A look into the insurance market for kidnapping ransoms, a party for Dow 20,000 seems unlikely and some employees and bosses yearn for the annual performance reviews of yesteryear.
A column in The Washington Post examined the kidnapping-for-ransom insurance market. Kidnapping happens often enough in certain countries that special risk insurers at Lloyds of London are able to predict costs and risk well enough to sell insurance for it that covers a ransom payment. Because companies have a duty of care to employees who are kidnapped, ransom payments are typically made, but paying too much or too quickly can cause kidnapping "booms."
When the Dow hit 10,000 in 1999, the NYSE floor celebrated with Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and traders received "Dow 10000" hats to commemorate the day. Now the index is nearly at 20,000, but there doesn't seem to be a party in place, The Wall Street Journal reported. One problem: Most floor traders have been replaced by computers.
More companies have ditched annual performance reviews that try to quantify an employee's performance in favor of a much more subjective style, but it turns out that most employees and managers don't like the new way either, Bloomberg reported. Without the numerical reviews, some companies are having trouble deciding how to pay out bonuses. Meanwhile, third-party employee review websites and software have proliferated.
The New Yorker profiled U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff, whose analysis of insider trading was cited in the Supreme Court opinion that upheld a key insider trading prosecution on Dec. 6. Rakoff has a history of resisting compromises with financial companies; in 2011, he refused to accept an SEC deal with Citigroup over collateralized debt obligations in which the bank did not admit or deny the allegations. His rulings have often been overturned by higher courts, but in the insider trading case, the highest court agreed with him.
A contributor to McSweeney's wrote a satirical essay from the point of view of a member of the fictional Illuminati secret society detailing a tough decision to leave the group and join the Trump administration. The piece riffs on dozens of well-worn conspiracy theories about global finance and politics.
Economists and investors are widely expecting higher interest rates over the next few years as a federal infrastructure bill and other stimulus measures roll out of Congress and the Trump administration. But what if, The New York Times asked, rates don't go up much or at all? Two scenarios could lead to that result: new tax and spending policies creating little growth, and a decision by the Federal Reserve not to raise the benchmark rate as expected.