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Best of the Web, North American financials edition

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Best of the Web, North American financials edition

Six rate hikes in 2017 may be realistic, Dow 20,000 is all in our heads, and healthcare researchers have begun copying Obamacare data for fear that it will all be erased under Trump.

Five realistic, surprising predictions for 2017

The Wall Street Journal presented five scenarios that, while realistic, would probably surprise the markets. One prediction: the Fed raising rates every other meeting, for a total of six hikes. If inflation keeps growing, the FOMC would likely feel more pressure to keep rates up as well.

Where does the mortgage settlement money go?

The New York Times surveyed the biggest mortgage-crisis settlements banks have paid to state and federal authorities, from Bank of America Corp.'s $71.23 billion across two dozen settlements to Deutsche Bank AG's recently announced $7.2 billion civil settlement. Often, only a fraction of the payments go toward consumer relief.

The golden era of hedge funds draws to a close with clients in revolt

Hedge fund managers riding high on growing assets and returns before the financial crisis struggled to earn their keep in the bull market following the financial crisis, Bloomberg wrote, and the industry's golden age may be over. Clients once willing to pay high fees for great returns have turned against hedge fund managers, and the managers themselves are beginning to reckon with a new environment. Steve Cohen listed his "trophy apartment" in Manhattan in 2013 for $115 million. In 2016, he cut the price by almost half.

Trump's pick for budget chief loves gold and bitcoin

Mick Mulvaney, whom President-elect Trump has nominated to lead the Office of Budget and Management, is a critic of modern monetary policy and a serious investor in gold and other metals, Business Insider wrote. The South Carolina congressman also has praised bitcoin because it lies outside the control of the U.S. government.

Dow 20,000: Its insignificance may rival its importance

The Dow hitting 20,000 is not much of a milestone in terms of performance or returns, CNBC wrote, but the psychological effect on investors may be real. Imagining Dow 25,000 is much easier once one has reached Dow 20,000. Meanwhile, one investment officer noted, the U.S. sovereign debt is approaching $20 trillion, which few people seemed interested in.

Researchers race to copy Obamacare data for fear it will vanish

Worried about President-elect Donald Trump's campaign rhetoric, which frequently targeted the Affordable Care Act, healthcare researchers have been copying data about the law and its implementation for fear that it will be not only repealed but erased from the government's databases. A top Obama administration official has encouraged the researchers to move quickly, Politico wrote.