On May 8, Bittrex, the second largest cryptocurrency exchange, filed for bankruptcy amidst a legal battle with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The cryptocurrency industry is facing another wave of bankruptcies, with Bittrex becoming the latest platform to fall. The Chapter 11 filing only covers Bittrex’s US affiliate, based in Seattle, Washington. Bittrex Global, which serves customers outside the US, will continue to operate normally. The exchange believes it has over 100,000 creditors, with assets ranging from $500 million to $1 billion. The SEC filed a lawsuit against Bittrex last month, accusing the platform of operating a national securities exchange, broker, and clearing agency in violation of federal statutes. Bittrex’s CEO has vowed to fight the charges, and customers are expected to be paid in full. The crypto industry has seen a string of bankruptcies in less than a year, with FTX, Celsius Network, Voyager Digital, Three Arrows Capital, and BlockFi going bankrupt in 2022.
The Lone Star State is taking action against scammers who are targeting unsuspecting investors with fake Elon Musk coins and AI scams. In a bid to crack down on fraudulent activity, Texas regulators have filed an emergency cease and desist order against Horatiu Charlie Caragaceanu, The Shark of Wall Street, and Hedge4.ai, demanding the termination of an “Artificial intelligence investment scam” that promotes TruthGPT Coin using fake animated avatars and images of Tesla and Twitter CEO Elon Musk. The Texas State Securities Board is proactively investigating trendy offerings that may pose a threat to the public, and TruthGPT Coin and its creator came to their attention during routine market surveillance looking into various artificial intelligence offerings. The TruthGPT Coin and Elon Musk AI Token were launched in March as a new digital asset investment campaign, and the tokens are being marketed online through avatars portraying Elon Musk endorsing TruthGPT Coin and comparing it to ChatGPT, with the claim that purchasers can earn up to 1,000 times their investment. Texas regulators are raising the alarm over scammers capitalizing on the massive popularity of AI tools, and are taking every step possible to protect investors from fraudulent activities.
The Federal Reserve has raised interest rates for the 10th consecutive time amidst economic uncertainty, according to a report by MarketWatch. However, the Fed has also signaled a potential pause in tightening monetary policy, stating that further tightening would depend on how the economy responds to higher rates. The Fed’s decision-making process has been influenced by factors such as cumulative tightening of monetary policy, policy lags, and economic and financial developments. The recent dovish tone of the Fed’s language suggests a more finely tuned approach at future meetings. While concerns about the growth of the economy have been the main talking points among officials, there were no dissents. This suggests that even those who have been more concerned about inflation, like Fed Gov. Christopher Waller, can work with it for now. The Fed remains determined to tame high inflation despite its softer language, leaving open the possibility of further rate hikes if necessary.
The UltraFICO Score is a new credit scoring model that takes into account your banking activity when calculating your credit score. This innovative scoring model is designed to help people with limited credit history or those who want to boost their credit score. By including information from your deposit accounts, such as savings accounts, checking accounts, and money market accounts, UltraFICO can give you a higher credit score and increase your chances of getting approved for credit or qualifying for a better interest rate. However, UltraFICO is only available for your Experian credit report and is in the pilot phase, so it may not be an option for everyone. To use UltraFICO, you’ll need to apply for credit with a lender and agree to share additional information needed to generate an UltraFICO Score. Additionally, there are other tools and tips you can use to maintain a healthy credit history and boost your credit score.
Chegg shares drop 40% after company says ChatGPT is killing its business
Chegg beat first-quarter expectations on the top and bottom lines but issued a weak second-quarter revenue outlook. Chegg shares tumbled after the online education company said ChatGPT is hurting its growth. “In the first part of the year, we saw no noticeable impact from ChatGPT on our new account growth and we were meeting expectations on new sign-ups,” CEO Dan Rosensweig said during the earnings call Monday evening. “However, since March we saw a significant spike in student interest in ChatGPT. We now believe it’s having an impact on our new customer growth rate.”
