Few assets are more symbolic of the speculative fervor that has gripped the market than Bitcoin. And right now, few assets are falling faster.
Bitcoin traded under $33,000 Monday morning after nearly hitting $42,000 on Friday, a drop of around 20%.
With cryptos, it can be hard to figure out why they rise or fall. Not this time. The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority called crypto investments high risk and speculative, and reminded firms to tell investors they should be â€œprepared to lose all their money.â€�
Still, the speculative nature of Bitcoin isnâ€™t news to some crypto investors, and at more than $33,000, Bitcoin is still up about 15% year to date and 310% over the past 12 months.
Not all speculative investments are getting hit on Monday. Chinese electric vehicle stocks are rallying after
launched a luxury sedan over the weekend, and search-giant
and Chinese auto maker
said they are developing a smart electric vehicle together. Expect EVs to big a big topic of conversation at the Consumer Electronics Show, which kicks off this week.
It will take more than just one regulatorâ€™s warning to pop this speculative bubble.
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Pelosi Lays Out Plan for Impeachment of President Trump
Articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump could be brought to the House floor Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. However, the House may then decide to delay sending the articles to the Senate until well after President-elect Joe Biden takes office.
- Speaker Pelosi said Democrats will bring a resolution on Monday calling on Vice President Mike Pence and cabinet members to remove the president using the 25th Amendment under unanimous consent.
- If that fails, it will be brought for a full vote Tuesday. Pence would then have until Wednesday to respond or â€œwe will proceed with bringing impeachment legislation to the Floor,â€� Pelosi said in a letter to Democratic lawmakers.
- Democrats are unlikely to have any trouble getting a majority of the House to support impeachment. Rep. David Cicilline (D., R.I.), one of the authors of the articles of impeachment that the leadership will move forward, said Sunday that they already have 210 co-sponsors, up from 150 on Friday.
- In an indication that the Democratic leadership is wary that an impeachment trial could gum up the Senateâ€™s legislative gears at the start of Bidenâ€™s administration, House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D., S.C.) said the House might delay referring the articles to the Senate until after Bidenâ€™s first 100 days in office.
- So far only one Republican, Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, has explicitly said that Trump â€œcommitted impeachable offenses.â€� Both Toomey and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R., Ak.) have called President Trump to resign and Sen. Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) has said he would consider voting to remove the president from office.
- Vice President Mike Pence has reportedly not ruled out using the 25th Amendment to remove the president from office, a move that would require his support along with a majority of the cabinet. He has also said he would attend Bidenâ€™s inauguration on Jan. 20.
Whatâ€™s Next: President-elect Biden has not said directly whether he supports impeachment, which may drag on well past his inauguration. The Senate is in recess until Jan. 19, and in a memo to his Republican colleagues, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said an impeachment trial would not be possible before Bidenâ€™s inauguration.
Amazon Stops Hosting Social Media Network Parler After Threats of Violence
cut off Parler, a social network that has become a favorite among conservatives, from its web hosting services because of the serviceâ€™s lack of content moderation, particularly regarding threats or incitement to violence. For now, the site is offline, at least until it finds a new hosting service.
- Amazon informed Parler that it was kicking Parler off its web hosting service. â€œRecently, weâ€™ve seen a steady increase in this violent content on your website, all of which violates our terms,â€� an email from AWSâ€™ Trust and Safety team obtained by BuzzFeed said. â€œItâ€™s clear that Parler does not have an effective process to comply with the AWS terms of service.â€�
The move came after both
removed Parlerâ€™s app from their respective app stores earlier in the weekend. â€œParler hasnâ€™t taken adequate measures to address the proliferation of these threats to peopleâ€™s safety,â€� Apple said in a statement.
- Without access to the App Store, â€œweâ€™re toastâ€� on iPhones, Amy Peikoff, Parlerâ€™s policy chief, told Fox News. She added that additional content moderation â€œwould require 24-hour surveillance, and we donâ€™t think that is consistent with the principles of America.â€�
Whatâ€™s Next: Itâ€™s unclear how Parler can resume operation if the major hosting services other than Amazon decline to do business with it. â€œThere is a possibility that Parler will be unavailable on the internet for up to a week as we rebuild from scratch,â€� the companyâ€™s CEO John Matze said in a statement.
