There is no end in sight to the Boeing 737 Max grounding after two fatal crashes, prompting airlines to rethink their growth plans.Airlinesread more
Facebook Vice President David Marcus is the face of the company's Libra digital currency, but the original driving force was a 26-year-old female corporate-development...Technologyread more
After a year of flooding, Midwest farmers face a stifling heat wave that's spreading across the U.S.Agricultureread more
A quarter of the S&P 500 companies report earnings next week, and that could buffet the market as investors await the July Fed meeting.Market Insiderread more
Iran's Revolutionary Guard claims a British tanker it still holds, Stena Impero, failed to follow international maritime rules.World Newsread more
Moving lots of data to a public cloud over the internet can take months or years. CNBC got an inside look at how AWS transfers data to the cloud for its clients.Technologyread more
The president also said he "offered to personally vouch" for Rocky's bail. Sweden, however, does not have a bail system.Politicsread more
"It troubles me that the most important political office in the world is becoming the face of racism and exclusion," Kaeser said in a Twitter post.Politicsread more
CoinShares Chief Strategy Officer Meltem Demirors discusses Facebook's Libra project and its impact on the cryptocurrency market after testifying to the House Financial...Fast Moneyread more
Some 40% of Americans would struggle to come up with even $400 to pay for an emergency expense. Just how are so many Americans so short on cash? Blame debt.Personal Financeread more
Amazon hires Trump-allied lobbyist Jeff Miller as battle for Pentagon contract heats up.Politicsread more
Jim Chanos, who predicted the fall of Enron, has serious doubts about the legitimacy of bitcoin.
"This is simply a security speculation game masquerading as a technological breakthrough in monetary policy," Chanos in an interview with the Institute for New Economic Thinking published this week.
Chanos, who teaches a course on the history of financial fraud at Yale University, says the mania around cryptocurrency following bitcoin's rise near $20,000 last year fits into what he calls the "fraud cycle."
Bitcoin has been compared it to "digital gold," because some see it as a store of value, and it has a limited supply. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak told CNBC in an interview this week that he "totally buys into" that comparison and the phrase "pure digital gold."
Chanos challenged that store-of-value case, saying that in an "apocalypse" food would actually function better as a currency.
"In the worst-case scenario, that's exactly the case in which a digital currency will work the least," Chanos said. "The last thing I'd want to own is bitcoin if the grid goes down."
Others see bitcoin as a viable currency, with no lender of last resort or third party adjudicator. While it can be used to transact, it's more appealing to those looking to dodge government oversight, he said.
"Bitcoin is still the area for people who are trying to avoid taxation or other examinations of their transactions," said Chanos, who founded New York-based Kynikos Associates. "That's one thing where I think it probably still has utility, but the governments have figured that out."
Some fraudsters have been emboldened by the fundraising craze known as initial coin offerings, or ICOs. The SEC has cracked down on the process with subpoenas and charges against some celebrity-backed projects this year. ICOs raised $6.6 billion in 2017 and have hit $9.1 billion this year, according to the most recent research firm Autonomous Next.
"I suspect going forward we're going to see more and more evidence of questionable companies as this bull market keeps advancing and aging," Chanos said.
The short-seller has rallied against bitcoin before, calling it "speculative mania."
"It's Beanie Babies," he said at a Schechter event in Detroit, Michigan, referring to the collectible toy craze during the 1990s.