1. Over the first weekend of 2015 the second-largest bitcoin exchange, Slovenia-based Bitstamp, was victim of a hack to the tune of some $5 million U.S. dollars’ worth of the digital currency. As the tech press were quick to point out, it was a worrisome start to the year for a digital currency that Quartz had already declared “the worst investment of 2014.” And if you look at its performance between Jan 1, 2014 and Jan. 1, 2015, that’s not wrong: bitcoin ended the year at 39% of the value it started with.
2. Walker places sixth thanks to Fast & Furious 6, the biggest hit of his career. He had finished shooting much of Fast & Furious 7 before the tragic car accident that took his life. Word is Universal won’t reshoot the film and will work around the actor’s death.
4. The invulnerable singer broadened into a wider emotional palette – musical too, with guitars and brass lacing through synthetic beats and dub effects. It could recall art-rock godmother Kate Bush (see the single "Green Light").
5. In the ranking of finance programmes for students already working in the industry, London Business School regains the top place it occupied between 2011 and 2015, while Judge Business School at Cambridge university drops back into second place.
3. The booming Internet economy now is playing an increasingly important role in supporting wealth growth in China's IT industry.
4. The Great Recession had devastating effects across the U.S. and few places were as hard hit as Arizona. The state was booming on the strength of its tourism and real estate markets during the 2000s. Median home prices jumped 70% between 2003 and 2006—only Nevada had bigger gains—fueling more building and construction jobs. Monthly unemployment was at 3.5% through much of 2007. But then the bottom fell out. Home prices plummeted more than 50% from their peak and 6% Arizona properties received foreclosure filings in 2009. Unemployment stubbornly remained in double-figures for most of 2009 and 2010 and only Nevada lost a higher percentage of jobs over the last five years. Household incomes declined at the fastest rate in the country since 2008.
One difficulty in assessing the potential for ETFs in Asia, say experts at the largest asset management houses, is both the disproportionate size of the Japanese market within the region and the role played by the Bank of Japan, which distorts the market as it buys ￥6tn ($54bn) of ETFs a year.
The world got by in 2013 with fewer confidence-shaking moments than in prior years. But the vulnerabilities haven't disappeared. 'It's not a great story anywhere, though it's more hopeful than it has been,' said Jerry Webman, chief economist at OppenheimerFunds.