Dec 22, 2017

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon. I hope you're having a safe start to any Christmas travels. Axios AM and PM will be running full speed next week.

1 big thing: Bitcoin's latest comedown

Bitcoin had a wild day, dropping nearly $5,000 from its opening price before clawing back $3,500 of that decline by late afternoon.

Quick hits:

  • "[B]itcoin has lost about $110 billion of its total market value in less than a week, twice the market cap of Tesla Inc." [WSJ]
  • "Michael Novogratz, the former macro manager who's turned into one of the biggest champions of bitcoin, shelved plans to start a cryptocurrency hedge fund and predicted that the digital money may extend its plunge to $8,000." [Bloomberg]
  • Past bubbles: "In 2013, Bitcoin's price rose first to a high above $200 before crashing. Later that same year, an investing mania in China drove the price to another high above $1,200, followed by yet another plunge." [NYT]

The big picture: Bitcoin nearly hit $20,000 earlier this week. It was valued around $1,000 at the beginning of 2017.

Go deeper: People bought a lot of "coin" and "crypto" web domains in 2017

2. What you missed
  1. President Trump signed the tax cuts into law today, saying he wanted to keep a promise to get it done before Christmas. Quotes.
  2. More companies unveiled tax cut-themed bonuses: Today's entrants included Sinclair and Bank of America.
  3. AT&T and Time Warner extended their merger deadline from April to June. Details.
  4. New poll: 61% of Americans said they think the allegations of sexual misconduct against President Trump are "mostly true." More numbers.
  5. Virginia House Democratic candidate Shelly Simonds told CNN today that her team is considering legal action if a recent court ruling resulting in a tie between her and her Republican opponent is not undone. Go deeper.
3. 1 new thing: Facebook's Russia page tool

A Facebook tool to show users whether they followed pages placed by Russian operatives in the 2016 election went live on Friday, Axios' David McCabe reports.

How it works:

  • To find out if you followed one of the pages or accounts set up as part of the Russian campaign to encourage division during and after the 2016 election, go to this page.
  • You'll have to be logged into Facebook to use the tool, and may also have to log in to your Instagram account if you want to check your follows there, too.
  • You'll either see a message saying you didn't follow any of the pages or a list of the pages you did follow — along with the date you followed them.
Mike Allen