|Day's Range||51.11 - 51.11|
Yahoo Finance's Dan Roberts, Julia La Roche, Brian Cheung, and Rick Newman break down Elizabeth Warren's strategy for highlighting how Facebook's fact-checking doesn't do enough to stop misinformation.
Ireland’s privacy watchdog has concluded its investigation into Facebook over its compliance with the European Union’s data protection law.
(Bloomberg) -- Indian fintech giant Paytm is close to scoring $2 billion of new financing from investors including Jack Ma’s Ant Financial, Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. and Rob Citrone’s Discovery Capital Management to fend off an influx of new rivals, a person familiar with the matter said.The funding will be split evenly between equity and debt and values the country’s top online financial services firm at $16 billion, the person said, asking not to be identified talking about a private deal. The talks are in their final stages but the terms could still change, the person added.If a deal is finalized, Paytm could outstrip fellow high-profile Asian startups such as Grab and Gojek in valuation. Billionaire Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma is raising capital to protect the startup’s share of a potentially $1 trillion Indian payments market from new entrants including Facebook Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Walmart Inc.-owned Flipkart’s PhonePe. Over the past year, a string of new apps have made payments increasingly easy, bringing discounts and cash bonuses to young, smartphone-savvy users.Credit Suisse Group AG now estimates that the Indian digital payments market will touch $1 trillion by 2023 from about $200 billion currently. It’s a market with huge potential: Cash still accounts for 70% of all Indian transactions by value, according to Credit Suisse, and neighboring China is far more advanced with a mobile payments market worth more than $5 trillion.“India is a large market,” said Kunal Pande, head of financial services risk consulting at KPMG. “Digital payments adoption is growing quickly, yet there is room for massive growth as users get comfortable transacting digitally. The large business opportunity makes it attractive for both domestic startups and large global players.”Read more: Facebook and Google Chase a New $1 Trillion Payments MarketPaytm, which is also backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., declined to comment in response to emailed questions. SoftBank wasn’t immediately available for comment during a Japanese national holiday. Ant had no immediate comment when contacted. Discovery Capital declined to comment.Paytm has in a decade become India’s biggest digital-payments brand, attracting big names in investing from Ma and SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son to Warren Buffett. Paytm’s Sharma got a huge boost in 2016 after India’s government moved to eliminate most of the nation’s paper money in circulation in a bid to curb corruption. His startup, a pioneer in the country’s nascent field, saw tens of millions of consumers and hundreds of thousands of businesses sign up for digital services in a matter of months.The entrepreneur is now extending his online empire into e-commerce and banking, even as others encroach on his turf. The Indian payments market remains a chaotic field where the rules are hazy on what players can offer, yet its promise has lured a string of competitors including Indian banks, its postal service and its richest man, Mukesh Ambani.Ant Financial, China’s largest provider of internet financial services and one of Paytm’s earliest backers, has said it will continue investing in mobile-payment providers around the world to boost offshore revenue and buttress itself from rising competition and tighter regulation at home.It’s not clear how much SoftBank would contribute, but the Japanese company is going through a rocky stretch. SoftBank’s shares are down about 30% from their peak this year as investors, unnerved by the WeWork turmoil and Uber Technologies Inc.‘s disappointing debut, grow skittish about startup valuations.(Updates to include Discovery Capital as an investor in first paragraph.)\--With assistance from Lulu Yilun Chen and Hema Parmar.To contact the reporter on this story: Saritha Rai in Bangalore at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Arijit Ghosh at firstname.lastname@example.org, ;Sarah Wells at email@example.com, Edwin Chan, Vincent BielskiFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Associate Stock Strategist Ben Rains dives into some of the latest U.S.-China trade war updates, including President Trump's optimism. We then look at three large-cap technology stocks to consider buying during Q3 earnings season. - Full-Court Finance
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Facebook Inc's Libra cryptocurrency faced a pivotal meeting of backers on Monday, after the ambitious project to bring digital coins into mainstream commerce suffered another defection, from online travel company Booking Holding. Libra lost its last global payments backers on Friday, when Mastercard Inc and Visa Inc abandoned the Geneva-based Libra Association.
Mnuchin says Treasury, and not just the senators who sent letters, also warned Libra Association members about their involvement.
