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The latest news from Business Insider

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    wealthy young celebrate

    • It's that time again: Wall Street bonus season.
    • Wall Street bankers make healthy base salaries, but the annual bonus is where the industry's best earn their fortunes.
    • Business Insider has provided an outline of when each bank is expected to announce bonuses.

    The most exciting, and potentially nerve-wracking, time of year on Wall Street is upon us again: Bonus season.

    While most employees at the big US banks command healthy six-figure base salaries, the annual bonus is where the best on Wall Street really earn the fortunes that fund their lavish vacation homes in the Hamptons and Nantucket.

    Compensation can vary significantly across teams and business lines, but a closely watched industry report anticipated healthy bonus increases for most of Wall Street.

    But that was before the markets went haywire in December.

    Volatility, which laid dormant in 2017 but resumed with a vengeance late last year, is usually good news for traders, especially those in equity derivatives, as it tends to generate more client activity.

    But that's not true across the board, and December's stock market wipeout — the worst December since the Great Depression— may have taken a hatchet to some bonus pools. 

    Business Insider spoke with people familiar with bonus schedules at the big banks. Bonus dates have been known to change at the last moment, but as of right now, here's when Wall Street's top banks are expected to announce bonuses:

    • Citigroup is expected to kick off bonus season, disclosing compensation after earnings are announced on January 14. They tend to pay out right at the end of the month.
    • JPMorgan Chase is set to announce in the middle of that week, starting January 16 and continuing the next couple of days. The bonuses get paid out at the end of January, depending on where the employee is located in the world. 
    • Goldman Sachswill announce on January 16th — the same day it reports earnings — to partners, and a day later to non-partners.
    • Morgan Stanley Morgan Stanley hasn't yet set a formal date yet, but is expected to announce the week of earnings. It reports on January 17.
    • Bank of America Merrill Lynch is the last to go of the big US banks. It is planning to announce the following week, on January 22.

    The bonuses are typically paid out a week or two after they are announced, unless otherwise noted.

    Representatives from each of the banks declined to comment or did not respond to requests for comment.

    Europe's largest banks report earnings after the US banks and start announcing bonuses afterward as well, usually in early February.

    If you have any insights into bonus season (comp numbers, expected dates, tips, advice, tales of success, excess, or horror stories), feel free to send an email to amorrell@businessinsider.com or dcampbell@businessinsider.com.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    • The payments ecosystem is undergoing a period of digital transformation, which will spur tremendous growth in money moved around the globe in the next five years.
    • Consumers and businesses will make 841 billion noncash transactions worldwide in 2023, up from 577 billion in 2018.
    • The next five years will mark a pivotal transformation in how companies and consumers handle payments.

    The impact of payments’ digital transformation is rippling around the world, in both advanced economies and developing countries.

    Payments Forecast Book Cover

    Across major global regions, the total volume of e-commerce transactions is expected to rise 91% over the next five years to hit $5.7 trillion by 2023.

    With such impending immense growth, it’s crucial for any business that even touches the payments industry to understand what’s ahead.

    Take, for example, noncash transactions, which include debit card, credit card, direct debit, and credit transfer transactions that are conducted either online or offline. Consumers and businesses will make 841 billion noncash transactions globally in 2023, a 46% surge from 577 billion in 2018. The rise in global card and terminal penetration, coupled with increasing digital payments volume, will will be the key drivers in this growth.

    To successfully navigate this changing landscape, individuals and organizations must understand the full extent to which digital transformation will affect the payments industry, the key drivers of this growth, and how it all relates to the work they do every day.

    Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has forecasted the future of the payments ecosystem in The Payments Forecast Book 2018— and the next five years will be critical for the following four areas:

    • Global Payments: Asia, North America, and Europe will be the three main growth regions in the next five years, and will make up 70% of all noncash transaction growth by 2023.
    • US Payments: In the US, P2P and retail payments combined will still be less than a quarter of the size of the B2B payments market by 2023 ($6.3 trillion vs. $27.3 trillion).
    • US E-Commerce:Total e-commerce spending in the U.S. will surpass $1 trillion by 2023, and the average consumer will spend $2,959 online.
    • US Emerging Payments: By 2023, 67% of US adults will have used BOPIS (Buy Online Pickup In Store) at least once in the last 12 months.

    Want to Learn More?

    People, companies, and organizations all over the world are racing to adopt the latest payments solutions and prevent growing pains amidst a technological transformation. The Payments Forecast Book 2018 from Business Insider Intelligence is a detailed four-part slide deck outlining the most important trends impacting the payments ecosystem around the world — and the key drivers propelling each segment forward.

    Representing thousands of hours of exhaustive research, our multipart forecast books are considered must-reads by thousands of highly successful business professionals. These informative slide decks are packed with charts and statistics outlining the most influential trends on the leading edge of your industry. Keep them for reference or drop the most valuable data into your own presentations to share with your teams.

    Whether you’re newly interested in a topic or you already consider yourself a subject matter expert, The Payments Forecast Book 2018 can provide you with the actionable insights you need to make better decisions.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    pos terminals graphicThis is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here.

    The downfall of US brick-and-mortar commerce is overblown — despite sharp gains in e-commerce, which will nearly double between now and 2021, the lion’s share of purchasing continues to take place in-store. And that’s unlikely to change anytime soon, since the online environment can’t yet compensate for the reasons customers like brick-and-mortar shopping.

    That means the point-of-sale (POS) terminal, which merchants use to accept payments of all types and to complete transactions, isn’t going anywhere. But that doesn’t mean it’s not changing. As merchants look to cut costs amidst shifts in consumer shopping habits, POS terminals, which were once predominantly hardware offerings used exclusively for payment acceptance, are evolving into full-service, comprehensive solutions. These new POS terminals are providing an array of business management solutions and connected offerings to complement payment services. 

    This is where the smart terminal, a new product that’s part-tablet, part-register, comes in. Merchants are increasingly seeking out these offerings, which afford them the connectivity, mobility, and interoperability to run their entire business. And that’s shaking up the space, since it’s not just legacy firms, but also mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) players and newer upstarts, that offer these products. 

    As merchants begin demanding a wide variety of payment solutions, terminal providers are scrambling to meet their needs in order to maintain existing customers and attract new ones. This is leading to rapid innovation and increased competition in both the POS terminal hardware and software spaces.

    Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has put together a detailed report on the shifts in this landscape, how leading players can meet them, and who’s doing it most effectively.

    Here are some key takeaways from the report:

    • Evolving merchant needs are impacting POS terminal players’ strategies. Merchants select terminal providers based on four key areas: payment functionality, user experience (UX), over-the-top (OTT) offerings, and distribution/customer service. Terminal firms need to innovate in these areas, or risk falling behind.
    • Larger players need to double down on existing success. Smaller players can often be more nimble, which gives them the opportunity to innovate more quickly and build in-demand solutions. That’s a disadvantage to market leaders; however, they can, and should, leverage their massive distribution networks when upgrading or updating their offerings. Meanwhile, smaller players can win by focusing on niches instead.
    • It’s all about the platform. No single feature is likely to make or break a merchant’s decision to pursue a specific provider. Above all, they want a robust ecosystem that can evolve over time. 

