Digital-media bubble bursting? Cash turns King

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With the tragic demise of local newspapers, places like Mic have become the entry point into the craft for a lot of young journalists. What’s more, their newsrooms have been admirably diverse, a diversity that their journalism has admirably reflected.

As they go under, such entry points disappear. And the journalists who have been through this ugly process – sometimes more than once – burn out.

“They are taking the brunt of this,” Zucker-Scharff said, “and it’s psychologically damaging.”

As these young people search for work among few options, or leave the field altogether, journalism stands to lose a generation of diverse talent.

Maybe I should have told the Mic newsroom five years ago to get out while the getting was good – before the venture-capital bubble burst, before the pivot failed, before their workplace lost its soul.

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But I’m (almost) consoled by the words of 25-year-old Marie Solis, who managed to land on her feet, post-Mic: “I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

In a year of anemic returns and wild gyrations across most markets, cash is a star.

U.S. cash and cash equivalents are on track to be some of the best-performing assets in 2018, enticing money managers struggling with a rare synchronized downturn in stocks, commodities and bond markets. Rising returns on cash make it more appealing for investors to move out of other investments, risking a turning point for markets as the global economy shows signs of slowing and the Federal Reserve slowly normalizes interest rates.

“For the first time in a long time, cash is interesting again,” said Hani Redha, a multiasset portfolio manager at PineBridge Investments, which is now considering allocations to cash.

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One popular cash proxy—the S&P U.S. Treasury Bill 3-6 Month Index, which measures the performance of U.S. Treasury bills maturing within three to six months—has returned 1.7% so far this year. That comes against a background of lower and even negative returns on most assets this year, including global stocks, high-yield and investment-grade corporate bonds, long-term government debt and a range of commodities.


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