News Stocks 

How trillion-dollar stock-market index funds are vulnerable to manipulation that ‘could harm American investors’

“A recent op-ed in the New York Times cautions that passive index funds may be vulnerable to bias and, possibly manipulation, as interest in those funds has ballooned over the past decade” writes Mark Decambre for marketwatch.com. Dangers may lurk in index funds, a popular area of the stock-market known for its recent and consistent record of outperformance against actively managed funds, according to experts. Nearly $6.7 trillion, or a third of those assets resided in passive funds at that time, the data provider said.Such passive ETFs track an index…

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News 

Many Americans are freaking out about getting a smaller tax refund this year — here’s why it’s happening

“Many Americans are especially frustrated this tax season, the first under President Donald Trump’s new tax law” writes Tanza Loudenback for businessinsider.com. According to IRS data, the average federal tax refund amount is down 8.7% — to $1,949 — for the second week of the 2019 filing season compared to the same window last year.Further, receiving a smaller refund, or owing money to the IRS, doesn’t necessarily mean you had a higher tax bill this year than before the new tax law was enacted, Business Insider’s Bob Bryan explained.In fact,…

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Crypto News 

Alleged Bitcoin Mining Scam Reported in Thailand

“Victims of an alleged cryptocurrency mining scam have filed claims against the suspected perpetrator with the Technology Crime Suppression Division in Thailand, the Bangkok Post reports on Feb. 18” writes Aaron Wood for cointelegraph.com. One affected individual told the Bangkok Post “But from August the owner began imposing conditions for withdrawing the money.The Bitcoin (BTC) mining contracts offered by the company reportedly ranged from three months to a lifetime.Local authorities reportedly suspect that a total of 140 individuals were affected by the scam.Per the report, 30 people have filed a…

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Crypto News 

Crypto Crime Trends Evolving as Users Wise Up: Exchange Hacks, Darknet and Money Laundering

“At the right time, at least half of the stolen funds are cashed out using various conversion services within 112 days” writes Gareth Jenkinson for cointelegraph.com. Hackers waste no time cashing out stolen cryptocurrency, usually within three months after the initial attack.The second organization is less thorough in their approach, biding their time before converting stolen funds to clean money.In certain countries, existing anti money-laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations apply to cryptocurrency exchanges, which has helped curb some instances of crypto money laundering.The information could become pivotal…

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News 

FINANCE: Thinking About Getting Your First Mortgage? Here’s How To Start Saving

“Blake stresses that while Help To Buy looks appealing, you should always seek proper mortgage advice first, as it depends on your personal circumstances” writes unknown author for huffingtonpost.com. Read on for some expert tips on saving for a deposit and finding a mortgage that’s right for you. [Read More: What does overpaying on your mortgage mean and should you be doing it?] 1.The government will lend you up to 20% of the sale price, then you borrow the rest from your mortgage lender.Before you do anything, use a mortgage…

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News 

DNC delays decision on banning corporate PAC money

“A governing committee of the Democratic Party decided Friday to not ban donations from corporate political action committees, instead choosing to delay a decision until 2020” reports washingtonexaminer.com. Advocates sought the ban on corporate PAC money — rather than on corporate donations as a whole — to communicate independence from business interests, even though the Democratic National Committee took just $144,000 in corporate PAC donations last year, or about .08 percent of the party’s $175 million 2018 windfall, according to Vox.Although the DNC took little money from corporate PACs last…

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News 

‘Stealth tax’ fear as Treasury admits money raised from new plastic charge could fund public services

“Money raised from a new plastics tax could be siphoned off into other spending areas, the Government has admitted, raising fears it will be used as a “stealth” tax” writes Chief Political Correspondent for telegraph.co.uk. The new tax will apply to any packaging which does not meet a minimum threshold of at least 30 per cent recycled content from April 2022. Source: telegraph.co.uk

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Etsy accidentally charged a number of seller accounts for hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars on Friday, leaving users without money for the long weekend

“Etsy sellers say their bank accounts were emptied in major billing snafu Etsy hasn’t said how many sellers are affected, but there are hundreds of complaints in their seller forums” reports boingboing.net. Some of the attempted withdrawals were blocked by the sellers’ banks and credit card companies, resulting in canceled cards and frozen accounts.But others went through, leaving those sellers with empty checking accounts, overdrafts, and over-the-limit fees, and a whole lot of questions. Source: boingboing.net

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