Finance

How a new breed of media companies is convincing people to pay for news again

Comcast Ventures had seen enough. Years of researching business models, seeing their own portfolio’s performance and watching digital media startups struggle had made an impression. For 2018, the venture capital firm made a decision: it would no longer put seed money behind advertising-driven media companies. “Starting an ad-supported business is really, really tough,” said Daniel Gulati, a Comcast Ventures partner, in an interview. “As a general thesis, we are not actively looking to invest in seed companies that have an advertising-based business model.” It’s a shift in thinking for Comcast Ventures, which has put money behind advertising-based models before, including 2009 and 2010 investments in Vox Media and a small 2016 funding of finance news netw...

Amazon’s 2 new headquarters will need bodies to fill 50,000 high paying jobs: Here’s how to land one

Amazon will soon have more than 50,000 jobs to fill. The company announced this month it will open two new headquarters, one in New York City, and the other in northern Virginia, and that the average salary will be more than $150,000. Wondering if you could be a contender? CNBC talked with former recruiters at the e-commerce giant about what candidates should expect. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because they’re bound by agreements not to speak publicly about their time at the company. Brian was a recruiter at Amazon for six years. The hiring process is “extremely competitive,” he said. He’d typically bring in around seven candidates for an in-person interview for every one position he filled. “How many folks do the online assessment or a phone scre...

Wisconsin GDP Surge Revised Away

New figures released by the BEA, incorporating annual benchmark revisions, indicate Wisconsin has been growing more slowly than previously thought; Q/q growth in 2018Q2 was ranked 48th in the Union. This outcome is illustrated in the following map. Further, note the substantial downward revisions in the level of GDP over the last three and a half years. Figure 1: Log real GDP from 2018Q1 release (red), and from 2018Q2 release (blue), both normalized to 2011Q1=0. NBER defined national recession dates shaded gray. Walker I and Walker II administration beginnings at dashed vertical lines. Source: BEA, NBER, and author’s calculations. Before the revision, Wisconsin real GDP growth was 2.0% per annum, 2015Q1-2018Q1. After revision, it was 1.39%.

Ex-RenTecher Taking His Frustration Out On Robert Mercer’s Poodle

Neither David Magerman nor Robert Mercer work at Renaissance Technologies anymore, the former because he called Robert Mercer a racist and the latter because the former called him a racist. But that doesn’t mean Magerman’s given up his crusade against Robert Mercer’s white supremacy. And since he and Mercer have declared a ceasefire, he’ll have to do it via proxy war against Mercer’s unwitting partner in crime, Facebook. Magerman has given more than $400,000 to the campaign — “Freedom from Facebook” — because he believes Facebook has too much power over how the world communicates…. “It was my goal to convince people that Facebook is not free, that it exacts a high price from users in the form of their private data, and I think users don’t understand that transaction, to all of our detrimen...

In bigger crackdown of crypto abuses, SEC goes after unregistered coin offerings

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced its first civil penalties on Friday against crypto founders who failed to register new coin offerings, part of a bigger regulatory and legal crackdown aimed at abuses and outright fraud in the growing digital currency industry. The SEC said it settled separate cases with start-ups companies Airfox and Paragon, which raised more than $10 million each in initial coin offerings that weren’t registered. They have agreed to pay penalties, register their tokens as securities, file periodic reports with the agency and return funds to any harmed investors, according to the SEC. The settlement comes a week after the agency notched another “first,” setting charges that a crypto firm called EtherDelta was operating as an unregistered ...

Wall Street’s crypto bull Tom Lee slashes year-end bitcoin price forecast nearly in half

Wall Street’s best-known cryptocurrency bull just cut his bitcoin price target nearly in half. Tom Lee, co-founder of Fundstrat Global Advisors, lowered his year-end target to $15,000 from $25,000 — still well above where the cryptocurrency was trading on Friday. A key driver was bitcoin’s “break-even” point, the level at which mining costs match the trading price. That level is down to $7,000 from an earlier estimate of $8,000 for the S9 mining machine by Bitmain, according to Fundstrat’s data science team. Based on that, Lee estimates that fair value for bitcoin would be roughly 2.2 times the new $7,000 break-even price. Bitcoin is trading well below that, near $5,539 on Friday, according to data from CoinDesk. This week, the majority of major cryptocurrenci...

