The European Union’s top court has ruled that Uber should be regulated like a transportation service. That means the ride-sharing service must comply with tough rules that govern traditional taxi associations. Uber had argued that it’s a technology platform that connects independent drivers with passengers. The landmark ruling will require Uber to treat its drivers more like employees. The decision cannot be appealed.
Virtual currency investment firm Crypto Finance has closed a €13 million capital raise to fund an application for the license with Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), but did not specify a timeline. Established in June this year, the company provides asset management, brokerage and storage facilities to the crypto-investing community. It is one of a wave of startups looking to create an alternative financial system in Switzerland as the country's traditional banks continue to shy away from the booming cryptocurrency market.
The Bank of England will allow European banks to continue selling their services in the UK without having to create expensive subsidiaries after Brexit, even if no divorce deal is struck between London and Brussels, the BBC reported. The Bank of England will not force European-based investment banks to ringfence their capital and liquidity. It will mean EU banks operating through UK branches can continue without creating subsidiaries – where they are compelled to hold their own substantial reserves in the event of a financial shock, essentially becoming UK companies.
Total economic losses from natural and man-made disasters rose sharply in 2017 partly due to hurricanes and wildfires, Swiss Re AG said Wednesday, with insured losses for the industry more than doubling. Swiss Re estimates that total economic losses reached $306 billion in 2017, a 63% increase over 2016, based on Swiss Re's preliminary data. Global insured losses from catastrophes in 2017 are estimated to be $136 billion, the company says, the third-highest on the company's records. The 2017 figure compares with $65 billion the prior year and is well above the ten-year average of $58 billion.
The exploding price of the cryptocurrency, bitcoin, in recent months has triggered doubts not only about the financial sustainability of the rally, but also about the environmental sustainability of the currency itself. One alarmist article in Newsweek said that bitcoin computer operations could consume "all of the world's energy by 2020". The website Digiconomist claims that bitcoin operations use as much energy as Denmark, or enough to power 3,071,823 US households.
The chairman of Swiss banking giant UBS said in an interview published Sunday that he does not consider the soaring cryptocurrency bitcoin as money and called for regulators to intervene. "In my opinion, bitcoins are not money," Axel Weber, chairman of Swiss financial giant UBS, said in an interview to Swiss news agency NZZ am Sonntag on Sunday.
Looking ahead to the beginning of 2018, it seems that employers in industries across the board are expecting to add jobs, with certain sectors more likely to hire than others. The global economy will probably expand this year by 2.7%, the World Bank says. Assuming the growth lives on into 2018, a healthy share of the world’s employers plan to step up hiring in the first three months of the year, American recruiting firm ManpowerGroup found in surveys released last week.
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