"Even as investors celebrate a banner year for stocks, the [Bitcoin] party next door is so wild there's no longer any way of ignoring it" ... Barron's cover story by Avi Salzman:

  • "The crypto-rocket shot past $11,000 [this] week just hours after eclipsing $10,000, which itself was mere days after pushing past $9,000. It then slid sharply before surging yet again."
  • "Now Wall Street is about to join in the fun. On Friday, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission green-lighted plans by the CME and the Chicago Board Options Exchange to introduce Bitcoin futures ... Nasdaq is planning to offer its own futures next year, while Cantor Fitzgerald will introduce a Bitcoin options product."
  • Why it matters: "[G]etting listed on some of the largest exchanges in the country is a tectonic shift for Bitcoin, which has been associated with drug dealing and called a 'fraud' by the chief executive of the nation's largest bank."
  • But, but, but ... "Because the futures are cash-settled — traders will receive dollars on the settlement date instead of Bitcoin — the Street technically won't be getting its hands dirty by buying the stuff directly."
  • "[T]here is a flip side ... extreme volatility, operational risk, security challenges."

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Updated 49 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 19,497,292 — Total deaths: 723,854 — Total recoveries — 11,823,105Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 4,994,276 — Total deaths: 162,381 — Total recoveries: 1,643,118 — Total tests: 61,080,587Map.
  3. Politics: Trump signs 4 executive actions on coronavirus aid.
  4. Public health: Fauci says chances are "not great" that COVID-19 vaccine will be 98% effective — 1 in 3 Americans would decline COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Science: Indoor air is the next coronavirus frontline.
  6. Schools: How back-to-school is playing out in the South as coronavirus rages on — Princeton, Johns Hopkins, Howard to hold fall classes online.

Trump signs 4 executive actions on coronavirus aid

President Trump speaking during a press conference on Aug. 8. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump on Saturday signed four executive actions to provide relief from economic damage sustained during the coronavirus pandemic after talks between the White House and Democratic leadership collapsed Friday afternoon.

Why it matters: Because the Constitution gives Congress the power to appropriate federal spending, Trump has limited authority to act unilaterally — and risks a legal challenge if congressional Democrats believe he has overstepped.

8 hours ago - World

What's next for Lebanon after the Beirut explosion

Photo: Houssam Shbaro/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Beirut residents are still clearing rubble from streets that appear war-torn, days after a blast that shocked the country and horrified the world.

Why it matters: The explosion is likely to accelerate a painful cycle Lebanon was already living through — discontent, economic distress, and emigration.