Mick Mulvaney’s Got His Eye On Another Government Agency To Destroy

Wilbur Ross’ sleepy reign at the U.S. Department of Commerce may be coming to an end. While disappointing for those of us who also believe one should be ready for a good nap anyplace, any time, it’s not a huge surprise, because, to put it mildly, Wilbur Ross is shockingly bad at being a Cabinet member, even by the standards of this Cabinet. It seems sometimes that literally anyone could do a better job… oh no wait it’s going to be this fucking guy. In a sign of Ross’ perceived weakness, at least one influential Trump ally has begun speaking openly about his desire for the Commerce job if and when it becomes vacant: Office of Management and Budget chief Mick Mulvaney. Over the summer, Trump considered a willing Mulvaney as a potential replacement for his chief of staff, John Kelly. However,...

David Solomon Doesn’t Want His Little Goldmanites Thinking Too Hard About 1MDB

If you work for Goldman Sachs, you have a voicemail to check. This is David. The events around 1MDB have given rise to criticism of the firm and speculation in the press about the impending results of the various ongoing investigations.…. The government’s actions against these individuals have generated speculation about potential outcomes for the firm. To be clear, any speculation in the press or elsewhere is completely unfounded. You should be assured that Goldman Sachs will continue to hold itself to the strongest standards…. A group of people, including some of us in the Executive Office, are intensely focused on this matter. For the rest of us, our job is to focus on our clients, our business and the many opportunities ahead. In other words—and for the first and only time—ignore the E...

Nvidia nurses ‘crypto hangover’ as demand for mining chips evaporates

Chipmaker Nvidia was a major beneficiary of the crypto-boom last year. But by now, the party is over and the hangover is starting to set in. In its disappointing earnings report Thursday, Nvidia executives outlined a drop in revenue for the current quarter based on lack of demand for its gaming cards. Cryptocurrency mining had fueled demand for those chips late last year. But that has all but dried up as bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies’ prices nosedived and “mining” for many of those is no longer profitable. These chips are now being sold on secondary markets, adding to surplus inventory, which weighed the company’s fourth-quarter guidance. On a call with analysts following the report Thursday, CEO Jensen Huang said it could take up to two quarters to move throug...

PayPal and Square quietly grow small business lending using data as their edge over banks

Moving a bakery from Staten Island to Brooklyn is not cheap. French chef Laurent Chavenet, a food industry veteran, knew this. But he didn’t anticipate how hard it would be to get a $30,000 loan to make that move after a recent divorce and a low credit score. After being turned down by multiple banks, he enlisted a last resort — his payment processor PayPal. “When you start to be known for quality, you need to have enough to sell. If you don’t, you don’t have an income and you can’t grow,” Chavenet told CNBC. “It makes a huge difference, every time I get a loan I add more to my shelf.” The first PayPal loan allowed him to move his business. A second allowed him to expand, opening another “Le French Tart” location in Brooklyn in Ma...

Wall Street’s newest billion-dollar battleground: Small town, USA

John Richert knew the moment Goldman Sachs was coming to town. First, the J. P. Morgan Chase banker got a call from a recruiter in June 2017 asking if he would consider joining the rival. Then Goldman went after his entire team of nine bankers. Now, he’s running into Goldman on a daily basis as the two banks compete to provide companies advice on mergers and other deals. While high-stakes competition between the two titans isn’t new, the battleground is: Richert, 46, is located in Atlanta and focuses on companies that generate $500 million to $5 billion in revenue, regional businesses that Goldman had mostly ignored. Ever since Goldman created satellite offices last year to get closer to clients, the two banks have been going head-to-head in arenas hundreds of miles from Wall S...

Fed’s Clarida says central bank close to neutral and should be ‘data dependent’ on more hikes

The Federal Reserve is close to the point of being “neutral” on interest rates and should predicate further increases on economic data, the central bank’s vice chairman said Friday. Recent appointee Richard Clarida told CNBC’s Steve Liesman that nearly three years of increases have brought the Fed’s short-term interest rate near where it is neither restrictive nor stimulative, a key consideration when considering the future path of monetary policy. “As you move in the range of policy that by some estimates is close to neutral, then with the economy doing well it’s appropriate to sort of shift the emphasis toward being more data dependent,” Clarida said during a “Squawk Box” interview, his first public comments since being confirme...