    In full, the report:

    • Explains the current state of in-store retail and why terminal firms need to evolve to meet it.
    • Groups features that matter to merchants and explains why they’re important and what terminal providers stand to gain from focusing on them.
    • Determines the leading players in the space.
    • Assesses how the leading players stack up, and which offerings are the most comprehensive.
    • Issues recommendations about how to develop an attractive platform that best serves merchants' needs as the market continues to shift. 

    Subscribe to an All-Access pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to:

    This report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports
    Access to all future reports and daily newsletters
    Forecasts of new and emerging technologies in your industry
    And more!
    Learn More

    Purchase & download the full report from our research store

     

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    donald trump trump tower

    • The American Dialect Society named "tender-age shelter" the 2018 "Word of the Year."
    • The term was used by the US government to describe facilities designed to house babies and young children who have been separated from their parents at the US-Mexico border, due to changes in the Trump administration's immigration policy.
    • In related votes, "wall" was named "Political Word of the Year" and "techlash" the "Digital Word of the Year."

    One of the Trump administration's most-controversial policies has resulted in 2018's "Word of the Year."

    A group of almost 300 linguists and word experts chose "tender-age shelter" as 2018's word of the year at the American Dialect Society's annual conference on Friday.

    "The use of highly euphemistic language to paper over the human effects of family separation was indication of how words in 2018 could be weaponized for political necessity," Ben Zimmer, chair of the American Dialect Society’s new words committee.

    The vote, held this year in New York City, aims to crown the word or phrase that defined the year and saw widespread or innovative usage.

    The Trump administration set up multiple "tender-age" facilities over the summer to detain thousands of babies and other young children separated from their families as a result of the Trump administration's immigration policy at the US-Mexico border. The family separation policy sparked widespread, bipartisan condemnation throughout the last half of 2018.

    Linguistically, experts latched onto the phrase "tender age" as a euphemism meant to downplay the harsh conditions of the facilities, in which the children were reported to be kept in cages and in some cases, subjected to abuse from Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents. The Guardian's Stephen Poole wrote in June that the term "has the whiff of Orwell’s Big Brother."

    This political nature of this year's winning word continued a trend for the group of language experts. In 2017, the society chose "fake news" as the word of the year, citing Trump's redefinition of the term from merely "falsehoods presented as news" to "actual news that is claimed to be untrue."

    In a companion vote, "wall" was named the "Political Word of the Year," referring to Trump's proposed wall along the US-Mexico border. Other nominees in that category included "blue wave"— referring to the Democratic Party's gains in the 2018 midterm elections — and "lodestar"— a word used by a Trump official in an anonymous New York Times op-ed that sent the internet into a frenzy as people tried to guess its author.

    Meanwhile, "techlash," defined as "backlash against tech innovators," was named "Digital Word of the Year." And in the category of "Euphemism of the Year," the runaway winner was "racially charged," described by the language group as a "circumlocution of 'racist.'"

    The American Dialect Society has chosen the word of the year each year since 1990. Previous winners of the contest include "occupy" in 2011, "bailout" in 2008, and "metrosexual" in 2003.

    See all the 2018 words of the year below (winners in bold)

    WORD OF THE YEAR

    • (the) wall: proposed barrier along the US/Mexico border to prevent illegal crossings
    • yeet: indication of surprise or excitement
    • Individual 1: Legal code name used to identify President Donald Trump in court filings
    • tender-age camp/shelter/facility: government detention center for children of asylum seekers
    • white caller crime: white people calling police on black people for doing mundane things
    • "X Strong": Word used in hashtag to suggest resilience (Pittsburgh Strong, etc.)

    POLITICAL WORD OF THE YEAR

    • blue wave: major Democratic electoral gain
    • caravan: procession of Central American asylum seekers to US/Mexico border
    • lodestar: guiding principle (used in op/ed by anonymous White House staffer)
    • nationalist: displaying a staunch belief in one’s own nation (used by Trump and supporters)
    • (the) wall: proposed barrier along the US/Mexico border to prevent illegal crossings

    DIGITAL WORD OF THE YEAR

    • blackfishing: pretending to be black on social media by using makeup and hair products
    • deepfake: realistic digitally composed video used to misrepresent someone
    • demonetize: remove ads from a YouTube channel to deprive the creator of revenue
    • finsta: fake Instagram account
    • techlash: backlash against tech innovators

    SLANG/INFORMAL WORD OF THE YEAR

    • big d--- energy: calm, unassuming attitude
    • canceled: firmly rejected or dismissed
    • mood, big mood: strong emotion of agreement
    • weird flex but OK: rejoinder to improper boast
    • yeet: indication of surprise or excitement

    MOST USEFUL

    • himpathy: flow of sympathy away from female victims toward their male victimizers
    • orbiting: ending communication with someone while still monitoring them on social media
    • preferred pronoun: pronoun that a person opts to use for himself/herself/themself/etc.
    • situationship: undefined personal relationship
    • Voldemorting: avoiding mention of unpleasant person or topic by using a replacement term

    MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED

    • cli-fi: science fiction relating to climate change
    • climate grief: negative feelings caused by climate-change-related weather events
    • hothouse Earth: runaway global warming
    • single-use: to be used once and destroyed

    MOST CREATIVE

    • girther: person skeptical of the president’s reported weight and height
    • procrasti-: related to procrastination
    • today years old: indication that someone has just recently learned something
    • treasonweasel: epithet for a traitorous person
    • white caller crime: white people calling police on black people for doing mundane things

    EUPHEMISM OF THE YEAR

    • executive time: presidential down-time
    • Individual 1: pseudonym for Trump in documents from the Mueller investigation
    • racially charged: circumlocution for “racist”
    • tender-age camp/shelter/facility: government detention center for asylum-seekers’ children

    WTF WORD OF THE YEAR

    • emotional support peacock: therapy animal that airline passenger tried to bring on board
    • incel: involuntary celibate (online subculture)
    • s---hole countries: Trump’s epithet for places he does not want to accept immigrants from
    • soy boy: term for a man perceived as not conforming to male gender stereotypes
    • deleted family unit: bureaucratic term referring to asylum-seeking families whose children were removed

    HASHTAG OF THE YEAR

    • #neveragain: call for gun-control measures after the Parkland shooting
    • #nottheonion: reporting something true that seems like satire from The Onion
    • #thankunext: expressing gratitude and readiness to move on (from Ariana Grande)
    • #timesup: movement protesting sexual assault

    EMOJI OF THE YEAR

    • lobster (adopted by trans community)
    • nail polish (indicating air of nonchalance)
    • facepalm (indicating exasperation, disbelief)
    • thinking face (indicating bemused pondering)

    SEE ALSO: The 10 words people couldn't stop looking up in 2018, according to Merriam-Webster

    DON'T MISS: I'm a nationally ranked Scrabble player, and I have a simple trick that can take your game to new heights

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Why 'moist' is one of the most hated words in the English language


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    This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence,  Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here.

    mobile banking features

    In recent years, we've seen a ballooning of activity in fintech — an expansive term applied to technology-driven disruptions in financial services. And 2018 has been no different, with fintechs' staggering influence on the market evidenced by record funding levels for the industry — by Q3 2018, overall funding was already up 82% from 2017’s total figure, according to CB Insights.

