Eq: Tech


Investors in tech have reason to worry. Not only is Trump saying that they should possibly be subjected to anti-trust regulation, but the tech sector is heading to Washington today to meet with the Senate. Top executives at Facebook, Google, and Twitter, are set to face questions and scrutiny about their practices, including on trust concerns, political content, and consumer privacy. The tide of public opinion has turned against tech over the last year, and congress has followed suit, with Senate GOP leader Orrin Hatch calling Google’s anti-trust behavior “disquieting” despite the fact that he used to staunchly defend the sector.

FINSUM: The big problem for tech is that a regulatory crackdown now seems to have bipartisan support. We think there will be some regulations imposed on tech, but the depth of the forthcoming rules will be the deciding factor. In other words, will it be something along the lines of GDPR (relatively light) or more like Glass-Steagal?

(San Francisco)

Talk about comments coming right from the source. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella went on the record this week telling the market that tech companies should “expect” regulation. Nadella walked through current areas of tech and regulations, like facial recognition or GDPR, and explained their implications for the industry. He said that “As tech becomes more and more pervasive, I think for all of us in the tech industry we should expect—whether it’s on privacy or on cybersecurity or even ethics or AI—government and regulatory bodies to take interest in it”.

FINSUM: We think the writing is on the wall that tech is going to face some form of regulation, especially given that the Trump administration is rather hard on the sector. The question is when, not if.

(New York)

We do not cover Bitcoin very much, but we thought it would be worthwhile to give an update today, especially as advisors may have some clients who are very interested in the area. Most are aware that the cryptocurrency has plunged from late last year, but had been enjoying a minor rally of late. That has come to end abrupt end though, capped off by another SEC rejection/delay of a Bitcoin ETF. The SEC delayed a decision on a new Bitcoin ETF until the end of September, which sent the market plunging ~8%. Bitcoin is now trading around $6,500, way down from its $20,000 peak.

FINSUM: This newest Bitcoin delay is more worrisome as it was the most promising proposal on the table. The proposal, in part from top ETF provider Van Eck, was to actually hold Bitcoin instead of Bitcoin futures, which one would think would alleviate some of the SEC’s worries. We think this will eventually make it through, and when it does, Bitcoin might become a more mainstream asset class.

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