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8 celebrity homes that no one wants to buy

13 hours 20 min ago

  • A celebrity owner isn't necessarily enough to sell a home. 
  • Some celebrity-owned homes have sat on the market for years.
  • Michael Jordan, for example, has been trying to sell his Highland Park, Illinois mansion since 2012.


While an association with a celebrity seems like it would help a home sell more quickly, that doesn't seem to always be the case. 

According to Redfin, homes owned by celebrities tend to spend 36 more days on the market than other homes, and they typically sell for less than what the seller had originally asked for. 

It could be that these homes have price tags that only a celebrity-sized paycheck could cover — or, it could just be that the draw of a star power is not as strong as it would appear. 

Either way, we've rounded up eight celebrity-owned homes that have languished on the market — some of them for several years at several different price points.

SEE ALSO: No one wants to buy this $18.75 million townhouse owned by a real-life 'Wolf of Wall Street'-er

50 Cent's Connecticut mansion

50 Cent first listed his 50,000-square-foot home in Farmington, Connecticut, for $18.5 million in 2015. In the fall of that year, he lowered the price significantly, to $8.5 million, after he had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. 

He again lowered the price, this time to $5.995 million, in 2016, and the price has remained the same since. 

The home is totally over the top, with "21 bedrooms, 25 bathrooms, an indoor pool and hot tub, a substantial night club, an indoor court, multiple game rooms, a green screen room, a recording studio," among many other opulent features, according to the Douglas Elliman listing.

 



Matt Lauer's Sag Harbor estate

Matt Lauer is having a hard time offloading his home in the Hamptons. He originally listed for $17.995 million in July 2016. He cut $1 million from the listing price in September 2016, and now it's asking $14.9 million.

The 8,000-square-foot home sits on top of a 25-acre private lot. The home was built in a stunning traditional style with plenty of space for entertaining guests and a backyard pool to lay out by. 

 



Steve Cohen's mansion in the sky

Billionaire hedge funder Steve Cohen has been seeking a buyer for his Manhattan duplex penthouse since 2013.

It's had a number of different listing prices: $115 million, $98 million, $82 million, $79 million, $72 million, $67.5 million, and now, $57.5 million. 

The 9,000-square-foot space has five bedrooms and six baths. Cohen is an avid art collector, and the home has a dedicated gallery to put his pieces on display.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

10 things you need to know before European markets open

13 hours 30 min ago

Good morning! Here's what you need to know.

1. Governments around the globe launched investigations into Uber after the company disclosed it had covered up a breach that exposed data on millions of customers and drivers, the latest scandal to rock the ride-hailing firm. Authorities in Britain and the United States, two top Uber markets, as well as Australia and the Philippines said on Wednesday they would investigate the company's response to the data breach.

2. Asian shares edged ahead on Thursday as speculation the Federal Reserve might not tighten US policy as aggressively as first thought hit the dollar and boosted bonds globally. The dollar suffered its worst one-day fall in five months on Wednesday, while hitting a three-month trough against the Japanese yen.

3. Saudi Arabia has agreed to buy about $7 billion worth of precision guided munitions from US defense contractors, Reuters reported. Raytheon and Boeing are the companies selected in a deal that was part of a $110 billion weapons agreement that coincided with President Donald Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia in May.

4. The government will abolish stamp duty for all first-time homebuyers on homes under £300,000 in a move that will save home purchasers up to £5,000. The Stamp Duty Land Tax, which is levied on the purchase of new homes, currently has a much lower threshold of £125,000 for residential properties in the UK, and means that 80% of first-time buyers will no longer pay any no stamp duty.

5. Tesla has completed construction of the world's largest lithium ion battery in Australia. Tesla won a bid in July to build the 129 megawatt hour battery for South Australia, the country's most wind power-dependent state, with a vow from Chief Executive Elon Musk to install it within 100 days of signing a grid connection agreement or give it to the state for free.

6. It is strategically important for China's economy that the country enhances protection of intellectual property rights, Premier Li Keqiang said, as the cabinet promised to improve regulations. Inadequate protection of intellectual property had contributed to the decline in private investment, he added.

7. Deutsche Bank has joined the ranks of those warning about the virtual currency bitcoin as an investment. "I would simply not recommend this to the everyday investor," Ulrich Stephan, chief strategist at Germany's largest lender, said on Wednesday.

8. Venture capitalist Peter Thiel, Facebook's first institutional investor, has sold three-quarters of his remaining stake in the social network. Thiel, who is a member of Facebook's board, now owns 59,913 Class A shares in the company after selling 160,805 shares for about $29 million.

9. Jamie Dimon, chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase, said he expects to see a new US president in 2021 and advised Democrats to come up with a "pro-free enterprise" agenda for jobs and economic growth. Asked at a luncheon hosted by The Economic Club of Chicago how many years President Donald Trump will be in office, Dimon said, "If I had to bet, I'd bet three and half. But the Democrats have to come up with a reasonable candidate... or Trump will win again" and have second four-year term.

10. Tech stocks remain the largest net sector exposure for equity hedge funds, which are set to deliver their strongest returns since 2013, Goldman Sachs said. Information technology accounts for 27% of hedge fund portfolios.

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NOW WATCH: A self-made millionaire describes the financial mistakes to avoid if you want to get rich by 30

The fintech ecosystem explained

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 11:07pm

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

We’ve entered the most profound era of change for financial services companies since the 1970s brought us index mutual funds, discount brokers and ATMs.

No firm is immune from the coming disruption and every company must have a strategy to harness the powerful advantages of the new fintech revolution.

