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Updated: 29 min 26 sec ago

New Details Emerge for Apple's Forthcoming Services

1 hour 20 min ago
The monthly costs are starting to add up for users that subscribe to the Mac maker's growing portfolio of first-party services.

Netflix and Video Streaming: Why So Much Is Against It

1 hour 34 min ago
Some US mobile network operators slow down connection speeds for Netflix (NFLX) customers, a study shows. However, it's not alone.

Apple's New iPhones Could Mean More Business For These Chipmakers

1 hour 44 min ago
Several chipmakers have scored new business from Apple for its new iPhones, scheduled to be unveiled next month. They include NXP Semiconductors, Power Integrations and STMicroelectronics.

Apple Card Is Now Available to All US Users

2 hours 1 min ago
Apple (AAPL) announced today that its Apple Card is available to US customers today. This month, AAPL tested the card with a limited group of consumers.

Facebook's Libra Currency Gets European Union Antitrust Scrutiny

2 hours 12 min ago
(Bloomberg) -- European Union antitrust regulators are already probing Facebook Inc.’s two-month-old Libra digital currency project, according to a document seen by Bloomberg.The European Commission is "currently investigating potential anti-competitive behavior" related to the Libra Association amid concerns the proposed payment system would unfairly shut out rivals, the EU authority said in a questionnaire sent out earlier this month.Officials said they’re concerned about how Libra may create "possible competition restrictions" on the information that will be exchanged and the use of consumer data, according to the document, which is a standard part of an early-stage EU inquiry to gather information.The investigation into founder Mark Zuckerberg’s ambitions to take on traditional cash adds to another preliminary EU investigation into how Facebook may unfairly use its power to squeeze rival apps. The Brussels-based commission, Europe’s most feared regulator, has already targeted Google and Apple Inc.Facebook and the commission both declined to comment on the investigation. The Menlo Park, California-based company has previously promised to appease all regulators before launching the cryptocurrency, a process that could take some time.Global CurrencyLed by a social network with more users than the combined population of China and the U.S., Libra represents a potential challenge that the guardians of money have never faced: a global currency they neither control nor manage.The EU questionnaire said regulators are also examining the possible integration of Libra-backed applications into Facebook services such as WhatsApp and Messenger. It said their investigation focuses on the governance structure and membership of the Libra Association.Facebook has previously promised to appease all regulators before launching the cryptocurrency, a process that could take some time.Visa Inc. declined to comment while the Libra Association representatives didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Mastercard Inc. had no immediate comment.Aside from the antitrust division, other EU regulators are "monitoring market developments in the area of crypto assets and payment services, including Libra and its development," a spokesman for the commission’s financial services department said.Data-protection supervisors are also worried about how Libra will share information. They said earlier this month that Facebook had the potential to combine "vast reserves of personal information with financial information and cryptocurrency, amplifying privacy concerns about the network’s design and data-sharing arrangements."\--With assistance from Alexander Weber, Alastair Marsh and James Hertling.To contact the reporters on this story: Lydia Beyoud in Arlington at lbeyoud2@bloomberg.net;Aoife White in Brussels at awhite62@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net, Peter Chapman, Alistair BarrFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Goldman CEO memo calls Apple Card 'a beginning' on launch day

2 hours 47 min ago
Goldman Sachs Group Inc officially became a credit-card lender on Tuesday by rolling out its first product with Apple Inc, but the bank has aspirations to grow much bigger in consumer lending, its chief executive said in an internal memo viewed by Reuters. The virtual credit card, which officially launched to all U.S. customers, is Goldman's first, and it represents a big push by the Wall Street bank to build out its young consumer business. "Apple Card is big, but it's also a beginning," Goldman's CEO David Solomon wrote in an internal email to employees.

