Picture: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo
Picture: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

Bewildering bitcoin

Bitcoin is set for a crucial few weeks to show whether its record-breaking rally this year marks a rerun of the cryptocurrency bubble that burst in 2017 or the first leg of a long-term ascent.

The cryptocurrency has surged more than 300% since its low point in March, hitting a record intraday high this week of $19,783. Its volatility rekindles the debate over whether bitcoin is a valueless, speculative tool or the new gold that provides an alternative way for investors to diversify their portfolios.

Financial Times

CLAIMS CRISIS: Swiss Re says the crisis will cost the insurance industry $50bn-$80bn in claims. Picture: Bloomberg/Philipp Schmidi
CLAIMS CRISIS: Swiss Re says the crisis will cost the insurance industry $50bn-$80bn in claims. Picture: Bloomberg/Philipp Schmidi

Insurers’ big fail

Insurers did not anticipate the full economic cost of Covid-19 because they did not foresee how far governments would go to protect their populations, according to the head of reinsurer Swiss Re.

Christian Mumenthaler says governments did not react in the way many of his industry’s models expected — an implicit acknowledgment that they had not factored in the possibility of lockdowns.

Financial Times

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