The battle already underway will create surprising winners and stunned losers among some of the most powerful names in the financial world: The most contentious conflicts (and partnerships) will be between startups that are completely reengineering decades-old practices, traditional power players who are furiously trying to adapt with their own innovations, and total disruption of established technology & processes:

  • Traditional Retail Banks vs. Online-Only Banks: Traditional retail banks provide a valuable service, but online-only banks can offer many of the same services with higher rates and lower fees

  • Traditional Lenders vs. Peer-to-Peer Marketplaces: P2P lending marketplaces are growing much faster than traditional lenders—only time will tell if the banks strategy of creating their own small loan networks will be successful

  • Traditional Asset Managers vs. Robo-Advisors: Robo-advisors like Betterment offer lower fees, lower minimums and solid returns to investors, but the much larger traditional asset managers are creating their own robo-products while providing the kind of handholding that high net worth clients are willing to pay handsomely for.

As you can see, this very fluid environment is creating winners and losers before your eyes…and it’s also creating the potential for new cost savings or growth opportunities for both you and your company.

After months of researching and reporting this important trend, Sarah Kocianski, senior research analyst for BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has put together an essential report on the fintech ecosystem that explains the new landscape, identifies the ripest areas for disruption, and highlights the some of the most exciting new companies. These new players have the potential to become the next Visa, Paypal or Charles Schwab because they have the potential to transform important areas of the financial services industry like:

  • Retail banking

  • Lending and Financing

  • Payments and Transfers
  • 
Wealth and Asset Management

  • Markets and Exchanges

  • Insurance

  • Blockchain Transactions


If you work in any of these sectors, it’s important for you to understand how the fintech revolution will change your business and possibly even your career. And if you’re employed in any part of the digital economy, you’ll want to know how you can exploit these new technologies to make your employer more efficient, flexible and profitable.

Among the big picture insights you'll get from The Fintech Ecosystem ReportThe Emerging Technologies and Firms Driving Change in Financial Services and How Legacy Players Can Navigate The Disruption:

  • Fintech investment continues to grow. After landing at $19 billion in total in 2015, global fintech funding had already reached $15 billion by mid-August 2016.
  • The areas of fintech attracting media and investor attention are changing. Insurtech, robo-advisors, and digital-only banks are only a few of the segments making waves. B2B fintechs are also playing an increasingly prominent role in the ecosystem. 
  • It's not all good news for fintechs. Major hurdles, including customer acquisition and profitability, remain. As a result, many are becoming more willing to enter partnerships and adjust their business models. 
  • Incumbents are enacting strategies to ensure they remain relevant. Many financial firms have woken up to the threat posed by fintechs and are implementing innovation strategies to stave off disruption. The majority of these strategies involve some interaction with fintech firms. 
  • The relationship between incumbents and fintechs continues to evolve. Fintechs are no longer viewed exclusively as a threat, nor can they be ignored. They are increasingly viewed as partners, but that narrative alone is too simple — in reality, a more nuanced connection is taking hold. 

This exclusive report also:

  • Assesses the state of the fintech industry. 
  • Gives details on the drivers of its growth. 
  • Explains which areas of fintech are gaining traction. 
  • Outlines the range of current and potential models for fintech and incumbent interaction. 

The Fintech Ecosystem ReportThe Emerging Technologies and Firms Driving Change in Financial Services and How Legacy Players Can Navigate The Disruption is how you get the full story on the fintech revolution.

To get your copy of this invaluable guide to the fintech revolution, choose one of these options:

  1. Subscribe to an ALL-ACCESS Membership with BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report AND over 100 other expertly researched deep-dive reports, subscriptions to all of our daily newsletters, and much more. >> START A MEMBERSHIP
  2. Purchase the report and download it immediately from our research store. >> BUY THE REPORT

The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you’ve given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of the fast-moving world of financial technology.

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NOW WATCH: Gary Shilling: Here's how I'd fix the Fed

Here are the top 5 banks offering the mobile banking features consumers say they want most

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 10:06pm

When it comes to offering cutting-edge mobile banking features that consumers most value, Wells Fargo tops the list, according to BI Intelligence’s Mobile Banking Competitive Edge study. Banks are increasingly putting mobile first to keep up with consumers' growing reliance on digital channels, as a strong suite of mobile offerings can now give them a major edge in attracting customers.

To help banks understand how to differentiate and win customers on mobile, we identified 33 key mobile banking features and ranked them based on how important consumers say those features are in choosing a new bank. Using this ranking, we evaluated the mobile offerings of the top 15 US banks and credit unions to select our 2017 Mobile Banking Pacesetters.

Wells Fargo and USAA snagged the top spots. 

  • Wells Fargo leads the pack. Despite the bank's recent high-profile scandals, its digital team has managed to stay ahead in mobile. Wells Fargo scored top marks in the transfers, wallets, and security categories of our scorecard, and ranked first overall. Recently, the bank has added a number of new capabilities, including the ability to temporarily disable new cards, a Facebook chatbot in partnership with Kasisto, and the ability to use a smartphone in place of a card at an ATM. Rank: 1st. Overall score: 82 out of 100 points.
  • USAA follows with a close second. A military-serving bank without a branch network, USAA has built a sterling reputation for giving its customers, which it calls “members,” the best that digital channels have to offer. USAA led in the account access and artificial intelligence (AI) categories of our scorecard, and took the second spot in our broader ranking. The bank's success is partly due to its provision of several features that many competitors have yet to offer, such as integration with Amazon's Alexa voice assistant, as well as a swath of biometric features including face and voice recognition. Rank: 2nd. Overall score: 79 out of 100 points. 

The rest of the top five are in close competition.

  • Bank of America’s commitment to digital is undeniable. Like USAA, Bank of America gained points for offering its 23 million mobile users rare features, such as cardless ATM access, the ability to re-order or disable a payment card in-app, and the ability to alert the bank to travel plans. Bank of America tied with Wells Fargo for first place in the security section, and tied for third overall. Rank: 3rd (tie). Overall score: 73 out of 100 points.
  • Citibank is reinventing itself as a digital-first bank. Citi is in the midst of a fundamental digital transformation — it launched 86 digital features in 2016, and is on track to deploy 800 more in 2017. The volume of features offered by the bank, including its range of biometric login options and the ability to order a replacement card via mobile banking, helped set it apart in this benchmark. Citi received top marks in the wallets section of the scorecard, thanks to its innovative mobile wallet Citi Pay, and tied for third overall. Rank: 3rd (tie). Overall score: 73 out of 100 points.
  • Capital One is pioneering next-generation digital banking experiences. Known for its commitment to a superior user experience, Capital One rounded out the top five in this scorecard with cutting-edge features that position it for the future of digital banking. Specifically, Capital One offers a conversational SMS chatbot and an integration with Amazon’s Echo device for voice-based banking. The bank tied with Wells Fargo and Citi for first in the wallets category of the scorecard, scored highest for social, and came in fifth overall. Rank: 5th. Overall score: 72 out of 100 points.

