Google is negotiating to invest in Symphony Communication Services, the messaging startup backed by major Wall Street financial institutions, sources said. Symphony is seen as a competitor to Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters, which also provide services to financial professionals.
The New York State Department of Financial Services has granted bitcoin exchange Gemini Trust, founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, a banking charter. "We didn't apply for a BitLicense because we wanted to build an exchange that both Main Street and Wall Street could use and trust, so we decided to obtain a limited liability trust company charter in order to do so," said Gemini CEO Tyler Winklevoss. The exchange opens Thursday.
The completion of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal by the 12 countries involved is just the beginning of the process that President Barack Obama will have to follow to get the agreement approved by Congress. The agreement, which is expected to benefit the US financial industry, has vocal and well-organized supporters and critics. Congressional aides don't expect lawmakers to start voting on the proposal until April.
Eurozone finance ministers have approved procedures that could allow Greece to receive its next round of bailout funding totaling €2 billion by the middle of this month, said Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem. An additional €1 billion will be released once Greece has adopted concrete measures implementing the reforms it accepted as part of its financial rescue, probably by the end of the month, he said.
The expanding use of China's yuan in world trade boosted it to fourth place in the ranking of currencies used in global payments in August. It was the first time China's currency had a bigger role in global payments than Japan's currency. The US dollar accounted for 44.8% of global payments, compared with 27.2% for the euro, 8.5% for the British pound and 2.8% for the yuan.
The introduction of EMV cards in the US will make in-store transactions safer but could boost other forms of fraud globally, says Jeremy King, international director of the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council. "The criminals will start looking for other options, and the next big option is going to be in the card-not-present space. ... Everyone is now at risk globally," he said.
Top golfer Rory McIlroy recently tweeted out a breakdown of his workouts using Santander Bank's Spendlytics app, which analyzed and tracked how much time he spent doing different exercises. The innovative app is designed to help customers track spending but also can be used to track other activities.
The gold bikini Carrie Fisher wore in Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi sold at auction for $96,000. It should be noted the bikini is not actually made out of gold, despite the price paid for the iconic costume.
Downtown Chicago is benefiting from decisions by ConAgra Foods, Kraft Heinz and Motorola Solutions to consolidate operations and move their headquarters to the city's core. Chicago's downtown vacancy rate is less than 13% for the first time since 2008, and it is a full percentage point lower than a year earlier, according to CBRE.
The spillover effect from a 1 percentage point decline in China's growth may cut 0.3% from growth in other Asian countries, the International Monetary Fund said. However, the World Bank said this and other global factors could leave India the standout performer in the region. "With China gradually transitioning into an environment of lower growth, India could durably occupy the top growth spot among large emerging markets," the bank said.
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