Has Mark Zuckerberg ruined the World Wide Web? Is he bad for decent business? Some would so opine. Has he wrecked his corner of the World Wide Web? Perhaps so…
During a conference call Wednesday, Facebook FB, !-19.05%! Chief Financial Officer David Wehner predicted bad news for the second half, and the company’s shares immediately began a drastic retreat in the extended session. Should the after-hours bloodbath continue into Thursday’s trading session, Facebook would see a $100 billion blow to its market cap after shares plunged 20%.
Like rats fleeing a sinking ship, insiders to the company are selling out as fast as the SEC will permit them to dump shares.
Nine Facebook Inc. insiders combined to sell about $4.13 billion worth of stock since the Cambridge Analytica data-mining scandal first surfaced on March 17. That compares with $4.31 billion in all of 2017. The sales were part of pre-determined trading plans. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg accounted for 85 percent of the total, according to data from InsiderInsights.com, which analyzes such transactions.
Why has panic broken out like an acne rash across Zuckerface? It seems that new efforts to safeguard privacy have not appeased the EU. This has led them to pass a fairly draconian privacy law which costs The Zucker many, many sheckels to comply with. Also, people who want Facebook already have it and are slowing down their rates of usage. This is lethal to the company’s advertising strategy.
The Left has turned on their former posterboy of techie hipness. He has sinned in their eyes by allowing some conservative content to stay on his platform. InfoWars and Fox News push the buttons and trigger the two-minute hates.
“To be totally transparent, I find Infowars to be absolutely atrocious,” Simo replied. “That being said, we have the hard job of balancing freedom of expression and safety. So the way we navigate that is we think there’s a pretty big difference between what is allowed on Facebook and what gets distribution. So what we’re trying to do is make it so that if you are saying something that’s untrue on Facebook — you’re allowed to say it as long as you’re an authentic person and you adhere to our community standards — but we’re trying to make it so it doesn’t get that much distribution .… We don’t always get it right, as you can imagine, it’s very complicated, but that’s sort of our principle for dealing with information.”
But even these half-measures to placate the purple-haired fringe have caused Facebook to be hit from the Right for pushing censorship. Modern tech companies have run up against Benjamin Franklin’s old conundrum. How much liberty do you trade for security? “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety,” wrote the great man. It would seem that Facebook is getting very much what they and all the other smarmy, plutocratic FAANG Oligarchs have coming to them. But then what wider impacts resound from Zuckersperg’s condign ruination?
Aaron Clarey offers us the bearish scenario. Call it short-term carnage.
Yes, stocks are overvalued. Yes, housing is back to being overvalued, but I would contend this is the result of flooding the market with QE money, not bad lending practices or a classic tulip bulb bubble like the dotcoms were. Additionally, the federal government is so far up banks’ asses its very unlikely we will see a housing crash like we did a decade ago. Still, the PE ratio for the stock market is 40% higher than its historical average, dividends are paying a laughable 1.8%, and I’m sure US property is back to all time “price to rents” highs. It’s merely a question of what is going to prick this bubble? So it is here I’d like to speculate on what that catalyst could be – one of the FAANG’s going bankrupt or severely missing earnings. The “FAANG” companies are Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google….
Let me posit the good-news scenario. And not just so that I can gloat over (((Zuck))) having sex with the poodle in public. Let’s call it the proper restoration. Let’s face it. Capitalism’s biggest enemies are often powerful corporations. They don’t want market discipline any more than I want to cut the evening short a brewski or two before I’m really happy with it. Once a guy like Zuckerberg wins once, he never wants to compete again. Buy the entire league, and you win the Superbowl every year. He wanted economic competition to be as dated as an old Mother Love Bone grunge record.
You see, a traditional, more-or-less honorable capitalist worked for the customer. They made their money, you walked home with swag. It was a deal. You and they both understood what you were getting involved in. Not perfect, but better than being sold out and knifed in the back. Zuckerberg commoditizes the customer. He sucks your data in and sells it around. You have no clue who learns stuff about you from your oversharing on Faceberg. Perhaps relevant to Clarey’s conjecture, recessions serve a longterm economic purpose. Something has got to flush a human turd-blossom like Zuckerfvcker down the Johnnie-John-John.
Seeing Zuckerberg lose more money in one day than any other human being in the HISTORY.OF.THE.WORLD is potentially instructive. There’s an old Maoist saying that Zuckersperg’s better half probably whispers in his ear some nights. “Strike one, teach one hundred.” It’s about time some people who watched Theranos publicly exposed as a fraud get another lesson. And not just because it encourages me to watch the Zuckerbeating proceed rampant. We need to get our overgrown business overlords back in the business of actually giving a damn about their customers, workforces and communitees. That will only happen when the violators start getting violated. A business in the actual business of business is one that could truly help make America great again.