BI Intelligence's Mobile Banking Competitive Edge study ranks banks according to strength of their mobile offerings and offers analysis on what banks need to do to win and retain customers. The study is based on an August benchmark of what features the 15 top US banks offer, and a dedicated September 2017 study of 1,100 consumers on the importance of 32 cutting edge features in choosing a bank.

The full report will be available to BI Intelligence enterprise clients in November. To learn more about this report, email Senior Account Executive Chris Roth (croth@businessinsider.com). BI Intelligence's Mobile Banking Competitive Edge study includes: Bank of America, BB&T, Capital One, Chase, Citibank, Fifth Third, HSBC, Key Bank, Navy Federal Credit Union, PNC, SunTrust, TD, US Bank, USAA, and Wells Fargo.

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THE BLOCKCHAIN IN BANKING REPORT: The future of blockchain solutions and technologies

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 8:05pm

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

Nearly every global bank is experimenting with blockchain technology as they try to unleash the cost savings and operational efficiencies it promises to deliver. 

Banks are exploring the technology in a number of ways, including through partnerships with fintechs, membership in global consortia, and via the building of their own in-house solutions. 

In this report, BI Intelligence outlines why and in what ways banks are exploring blockchain technology, provides details on three major banks' blockchain efforts based on in-depth interviews, and highlights other notable blockchain-based experiments underway by global banks. It also discusses the likely trends that will emerge in the technology over the next several years, and the factors that will be critical to the success of banks implementing blockchain-based solutions.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

  • Most banks are exploring the use of blockchain technology in order to streamline processes and cut costs. However, they are also looking to leverage additional advantages, including increased competitiveness with fintechs, and the ability to use the technology to create new business models. 
  • Banks are starting to narrow their focus, and are increasingly honing in on tangible use cases for blockchain technology that solve real problems faced by their businesses. 
  • Regulators are taking an increased interest in blockchain technology, and they're working alongside major banks to develop regulatory frameworks. 
  • Blockchain-based solutions will start to emerge in different areas of financial services. The most successful solutions will solve specific problems for banks and attract a large enough network to create widespread benefits. 

 In full, the report:

  • Outlines banks' experiments with blockchain technology. 
  • Details blockchain projects at three major banks — UBS, Credit Suisse, and Banco Santander — based on in-depth interviews. 
  • Discusses the likely trends that will emerge in the technology over the next several years.
  • Highlights the factors that will be critical to the success of banks implementing blockchain-based solutions.

Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:

  1. Subscribe to an All-Access pass to BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and over 100 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you'll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >> Learn More Now
  2. Purchase & download the full report from our research store. >> Purchase & Download Now

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THE PAYMENTS INDUSTRY EXPLAINED: The Trends Creating New Winners And Losers In The Card-Processing Ecosystem

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 5:03pm

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

Digital disruption is rocking the payments industry. But merchants, consumers, and the companies that help move money between them are all feeling its effects differently.

For banks, card networks, and processors, the digital revolution is bringing new opportunities — and new challenges. With new ways to pay emerging, incumbent firms can take advantage of solid brand recognition and large customer bases to woo new customers and keep those they already have.

And for consumers, the digital revolution is providing more choice and making their lives easier. Digital wallets are simplifying purchases, allowing users to pay online with only a username and password and in-store with just a swipe of their thumb. 

In a new report, BI Intelligence explores the digital payments ecosystem today, its growth drivers, and where the industry is headed. It begins by tracing the path of an in-store card payment from processing to settlement across the key stakeholders. That process is central to understanding payments, and has changed slowly in the face of disruption. The report also forecasts growth and defines drivers for key digital payment types through 2021. Finally, it highlights five trends that are changing payments, looking at how disparate factors, such as surprise elections and fraud surges, are sparking change across the ecosystem.

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

  • Digital growth is accelerating the pace at which payments are becoming faster, cheaper, and more convenient. That benefits both nimble startups and legacy providers that invest in innovation.
  • Mobile payments are continuing to take off. On mobile devices, e-commerce, P2P payments, remittances, and in-store payments are each expected to rise as customer engagement shifts from more established channels.
  • Power is shifting to companies that control the customer experience. As the selling power of physical storefronts shifts to digital devices, the companies that control the apps and platforms that occupy users’ attentions are increasingly encroaching on payment providers’ territory. 
  • Alternative technologies are moving from the idea stage to reality. Widespread investments in blockchain technology last year are beginning to result in services hitting the market, promising to further squeeze margins for payments providers. 

In full, the report:

  • Traces the path of an in-store card payment from processing to settlement across the key stakeholders.  
  • Forecasts growth and defines drivers for key digital payment types through 2021.
  • Highlights five trends that are changing payments, looking at how disparate factors, such as surprise elections and fraud surges, are sparking change across the ecosystem.

To get the full report, subscribe to an ALL-ACCESS Membership with BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report AND more than 250 other expertly researched deep-dive reports, subscriptions to all of our daily newsletters, and much more. >> Learn More Now

You can also purchase and download the report from our research store.

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STOCKS GO NOWHERE: Here's what you need to know

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 4:01pm

US stocks closed mixed but little changed the day before the Thanksgiving holiday.

The S&P 500 closed down about 0.1%, while the Dow Jones industrial average fell about 0.3%. Meanwhile, the tech-heavy Nasdaq was up about 0.1%.