Volcker Rule Trading Revamp Approved in Win for Wall Street

3 hours 2 min ago
(Bloomberg) -- Wall Street watchdogs handpicked by President Donald Trump eased the Volcker Rule’s controversial ban on banks making speculative investments, wrapping up a top deregulatory priority that’s long been sought by the financial industry.The changes, approved Tuesday by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., seek to provide lenders a much clearer picture of which trades are prohibited, giving them confidence to engage in transactions without fear of violating Volcker.But one Democratic FDIC board member warned the rollback could again endanger the financial system by allowing lenders to recklessly trade hundreds of billions of assets like they did before the 2008 financial crisis.Read More: Why Push to Redo Volcker Rule Has Traders SalivatingThe Volcker rewrite marks a victory for Wall Street, especially Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which has lobbied aggressively to weaken the rule for years. Yet the changes may not spark a trading revival. Still in place is the rule’s prohibition on proprietary trading -- the practice of banks making market bets with their own money. And lenders continue to face restrictions on investing in private equity and hedge funds.“One of the post-crisis reforms that has been most challenging to implement for regulators and industry is the Volcker Rule,” Jelena McWilliams, who leads the FDIC, said at a Tuesday public meeting. “The amendments will provide clarity, certainty and objectivity.”Huge LossesA response to the 2008 meltdown, Volcker was meant to address concerns that some bank trading desks had behaved like hedge funds, using their firms’ balance sheets to finance risky wagers. The six biggest lenders racked up almost $16 billion losses from their prop-trading units over five quarters during the crisis, leading in part to the huge taxpayer bailouts that stoked public anger as consumers suffered through a recession.Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, the rule’s key advocate, said such trading could sink banks and threaten the broader economy. It was included in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, with regulators putting it in place three years later.Almost since the ink was dry, banks have complained that Volcker was exceedingly complex, making the rule difficult to comply with. So regulators picked by Trump arrived at their agencies with a strong interest in simplifying the rule. The revamp, known as Volcker 2.0, is part of a steady effort to soften regulations during his administration. While watchdogs haven’t ripped up the post-crisis rule book, critics argue that taken together, the changes will insert renewed risk into the financial system.What authorities came up with on Volcker relies on what’s known as the market-risk prong to determine which transactions are prohibited for banks with more than $1 billion of trading activity.That standard is something large banks already use and understand, so theoretically, it will be easier for them to determine in real time whether a trade is banned. Under the rule, chief executive officers of banks with more than $20 billion in trading activity will be required to attest to their firms’ compliance. The changes take effect Jan. 1, 2020, but banks will have another year to comply.Dimon’s QuipIn one of the biggest changes, banks will no longer be assumed to be engaging in banned trades when they conduct short-term transactions. The so-called rebuttable presumption was one of Wall Street’s most-hated aspects of the original Volcker Rule with JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon once famously quipping that each trader would need a psychologist and a lawyer by his side to comply.In another assist to banks, regulators provide more clarity on market making -- the permitted practice under Volcker of engaging in trades on behalf of clients. Specifically, watchdogs gave lenders a clear limit for assets held in their market-making portfolios that will allow firms to get right up to the line without fear of violating Volcker.FDIC board member Martin Gruenberg, a Democrat, blasted the changes, saying Volcker has been defanged because he believes the proprietary trading restrictions will no longer apply to many types of financial assets that had been covered. Gruenberg was chairman of the FDIC when the rule was first implemented in 2013.“The Volcker Rule will no longer impose a meaningful constraint on speculative, proprietary trading by banks and bank holding companies benefiting from the public safety net,” Gruenberg, who voted against the revamp, said at Tuesday’s meeting.Banking EvolutionWhile the changes will be welcomed by banks, the industry has evolved dramatically in recent years, casting doubt on how far firms might try to return to the pre-crisis trading heydays. Even Goldman Sachs, burdened by dozens of new rules, has embraced commercial banking. In a sign of how much has changed, Apple Inc. announced Tuesday that is was partnering with Goldman to launch a credit card.Regulators also provided some flexibility on restrictions on investing in private equity and hedge funds. Banks will now have more freedom to do so on behalf of clients.The changes to the five-agency rule also have to be approved by the Fed, Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission.With the bulk of Volcker revisions done, there are a number of other Wall Street rules awaiting attention -- many of them being handled by the Fed. They include significant shifts in bank capital rules and leverage limits, plus fundamental changes to the Fed’s annual stress tests.(Adds comments from FDIC board members starting in fifth paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Jesse Hamilton in Washington at jhamilton33@bloomberg.net;Ben Bain in Washington at bbain2@bloomberg.net;Yalman Onaran in New York at yonaran@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jesse Westbrook at jwestbrook1@bloomberg.net, Gregory MottFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

UPDATE 1-Goldman CEO memo calls Apple Card 'a beginning' on launch day

3 hours 7 min ago
Goldman Sachs Group Inc officially became a credit-card lender on Tuesday by rolling out its first product with Apple Inc, but the bank has aspirations to grow much bigger in consumer lending, its chief executive said in an internal memo viewed by Reuters. The virtual credit card, which officially launched to all U.S. customers, is Goldman's first, and it represents a big push by the Wall Street bank to build out its young consumer business. "Apple Card is big, but it's also a beginning," Goldman's CEO David Solomon wrote in an internal email to employees.