    Additionally, this year marked a watershed moment for the industry, with the once clear distinction between fintechs and financial services proper now blurred significantly. Virtually every incumbent financial institution (FI) is now looking inward and engaging in an innovation drive, spurred on by competition from fintechs. As such, incumbents are now actively investing in, acquiring, and collaborating with their fintech rivals.

    In this report, Business Insider Intelligence details recent developments in fintech funding and regulation that are defining the environment these startups operate in. We also examine the business model changes being employed among different categories of fintechs as they strive to embed themselves further in mainstream finance and prove sustainability. Finally, we consider which elements of the fintech industry are rapidly rubbing off on incumbent financial services providers, and what the future of fintech will look like.

    The companies mentioned in this report are: Funding Circle, GreenSky, Transferwise, Ant Financial, Nubank, Cellulant, Oscar Health, Stripe, One97, UiPath, LianLian Pay, Wacai.com, Gusto, Toast, PingPong, Flywire, Deposit Solutions, Root, Robinhood, Atom, N26, Revolut, OneConnect, PolicyBazaar, WeCash, Zurich, OneDegree, Dinghy, Vouch Insurance, Laka, Cleo, Ernit, Monzo, Moneybox, Bud, Tandem, Starling, Varo Money, Square, ING, Chase, AmEx, Amazon, Monese, Betterment, Tiller Investments, West Hill Capital, Square, Ameritrade, JPMorgan, eToro, Lendy, OnDeck, Ripple, Quorom, Chain, Coinbase, Fidelity, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, Apple Pay, Bank of America, TransferGo, Klarna, Western Union, Veriff, Royal Bank of Scotland, Royal Bank of Canada, Facebook, ThreatMetrix, Relx, Entersekt, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, Gemalto, Lloyd's of London, Kingdom Trust, Aviva, Symbility LINK, eTrade, Allianz, AXA, Broadridge, TD Bank, First Republic Bank, BBVA Compass, Capital One, Silicon Valley Bank, Credit Suisse, Ally, Goldman Sachs.

    Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

    • Fintech funding has already reached new highs globally in 2018, with overall funding hitting $32.6 billion at the end of Q3.
    • Some new regions, including South America and Africa, are emerging on the fintech scene.
    • We've seen considerable scaling in older corners of the fintech ecosystem, including among neobanks and alt lenders.
    • Some fintechs, including a number of insurtechs, have dipped into new markets to escape heightened competition.
    • Emergent areas like blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT), as well as digital identity, are gaining traction.
    • Many incumbents are undertaking business transformations that aim to reimagine everything from products and services to front-end systems and back-end processes.

     In full, the report:

    • Details the funding and regulatory landscape in the US, Europe, and Asia.
    • Gives an overview into a number of fintech segments and how they've changed over the past year.
    • Discusses how incumbents are reacting to fintechs in order to stay relevant in the changing financial services sector.
    • Evaluates what the future of fintech will look like and what trends to look out for in the coming year.

    Subscribe to a Premium pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to:

    This report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports
    Access to all future reports and daily newsletters
    Forecasts of new and emerging technologies in your industry
    And more!
    Learn More

    Purchase & download the full report from our research store

     

    SEE ALSO: How the largest US financial institutions rank on offering the mobile banking features customers value most

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    donald trump

    • President Donald Trump met with Republican and Democratic congressional leaders on Friday to discuss the ongoing government shutdown.
    • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters afterward that Trump threatened to keep the government shut down for "months or even years."
    • Newly elected House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also said the meeting was "contentious."

    Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters Friday that President Donald Trump threatened to keep the federal government partially shut down for "months or even years," unless Democrats relent to the president's demands for US-Mexico border-wall funding.

    Speaking after a roughly two-hour meeting with Trump at the White House, Schumer said Democrats urged Trump to agree to a short-term funding extension that would reopen the government and allow the leaders to continue discussions over border security without leaving 800,000 federal workers in limbo.

    "We told the president we needed the government open. He resisted," Schumer said. "In fact he said he would keep it closed for a very long period of time — months or even years."

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who took over the House's top job on Thursday, also called the meeting "sometimes contentious."

    "But we recognize on the Democratic side that we really cannot resolve this until we open up government," Pelosi said. "We made that very clear to the president. Services are being withheld from the American people, and paychecks are being withheld from people who serve the needs of the American people. And our border security will suffer if we do not resolve this issue."

    Read more:The government shutdown is in its 14th day and there's no end in sight. Here's how Trump and Congress got into this mess.

    Trump spoke subsequently in the White House Rose Garden, sounding more upbeat about the meeting than Democrats.

    "I thought it was really a very, very good meeting. We're all on the same path in terms of wanting to get government open," Trump said. "We're going to be meeting — I've designated a group, and we're going to be meeting over the weekend, that group, to determine what we're going to do about the border."

    Trump also confirmed that he threatened a shutdown of "months or years" and rejected Pelosi and Schumer's calls to reopen the government before discussing border security.

    "We won't be opening until it is solved," the president said.

    At the same time, the president also reiterated his demands for a border wall, which Pelosi and Schumer have categorically rejected.

    House Democrats passed two bills on Friday that would reopen the government and extend funding into February for the agencies that are closed. Pelosi and the Democratic leadership said the measures would give the two sides time to come to an agreement.

    The Senate passed nearly identical bills before the Christmas break, but they were blocked by the then Republican House majority after Trump flip-flopped on his support for the extension because of blowback from conservative TV pundits and hardline lawmakers.

    With no solution reached, the government entered a partial shutdown on December 22.

    The shutdown has since been a political staring contest with both sides digging in on their positions and playing the blame game. Prior to the shutdown, Trump seemed happy to take ownership of the shutdown.

    "So I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down," Trump said. "I'm not going to blame you for it — the last time you shut it down, it didn't work. I will take the mantle of shutting it down."

    Read more: Trump says 'Democrats now own the shutdown' just 10 days after declaring he was 'proud to shut down the government'

    The shutdown is now in its 14th day, and, with no resolution in sight, there is a good chance the funding lapse will be the longest in modern history.

    The shutdown does not close the entire government, as Congress passed five of the 12 bills that fund various departments of the government. But many departments are still closed, including the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Homeland Security, the Interior, State, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development.

    Employees in those departments will go without pay for the duration of the shutdown, with a total of 800,000 federal employees affected.

    Of those workers, 420,000 are deemed essential, such as Coast Guard members and airport security, and are being forced to work with no pay. The other 380,000 employees are on furlough, meaning they do not receive pay and are not allowed to come in to work.

    SEE ALSO: Here's what happens to Social Security and disability benefits during a government shutdown

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Anthony Scaramucci claims Trump isn't a nationalist: 'He likes saying that because it irks these intellectual elitists'


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    • The Internet of Things is fueling the data-based economy and bridging the divide between physical and digital worlds.
    • Consumers, companies, and governments will install more than 40 billion IoT devices worldwide through 2023.
    • The next five years will mark a pivotal transformation in how companies and jurisdictions operate, and how consumers live.

    Being successful in the digital age doesn’t just require knowing the latest buzzwords; it means identifying the transformational trends – and where they’re heading – before they ever heat up.

    IoT Forecast BookTake the Internet of Things (IoT), for example, which now receives not only daily tech news coverage with each new device launch, but also hefty investments from global organizations ushering in worldwide adoption. By 2023, consumers, companies, and governments will install more than 40 billion IoT devices globally. And it’s not just the ones you hear about all the time, like smart speakers and connected cars.