First up, the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 23,526.18, -64.65, (-0.27%)
  • S&P 500: 2,597.08, -1.95, (-0.08%)
  • Nasdaq: 6,867.36, +4.88, (+0.07%)
  • US 10-year yield: 2.322, -0.041
  • WTI crude oil: $58.01, +1.18, (+2.08%) 

1. The government proposed new rules that would let internet providers block apps and create fast lanes. The FCC released its proposed rollback of Obama-era "net neutrality" regulations requiring internet service providers to treat all data on their networks equally.

2. The Fed is having second thoughts about raising interest rates further. Fed Chair Janet Yellen raised new concerns about whether or not persistently low inflation is "transitory" in a speech Tuesday night.

3. A new analysis shows the Senate GOP tax bill fails a key test that would prevent it from passing. The University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School Budget Model shows that the bill would decrease revenues and increase the federal debt outside a 10-year window, violating the "Byrd rule" that would allow Republicans to pass the bill with 50 votes in the Senate and avoid a Democratic filibuster.

4. Uber reportedly paid hackers $100,000 to cover up a cyberattack that exposed the personal data of 57 million people. Among the info stolen was a trove of data including the names, emails, and phone numbers for 50 million riders globally, as well as the personal information of 7 million drivers. This included US driver's license numbers, but no Social Security numbers, according to Uber.

5. Goldman Sachs has some ideas on how investors can make a killing in the market this Black Friday. The investment bank says this holiday quarter is going to account for a bigger percentage of annual sales for retailers than in years past.

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NOW WATCH: Investors are running out of money — and that's bad news for stocks

The Trumps are cutting ties with the five-star Trump SoHo hotel after business plummeted post-election

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 3:24pm

  • The Trump Organization is cutting ties with Trump SoHo. 
  • The upscale hotel has struggled to fill rooms and bring in guests following the election.
  • A restaurant in the hotel closed earlier this year after "the Kardashians stopped coming" post-election. 

 

Trump SoHo — the Trump Organization-run, five-star Downtown Manhattan hotel — will no longer carry the Trump name or be affiliated with the family. 

On Wednesday, the Trump Organization reached a deal to allow the company to cut ties with the property, The New York Times reported.

According to The Times, the hotel has struggled to fill rooms and sell condominiums as President Donald Trump has risen in political prominence.

Koi, a restaurant located in the hotel, closed earlier this year after a reported drop in business following Trump's win in the 2016 election.  

"Before Trump won we were doing great. There were a lot of people we had, our regulars, who'd go to the hotel but are not affiliated with Trump," Jonathan Grullon, a busser and host at the restaurant, told New York Magazine's GrubStreet. "And they were saying if he wins, we are not coming here anymore."

Another restaurant worker told GrubStreet that, following the election, "the Kardashians stopped coming" — and business plummeted. While Suzanne Chou, Koi Group's general counsel, "declined to speculate" why business declined, she said that "obviously since the election it's gone down." 

A new restaurant called Spring & Varick recently opened in the space that formerly belonged to Koi.

Earlier this year, WNYC reported the five-star hotel was planning to lay off workers and reduce some of its services. 

The hotel will continue to be owned by CIM, an investment firm in California. Now, however, the Trump Organization will no longer manage day-to-day operations or brand the hotel under the Trump name. 

In  2010, the Major Economic Crimes Bureau of the Manhattan District Attorney's office opened an investigation into Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. for reportedly misleading buyers in the Trump SoHo project. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. dropped the case after receiving a donation from the Trump Organization's lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, as ProPublica reported in October.

SEE ALSO: Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. were once under investigation by the DA for a failed condo project

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NOW WATCH: We just got a super smart and simple explanation of what a bitcoin fork actually is

The Fed is having 2nd thoughts about raising interest rates further

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 2:43pm

  • Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen raised fresh concerns about low inflation in a speech on Tuesday evening.
  • Minutes from the Fed's November 1 meeting show that doubts exist among policymakers about whether low inflation is, in fact, transitory.
  • Wall Street is still counting on a December interest-rate hike, but future rate increases may be in doubt unless inflation and wages pick up.


Between Janet Yellen's speech on Tuesday night and the minutes of the Federal Reserve's November meeting, one message is becoming increasingly clear: Officials are becoming uncomfortable with their forecasts of a "transitory" period of inflation below the central bank's target.

It means interest rates may not climb the way many on Wall Street expect.

As Yellen prepares to cede the helm of the central bank to her colleague Jerome Powell early next year, these concerns cast doubt over the Fed's forecasts of several additional interest-rate increases in 2018 and 2019.

"I will say I am very uncertain about this," Yellen said in remarks on Tuesday evening. "My colleagues and I are not certain that it is transitory, and we are monitoring inflation very closely."

Traders think the Fed's meeting on December 12 and 13 is too soon for a change of course, and markets have long priced in an additional interest-rate hike then. The Fed has raised interest rates four times in halting steps since December 2015, to a range of 1% to 1.25%, after having left them at essentially zero for seven years in response to the Great Recession.

Still, further hikes are far from certain. Minutes from the central bank's latest policy meeting reaffirmed Yellen's tone and suggested that others on the committee share her views:

"Many participants observed, however, that continued low readings on inflation, which had occurred even as the labor market tightened, might reflect not only transitory factors, but also the influence of developments that could prove more persistent."

Financial markets are on tenterhooks waiting for Powell, who has much less experience than Yellen in monetary policy and economics and has said little about interest rates, to speak on the record.

Yellen and her colleagues have previously expressed surprise at an inflation rate that has continued to undershoot the Fed's official 2% target for much of the economic recovery — a trend that suggests the labor market is not fully healed despite a historically low 4.1% jobless rate.

Another sign of trouble: Wages are not rising for most Americans, leading to a loss of purchasing power despite low reported inflation readings.

Unless both wages and inflation begin to pick up soon, Fed officials under any leadership should reconsider their gusto to tighten financial conditions in a still fragile economy.