Slow Vaccine Rollout Could Speed Up in Coming Days
The U.S. plan to distribute Covid-19 vaccines has been sluggish, with just 7 million shots given out of the more than 22 million shipped, in part because of a decentralized strategy focused more on getting doses from the federal government to states than on how to deliver shots to patients.
- Priority for initial doses was given to frontline health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities. That made sense in theory because those groups are the most at risk, but it has prevented getting as many people vaccinated overall as soon as possible.
- â€œWe need to acknowledge that itâ€™s not working. We need to hit the reset and adopt a new strategy,â€� former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said Sunday. He suggests a broader range of distribution sites, ranging from big box stores to stadiums to doctorsâ€™ offices.
- Thatâ€™s starting to happen. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo widened eligibility to individuals 75 or older as frustration over the pace of vaccine administration grew. Two mass vaccination sites will be open 24/7 in New York City, and a dozen new community vaccine sites in buildings like schools will open this week.
- Los Angeles plans to convert Dodger Stadium from a testing site to a mass Covid-19 vaccination site. The mayorâ€™s office said it wants to vaccinate up to 12,000 individuals at the stadium a day, according to KTLA.
- The supply of vaccines is not currently a bottleneck to administering it to patients, but it could be in coming weeks as shots are given more rapidly. To ease that constraint, the incoming Biden administration says it will immediately ship almost all vaccine doses held by the federal government to states.
Whatâ€™s Next: Thereâ€™s also the potential approval of
single-shot vaccine, which does not require complex storage, on the horizon. Clinical trial results from its final trials could be available in the coming weeks, with the company expected to file for emergency use authorization soon after.
England Headed for â€˜Worst Weeks of the Pandemicâ€™
U.K. Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said Monday that England was facing a major health emergency unless people strictly abide by the lockdown rules set by the government, with the countryâ€™s health service threatening to be overwhelmed by the number of Covid patients.
- More than 81,000 people have died from the coronavirus in the U.K., the worldâ€™s fifth-highest toll. Thatâ€™s twice as much as more populous Germany.
- The government on Monday opened seven mass vaccination centers, with up to 50 such facilities planned, as it tries to reach 15 million of the countryâ€™s most vulnerable by mid-February.
- Prime Minister Boris Johnson is considering a further tightening of the current lockdown, and stricter police enforcement of the rules. Possible further steps include the closure of nurseries, the mandatory use of masks outdoors on the model of France or Spain, and possible curfews.
- â€œWe are at the worst point of the pandemic in the U.K.,â€� Whitty said during a round of media appearances Monday. â€œThere is a high chance if you meet someone unnecessarily they will have Covid,â€� he also said.
Whatâ€™s Next: The race between the vaccination campaign and the new variant of the virus is intensifying. The current U.K. lockdown is formally due to end on Feb 15, but there is little chance restrictions will be totally lifted then.
China Hits Back at U.S. Decision to Ease Restrictions on Taiwan
China condemned the U.S. Monday for lifting curbs on interaction with Taiwanese officials and reiterated the governmentâ€™s policy that no one could prevent the countryâ€™s reunification.
- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in the last days of the outgoing Trump administration, declared â€œnull and voidâ€� on Saturday previous restrictions on U.S. diplomats in their dealings with Taiwanese officials.
- The decision is â€œa big thing for the elevation of Taiwan-U.S. relations,â€� Taiwan foreign minister Joseph Wu told reporters.
- Like most countries, the U.S. has no official ties with Taiwan.
- China â€œwill not permit any person or force to stop the process of Chinaâ€™s reunification,â€� foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said, warning that â€œany actions which harm Chinaâ€™s core interests will be met with a firm counterattack.â€�
Whatâ€™s Next: The question now is whether the Biden administration will cancel Pompeoâ€™s mostly symbolic decision, or wait until it has clearly formulated its own China policy.
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