    To successfully navigate this changing landscape, individuals and organizations must understand the full extent and functionality of the “Things” included in this network, the key drivers of each market segment, and how it all relates to the work they do every day.

    Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has forecasted the start of the IoT’s global proliferation in The IoT Forecast Book 2018— and the next five years will be transformational for consumers, enterprises, and governments.

    • Consumer IoT: In the US alone, the number of smart home devices is estimated to surpass 1 billion by 2023, with consumers dishing out about $725 per household — a total of over $90 billion in spending on IoT solutions.
    • Enterprise IoT: Comprising the most mature segment of the IoT, companies will continue pouring billions of dollars into connected devices and automation. By 2023, the total industrial robotic system installed base will approach 6 million worldwide, while annual spending on manufacturing IoT solutions will reach about $450 billion.
    • Government IoT: Governments globally are ushering in IoT devices to spur the development of smart cities, which would be equipped with innovations like connected cameras, smart street lights, and connected meters to provide a real-time view of traffic, utilities usage, crime, and environmental factors. Annual investment in this area is expected to reach nearly $900 billion by 2023.

    Want to Learn More?

    People, companies, and organizations all over the world are racing to adopt the latest IoT solutions and prevent growing pains amidst a technological transformation. The IoT Forecast Book 2018 from Business Insider Intelligence is a detailed three-part slide deck outlining the most important trends impacting consumer, enterprise, and government IoT — and the key drivers propelling each segment forward.

    Representing thousands of hours of exhaustive research, our multipart forecast books are considered must-reads by thousands of highly successful business professionals. These informative slide decks are packed with charts and statistics outlining the most influential trends on the leading edge of your industry. Keep them for reference or drop the most valuable data into your own presentations to share with your teams.

    Whether you’re newly interested in a topic or you already consider yourself a subject matter expert, The IoT Forecast Book 2018 can provide you with the actionable insights you need to make better decisions.

     

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    yosemite national park

    • Three people have died in national parks since the US government shutdown began, according to a new report from The Washington Post.
    • The partial shutdown went into effect after midnight on December 22 — after the White House and Congress failed to reach an agreement over a stopgap bill to fund the government and $5 billion in funding for President Donald Trump's desired wall along the US-Mexico border.
    • Roughly 16,000 of 19,000 National Park Service employees are furloughed, and the parks are being manned by a skeleton staff, The Post reports.
    • In a statement to The Washington Post, Jeremy Barnum, a spokesperson for the National Park Service, said that on average six people die in the parks per week due to "accidents like drownings, falls, and motor vehicle crashes and medical related incidents such as heart attacks."

    Three people have died in national parks since the government shutdown began, according to a new report from The Washington Post.

    The partial government shutdown began after midnight on December 22 — after the White House and Congress failed to reach an agreement over a stopgap bill to fund the government and $5 billion in funding for President Donald Trump's desired wall along the US-Mexico border.

    The partial shutdown impacts nine federal agencies (the rest of the government has been funded) and around 800,000 federal government employees; 420,000 of those employees are considered "essential" and must continue working without pay, while the rest have been furloughed.

    Unlike longer government shutdowns under Presidents Obama and Clinton, the Trump administration opted to keep national parks open to visitors. The Trump administration also kept them open during the shutdown of January 2018, which only lasted only several days.

    Roughly 16,000 of 19,000 National Park Service employees are furloughed, and the parks are being manned by a skeleton staff, The Post reports.

    The first death occurred on December 24 at Horseshoe Bend in Arizona. Authorities believe a 14-year-old girl from San Jose, California fell roughly 700 feet to her death, according to NBC Los Angeles.

    The next day, December 25, a man fell and suffered a head injury in Yosemite National Park; he later died from his injuries, according to The Fresno Bee.

    "We aren’t releasing more detail because the incident remains under investigation, which is taking longer than usual because of the shutdown," Andrew Muñoz, acting chief of public and congressional affairs for the National Park Service’s Pacific West Region, told the Bee in an emailed statement. "A news release wasn’t issued because of the shutdown."

    On December 27, at Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountain National Park, a tree fell and killed pediatrician, and mother of three Laila Jiwani, 42, who was reportedly shielding her son, who sustained injuries, from the collapsing tree.

    Business Insider contacted the Department of the Interior, the National Park Service, the White House, and congressional leaders for more information.

    In a statement to The Washington Post, Jeremy Barnum, a spokesperson for the National Park Service, said that on average six people die in the parks per week due to "accidents like drownings, falls, and motor vehicle crashes and medical related incidents such as heart attacks."

    "Visitors can reduce their risk of injury if they plan ahead and prepare properly, select the most appropriate activity that matches their skill set and experience, seek information before they arrive at the park about hazards and environmental conditions, follow rules and regulations and use sound judgement while recreating," Barnum told The Post.

    Still, others told The Post that the shutdown increases risk for visitors. Sanitation could be an issue, Diane Regas, president and CEO of The Trust for Public Land, told The Post. Parks currently have varying degrees of cleanup staff. Some parks are filling with trash, while volunteers are cleaning and stocking bathrooms at parks like Joshua Tree in California.

    The shutdown could also pose a safety risk, in terms of how quickly authorities can get to visitors in case of an emergency, Daniel Wenk, former superintendent of Yellowstone National Park, said to The Post. Overall, there is the risk of having fewer people to guide visitors in their experience.

    Parks have stayed open during shorter shutdowns. However, as the shutdown hits the two week mark, some parks are hoping they'll be able to close, The Post reports.

    One national park that is open and staffed? The Old Post Office Pavilion Clock Tower located in the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC. A spokesperson for the General Service Administration, which leases the building to the Trump Organization told the Associated Press in a statement that a law requires it to remain open and said it's status was "unrelated to the facility's tenant."

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Anthony Scaramucci claims Trump isn't a nationalist: 'He likes saying that because it irks these intellectual elitists'


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    Elizabeth Warren

    • Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts strode into Iowa Friday with all the look of a presidential candidate, igniting pent-up Democratic frustration with her brand of fiery liberalism in the premier caucus state.
    • "It's time to dream big and fight hard, not just for those at the top, but for an America that works for everyone," Warren told about 500 in western Iowa Friday evening.
    • Warren has been an emerging national figure for more than a decade as an advocate for consumer protection, now a senator and a regular target of President Donald Trump.
    • "This is where it begins, person-to-person, town-to-town, across Iowa and across the country," she said, igniting cheers. "We're going to build a grassroots movement."

    COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts strode into Iowa Friday with all the look of a presidential candidate, igniting pent-up Democratic frustration with her brand of fiery liberalism in the premier caucus state.

    "It's time to dream big and fight hard, not just for those at the top, but for an America that works for everyone," Warren told about 500 in western Iowa Friday evening.

    Warren made her Iowa debut calling for economic fairness in front of a cheering crowd of Iowa and Nebraska Democrats at a Council Bluffs, Iowa, bowling alley. She was scheduled to continue by holding public events Saturday and Sunday in western and central Iowa theaters, community centers and bars.

    Warren has been an emerging national figure for more than a decade as an advocate for consumer protection, now a senator and a regular target of President Donald Trump. But this trip offers the first glimpse of what the likely Democratic presidential candidate will look like in that role.