SEE ALSO: Yellen to resign from Fed board, reinforcing Trump's mandate to revamp one of the world's most powerful institutions

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NOW WATCH: We talked to the bond chief at the $6 trillion fund giant BlackRock about the most important issue for markets right now

A pair of Boeing 747 jumbo jets just sold on a Chinese website for $48 million

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 2:18pm

  • Two Boeing 747 jumbo jets sold on the Chinese auction website Taobao on Tuesday. 
  • The two aircraft sold for 320 million yuan, or about $48 million. 
  • The buyer of the two jets was the Chinese cargo carrier SF Airlines. 
  • A third Boeing 747 jet was also up for auction but did not sell. 


Two jumbo jets sold for $48 million on a Chinese auction website on Tuesday. 

The Intermediate People's Court of Shenzhen City auctioned the pair of 747-400 jets on Taobao, a website owned by e-commerce giant Alibaba. 

The planes were originally owned by Jade Cargo International, a Chinese cargo company, according to Xinhua News Agency. But the company filed for bankruptcy in 2013. The court had tried auctioning the jets offline six times since 2015, according to the news agency, but couldn't find any buyers. 

The court found success online, though. 

"Online auctions are a good way to handle the property of bankrupt firms," Long Guangwei, the court's vice president, told Xinhua. 

The winning bid went to the Chinese cargo carrier SF Airlines, who paid 320 million yuan, or about $48 million for the two planes. There was also a third Boeing 747 for sale, but only one buyer registered for the auction, so no deal was reached, the agency reported.  

SEE ALSO: The incredible history of the Airbus A380 superjumbo jet that went from airline status symbol to reject in just 10 years

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NOW WATCH: Watch two Boeing jets fly together like fighter planes

What you need to know on Wall Street today

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 1:38pm

Welcome to Finance Insider, Business Insider's summary of the top stories of the past 24 hours. Sign up here to get the best of Business Insider delivered direct to your inbox.

President Donald Trump told White House reporters on Tuesday that AT&T's proposed acquisition of Time Warner is "not good for the country."

His comments echo sentiments he voiced on the campaign trail in October 2016, and they come one day after the US Department of Justice sued to block AT&T's $84.5 billion takeover of Time Warner.

Elsewhere in the telecom world, the FCC just released its plan to repeal Obama's internet neutrality rules. The final draft of the closely watched plan would let internet providers block apps and create fast lanes — read the full plan.

Uber reportedly paid hackers $100,000 to cover up a cyberattack that exposed the personal data of 57 million people — here's how they hid the breach.

Meg Whitman, one of Silicon Valley's best-known execs, is stepping down from the CEO job at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. She told employees that news of her departure should come as "as no surprise."

Meanwhile on Wall Street, Tourbillon Capital, a $3.4 billion hedge fund firm led by Jason Karp, is suffering, according to a note to investors seen by Business Insider.

In other news:

Lastly, the here's how to pick the perfect wines for the holiday season

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NOW WATCH: We talked to the chief investment strategist at $920 billion fund giant Invesco about where you should invest right now

Obamacare sign ups are crushing their pace from last year — but there's still a huge problem

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 1:18pm

  • The number of people enrolling in Obamacare insurance plans through the first three weeks of the sign-up period is higher than the number of people who signed up through four weeks in 2016.
  • While the pace if enrollment is higher than last year, the enrollment period is just six weeks instead of 12.
  • That means that the total number of sign ups could still be substantially lower than 2016, a worrying sign for the future of the individual insurance market.


Enrollment in the Affordable Care Act's federally funded insurance marketplace is crushing last year's pace, according to a new report, but the long-term outlook remains more complicated.

An enrollment snapshot released Wednesday from the Department and Health and Human Services (HHS) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) showed that enrollments in healthcare plans through the federally funded Healthcare.gov exchange has paced well ahead of last year.

Through November 18, 2,277,079 people enrolled in a Healthcare.gov plan. Of those, 566,042 are new customers, and 1,711,037 are returning enrollees.

That's a much faster pace than last year. Through the first full month of enrollment in 2016, just 2,137,717 people had enrolled in total, and 519,492 were new enrollees.

Sign ups are on pace for their fastest enrollment ever. But there's a catch.

The open-enrollment period for Healthcare.gov plans in 2017 is half the length as previous years — just six weeks — due to a rule change from the Trump administration.

When compared to the halfway mark of open enrollment in 2016, this year lags well behind. For instance, through week six of the 12-week enrollment period last year, there were 4,015,709 total selections and 1,103,507 new enrollees.

A lower pace of enrollment is likely to lead to a sicker pool of people signing up, according to health policy experts, and could undermine some of the individual insurance market's stability.

SEE ALSO: Voters just sent a clear signal about Obamacare — and it could be a sign of more to come

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NOW WATCH: The Secret Service may have been 'impaired' the day JFK was assassinated

You can’t understand the Fintech Revolution without this report

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 1:09pm

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

We’ve entered the most profound era of change for financial services companies since the 1970s brought us index mutual funds, discount brokers and ATMs.

No firm is immune from the coming disruption and every company must have a strategy to harness the powerful advantages of the new fintech revolution.

The battle already underway will create surprising winners and stunned losers among some of the most powerful names in the financial world: The most contentious conflicts (and partnerships) will be between startups that are completely reengineering decades-old practices, traditional power players who are furiously trying to adapt with their own innovations, and total disruption of established technology & processes:

  • Traditional Retail Banks vs. Online-Only Banks: Traditional retail banks provide a valuable service, but online-only banks can offer many of the same services with higher rates and lower fees

  • Traditional Lenders vs. Peer-to-Peer Marketplaces: P2P lending marketplaces are growing much faster than traditional lenders—only time will tell if the banks strategy of creating their own small loan networks will be successful

  • Traditional Asset Managers vs. Robo-Advisors: Robo-advisors like Betterment offer lower fees, lower minimums and solid returns to investors, but the much larger traditional asset managers are creating their own robo-products while providing the kind of handholding that high net worth clients are willing to pay handsomely for.

