It is a conversation I have had in Washington, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and, on three occasions, in San Francisco. Someone local, surmising that I am not, apologises for the homelessness problem. I mumble that it is tragic indeed, but that I have seen as bad elsewhere. (In OECD countries, I haven’t.)

After a while, it becomes awkwardly evident that we are at cross-purposes. What aggrieves the other person is that the rough-sleepers are here. The city is a soft touch and therefore a beacon to them. With luck, someone will shoo all the tarpaulin villages out of sight.

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There are few hedge fund managers who could raise $1bn shortly after losing investors a quarter of their money. But Chris Rokos is one trader whose star appeal still more than makes up for short-term performance losses.

The media-shy billionaire, a former top fund manager at Brevan Howard before launching $13bn-in-assets Rokos Capital Management in 2015, has endured one of his worst periods of performance during a bumpy 2021 for bond markets.

As the highest-profile casualty of a vicious sell-off in short-dated bonds during the autumn, he suffered a bruising October and posted his firm’s biggest annual loss, losing 26

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Criminals used a record amount of cryptocurrencies for illicit purposes in 2021 but the overall growth of digital asset markets outstripped the rise in scams.

The amount of crypto sent to addresses with known criminal associations shot to a record $14bn last year, more than doubling from 2020, according to research from data company Chainalysis.

Scams, ransomware and theft rose 79 per cent in dollar terms last year but the overall market expanded by 550 per cent, with $15.8tn worth of cryptocurrencies traded in 2021. That means the relative share of illicit activities has dropped to a record low.


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Kazakhstan’s government resigned on Wednesday after protesters angry at a sharp rise in motor fuel prices took to the streets in several key cities, marking a big test for the country’s president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

The protests, described as the biggest in Kazakhstan’s post-Soviet Union history based on unclear footage from social media, are a rare event for the tightly controlled country. Kazakhstan, like Russia and other countries in the region, has been struggling with rising prices for basic commodities amid the economic strain of the pandemic.

Late on Tuesday, the government announced a state of emergency in the city of

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Elizabeth Holmes, the 37-year-old founder of failed blood testing start-up Theranos, is facing decades in prison after being found guilty by a jury in California of conspiring to defraud her investors.

In one of Silicon Valley’s most high-profile criminal fraud cases, the jury convicted Holmes of three counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

It found her not guilty on four further counts relating to defrauding patients. The jurors failed to reach a verdict on three remaining charges relating to investors. Holmes can appeal her conviction in federal appeals court.

The end of the

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European stock markets climbed to a new all-time high in the first trading session of 2022, with oil prices and US stock futures also advancing after last year’s strong rally.

The region-wide Stoxx 600 index gained 0.6 per cent in morning dealings, with Germany’s Dax and France’s Cac 40 each up 0.9 per cent. In Asia, South Korea’s Kospi climbed 0.4 per cent. Bourses in London, Japan and mainland China were closed for holidays.

Monday’s rise came after the Stoxx 600 closed out 2021 with a 22 per cent gain, a strong rebound from the 4 per cent fall the

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