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Alphabet, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon

3 hours 16 min ago
The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Alphabet, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon

Apple TV+ Invests in Original Content for $9.99 a Month

3 hours 18 min ago
According to several reports, Apple (AAPL) will launch its subscription service, Apple TV+, in November for a monthly price of $9.99.

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Amazon, Apple, Fitbit and Alphabet

3 hours 19 min ago
The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Amazon, Apple, Fitbit and Alphabet

On Apple Card launch day, Goldman CEO says card is 'a beginning': memo

3 hours 42 min ago
Goldman Sachs Group Inc officially became a credit-card lender on Tuesday by rolling out its first product with Apple Inc , but the bank has aspirations to grow much bigger in consumer lending, its chief executive said in an internal memo viewed by Reuters. Starting Tuesday, iPhone users can apply for the Apple Card, which charges no annual fees, through Apple's Wallet app, both companies said.

Tech Companies Might Face More Antitrust Scrutiny From States

3 hours 49 min ago
An unspecified number of state attorneys general are taking steps toward a joint antitrust probe of big tech companies, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Options Bulls Bet on Bigger Apple Stock Gains

4 hours 5 min ago
AAPL shares are higher as Apple TV+ buzz swirls

Disney Announces Additional Launch Dates for Disney+

4 hours 6 min ago
Soon after its U.S. debut, the streaming service will begin rolling out globally.

Apple TV+ Is Coming Into Clearer View as Competition Intensifies

4 hours 26 min ago
Several news outlets have recent reported information that offers more visibility into what Apple TV+ could cost when it launches.

Google Android Will Remain on Top for a Long Time

4 hours 52 min ago
Google’s (GOOGL) Android software will continue to dominate the global mobile operating system market. Android will also widen its market share.

Stock Market News For Aug 20, 2019

4 hours 57 min ago
Markets closed in the green for the second consecutive session on Tuesday.

The Venture-Capital Opportunity in Basic Sciences

4 hours 57 min ago
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Venture capitalists tend to focus mostly on funding software, apps and technology rather than the basic sciences. This created an opportunity for this week's guest on Master in Business, Josh Wolfe, and his partners at Lux Capital. The venture firm was set up to “support scientists and entrepreneurs who pursue counter-conventional solutions to the most vexing puzzles in physical and life sciences.”In our conversation, Wolfe, a Lux co-founder, discusses the process of investing in entrepreneurs in basic sciences, noting that it requires a mix of skill and luck, and a healthy dose of contrarian thinking.One of Lux’s first investments epitomized this: In an era of rising alternative-energy technologies such as solar, wind, biofuels, ethanol and batteries, Lux went in a different direction. Concluding that nuclear energy was being neglected by the venture community, Lux invested in a high-tech solution to nuclear waste. The work required expertise in a variety of basic sciences, including materials, chemicals, physics and vitrification. The firm backed a start-up to address the issue, naming it Kurion (after Marie Curie). When the Fukushima disaster occurred in Japan, Kurion played an important role in the cleanup. The company was eventually sold to French energy giant Veolia Environnement SA, returning a 100-fold return on the initial investment.Wolfe also discussed the advantages of locking up investor capital for seven to 10 years, seeking a threefold return on invested funds. The assumption is that all the gains will be the result of one of two companies out of many seeded with capital, while the others will break even or be losers.His favorite books are here.You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras on Apple iTunes, Bloomberg, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Overcast and Stitcher. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite hosts can be found here.Next week, we speak Jay Bowen of Bowen Hanes & Co., which has been the sole manager of the Tampa Firefighters’ and Police Officers’ Pension Fund during the past 44 years, outperforming the markets during that period.To contact the author of this story: Barry Ritholtz at britholtz3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Greiff at jgreiff@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He founded Ritholtz Wealth Management and was chief executive and director of equity research at FusionIQ, a quantitative research firm. He is the author of “Bailout Nation.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

CEOs can’t fix the world and do their jobs at the same time

4 hours 58 min ago
The idea that corporations should go beyond maximizing shareholder value is pious bunk, says Tim Mullaney.

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