As you can see, this very fluid environment is creating winners and losers before your eyes…and it’s also creating the potential for new cost savings or growth opportunities for both you and your company.

After months of researching and reporting this important trend, Sarah Kocianski, senior research analyst for BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has put together an essential report on the fintech ecosystem that explains the new landscape, identifies the ripest areas for disruption, and highlights the some of the most exciting new companies. These new players have the potential to become the next Visa, Paypal or Charles Schwab because they have the potential to transform important areas of the financial services industry like:

  • Retail banking

  • Lending and Financing

  • Payments and Transfers
  • 
Wealth and Asset Management

  • Markets and Exchanges

  • Insurance

  • Blockchain Transactions


If you work in any of these sectors, it’s important for you to understand how the fintech revolution will change your business and possibly even your career. And if you’re employed in any part of the digital economy, you’ll want to know how you can exploit these new technologies to make your employer more efficient, flexible and profitable.

Among the big picture insights you'll get from The Fintech Ecosystem Report: Measuring the effects of technology on the entire financial services industry:

  • Fintech investment continues to grow. After landing at $19 billion in total in 2015, global fintech funding had already reached $15 billion by mid-August 2016.
  • The areas of fintech attracting media and investor attention are changing. Insurtech, robo-advisors, and digital-only banks are only a few of the segments making waves. B2B fintechs are also playing an increasingly prominent role in the ecosystem. 
  • It's not all good news for fintechs. Major hurdles, including customer acquisition and profitability, remain. As a result, many are becoming more willing to enter partnerships and adjust their business models. 
  • Incumbents are enacting strategies to ensure they remain relevant. Many financial firms have woken up to the threat posed by fintechs and are implementing innovation strategies to stave off disruption. The majority of these strategies involve some interaction with fintech firms. 
  • The relationship between incumbents and fintechs continues to evolve. Fintechs are no longer viewed exclusively as a threat, nor can they be ignored. They are increasingly viewed as partners, but that narrative alone is too simple — in reality, a more nuanced connection is taking hold. 

This exclusive report also:

  • Assesses the state of the fintech industry. 
  • Gives details on the drivers of its growth. 
  • Explains which areas of fintech are gaining traction. 
  • Outlines the range of current and potential models for fintech and incumbent interaction. 

The Fintech Ecosystem Report: Measuring the effects of technology on the entire financial services industry is how you get the full story on the fintech revolution.

To get your copy of this invaluable guide to the fintech revolution, choose one of these options:

  1. Subscribe to an ALL-ACCESS Membership with BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report AND over 100 other expertly researched deep-dive reports, subscriptions to all of our daily newsletters, and much more. >> START A MEMBERSHIP
  2. Purchase the report and download it immediately from our research store. >> BUY THE REPORT

The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you’ve given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of the fast-moving world of financial technology.

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Billionaire Facebook board member Peter Thiel has sold most of his remaining stake in Facebook (FB)

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 12:45pm

  • Peter Thiel has sold most of his Facebook shares.
  • The shares were sold as part of a pre-determined trading plan designed to protect company insiders from insider trading accusations.


Billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel, Facebook's first institutional investor, has sold three-quarters of his remaining stake in the social network, according to a regulatory filing filed on Tuesday.

The sell was part of a pre-determined trading plan designed to protect company insiders from accusations of insider trading. Thiel, who has been a member of Facebook's board since 2005, now owns 59,913 Class A shares in the company after selling 160,805 shares for about $29 million.

Thiel sold roughly 20 million of his 26 million Facebook shares for $400 million following its stock market listing in 2012. He unloaded roughly $101 million worth of additional shares in May 2016. He initially invested $500,000 in Facebook in 2004.

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NOW WATCH: Dropping out of college is a terrible idea if you want to be a millionaire

This startup wants to bring the awkward family photo back to life

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 12:30pm

  • Online design marketplace Minted is launching a service where families can book professional photo sessions at the location of their choice.
  • Sessions start at $100 and last 30 minutes.
  • The service launched on November 22 and is available in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

 

Family photos can be a pain, especially if they're taken in a professional studio. Portrait photography sessions are often time-consuming, expensive, and involve embarrassing, matching outfits.

Minted CEO Mariam Naficy hopes to change that. Naficy founded Minted in 2007 as a digital marketplace where users vote on designs submitted by independent artists, the most popular of which are sold on clothing, stationery, framed prints, and other home decor items.

Now, the website is launching an on-demand portrait photography service where users can schedule 30-minute sessions with photographers who have been vetted and trained by the company. Sessions start at $100, and users can have the photos taken in their homes or at a location of their choice. Within three days, customers are sent 10 retouched photos from the shoot and given the option to purchase holiday cards that feature the photos.

For Naficy, the idea came from the recognition that consumers want convenience, a quality that is not common in the portrait photography industry. 

"A lot of people don't want to leave their homes, and they want both products and services to come to them. One of the hardest things to do, as a mom, is to get your kids to be willing to leave the house, get dressed up, and go somewhere for a long photo shoot," she told Business Insider.

She added: "I thought of all the other parents struggling to get their kids bundled up and out the door for a picture and thought it would be way better if people could just stay in their pajamas if they wanted to and stay at home."

Naficy said she realized the service wouldn't work unless users could trust the photographers they would be letting into their homes, so she helped design an extensive vetting and training process where photographers are evaluated for their personal and technical skills.

But in order to expand the service to the level she desired, she would have to give photographers the opportunity to grow.

"One of the things we have to do as an organization is take emerging creatives and help them down their path of learning. In order to be able to develop a workforce at scale, you have to give people a chance," she said.

The service, which launched on November 22, is only available in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles at the moment. For Naficy, the decision to debut the service in big cities was motivated by logistics.

"One of the reasons we went urban was just simply for density reasons ... It's much easier for us to have photographers traveling between locations if they're traveling within a denser area," she said.

The same applies to their clients, who are more likely to live near public spaces that would photograph well.

