The exchange rate of Bitcoin, the digital currency whose value has sharply risen this year, took a hit following a government ban. Chinese citizens are not forbidden from using the currency.
Today, China's central bank officially barred Chinese banks from offering services connected to the virtual, digital currency Bitcoin. The government also issued a new set of regulations for Bitcoin exchanges in China.
Bitcoin is a currency that transcends political boundaries, but China is quickly becoming Bitcoin's biggest market when you consider that the world's biggest Bitcoin exchange in Shanghai. China, of course, is home to a lot of speculators, and at the moment, the returns on Bitcoin are better than investing in China's booming property market. But it's not without its dangers – and that's where the People's Bank of China -- or the PBOC -- comes in.
"I think the comments we've seen from the PBOC are positive insofar that it is a measured approach and it's not shutting down something that's completely not understood, that they recognize that it does have potential, that they just want to limit it at the beginning at least," says Zennon Kapron, head of Kapron Asia and an expert on all things Bitcoin.
The way to regulate Bitcoin would be to target the Bitcoin exchanges, where you exchange Bitcoin for either a physical good or another currency. And the People's Bank of China did announce that it would require licenses from Bitcoin exchanges inside of China, they'll be required to file trading records and to take measures to prevent money-laundering risks.
In October, a Bitcoin exchange registered in Hong Kong shut down over night, taking more than $3 million worth of people's money along with them. Police finally caught the suspects, but it showed how dangerous investing in this digital currency can potentially be in China – part of the reason China's central bank is cracking down on Bitcoin.
U.S. real gross domestic product rose from a 2.5 percent gain in the second quarter. And the number of people filing first-time claims for unemployment insurance fell to 298,000 last week.
The economy doesn’t care if you volunteer in your community. In fact, the Gross Domestic Product doesn’t count volunteer work at all, and that includes unpaid care-giving for a sick loved one. But with such high costs for elderly home care, there’s often no alternative, as Marketplace’s Chris Farrell says.
“The economic value of this unpaid work? It’s enormous,” says Farrell, noting how the MetLife Foundation tried to come up with a figure for adults taking care of their aging parents. Including lost wages, lost Social Security benefits and lost potential savings, they added it all up to $3 trillion.
Click the audio player above to hear more of Chris Farrell’s thoughts on what unpaid care-givers face in today’s economy.
Today, fast-food workers in cities across the U.S. are walking off the job. They're calling for a raise in their wages to $15 dollars an hour. Meanwhile, President Obama invoked a similar theme in a speech he gave yesterday that made the case for increasing the minimum wage.
In his speech, President Obama discussed minimum wage in the broader context of what is happening to the middle class in America today. He talked about how a lot of good paying jobs, especially in manufacturing, are being replaced by minimum wage service sector jobs. And he pointed out that the federal minimum wage is so low today compared to the cost of living that it's hard for many American families to make ends meet. At one point, Obama even gave a shout-out to the striking fast food workers.
The president took great pains to frame his argument in a bipartisan way, referencing Abraham Lincoln and even paraphrasing the father of conservative thought, Adam Smith.
Meanwhile, Senate Democrats are about to begin a push to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour over the next few years. In a recent CBS News poll, two-thirds of Americans -- including more than half of Republicans -- said the federal minimum wage should be higher.
The restaurant industry says an increase would push them to downsize their work forces.
Arizona's worker safety commission has imposed multiple fines on the state's forestry unit, with the largest coming for "willful serious" violations that left firefighters in dangerous positions. The Yarnell Hill fire killed 19 elite firefighters in June.
Today is the 80th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition. One of the legacies is the lingering existence of dry counties, especially across the South. The number is declining, in part due to the economics of not selling alcohol.
Lubbock County, Texas, has a lot of new options for dinner and drinks. “One of them is Johnny Carino’s. The Funky Door Bistro and Wine Restaurant,” Eddie McBride, president of the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce, can reel off a list.
With the exception of one retail strip Lubbock was dry for years. But that changed after a 2009 ballot initiative. Until the new law, McBride says restaurants were reluctant to move in.
“You see about a 6 percent increase in retail sales in the area when they switch from dry to wet,” says economist Ray Perryman, head of the Perryman Group, an economic and financial analysis firm in Waco, Texas.
Towns that don’t offer alcohol can lose out on other sales as well, Perryman says. “If you go to an other area to go to liquor store and while you’re there you may stop and buy groceries, you may do some shopping at local stores, just because you’re out and you’re making a trip.”
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says states spend billions on excessive drinking. But Perryman says allconsumers have access to alcohol, so even those areas that ban drinking end up with alcohol-related bills for healthcare, crime and justice -- without getting any of the of benefits of selling the drinks.
As the Affordable Care Act unfolds, we’re following the city of Camden, N.J., to see how the new law impacts one community. This is the latest update from Camden.