    She appeared to relish the transition from the outset.

    "This is where it begins, person-to-person, town-to-town, across Iowa and across the country," she said, igniting cheers. "We're going to build a grassroots movement."

    She also signaled a potential point of conflict within the Democratic primary field, suggesting billionaire candidates would not represent the party well if they used their personal wealth to help finance their campaigns. Billionaires including environmentalist Tom Steyer and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg are weighing 2020 Democratic candidacies. Steyer plans to visit Iowa Wednesday.

    "I think that campaigns should not be for sale," she said. "Whether we're talking about super PACs or self-funding as Democrats in a primary."

    For someone known for her ability to rouse crowds with her takedowns of Wall Street and Trump, Warren ignited her audience in Iowa by promising, in her trademark style, to "persist."

    Despite the friendly reception, retired teacher Carla Hawkins was far from ready to commit.

    "I'm ready for something good, something better," the Council Bluffs Democrat said. "But I still don't know enough about Sen. Warren. And there are so many others looking into it. It's too early for me to say."

    High school senior Maggie Bashore said she was curious, but looking for someone younger than Warren, who is 69.

    "We need somebody who is focusing on our generation," Bashore said. "We need someone who knows we're going to be the ones taking care of the planet."

    Warren will have the chance to forge more personal connections with the state's activists and powerbrokers, starting Saturday with about 20 Democratic activists at a private home in central Iowa and Sunday at a Des Moines cafe.

    "I'd like to see how she deals with people one-on-one, that interaction between her and regular folks," said Jan Bauer, the Story County Democratic chairwoman, who planned to attend the private event with Warren Saturday.

    Though Warren announced the formation of a presidential exploratory committee Monday, Friday's event had all the trappings of a full-throttle presidential campaign.

    Having recently named a team of seasoned Iowa campaign hands, Warren took the stage in the bowling alley bar to a typical campaign soundtrack of pop and classic hits.

    A team of private security guards guided attendees and the dozens of media through the parking lot. Warren's staff logged the names and contact information for those interested in more information.

    "I'm here to ask every one of you to be a part of this," Warren said. "Join us in this because this is about what we can do together."

    Iowa's caucuses, local political meetings held statewide and run by the party, are scheduled to begin the 2020 nominating campaign in February 2020.

    Warren's visit is an effort to gain an early advantage in the state. Other Democratic presidential prospects are expected to announce their plans in the coming weeks, and have been in touch for weeks with party leaders, activists and potential staff in Iowa.

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    Large FIs tech investments NEWThis is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here.

    The way incumbent banks onboard and verify the identities of their customers online is inconvenient and insecure, resulting in lowered customer satisfaction and loyalty, and security breaches leading to compensation payouts and legal costs.

    It’s a lose-lose situation, as consumers become disgruntled and banks lose business. The problem stems from the very strict verification standards and high noncompliance fines that banks are subject to, which have led them to prioritize stringency over user experience in verification. At the same time, this approach doesn't gain banks much, since the verification methods they use to remain compliant can actually end up compromising customers' personal data.

    But banks can't afford to prioritize stringent verification at the cost of user experience anymore. Onboarding and verification standards are increasingly being set by more tech-savvy players within and outside their industry, like fintechs and e-retailers. If banks want to keep customers loyal, they have to start innovating in this area. The trick is to streamline verification for clients without compromising accuracy. If banks manage to do this, the result will be happier and more loyal customers; higher client retention and revenue; and less spending on redundant checks, compensation for breaches, and regulatory fines.

    The long-term opportunity such innovation presents is even bigger. Banks are already experts in vouching for people’s identities, and because they’re held to such tight verification standards, their testimonies are universally trusted. So, if banks figure out how to successfully digitize customer identification, this could help them not only boost revenue and cut costs, but secure a place for themselves in an emerging platform economy, where online identities will be key to carrying out transactions. 

    Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

    • The strict verification standards that banks are held to have led them to create onboarding and login processes that are painful for clients. Plus, the verification methods they use to remain compliant can actually end up putting customers' personal data at risk. This leaves banks with dented customer satisfaction, as well as security breaches and legal costs.
    • Several factors are now pushing banks to attempt to remedy the situation, including a tougher regulatory environment and increasing competition from agile startups and tech giants like Google, Amazon, and Facebook, where speedy onboarding and intuitive service is a given.
    • The trick is to streamline verification for clients without compromising accuracy, something several emerging technologies promise to deliver, including biometrics, optical character recognition (OCR) technology, cryptography, secure video links, and blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT). 
    • The long-term opportunity such innovation presents is even bigger. Banks are already experts in vouching for people’s identities, so if they were to figure out how to successfully digitize customer identification, this could help them secure a valued place, and relevance, in a modernizing economy.

    In full, the report:

    • Looks at why identity verification is so integral to banking, and why it's becoming a problem for banks.
    • Outlines the biggest drivers pushing banks to revamp their verification methods.
    • Gives an overview of the technologies, both new and established but repurposed, that are enabling banks to bring their verification methods into the digital age.
    • Discusses what next steps have to happen to bring about meaningful change in the identity verification space, and how banks can capitalize on their existing strengths to make such shifts happen.

    Subscribe to an All-Access pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to:

    This report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports
    Access to all future reports and daily newsletters
    Forecasts of new and emerging technologies in your industry
    And more!
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    This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here.

    bii big tech in healthcare ALL Four

    The healthcare industry is undergoing a profound transformation. Costs are skyrocketing, consumer demand for more accessible care is growing rapidly, and healthcare companies are unable to keep up. 

    Health organizations are increasingly turning to tech companies to facilitate this transformation in care delivery and lower health expenditures. The potential for tech-led digital health initiatives to help healthcare providers and insurers deliver safer, more efficient, and cost-effective care is significant. For healthcare organizations of all types, the collection, analyses, and application of patient data can minimize avoidable service use, improve health outcomes, and promote patient independence, which can assuage swelling costs.

    For their part, the "Big Four" tech companies — Google-parent Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft — see an opportunity to tap into the lucrative health market. These same players are accelerating their efforts to reshape healthcare by developing and collaborating on new tools for consumers, medical professionals, and insurers.

    In this report, Business Insider Intelligence explores the key strengths and offerings the Big Four will bring to the healthcare industry, as well as their approaches into the market. We'll then explore how these services and solutions are creating opportunities for health systems and insurers. Finally, the report will outline the barriers that are inhibiting the adoption and usage of the Big Four tech companies’ offerings and how these barriers can be circumvented.

    Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

    • Tech companies’ expertise in data management and analysis, along with their significant compute power, can help support healthcare payers, health systems, and consumers by providing a broader overview of how health is accessed and delivered.
    • Each of the Big Four tech companies — vying for a piece of the lucrative healthcare market — is leaning on their specific field of expertise to develop tools and solutions for consumers, providers, and payers.
      • Alphabet is focused on leveraging its dominance in data storage and analytics to become the leader in population health.
      • Amazon is leaning on its experience as a distribution platform for medical supplies, and developing its AI-assistant Alexa as an in-home health concierge.
      • Apple is actively turning its consumer products into patient health hubs.
      • Microsoft is focusing on cloud storage and analytics to tap into precision medicine.
    • Health organizations can further tap into the opportunity presented by tech’s entry into healthcare by collaborating with tech giants to realize cost savings and bolster their top lines. But understanding how each tech giant is approaching healthcare is crucial.