"It's a little bit easier for an urban family to perhaps just stay at home and go for a walk on their street to get a photo at the local park. I think there is a big convenience upgrade for the urban client," she said.

Naficy hopes she will soon be able to expand the service to other cities and suburbs. If the demand is sufficient, she might be able to make life a little easier for families, and make sure they'll never have their pictures taken in a department-store photo studio again. 

SEE ALSO: This online company makes buying custom holiday cards easier and more affordable than ever

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NOW WATCH: We just got a super smart and simple explanation of what a bitcoin fork actually is

25 Wall Street movies to watch over Thanksgiving

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 12:20pm

The market is closed. The world is at a standstill. It's Thanksgiving Day, and you've probably just stuffed your face with turkey and pumpkin pie.

That doesn't mean you can't get a little Wall Street in your day, though. Why not kick back on the couch and watch one of these Wall Street movies?

You'll definitely enjoy yourself, and you might even learn something.

"It's A Wonderful Life" (1946)

In a sentence: It's a heartwarming classic that will never get old.

Plot: A guardian angel shows businessman George Bailey what life would be like if he never existed.

Genre: Family



"Trading Places" (1983)

In a sentence: No movie about Wall Street is funnier than the 1983 comedy "Trading Places."

Plot: Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd are at their best as director John Landis tells the tale of how one man's fall from Wall Street is another man's blessing. Watching Murphy talk about futures and markets is hilarious and unparalleled in humor.

Genre: Comedy



"Trader" (1987)

In a sentence: Brilliant — if you can find it.

Plot: Made in 1987 during the raging bull market, this little-known documentary stars Paul Tudor Jones and chronicles his day-to-day life as an active investor. Jones uses techniques like historical chart reading, taken from Jesse Livermore, to predict the Black Monday crash. Even though it portrays Jones in a positive light, finding a legitimate and legal copy of this movie is nearly impossible to find, as it's rumored that Jones bought all 1,000 copies in existence.

Genre: Documentary



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

THE DIGITAL REMITTANCE REPORT: How tech-savvy challengers are pushing the industry toward a digital-first future

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 12:09pm

Cross-border, peer-to-peer money transfers — better known as remittances — are an integral part of societies around the world, especially in developing markets where receiving funds could mean the difference between life and death for families and community who remain behind. This has resulted in a massive global remittance market, which totaled $575 billion in 2016 alone, according to The World Bank. 

However, this pales in comparison to what the future holds for the sector, as globalization creates greater distance between families and digital tools promise to make transferring funds both easier and more efficient. 

This evolution is being accelerated by a number of factors, including several wars leading to the displacement of millions, weather-related disasters resulting in the need for financial relief, a massive workforce moving to stronger economies, and increasing reliance on consumer technology, like smartphones.

Digital first remittance firms are leveraging all of these factors to challenge legacy players that have dominated the industry. These firms are able to accomplish this by competing with the likes of Western Union and MoneyGram on fees and usability, and capitalizing on the way people's expectations have changed with the advent of digital and mobile channels. 

In this report, BI Intelligence analyzes the global remittance market as it currently stands by examining how digital challengers are changing the industry and what legacy players are doing to hold them off. The report also discusses what the future may hold as a result of the potential MoneyGram acquisition, which could completely disrupt the traditional remittance model. 

Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

  • The global remittance industry is massive and yet still growing —  remittances are expected to reach $615 billion by 2018 up from $575 billion in 2016, according to the World Bank.
  • Digital-first challengers have entered the remittance industry in force — Remitly processed $2 billion in transfers in 2016, which is essentially double its annualized volume in the previous year, WorldRemit now processes over 500 thousand transactions a month, and Transferwise now transfers over £800 million ($1 billion) a month. 
  • Meanwhile, legacy firms have not stood idly by — in 2016, Western Union got 8% of its consumer-to-consumer transfer revenue via its digital channel, up from 5% in 2014. 
  • A major catalyst for evolution in the industry is likely to come in 2017 with the potential acquisition of MoneyGram. In May, Ant Financial, owner of Chinese payment platform Alipay, agreed to buy MoneyGram for $1.2 billion in the firm's first deal with a publicly listed US company.

In full, the report:

  • Quantifies how large the remittance market currently is. 
  • Discusses what some of the barriers to growth have been for the remittance industry in recent years. 
  • Identifies what factors are going to lead to continued growth going forward.
  • Considers ways digital-first startups have begun to disrupt traditional remittance companies and bring down fees. 
  • Breaks down what legacy firms are doing to hold off these challengers, while also evolving with the changing technological trends occurring globally. 
  • Explores what firms in the industry will have to do going forward in order to avoid being outperformed in an industry that is becoming increasingly saturated. 

To get the full report, subscribe to an ALL-ACCESS Membership with BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report AND more than 250 other expertly researched deep-dive reports, subscriptions to all of our daily newsletters, and much more. >> Learn More Now

You can also purchase and download the report from our research store.

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People are lining up to pay $28,500 for a billionaire's 'Tiger Tour' of New Zealand golf, spas, and wildlife

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 12:00pm

  • Legendary hedge fund manager Julian Roberston put together one of the most luxurious golfing vacations in his beloved New Zealand.
  • On the Tiger Tour, vacationers can see both New Zealand's North and South Islands over the course of nine nights on Roberston's three properties.
  • The itinerary includes golfing, sightseeing, and spa treatments.

 

Legendary hedge fund manager and multi-billionaire Julian Roberston put together one of the most luxurious golfing vacations in his beloved New Zealand — and we got the inside look.

On the Tiger Tour, vacationers can see both New Zealand's North and South Islands over the course of nine nights on Roberston's three properties: The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, and Matakauri Lodge. 

Roberston, 85, a pioneer of the modern hedge fund industry, is best known for founding the investment firm Tiger Management Corp, one of the earliest funds, in 1980. After closing his fund in 2000, many of Robertson's proteges went on to start some of the world's largest hedge funds, such as Lone Pine and Viking Global.

