The cryptocurrency Bitcoin’s value shot through the roof. The skeptics think its a bubble that could burst. While in the world of automation, a fifth of human jobs would be lost by 2030, as per a study. Nestle is in hot water again, thanks to maggie noodles. And net profit of 25 Nifty stocks went up in double digits in last quarter. This is the fastest pace in six quarters.
What is it? The highest price that cryptocurrency Bitcoin scaled on a wild day of trading on Wednesday, according to Coindesk. Bitcoin pierced both the $10,000 and $11,000 marks, hit a low of $9,290 and closed at $9,719, amid trading outages.
Why is it important? At its highest price, Bitcoin would have recorded an 11-fold rise since the beginning of the year, resulting in the multiplication of warnings from skeptics that it could be a speculative bubble that could burst. Some others suggest the Bitcoin is unique as an asset class and its rise is not going to end anytime soon.
Tell me more: As the rally in Bitcoin gained pace, so did the banter. Tesla founder Elon Musk clarified he wasn’t fuelling its rise and musician Katy Perry asked Warren Buffett, the most insightful investor of our times, on what he thought about Bitcoin.
What is it? The estimated number of people who might lose their jobs to robots and automation by 2030, according to a report by McKinsey Global Institute.
Why is it important? This is over a fifth of the current global workforce and indicative of the impending drastic changes in employment and livelihoods. Machine operators, fast-food workers and back-office employees are among projected to be the most affected in both developed and emerging countries, if automation spreads fast enough. The silver lining in this is that those displaced would find other jobs but they would have to re-skill themselves.
Tell me more: A World Bank report released last year forecasted that 69% of jobs in India could be threatened by automation. However, the Indian government says the growth momentum of the economy would result in job opportunities and absorption of displaced labour.
What is it? The average rate at which net profits of 25 companies (the data for which was available) in the 50-share NSE Nifty grew in the July-September quarter, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon data.
Why is it important? This is the fastest pace in six quarters (since a 31% growth in January-March 2016), a likely sign of recovery after a period of sluggish economic growth in the last few quarters. This could spur private investment, which continues to remain sluggish. The companies’ performance also indicates they managed to weather the impact of the government’s demonetisation move in November 2016 and the transition to the goods and services tax regime from July this year.
Tell me more: According to the data, the total profits of the companies is expected to grow 25% in 2018-19, which would be the highest in Asia.
Rs 45 lakh
What is it? The penalty imposed on Nestle India after samples of its popular Maggi noodles tested positive for high levels of ash content in a food-testing laboratory in Uttar Pradesh.
Why is it important? This is reminiscent of the trouble the firm landed two years ago when a laboratory in the same state had found excessive lead content in some samples of Maggi noodles that led to a furore, following which the government banned the product. The company had destroyed 37,000 tonnes of noodles and ended up losing more than Rs 500 crore due to the ban. In reaction to the latest lab report, Nestle India has maintained that ash is not added to their product, the samples date back to 2015 and that incorrect standards have been applied to the testing of the samples.
Tell me more: The district administration of Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh has also imposed fines on Nestle India’s three distributors (Rs 15 lakh) and on two of its sellers (Rs 11 lakh).
What is it? The number of years after which iconic Italian car manufacturer Alfa Romeo will return to Formula 1 motor racing in 2018.
Why is it important? On Wednesday, it was announced a multi-year technical and commercial partnership with the Sauber F1 Team. Car manufacturers have had an up-and-down relationship with Formula 1. In the last two decades, Ford, Toyota and Peugeot have quit, and Honda’s return has not gone as planned. In that sense, Alfa Romeo’s return comes a shot in the arm for the sport.
Tell me more: Alfa Romeo was a dominant force in the early years of Formula 1. It served an engine supplier for several teams from 1961 until 1979, before returning with a works team from 1979 to 1985.