Thursday, May 18, 2017
Facebook smacked with 122 Million Fine for Misleading Statements
The European Unions antitrust chief fined Facebook for making misleading statements during the $19 billion acquisition of the messaging service WhatsApp. The fine is one of the largest regulatory penalties against Facebook and comes days after Dutch and French privacy watchdogs ruled that the company had broken strict data protection rules. Other European countries, notably Germany, are clamping down on social media companies, including issuing potentially hefty penalties for failing to sufficiently police hate speech and misinformation.
This really amounts to just a slap on the wrist for Facebook, the company makes tens of billions a year in online advertising. The issue began because the EU allowed the sale to finalize because Facebook stated they would not merge WhatApp with its other companies. But in late August Facebook announced that it would actually share data between the two, something the EU saw as unfair to its competitors. The EU is not going to void the sale at this point and Facebook really doesn’t care about the fine, which they said was an error on their part for a misstatement.
US Household Debt Rises to Highest Point Since 2008
Following the 2008 financial crisis, American began saving. From 2009 through the end of 2012 US household debt fell considerably, dropping more than 12%. The drop had reversed what was a 63-year upward trend. Since 2013 though reversed course once again and began rising, to the point where it has topped pre-2008 totals. “The CMD’s latest Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit reveals that total household debt achieved a new peak in the first quarter of 2017, rising by $149 billion to $12.73 trillion — $50 billion above the previous peak reached in the third quarter of 2008. Balances climbed in several areas: mortgages, 1.7 percent; auto loans, 0.9 percent; and student loans, 2.6 percent. Credit card balances fell 1.9 percent this quarter.” When looking at what cause the upward movement since 2013, you see it was mainly due to student loan debt and auto loans.
Dow-worst Day in 8 Months
Stocks fell sharply Wednesday following reports of a memo from former FBI Director James Comey that says Trump asked him to stop the investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.The Dow ended 373 points lower Wednesday — about a 1.8% decline. It’s the biggest drop since September. The whispers of impeachment have rattled the markets.