The Politics of Cryptocurrencies

The Story:

In recent years “cryptocurrencies” have received a good deal of attention both as an investable asset and as a way of doing business. These are digital currencies in which private parties can create (or “mine”) the virtual coins, and encryption techniques are used to prevent the currency’s inflation into worthlessness, essentially by building into the system a maximum that can be created.

The Question:

The first cryptocurrency, known as Bitcoin, was developed in 2008-09 by an unknown person or persons using the pen name Satoshi Nakamoto.  The source code for mining and trading Bitcoins was released as open source software. The maximum quantity is 21 million bitcoins (and a single bitcoin is at present — late October 2019 — worth roughly $9,500 US dollars).

The spread of cryptocurrencies, both Bitcoin itself and its legion of imitators, has been one of the great finance stories of the decade of the 2010s.

The big question facing nation states around the world now is: will they seek to stop the spread of cryptos? If they don’t, are they concerned that it will in time replace their own defined moneys? at which time money supply as a policy lever will have disappeared?

The Thing to Know:

On October 8, two Senators wrote to the CEOs of the credit card giants, Mastercard and Visa, as well as to the CEO of a prominent payment processing company, Stripe, to “share [their] deep concerns” about cryptocurrencies, and especially about Facebook’s recent venture into that terrain with its new virtual currency, “Libra.” The Senators successfully dissuaded those three companies from further assisting Facebook. Their letter also makes it clear they aren’t concerned merely about Facebook’s brand; their worry is about the rise of cryptos as a class.  

 

Vanity Fair: Beware The Time Bomb In The President Donald Trump Economy | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

Vanity Fair: Beware The Time Bomb In The President Donald Trump Economy | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

As another rollercoaster of a day on Wall Street begins, President Trump is touting good economic figures. Congressman Dan Kildee, Vanity Fair Special Correspondent Bill Cohan, CNBC’s Kayla Tausche, and Leslie Picker join Stephanie Ruhle to discuss how the Trump economy might actually be a time bomb.
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Vanity Fair: Beware The Time Bomb In The President Donald Trump Economy | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

Secretary Steven Mnuchin Refuses To Release Donald Trump’s Tax Returns | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

Secretary Steven Mnuchin Refuses To Release Donald Trump’s Tax Returns | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

We’re looking at a possible Constitutional crisis and it has to do with President Trump’s tax return. Wall Street Journal tax policy reporter Richard Rubin joins Stephanie Ruhle and Ali Velshi to break down why.
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Secretary Steven Mnuchin Refuses To Release Donald Trump’s Tax Returns | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

Tariffs On Chinese Goods Would Hurt Consumers, Company Profits | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

Tariffs On Chinese Goods Would Hurt Consumers, Company Profits | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

Chinese negotiators are still scheduled to arrive in Washington this week for trade talks. Former Senator Robert Torricelli and CNBC’s Editor at Large John Harwood join Stephanie Ruhle to discuss the political reasons for the president’s new threats and their potential effects.
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Tariffs On Chinese Goods Would Hurt Consumers, Company Profits | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

For Fact’s Sake: President Donald Trump Is Able To Release His Tax Returns | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

For Fact’s Sake: President Donald Trump Is Able To Release His Tax Returns | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

The president keeps telling the American people he would share his taxes if it weren’t for an IRS audit. Wall Street Journal tax policy reporter Richard Rubin joins Ali Velshi and Stephanie Ruhle to blow a big hole in that argument.
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For Fact’s Sake: President Donald Trump Is Able To Release His Tax Returns | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

What’s Changed With Mega Banks Since The Financial Crisis? | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

What’s Changed With Mega Banks Since The Financial Crisis? | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

Big Bank CEO’s face off with law makers on Capitol Hill. Stephanie Ruhle asks what have we learned ten years after tax-payers bailed out mega-banks during the financial crisis. Weighing in: author of Why Wall Street Matters Bill Cohan, NYU Stern School of Business professor Scott Galloway, New York Times Op-ed columnist Bret Stephens, and former editor of Bloomberg Businessweek Megan Murphy.
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What’s Changed With Mega Banks Since The Financial Crisis? | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

‘Give back my money’: banned billionaire Huang Xiangmo hits out at political parties

Bill Shorten with a photograph of Chinese billionaire and political donor Huang Xiangmo and Julie Bishop.

The Chinese billionaire and major political donor Huang Xiangmo has hit out at a decision to bar him from Australia, describing his treatment as “grotesquely unfair” and telling political parties to return his money if they believe it was given inappropriately.

Huang has been effectively barred from re-entering Australia after authorities blocked his bid for citizenship and cancelled his residency. Concerns have been raised about his long-running involvement with the Australian Council for the Promotion of the Peaceful Reunification of China, which experts say acts as part of China’s global influence network.

Huang said his treatment by Australian authorities was “profoundly disappointing”.

“The decision of visa cancellation was made based on unfounded speculations that are prejudiced and groundless,” he said in a statement. “This is not the Australia that I believe in, the Australia of freedom, democracy, rule-of-law and fairness, but I keep my faith in law and justice.”

Huang has donated $2.7m to major parties in Australia. He came to notoriety through his dealings with the former Labor senator Sam Dastyari, who Huang gave $5,000 to cover “legal…

Following The Money: An In-Depth Look At Ed Buck’s Political Donations

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Not long ago, Ed Buck was rubbing elbows with some of the Democratic party’s biggest stars – donating tens of thousands of dollars to various candidates and causes.

But now, Buck is under fire from community activists after a second gay black man – identified as 55-year-old Timothy Dean – died in his home in January. People gathered twice last month, chanting outside Buck’s West Hollywood apartment building.

Leticia Nixon – the mother of Gemmel Moore, who died at Buck’s apartment in July of 2017 of a drug overdose – spoke to the crowd.

“We shouldn’t even be here. There shouldn’t be a second victim,” she said.

Before the two deaths at his home, Buck was a well-known activist. Originally from Arizona, he reportedly made around $1 million selling a courier company and moved to West Hollywood in the early 90s.

He’s often referred to as a wealthy donor. CBSLA’s Tom Wait found campaign finance records for federal, state and local donations.

Buck’s biggest political investment was for more than $300,000 to his political action committee called Animal PAC. The organization says it was “formed to represent animal welfare interests throughout California.”

Buck was a well-known animal rights activist. But he has also donated thousands of dollars to various politicians. Many of the donations were made years before the deaths at his home. In many cases,…

Bernie Sanders’ ‘Medicare-for-all’ plan may have a $1 trillion problem

Bernie Sanders' 'Medicare-for-all' plan may have a $1 trillion problem

Some 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are proposing a “Medicare-for-all” healthcare plan. CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports on what this plan entails and if it is actually feasible. #CNN #News

What happens to the money political candidates raise?

El Paso, Texas —

A KFOX14 viewer named Perla sent me this question: “What happens to all the money that candidates raise during political campaigns?”

The Federal Election Commission, which regulates political contributions, makes one thing very clear: Candidates cannot use the political contributions they raise for personal use.

But the candidates can use the money in a variety of other ways, whether they win or lose.

For example, they could donate the cash to other candidates, charities or political parties.

A campaign committee can donate…