     In full, the report:

    • Pinpoints the key themes and industry-wide shifts that are driving the transformation of healthcare in the US.
    • Defines the main healthcare businesses and strategies of the Big Four tech companies.
    • Highlights the biggest potential impacts of each of the Big Four’s healthcare strategies for health systems and insurers.
    • Discusses the potential barriers that will challenge the adoption of the Big Four tech companies’ initiatives and how these hurdles can be overcome.

    Subscribe to a Premium pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to:

    This report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports
    Access to all future reports and daily newsletters
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    And more!
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    trader screen chart

    • JPMorgan's global head of quantitative and derivatives strategy, Marko Kolanovic, says the US stock market has gotten oversold, and he expects a sharp rebound.
    • The firm provides two charts that provide historical context for their short-term bullish call.

    As the stock market has been whipsawed and battered over the past few months, there's been one burning question on the minds of investors: when will it end?

    If the latest research from JPMorgan is any indication, relief is here, and it could stay a while.

    Stocks already got a big boost on Friday as the benchmark S&P 500 surged as much as 4%. But the firm's analysis suggests the strength could continue over a longer period.

    At the core of JPMorgan's argument are flows from retail investors. Commonly (and perhaps degradingly) referred to as "dumb money," retail flows are generally seen as chasing established themes. Put simply, they usually show up late to the party.

    As such, their behavior is view by many experts as a contrarian indicator. The thinking is that by the time retail investors get wind of a trend, it's already on its last legs.

    "More often than not, retail investors tend to buy at times of exuberance and sell at times of panic,"Marko Kolanovic, JPMorgan's global head of quantitative and derivatives strategy, wrote in a client note.

    In order to support its bullish stance JPMorgan offers a pair of charts. The first one — seen below — shows market performance after what the firm defines as "significant" fund inflows/outflows. As you can see, buying after large mutual-fund outflows has historically been a profitable approach.

    Screen Shot 2019 01 04 at 10.12.40 AM

    There's also the matter of pension fund behavior. A large portion of their flows stem from portfolio rebalances, so it's helpful for other investors to understand the implications of their activity.

    JPMorgan finds that pension buying is currently quite elevated. That's significant because a similar magnitude has occurred in 1998, 2002, and 2008 — or periods right around cyclical market bottoms. This dynamic can be seen in the chart below.

    "For unlevered investors, and those with less sensitivity to month-to-month volatility, pension fund buying is likely a positive market signal," Kolanovic said.

    Screen Shot 2019 01 04 at 10.12.50 AM

    With all of that established, JPMorgan is quick to note that traditional market signals have been disrupted recently amid considerable turbulence. And because of that, all bets are off, and the firm reserves the right to change its tune if conditions quickly deteriorate.

    "In summary, both mutual fund and pension flows suggest positive market performance in the future," Kolanovic said. "That said, we do recognize that the risk of a negative feedback loop (e.g., wealth effect of declining stock market) has increased meaningfully since December."

    And JPMorgan isn't alone. A proprietary indicator maintained by Bank of America Merrill Lynch just flashed an "extreme bear" reading — its first since June 2016, right after Brexit.

    How long will this sharp rally last? That's the big question overhanging the whole ordeal. But if JPMorgan and BAML are correct, traders willing to take on risk for a short-term market spike could be handsomely rewarded.

    SEE ALSO: The world's biggest stock bear explains why the battered market is still doomed to lose another 50%

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    addict hug sad

    • It's hard when someone you love has an addiction. 
    • It can be difficult to know where to draw the line with helping them.
    • Giving them money or taking on their responsibilities may seem like a good idea, but you may actually be enabling the addict's behaviour.
    • Here are four signs you're hindering someone's recovery instead of aiding it.

    Having supportive friends and family is incredibly important for anyone trying to recover from addiction. But there is sometimes the risk of a healthy relationship becoming codependent.

    According to Lawrence Weinstein, chief medical officer for the American Addiction Center, this is detrimental to someone with an addiction, because knowing someone is at their beck and call gives an addict excuses to act without consequence.

    "Often, the codependent partner of someone with addiction receives validation for tending to the addict's every need," Weinstein told INSIDER. "Whether the underlying problem is related to self-image, self-esteem or self-worth, the codependent partner is fulfilled when the addict is taken care of emotionally and/or physically, even while neglecting other important aspects of their own lives."

    If a relationship crosses the boundary into being codependent, the addict will have very little motivation to make changes in their life that will aid in their recovery. It may feel like you're helping them in the short term to turn their life around, but in reality enabling their behaviour isn't the best thing for them.

    Sometimes, it can be hard to tell if you're helping or hindering a loved one on their recovery journey. Weinstein pointed out four signs you might actually be enabling them, and need to change your tactics.

    Read more:This 14-question test will tell you if you're an enabler

    1. You're taking on their responsibilities

    It's not a good idea to take on all the responsibilities of the addict, Weinstein said, like paying their overdue phone bill, buying their groceries, filling up their car, and going to events or appointments on their behalf.

    "Asuming the responsibilities that are incurred by them through their own actions makes it easier for them to dismiss these obligations," Weinstein said.



    2. You keep making excuses for them

    It's not your responsibility to cover for the addict, Weinstein said, like dismissing their irritability as stress when really it's withdrawal symptoms. It's not up to you to phone their work day after day and say they are ill when really they were using drugs or alcohol extensively the previous day.



    3. You don't stick to your boundaries

    Healthy boundaries are incredibly important in any relationship, and a relationship with an addict is no different. You shouldn't let them slip just because someone needs help. For instance, if your loved one is caught using in your home, you should remove them from the premises, not just issue a warning, Weinstein said.

    "Not following through with boundaries indicate that reprimanding will not take place if rules and agreements are broken and the person with addiction feels free to dismiss any empty threats of punishment," he said.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Serena Williams and Roger Federer

    • Roger Federer defeated Serena Williams in a mixed doubles match on New Year's Day.
    • After the match, the two tennis greats gave an on-court interview, then took a selfie.
    • The selfie saw them holding two of Federer's black Wilson tennis rackets, one of which he gifted to Williams.
    • However, he said she gave it back to him as she "wasn't sure if she was actually allowed to keep it."
    • He made it clear it was a gift, and gave it back to her again — but she didn't return the gesture.

    Roger Federer gifted fellow tennis great Serena Williams one of his famous Wilson rackets after beating her in their New Year's Day showdown— but he says she gave it back because she "wasn't sure if she was allowed to keep it."

    Federer teamed up with Switzerland teammate Belinda Bencic to defeat Williams and fellow American Frances Tiafoe in a mixed doubles Hopman Cup decider in Perth, Australia on Tuesday.

    After the result — Federer and Bencic prevailed in straight sets with scores of 4-2 and 4-3 — was announced, the pair gave an on-court interview in which Williams hailed Federer as "the greatest of all time."

    Read more:Serena Williams praised Roger Federer as 'the greatest of all time' after losing to him in a historic doubles match

    After the interview, the pair went to grab their rackets before taking an on-court selfie (pictured above) — but since Williams' bags had already disappeared, Federer handed her one of his own black Wilson rackets, joking: "You can borrow one of mine."

