One of the nation’s top venture capitalists has made a large bet on bitcoin values. According to The Wall Street Journal:
Founders Fund, the venture-capital firm co-founded by Peter Thiel, has amassed hundreds of millions of dollars of the volatile cryptocurrency, people familiar with the matter said. The bet has been spread across several of the firm’s most recent funds, the people said, including one that began investing in mid-2017 and made bitcoin one of its first investments.
Global car sales reached 90 million for the first time in history. According to The Wall Street Journal:
The results, based on preliminary data provided by WardsAuto.com, were fueled in part by a continued rebound in Western Europe and recovery in major emerging markets, including Brazil and Russia. Asian buyers are the main engine for sales growth with more than a quarter of the cars sold last year going to Chinese customers, up from less than 15% a decade ago.
Germany’s unemployment rate hit a record:
Germany’s unemployment rate fell to a record low as the number of people out of work slid for a sixth month, signaling that Europe’s largest economy is continuing to boom despite a slight softening in business confidence.
The jobless rate was 5.5 percent in December, and the previous month’s rate was revised down to the same level, the Federal Labor Agency in Nuremberg said on Wednesday. The number of unemployed plunged by 29,000 last month, more than twice as much as the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists.
Oil prices could soar well above current levels. According to CNBC:
This year could mark a comeback for commodities, with oil potentially hitting $80 per barrel, a portfolio manager said on Wednesday.
Restrained production among major oil producers and the “greater impetus” to maintain stability ahead of the widely-anticipated initial public offering of Saudi Aramco will support prices further this year, said Yoon Chou Chong, head of Asian equities at Natixis Asset Management.
The Mega Millions jackpot rose again. According to CNNMoney:
There was no grand prize winner in Tuesday’s Mega Millions drawing. It’s the 23rd straight drawing without a jackpot winner in the game, dating back to Oct. 13. So the $361 million jackpot will grow to $418 million for Friday.
A major new media company put senior executives on leave after broad charges of sexual harassment at the company:
Vice Media announced Tuesday that a pair of top executives have been sidelined amid a sexual harassment scandal that has unsettled the Brooklyn-based upstart.
In a memo to staff obtained by CNNMoney, Sarah Broderick — Vice’s chief financial officer and chief operating officer — said that company president Andrew Creighton and chief digital officer Mike Germano have each been put on leave, more than a week after the New York Times published a highly-anticipated article that included allegations against each of them.