His net worth is estimated at $4.1 billion, according to Forbes.

The Tiger Tour is currently going on from November 17-26, 2017, but there's another tour coming up March 1-10, 2018. The tour is limited to four couples at $28,500 per person, plus taxes, and not including international airfare and other expenses.

SEE ALSO: 27 cities around the world where expats are happy, rents are affordable, and jobs are plentiful

The first stop is at The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs.

Here's an aerial view of the property and golf course.

The lodging at the resort has spectacular views. Not a bad spot for lounging.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

A new analysis shows the Senate GOP tax bill fails a key test that would prevent it from passing

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 11:53am

  • Senate Republicans are attempting to pass their tax bill using budget reconciliation, which allows it to pass with a simple majority vote.
  • A bill passed under reconciliation must also abide by the Byrd rule, which says the bill can't add to the debt outside of a 10-year window.
  • According the the Penn-Wharton Budget Model, the current Senate GOP tax bill fails that key test.

The Senate GOP's legislation overhauling the federal tax code would not pass the chamber due to a critical budget rule, according to a new analysis.

The University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School model found that the current Senate iteration of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would decrease federal revenues and add to the national debt outside of a 10-year window. That would mean the TCJA would not qualify under budget reconciliation, the process Republicans are using to pass the bill.

Reconciliation allows the GOP to pass the TCJA on a party-line, simple majority vote without being subject to a Democratic filibuster. Republicans only control 52 seats in the Senate.

But the bill is subject to a slew of different rules under reconciliation. That includes the Byrd rule, which has two key provisions: The bill can only add a specified amount of debt in a 10-year window (in the TCJA's case, $1.5 trillion), and it can't add any debt outside of that window.

According to the Penn model, the TCJA qualifies on the first rule but fails on the second:

  • On the first, Senate Republicans were able to fit the bill under the $1.5 trillion threshold by ending, or sunsetting. certain tax cuts after the 10-year window. For instance, all of the individual tax cuts proposed in the bill would end after 2025.
  • But the TCJA's large proposed permanent cuts for things like corporate taxes would make it add to the deficit outside of the 10-year window. The TCJA would increase the deficit in six straight years outside of that window, the analysis said.

"In each of the years between 2027 and 2033, PWBM projects that the bill will continue to reduce revenues net of outlays, not including the additional costs of debt service," the report said. "In contrast, the Byrd Rule prohibits a decrease in net revenue in any year after the 10-year budget window, not just revenue neutrality across time after the first 10 years. As a result, by our calculations, the Senate’s TCJA (Amended) does not satisfy one of the key requirements of the Byrd Rule."

That could require Republicans to come up with substantial changes to the bill to get it through the Senate — or find a way to get all of their conference, plus eight Democrats, on board.

The Penn model is not the official congressional arbiter of whether the bill complies with the Byrd rule. That falls to the Joint Committee on Taxation, which has not yet released a detailed analysis relating to the Senate bill's compliance with the rule.

SEE ALSO: The breakneck speed of the Republican tax bill is angering Democrats and increasing its chances

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NOW WATCH: White House photographer Pete Souza tells the story behind one of Obama's most iconic photographs visiting injured veterans

How PayPal helped Xoom boost its user base (PYPL)

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 11:47am

This story was delivered to BI Intelligence "Payments Briefing" subscribers. To learn more and subscribe, please click here.

PayPal-owned digital remittance firm Xoom announced some new statistics in a company blog post in honor of the two-year anniversary of its acquisition by PayPal:

  • The firm’s active users are on the rise. Xoom now counts a 30% boost in active users since it was acquired by PayPal in 2015. That’s modest, but important relative to other figures.
  • More importantly, Xoom is getting better at engaging its users. Transactions have grown 50% per month since the acquisition, outpacing user growth and indicating that, as the firm matures and scales, it continues to grow organically as well. That’s important for Xoom’s long-term trajectory because it indicates that the firm’s strategy supports sustained growth rather than only growth-by-scale.

Xoom’s growth illustrates the importance of doubling down on convenience. In the remittance space, low pricing is often seen as the holy grail to success. But Xoom’s offerings point to there being other factors as well — Xoom GM Julian King told BI Intelligence that, in order to succeed, remittance firms need to provide the maximum value in the customer experience. Increasing convenience and improving speed in order to make life better for customers could be two ways of doing this. Xoom does this in a couple of ways: 

  • Mobile-first matters: In that same call, King told BI Intelligence that 75% of the firm’s business comes from mobile. Embracing the mobile device, through tight integrations with the PayPal app and other features, makes sending money more convenient for consumers, which, combined with pricing, could make Xoom compelling.
  • Brand recognition is critical: PayPal’s tight integration with Xoom, putting the service directly into its app, has made it more visible to PayPal customers, which is spurring adoption. King told BI Intelligence that when the firm launches in new markets, it's most successful in places where PayPal is a visible brand with an established customer base. That’s likely because that makes the firm a simple and convenient choice, and because Xoom’s ability to leverage PayPal’s existing relationships on the ground gives users an improved experience that they’re willing to engage with and return to. Concentrating on access and trust could be a key tool for these firms to grow as the remittance space continues to rapidly digitize as it scales. 

Ayoub Aouad, research analyst for BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, had put together a detailed report on digital remittance that:

  • Quantifies how large the remittance market currently is. 
  • Discusses what some of the barriers to growth have been for the remittance industry in recent years. 
  • Identifies what factors are going to lead to continued growth going forward.
  • Considers ways digital-first startups have begun to disrupt traditional remittance companies and bring down fees. 
  • Breaks down what legacy firms are doing to hold off these challengers, while also evolving with the changing technological trends occurring globally. 
  • Explores what firms in the industry will have to do going forward in order to avoid being outperformed in an industry that is becoming increasingly saturated. 

To get the full report, subscribe to BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report AND more than 250 other expertly researched deep-dive reports, subscriptions to all of our daily newsletters, and much more. >> Learn More Now

Join the conversation about this story »



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