    While he says he told Williams to keep the racket as a gift, she apparently tried to give it back.

    roger federer serena racket

    When asked about the incident in a post-match press conference after his straight-sets victory against Stefanos Tsitsipas on Thursday, Federer said: "She gave it back to me and said she wasn't sure if she was actually allowed to keep it, and I said 'It is for you,' so I gave it back again. So it's moved around a little bit, but it's definitely hers.

    "I don't know exactly where it is now or if she's left already or not, but it's hers, yes."

    Read more:Serena Williams identified Roger Federer's one 'super underestimated' skill after playing him for the first time

    When asked if Williams had gifted one back, he said: "No, but that's her choice. I'm OK either way, but this was not to get a racket from her, this was just a spontaneous 'Why don't you keep the racket?' because her coach had already taken all her bags off the court, which I couldn't believe... It's quite a service."

    Switzerland's Federer and Bencic will take on Germany's Angelique Kerber and Alexander Zverev in the Hopman Cup final on Saturday.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    kim kanye pda new condo

    • Kanye West reportedly bought his wife, Kim Kardashian, a $14 million Miami condo for Christmas.
    • The couple looked ecstatic on the balcony of the new pad on Friday.
    • The 4,700-square-foot, four-bedroom South Beach condo has five and a half bathrooms, a huge wraparound terrace, floor-to-ceiling windows, and access to a gym, pool, and spa.
    • The couple's appearance came just after it was reported that West and Kardashian are expecting their fourth child via a surrogate.

    Kanye West appears to have won Christmas — when it comes to extravagant gift-giving, that is.

    The rapper reportedly gifted his wife, Kim Kardashian, a $14 million, 4,700-square-foot, four-bedroom Miami condo over the holidays.

    When the couple visited the new pad on Friday, they both looked ecstatic — and they were seen performing some heavy PDA on their new beachfront balcony.

    kim kanye new condo

    Their South Beach home is located in an 18-storey building called Faena House, known as the "Billionaire Beach Bunker" since it's home to "hedge fund gazillionaires and ridiculously rich land developers," according to TMZ.

    faena house miami

    Built by Argentine developer Alan Faena, the contemporary unit reportedly has five and a half bathrooms, a huge wraparound terrace, floor-to-ceiling windows, and access to a gym, pool, and spa.

    According to Forbes, the condo in Collins Avenue tower was listed for $15.5 million by Douglas Elliman estate agents — but it seems West got a deal.

    TMZ reports that the couple plans to split their time between the new Miami home and their Hidden Hills, California residence, which they were forced to flee in November when wildfires spread across the state.

    Read more:All of the celebrities who evacuated or lost their homes as wildfires spread across California

    The happy-looking couple made the appearance at their new condo just days after it was reported that they are expecting their fourth child via a surrogate.

    They currently have three children together: North, 5; Saint, 3; and Chicago, 11 months.

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    This is a preview of the Global Payments Landscape report from Business Insider Intelligence. Current subscribers can read the report  here.

    • Noncash payments are on the rise worldwide.
    • As new players emerge to capitalize on consumer appetite for digital payment methods, three mature markets — the UK, Australia, and Sweden — have become standouts for what a more cashless society could look like.
    • The UK, Australia, and Sweden are transitioning to digital particularly well, and can serve as a roadmap for other mature markets seeking to overcome the legacy channel of cash.

    Noncash payments have been gaining popularity around the world for the last decade. And though cash isn’t anywhere near dead, its global growth is slowing as consumers turn to emerging cashless alternatives.

    Cash As A Share Of Total Transactions In Australia

    But there are a few key markets - Australia, Sweden, and the UK - where annual noncash payments have already surpassed traditional cash transactions altogether — and they’re stong early indicators of what a truly cashless society could look like.

    Why are digital payments on the rise?

    The growing adoption of noncash payments is a direct result of the rise of e-commerce, but that’s not the only factor. Consumers today are adaptable to disruptive technologies and are generally open to trying new types of digital payment methods.

    This consumer appetite is compounded by their access to infrastructure, as well as the emergence of government-backed initiatives, such as real-time transfers and the backing of electronic currencies, that make digital payments more enticing to both consumers and merchants.

    How are Australia, Sweden, and the UK driving the world towards cashless payments?

    Australia, Sweden, and the UK are emblematic of opportunities for payments players to lead the world away from cash. The Global Payments Landscape from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, provides a snapshot of the payments industry in each of these three markets.

    The report shows that several leading payments players have already emerged or are dominant within each of these regions — and they’re finding success in different ways. For other mature markets seeking to overcome the legacy channel of cash, the digital transformations of Australia, Sweden, and the UK can serve as a roadmap.

    Here are the strategies these regions are implementing in the race to become the world’s first cashless society:

    • Australia is launching government initiatives and instating new regulations. The Australian government has banned purchases over AU$10,000 ($7,500) from being made in cash, as well as launched the New Payments Platform (NPP) to allow real-time funds transfer as a means of replacing transactions typically made in cash, such as paying back a friend.
    • In Sweden, consumers are rapidly abandoning cash in favor of cards. In fact, only 2% of the total value of transactions in Sweden consist of cash a figure that’s expected to decline to less than half a percent by 2020.
    • Contactless payments are leading the shift away from cash in the UK. Nearly the entire population has a debit card, and debit card transactions surpassed cash payments for the first time at the end of 2017. This milestone was largely fueled by the surge in contactless cards, which grew 97% annually last year to hit 5.6 billion transactions.

    Want to Learn More?

    The Global Payments Landscape from Business Insider Intelligence compiles various payments snapshots, together illustrating how digital payment methods are supplementing or replacing cash in each market.

    Each snapshot provides an overview of the payments industry in a particular country, and details the evolution of its development. They also highlight notable payments players in each region and discuss the opportunities and challenges that players are facing in their respective markets.

     

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    Coffee cup dollar sign $ money expensive

    • San Francisco's Parc 55 hotel is charging every company holding an event on its property during the annual JPMorgan Healthcare Conference $170 for a gallon of coffee, according to a menu obtained by STAT. 
    • That's about $21.25 for a 16-ounce cup of coffee.

    As if San Francisco wasn't already ridiculously expensive, some attendees of the annual JPMorgan Healthcare Conference will be paying upwards of $21 for a single cup of coffee at one participating hotel in the city.

    The Parc 55 hotel, based in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood, charges $170 for a gallon of coffee (that breaks down to about $21.25 for a 16-ounce cup) to any company holding a JPM Week event on its property, according to a menu obtained by STAT.

    Can you imagine trying to expense a $170 gallon of coffee?

    The conference, which in the past has featured keynote speeches by Joe Biden and Bill Gates, runs from January 7 to 11.

    Some past attendees have said they have a hard enough time scoring an affordable hotel reservation — not to mention other essentials when visiting for the conference. 

    "I understand why hotels want to take advantage of it, (but) they're kind of killing off the golden goose," Biotech Showcase founder Sara Jane Demy told San Francisco Business Times back in December. Biotech Showcase is the second-largest conference held during JPM Week. 

    Despite the exuberant prices for even the most basic needs, like coffee (obviously), biotech companies don't plan on abandoning the San Francisco-based conference just yet.

    Why? Because that's where the conference has been historically held! And, according to the STAT report, a contract has been signed with the Westin hotel and the conference's namesake Wall Street investment bank for another 17 years!

