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The bitcoin phenomenon rolls on, with prices swinging anxiously ahead of futures trading in the so-called cryptocurrency starting this weekend.

The Wall Street Journal reported, “…a key point is that futures will let risk-loving traders place leveraged bets on bitcoin. That means they can magnify their profits if their bets pay off, but also face potentially steep losses if they are wrong.” Give those people a tax cut!

Barkley Rosser, writing in EconoSpeak, offered this gem of caveats and maybes: “Indeed, the underlying idea of blockchains (which record cryptocurrency transactions) is clearly a brilliant and useful forward movement in managing financial and economic transactions, assuming that is managed in a reasonable and efficient manner, without me remotely dealing with issues of transparency or legality.” (Italics added).

You already read my take: Bitcoin is probably in a bubble, plenty of lesser fools will suffer, regulation is way behind technology and this is a playpen for hucksters and criminals. It’s today’s equivalent of Robin Williams’ line about cocaine being “God’s way of telling you that you make too much money.”

What do you think?

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This Week’s Links:

Another strong jobs report, but wage growth still underwhelms | Jared Bernstein

How the tax plan could kill a million affordable homes | CityLab

Fast fashion’s environmentally destructive habits | Naked Capitalism

End of net neutrality means more media consolidation | ProMarket

How the Great Recession continues to shape America | The Atlantic

Reducing homelessness with long-term rent subsidies | Tim Taylor

New data on changing occupational structure and job polarization | Equitable Growth

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Today’s Econ Haiku:

The Brexit divorce

After months of tense debate

Who gets the children?

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