Global debt rose to a record $233 trillion in the third quarter of 2017, more than $16 trillion higher from end-2016, according to an analysis by the Institute of International Finance. Private non-financial sector debt hit all-time highs in Canada, France, Hong Kong, South Korea, Switzerland and Turkey.
A cryptocurrency mogul is now one of the richest people in the world — at least on paper. Chris Larsen, the cofounder, executive chairman, and former CEO of the cryptocurrency company Ripple, became the world’s fifth wealthiest person as the price of Ripple’s XRP cryptocurrency soared past the $3 mark this week.
To the surprise of many, 2017 was the year cryptocurrencies catapulted into mainstream consciousness. Bitcoin’s value grew by more than 1,000% in 2017, but that wasn’t enough to even place it among the 10 best-performing cryptoassets of the year. At its highest point Sunday, Ripple XRP skyrocketed 36,000% to become the world’s best-performing digital asset. The cryptocurrency charted an impressive path in the final three weeks of the year, gaining more than 800% when comparing the closing price between Dec. 7 and 31.
The world’s 500 richest people have increased their wealth by $1tn so far this year due to a huge increase in the value of global stock markets, which are likely to finish 2017 at record highs. The big increase in the fortunes of the ultra-wealthy comes as billions of poorer people across the world have seen their wealth standstill or decline. The gap between the very rich and everyone else has widened to the biggest it has been in a century and advisers to the super-rich are warning them of a “strike back” from the squeezed majority.
Progressive cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, is arguably one of the greatest financial phenomenons. However, there is great uncertainty over who created it and what their net worth is. All that is known about the founder of this progressive financial phenomenon is the name, Satoshi Nakamoto. Beyond this, nothing further is known. Yet, in 2016, Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright claimed that he is Nakamoto. The truth of the matter remains a mystery.
Bitcoin’s ongoing meteoric price rise has received the bulk of recent press attention with a lot of discussion around whether or not it’s a bubble waiting to burst. However, most the coverage has missed out one of the more interesting and unintended consequences of this price increase. That is the surge in global electricity consumption used to “mine” more Bitcoins.
Digital currencies may be getting all the buzz these days, but notes and coins still reign supreme in most of Europe. Cash made up around 79 percent of everyday payments across the euro area last year, according to a European Central Bank study. Almost a quarter of consumers also kept some cash at home as a precaution, and 20 percent said they had a high-denomination note – 200 euros ($237) or 500 euros – in their possession in the year before the survey was conducted.
He’s the world’s youngest self-made billionaire, raking in millions from a company you’ve probably never heard of. John Collison is the co-founder of Stripe Inc. with his brother Patrick. Founded in 2011, Stripe is not widely known because it doesn't sell anything that consumers can buy. Instead its software systems enable companies around the world to more easily accept online payments and run their websites.He also serves as company president. With more than 100,000 global customers, last year it announced a new round of funding that valued the company at $9.2bn. The two started coding in outside the Irish city of Limerick in the 1990s. Their parents had to buy a satellite so the two could access the internet.
Banks and financial institutions of particularly intrinsic importance to the global financial ecosystem are sometimes blithely referred to as "too big to fail". A more sober term is 'global systemically important banks', or G-SIBs for short. In the aftermath of the financial crisis, at the 2009 G20 summit, an international body called the Financial Stability Board (FSB) was set up, its aim being to monitor the global financial system and make recommendations, when it deemed appropriate. The 2017 list was published on Tuesday and it makes for interesting reading.
Switzerland has once again taken the top spot in the World Talent Ranking, an annual rundown of the ability of countries to attract, develop, and retain top-performing staff. Published on Monday by the IMD Business School in Lausanne, the report analyses over 60 countries according to various criteria important to professional workers, and finds that Switzerland comes out top overall for the fifth year in a row.
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