PacWest Bancorp is currently weighing strategic options, including a possible sale, which has caused the bank’s shares to plummet more than 50% in after-hours trading. According to sources, Piper Sandler and Stephens have been brought in to evaluate longer-term plans for the business. Many West Coast regional banks have been hit hard since the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank in March due to concerns that their customer bases are similar. First Republic Bank was also recently seized by regulators and sold to JPMorgan Chase. PacWest’s market cap is roughly $750 million and the stock is down by 72% this year. The bank’s shares declined nearly 2% during the regular session on Wednesday, marking their fifth straight losing day.
Regional Bank Stocks Plummet as First Republic Failure Sparks Investor Concerns
PacWest falls more than 20% as regional bank stocks slide to new lows
Regional bank stocks saw their losses for the week deepen as investors digest the failure of First Republic. The California-based bank was not the only regional lender under pressure. Shares of Western Alliance dropped 15%. The SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF (KRE) sank 6.3%. The steep declines deepened losses in the sector from Monday. Over the weekend, regulators seized troubled regional bank First Republic and sold it to JPMorgan Chase. First Republic is the third failure of a large regional bank this year, following Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank in March.
The reasons for Tuesday’s declines were not immediately clear. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said Monday that the initial phase of the regional bank crisis was “over,” and there was cautious optimism among Wall Street analysts that the deposit flight issues had been contained. First Republic reported a decline in deposits of about 40% during the first quarter, raising questions about how the bank could survive on its own. Most other regional banks reported smaller deposit declines, however, and some, such as PacWest, reported that deposits began rebounding in late March.
The recent collapse of First Republic Bank has sparked concerns about the stability of the U.S. banking system and its impact on the broader economy. With nearly $230 billion in assets, the bank’s failure marks the second-largest bank collapse in the nation’s history, highlighting vulnerabilities in the banking industry. Moreover, U.S. banks are facing unrealized losses of up to $1.7 trillion due to economic uncertainty. The commercial real estate industry poses a significant risk to regional banks, with small and regional banks accounting for 80 percent of the $3.1 trillion in commercial mortgages. As remote work gains popularity, office buildings have lost value, leading to an increased likelihood of defaults. Market selloffs and bank runs could further threaten the stability of the U.S. banking system, as evidenced by the 2.4 percent dip in the exchange-traded fund for regional banks such as First Republic. Meanwhile, JPMorgan’s stock rose 2.3 percent on Monday.
Elon Musk, the serial entrepreneur and CEO of companies like Tesla and SpaceX, has issued a dire warning about the state of the U.S. economy. According to Musk, data from his various companies indicates that the country is already in a “mild recession,” with the potential for things to worsen in the near future. While some may argue that Musk’s lack of formal economic training disqualifies him from making such predictions, he maintains that his unique position as a business leader allows him to accurately gauge the pulse of the economy. In particular, he has been critical of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy, which he believes is weakening the economy and risking a potential recession. Despite the uncertainty surrounding the economy and its future, Musk believes that entrepreneurs like himself can serve as compasses for both consumers and policy makers, helping to guide the country through these challenging times.
First Republic Bank Reports $100B in Deposits Pulled During Crisis as Large Banks Step in to Save the Day
Depositors at First Republic Bank pulled more than $100 billion in deposits out of the bank during last month’s crisis, according to the bank’s first quarter results. Fears swirled that it could be the third bank to fail in the wake of the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank. However, a group of large banks stepped in to save the day by depositing $30 billion in uninsured deposits in First Republic. The bank’s profits fell 33% from a year earlier and revenues were down 13%, signaling the impact of the crisis. Nevertheless, with the help of other large banks, First Republic was able to prevent further damage and look to the future of the banking industry in the midst of uncertain times.
Hackers are targeting AT&T email accounts with the intention of stealing cryptocurrency, and it’s important for users to be aware of this threat. The attack involves accessing the victim’s email account and then using that access to hack into their cryptocurrency exchange’s account. According to an anonymous source, the hackers are able to do this because they have access to a part of AT&T’s internal network, which allows them to create mail keys for any user. AT&T email users are at risk for cryptocurrency theft, and it’s crucial to take steps to protect your cryptocurrency. This article covers the mechanics of the attack, the reasons AT&T email users are vulnerable, and offers advice on how to secure your email account and recover your cryptocurrency if it has been stolen.