Big Tech Does Finance

Plus: How To Be A Good Analyst, Fintech Fraud, Gamification of Trading

One company has dominated headlines this week: Facebook. First its systems went down and then a former product manager, Frances Haugen, testified in Congress at a Senate hearing on consumer protection. Haugen highlighted problems at Facebook and called for greater regulatory oversight. “The severity of this crisis demands that we break out of previous regulatory frames.”

It didn’t attract as much media attention but the next day, four thousand miles away, in the Swiss town of Basel, financial regulators met to discuss how their own regulatory frames might be applied to Facebook and other big tech companies.

Facebook isn’t a financial company, at least not yet. Back in 2019, Mark Zuckerberg articulated grand plans to become one via a cryptocurrency called Libra. “What we’re trying to do with Libra,” he told lawmakers, “[is] rethink what a modern infrastructure for the financial system would be if you started it today rather than fifty years ago on a lot of outdated systems.”

We talked abo…

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