Cooper University Hospital is expecting a huge wave of patients starting next month, as millions of consumers get health insurance, some for the first time. The question for hospital executives in Camden, and around the country, is how to manage this new population. For one, there is a chance this new patient population will exacerbate existing problems at Cooper.
Today, "the patient no-show rate is in high 20s, 25, 30 percent," says Jonathan Vogan, the associate director for financial and performance measurement at Cooper’s outpatient clinic, the Urban Health Institute.
The Urban Health Institute serves more than 8,000 patients, virtually all of them low-income. Vogan says the poorer the patients, the more likely they'll miss their appointments. And that's an expensive problem. But Vogan says the solution is simple.
"If not all of your patients show up then the easiest thing to do is, well, just book more of them," he says.
In the next year, 9 million new people are expected to sign up for Medicaid as part of the new health law. Still, convincing doctors at Cooper to act like airline executives -- and just book more customers -- hasn't been easy.
'There was a little pushback based on the concern of 'what if all these patients show up?'” says Dr. Phillip Dellinger, Medical Director at Cooper. Dellinger says physicians had to be sold on what Cooper administrators call "smart booking."
"By far the best way to get physicians to change their behavior -- you need to show them data on what they are doing," he says.
When about a quarter of patients miss appointments? That is some persuasive data. For now, "smart booking" seems to be working at Cooper. UHI executive director Kathy Stillo expects to cut losses from no shows by 10 percent this year.
"Our goal is to lose less and ultimately to at least break even," says Stillo. "But what we need to do now is apply business thinking to solve the problems with how you deliver care to patients."
Of course, overbooking has its downsides. (Just ask any frequent flier.)
"The biggest threat is poor service that customers, or patients, are constantly having long waits imposed on them," says Northwestern Martin Lariviere.
For now, the clinic is willing to risk that. Long term, Stillo says the goal is to identify patients who don't show up and figure out how to get them to the doctor.
Yale University is out with a study this week that finds many of the elements on the periodic table that help power everything from smart phones to flat screen televisions are irreplaceable, which could pose problems for the tech industry.
Devices like tablets -- even cars -- are powered by a complex web of metals that are totally unique in their functions.
Barbara Reck, a research scientist at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and co-author of the study, says that means elements can’t be substituted.
“Let’s take flat screen displays for TVs or on the smartphones," Reck says. "For each of the different colors you need a specific element. There’s no other (way) to get a beautiful, really nice red except that you have europium, which is one of the rare earth metals.”
If there’s a shortage in one or several of these elements, it could pose problems for manufacturers, she says.
“If there’s an issue, the answers may not be as straightforward as one may think by just taking another metal," Reck says.
The more tech products, the more demand for these metals.
And for now, says Gareth Hatch, principal of Technology Metals Research, "there’s no substitute for new production or accessing new material that comes out of the ground.”
Hatch says more needs to be done to recycle and conserve the metals already being used. Which means one day, your old broken cell phone might actually be worth something.
At least 20 people were killed in the violence, in which a gun battle followed a large explosion in Sanaa. No group claimed responsibility for the attack, but several analysts have noted that it resembles the operations of al-Qaida.
The Senate Conservatives Fund, founded by then-Sen. Jim DeMint, is a big-money player targeting incumbent Republican senators including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.
It's Day 4 of the White House's new messaging push for the Affordable Care Act. Today the goal is to tell the stories of people with pre-existing conditions who are now entitled to coverage under the new health care law.One such story comes from within the White House.
Federal regulators are cracking down on banks that are offering services called deposit advances. Many argue that the service is the same as payday loans and could lead consumers into a cycle of debt.
China's leaders hope to be able to fight and win two regional conflicts by 2020, according to the Pentagon in a report that highlights the East China Sea, site of recent tensions with the U.S. and Japan. The showdown over air space is the latest example of what the Pentagon sees as a resurgent Chinese military.
Probably the best feature of the retooled HealthCare.gov website is that you can actually use it. People are now able to get a customized list of plans and prices, and click through to see an insurer's provider directory. Still, better though it is, it's clearly not 100 percent.
The notoriously short night's sleep that many tired adolescents get isn't all about surging hormones and too much homework, according to a sociologist who looked at shifting sleep patterns from ages 12 to 15. Teens who report good relationships with family and schoolmates tend to sleep better.
Having trouble wrapping your head around southern Europe's staggering unemployment problem? This week, Ikea advertised for 400 jobs in a new megastore on Spain's Mediterranean coast. It got more than 20,000 online applicants in 48 hours, before the retailer's computer servers crashed.
And the study by Human Rights Watch finds that defendants who take their fate to a judge or jury face prison sentences on average 11 years longer than those who plead guilty.
Mike Tomlin says he takes full responsibility for stepping onto the field during a kickoff return by the Ravens' Jacoby Jones.