Here’s what’s been happening on Wall Street overnight

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Economy doomed for failure?

When it comes to predicting a stock market crash, all roads lead back to the economy.

That’s why it’s so jarring to hear someone claim that today’s economic system is “dysfunctional,” which is what the world-renowned market sceptic John Hussman just did.

Hussman, a former economics professor who is now the president of the Hussman Investment Trust, is no stranger to such bearish proclamations, having made a name for himself by repeatedly predicting a stock market decline exceeding 60% and forecasting a full decade of negative equity returns. He has now turned his sights on the economy, which he says is setting the market up for unprecedented failure.

Big departure at RBC

Blair Fleming, head of RBC Capital Markets in the US, has left the firm after more than 30 years, according to people familiar with the matter.

Fleming, who also served as the head of US investment banking at RBC, had worked at the firm since 1986 beginning in London, Ontario. He assumed his current responsibilities in 2009, according to the bank’s website.

Crypto is growing up

Cryptocurrencies are viewed by many of their evangelists as one of the most groundbreaking financial innovations of the modern age. But the way crypto trades looks like something out of an old-school Wall Street flick.

For the most part, trading firms are making multimillion-dollar crypto trades over the phone, not electronically. DRW’s crypto arm, Cumberland, uses Skype calls to conduct its bitcoin dealmaking.

But Jump Trading, the Chicago-based firm, has built a platform that will allow it to take the other side of large crypto trades electronically with its counterparties, according to people familiar with the matter.

Banker poaching heats up

JPMorgan has hired a senior investment banker from Morgan Stanley to add more firepower to the firm’s industrials coverage, according to an internal memo viewed by Business Insider.

Lawrence Steyn, formerly a managing director with Morgan Stanley, is joining JPMorgan as a vice chairman of investment banking, according to the memo from Eric Stein, the firm’s head of North American investment banking. Steyn worked with many major industrials companies during his time at Morgan Stanley.

It’s been an active year in senior investment banking moves generally, and the industrials sector, despite being middling in terms of deal activity, has seen a number of moves.

Tough test for Microsoft CEO

When it comes to the $US7.5 billion acquisition of GitHub, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella urged software developers to “judge us by the actions we have taken in the recent past, our actions today and in the future.”

From Microsoft’s and Nadella’s perspective, GitHub fits right into the master plan. Microsoft has been investing heavily in open source in the four years since Nadella took the reins. In fact, Microsoft is the single biggest corporate contributor to open-source projects on GitHub, edging out competitors like Google and Facebook. Microsoft even uses GitHub internally to build some of its products.

And yet if Nadella sounds defensive, it’s with good reason, as not everyone in the tech industry loves the deal. Some GitHub users are already even decamping to competitors like the venture-backed GitLab and Atlassian Bitbucket before the deal even closes.

More here.

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