    Anyone want to place bets on the cost of coffee for next year's conference?

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    dry cracked earth

    • Evidence is mounting that market liquidity is drying up, a report from Deutsche Bank released in the final days of 2018 says.
    • Slumping liquidity, or fewer investors buying and selling, raises concerns for 2019, a team of analysts from the bank wrote.
    • Such a decline, they said, echoes what happened prior to the financial crisis.
    • "We recall that the unwinding of quant funds in August 2007 and macro funds in October 2015 were harbingers of subsequent market turbulence," they said.

    Declining liquidity and a surge in the number of hedge fund redemptions have eerie similarities to events prior to the financial crisis and could be "harbingers" of further market turmoil to come in 2019.

    Writing on December 28, a Deutsche Bank team led by the analyst Masao Muraki said that liquidity had started to dry up in certain areas of the market and that it was a concern for the already battered global stocks. Lower liquidity generally means bigger swings in market prices because fewer trades generate a bigger impact on the market.

    As liquidity has declined, Deutsche Bank's analysts wrote, so has the number of hedge fund redemptions increased, something that not only could be a "harbinger" for further market volatility but that also has echoes from the months before the financial crisis.

    "News of hedge fund redemptions has emerged since October 2018," Muraki and his team wrote. "The sustained high level of volatility has worsened the profitability of consensus trades based on market momentum, and the fall-off in market liquidity has generally hurt their performance as well."

    If the markets continue their negative trajectory, and early signs in 2019 are that they are likely to do so, then falling liquidity could help make downward moves even larger.

    Read more: A star economist says these 30 risks will define markets in 2019

    "We recall that the unwinding of quant funds in August 2007 and macro funds in October 2015 were harbingers of subsequent market turbulence," they continued.

    Many view evaporating liquidity in parts of the market in late 2007 as one of the first concrete signs the financial crisis was beginning to crystallize.

    In August 2007, France's largest bank, BNP Paribas, froze withdrawals from three investment funds, citing "the complete evaporation of liquidity in certain market segments," which it said "made it impossible to value certain assets fairly regardless of their quality or credit rating."

    The event was cited by Alistair Darling, the UK's chancellor of the exchequer at the time, as the moment he knew that a major crisis was on its way.

    Deutsche Bank is not the first institution to warn about falling liquidity. Back in July, Rick Rieder, the chief investment officer of global fixed income at the asset-management giant BlackRock, said tightening policy from global central banks was straining bond market liquidity and starting to send shockwaves through markets.

    Muraki and his team's report ends on a somewhat reassuring note: Things are not yet at precrisis levels.

    "We believe the level of maturity and liquidity transformation in advanced economies is lower than before the global financial crisis," they concluded.

    SEE ALSO: If you thought 2018 was bad for markets, a cocktail of fears is set to make 2019 even worse

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    NOW WATCH: The equity chief at $6.3 trillion BlackRock weighs in on the trade war, a possible recession, and offers her best investing advice for a tricky 2019 landscape


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    Tim Cook looking at iMac Retina display

    • Apple has a big year in store for 2019. 
    • We're expecting new iPhones, iPads, Macs, and more. 
    • But there are a few wildcards to watch out for, including a new pair of noise-cancelling Apple headphones. 

    Apple had a big 2018 from a product perspective, releasing new iPhones, iPads, MacBook Airs, and Apple Watches.

    But that was last year. 

    Right now, in Apple's $5 billion headquarters, Apple Park, engineers, marketers, and executives are working on the hardware and software the tech giant will release this year. 

    Apple never comments on future products, but thanks to a robust ecosystem of journalists, analysts, and rumormongers, we can put together a pretty good preview of what to expect from Apple in 2019. Of course, these are rumors, and they could be wrong, or details might be off.

    But it gives us a pretty good idea of what to expect.

    Here's what we think Apple is cooking up: 

    SEE ALSO: The solution to Apple's problems is easy: Release a cheaper iPhone

    AirPower

    Apple said that it planned to release the AirPower wireless charger in 2018 when the iPhone X came out, but the calendar year came and went without an official launch or comment.

    But if the product hasn't been killed, there's a good chance we see a wireless charger from Apple this year that can charge an iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods at the same time. We'd expect Apple to launch a new version of AirPods at the same time that allows the wireless earbuds to charge on AirPower. 

     



    An iPhone X battery case.

    Apple makes its own cases for older iPhones that effectively increase the battery life of the device at the expense of thinness. But it's never released one for new "X-series" devices, including the iPhone X and iPhone XS. 

    But 9to5Mac found hints inside Apple code that the company is working on these products, and they could be released soon.

     



    New iPhones

    Apple will release new iPhones in 2019. This hasn't been confirmed by the company, but it's released a new iPhone every year since it came out. The launch is typically in September. 

    According to Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst for TF International Securities with a track record of correctly predicting upcoming products, Apple looks poised to release three new phones with the same screen sizes and bodies as the current models. 

    They're expected to have updated processors, potentially a triple-lens camera on the back, and a new kind of sensor that would allow the rear camera to sense how far it is away from walls and other objects. 

     



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Jonathan Gaurano

    • On Thursday, tech worker Jonathan Gaurano posted a YouTube video claiming that he lived in his startup's offices for an entire year because rent in the San Francisco Bay Area is too expensive. 
    • “I was there for a couple days and then it just turned into thirty. And then I realized, ‘Oh my god, I should just stay," Gaurano told Business Insider.
    • Gaurano says that despite some close calls, he was never caught sleeping in the unnamed startup's office. 
    • While viewers have expressed some skepticism about the video, Guarano says that it's "as true as I can ever make it be."

    The San Francisco Bay Area's ongoing housing crisis has led to some denizens paying ridiculous amounts of money for, ahem, unconventional living arrangements

    And then you have the story of Jonathan Guarano, a tech worker who says in a YouTube video posted this week that he lived in his San Francisco startup's offices for an entire year, after his landlord abruptly quadrupled his rent. 

    The video shows what he says was his unique living arrangement in the unnamed startup's offices, covering everything from where he hid his electric toothbrush from his coworkers, to the time he says he locked himself inside a room late at night.  

    You can watch the video here:

    He says that he was laid off by the company in June 2018 and now lives in Los Angeles, where he works as a freelance video maker. Guarano is an avid YouTube content creator in his own right, and even directed and starred in a video for popular DJ duo The Chainsmokers. He says that he wiped his LinkedIn and his online resumés to preserve the identity of his former employer, with whom he says parted on agreeble terms. 

    “I was there for a couple days and then it just turned into thirty,” Gaurano told Business Insider. “And then I realized, ‘Oh my god, I should just stay! It’s just working out so great.’”

    Guarano says that in the beginning of his time living in the office, he had anxiety “24/7."

    "The first seven days was really brutal," he says. "[Over time], the anxiety was like, ‘I’m really tired. Can people please leave the office?'”

    Gaurano also says despite some close calls — once with an early morning cleaning crew — he was never caught sleeping in the office. 

    Viewers have raised concerns about the authenticity of the video — at one point, for example, a clock's hands don't appear to move, even though he says that time has passed. Gaurano dismisses this skepticism, and says that the events chronicled in the video are "as true as I can ever make it be." 

    Join the conversation about this story »

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