovation-driven shifts coming and get more people involved in the markets.

She told Time magazine that Ark, gives away its research because it wants grandparents and parents to read it and influence their children.

"That's one of the reasons we're so open and transparent," Wood said in the Time interview published Sunday.

"We want to say, 'Hey world. Look at what's about to happen. It's so exciting. But make sure you get and stay on the right side of change.'"

Ark sends out a daily trading update on which stocks its exchange-traded funds are buying and selling. The firm also holds regular webinars and podcasts, and Wood even invited people to join the company's brainstorming sessions in the interview.

Ark funds back five key "disruptive innovation" themes, such as artificial intelligence and blockchain. Its flagship ARK Innovation ETF (ARKK), managed by Wood, soared by 150% in 2020 and has seen a compounded annual growth rate of 37% over the past five years.

But its performance faltered in 2021, when it fell 21%. It is down more than 23% year to date, as of Friday's close.

Asked whether Ark's transparency will make it easy for retail traders to mirror its strategy, she said part of the mission is to restore trust in Wall Street, which was dented by the 2008 financial crisis. 

"We wanted to bring transparency and democratization into investing in innovation; we consider ourselves the closest you'll find to a venture capital firm in the public equity markets."

In March, Wood said she believes individual investors could lead the charge in bringing a shift to the heavily indexed or benchmark approach to investing, according to a CNBC report.

Retail traders, or individual investors, have invested heavily in the markets over the past year. The Reddit meme-stock frenzy in early 2021 led to a sharp increase in trading, due largely to social media. 

In the interview, Wood justified the behavior of amateur investors who banded together to go after hedge funds that had bet against their favored stocks, such as movie-theater chain AMC and video game retailer GameStop.

"We tend to base all our investment decisions on our research. Some people base their investment decisions on technicals," she said.

"These individuals were simply taking a look at how incredibly shorted these stocks were, all by the same kind of hedge funds. I'm not going to criticize it."

Read the original article on Business Insider
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Greece punishes unvaccinated elderly with monthly fines

Al Jazeera - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 14:51
People above 60 in the southern European country face fines of up to 100 euros a month if they refuse COVID jabs.
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Peloton's high-tech fitness bike and treadmill will soon cost you as much as $350 more as it hikes prices to cope with higher costs

Businessinsider - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 14:48
Peloton is hiking prices for its high-tech fitness bike and treadmill as inflation accelerates.
  • Peloton is hiking prices for its fitness bike and treadmill by $250 and $350 respectively.
  • Delivery and setup were previously free with purchase, but customers will have to pay separately from January 31.
  • A Peloton spokesperson told CNBC it was being hit by "global economic and supply chain challenges."

Peloton is adding extra costs to its high-tech fitness bike and treadmill as inflation bites.

Delivery and setup costs were previously included with the purchase of Peloton hardware, but customers will have to pay separately from the end of the month.

The connected-fitness company says on its website that Peloton Bike customers will have to pay a $250 fee and Peloton Tread customers a $350 fee for the services from January 31.

Peloton lowered the price of its Bike twice during the pandemic, and it currently costs $1,495. The more advanced Bike+ costs $2,495, and its Tread costs $2,495.

Peloton customers also have to pay separately to access on-demand content, which costs $39 a month.

A spokesperson for the company told CNBC: "Like many other businesses, Peloton is being impacted by global economic and supply chain challenges that are affecting the majority, if not all, businesses worldwide."

Inflation accelerated in December to the fastest pace since 1982, with the Consumer Price Index surging 7% year-over-year. A shortage of workers, including more calling off sick with the coronavirus, rising demand for products, and port jams have wreaked havoc across the supply chain and led to spiraling inflation.

The Peloton spokesperson added that the company believed that it was still offering "the best value in connected fitness" even with the price increases, and said that customers could use various financing options.

Other companies have also raised their prices in response to higher costs, including Chipotle, Unilever, and Dollar Tree.

Peloton sales soared at the start of the pandemic as lockdown forced people to work out from home. But now, as gyms are reopening, the company's sales are slumping and its stock price has plummeted.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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Texas synagogue siege: Rabbi describes being held hostage

BBC News - World - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 14:45
Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker speaks to CBS Mornings about being held hostage at a Texas synagogue.
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Winter Olympics 2022: Organisers will not sell tickets to general public

BBC News - World - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 14:37
Organisers of this year's Winter Olympics in Beijing have cancel plans to sell tickets to the general public as part of strict Covid-19 restrictions in the Chinese capital.
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Crypto investing is alive and well in Turkey, thanks to lira woes

Al Jazeera - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 14:36
Despite a government crackdown and high-profile exchange collapses last year, Turks are flocking to crypto.
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UAE decries ‘heinous Houthi attack’ after Abu Dhabi blasts: Live

Al Jazeera - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 14:33
UAE's Anwar Gargash said police investigating attacks after multiple explosions near Abu Dhabi airport and oil field.
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