(Bloomberg) -- The Libra Association hasn’t officially launched but has already lost a quarter of its membership, as Booking Holdings Inc., an online travel company that operates websites including Kayak.com and Priceline.com, joined Visa Inc., Mastercard Inc. and four other companies in leaving the controversial cryptocurrency project spearheaded by Facebook Inc.With the departure of Norwalk, Connecticut-based Booking, the Libra Association now has 21 founding members remaining of the original 28 companies that signed on to the association in June. PayPal Holdings Inc., Stripe Inc., MercadoLibre Inc. and EBay Inc. in the past two weeks have also said they would abandon the project.The remaining members of the Libra Association, a nonprofit that would manage the cryptocurrency, planned to meet Monday in Geneva, Switzerland to finalize its governing charter and initial membership.Libra came under intense scrutiny from lawmakers and regulators as soon as Facebook announced the project. Regulators warned that the cryptocurrency, originally set to launch next year, could be used by criminals if not properly monitored, while lawmakers pilloried Facebook’s track record at hearings in July with Libra co-founder David Marcus.Officials in some countries, including Germany and France, announced that they would ban Libra, saying that the currency could be a threat to monetary policy, among other concerns.Visa, Mastercard and Stripe left the project shortly after receiving a letter from Democratic senators Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Sherrod Brown of Ohio, warning that they could face increased scrutiny if they stayed on board.Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Libra-member Coinbase Inc., on Sunday said the pressure felt “un-American.” “Why the need for the intimidation tactics? This would be called anti-competitive/monopolistic behavior if any private company did it,” Armstrong wrote on Twitter.In the face of the departures, Libra has said more than 1,500 companies have expressed interest in joining the association and that the currency wouldn’t launch until it satisfied regulators’ concerns.Developers have continued to advance the open-source code that would underlie Libra. However, Visa, Mastercard and PayPal could have provided critical experience in navigating U.S. financial regulators’ concerns, making their departures particularly painful. Booking Holdings, which has a market capitalization of more than $84 billion, was among the only remaining large, publicly held companies left in the project.Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg plans to testify next week at the House Financial Services Committee on Libra, among other topics.Representatives for the Libra Association didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.\--With assistance from Kurt Wagner.To contact the reporters on this story: Joe Light in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org;Olivia Carville in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at firstname.lastname@example.org, Molly SchuetzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
On the surface it appears that China and Wall Street won this round of the trade deal. China has taken advantage of the U.S. over the past 40 years. Let’s discuss a potential game plan for investors with the help of a chart.
Little is known about Facebook's Libra five months after its launch. But Congress now has a chance to get answers straight from the horse's mouth.
Booking Holdings , which operates Booking.com and Priceline, joined a growing list of companies Monday withdrawing from Facebook's fledgling cryptocurrency project Libra. The announcement follows Friday's news that Visa , Mastercard , Stripe and eBay were pulling out of the initiative. PayPal had earlier said it was stepping away from its involvement with Libra.
Stock futures: Beijing reportedly wants more talks before signing a "phase one" trade deal. Apple is at record highs while Microsoft, Google, Nvidia, Facebook, Visa are near buys.
The proposed deal would give SoftBank more than a 50 per cent stake in the company, but it was unclear if the group — which is WeWork’s largest backer — would repurchase all of its outstanding stock.
(Bloomberg) -- VSCO got its start in 2011 as a software program to help professional and hobby photographers edit and enhance their work, using both traditional touch-up tools and more creative ones like gauzy, colorful filters. In the past six months, it has become famous for something else. Credit the VSCOgirls.Through little effort of its own, VSCO was catapulted into the global limelight this summer. Teenagers and young women discovered that VSCO’s filters perfectly captured a certain carefree, beachy aesthetic, inspiring thousands of snapshots of long-haired girls clutching Hydro Flask water bottles and sporting Birkenstock sandals to pose in sun-kissed, wind-swept photos. As the trend gained momentum, it also turned into a meme, often coming off as a parody of itself. Posts tagged VSCOgirl flooded Instagram and TikTok, and the theme even showed up at the Global Climate Strike. The free publicity has drawn in a new cohort of users who saw the hashtag on their social media feeds and tracked down the VSCO app. They liked what they found— not only original photo-editing tools but also an online, low-pressure community of creatives. Think of it as Instagram, but with no likes or follower counts. Joel Flory, co-founder of Visual Supply Co., as it’s officially known, isn't complaining. The surge in interest has boosted the app to No. 7 in its category on Google Play and Apple Inc.’s App Store, from a rank in the double digits in May. Twenty-one million, or more than 10%, of the app’s total 200 million downloads since 2011, have come from May 1 through the end of September, according to researcher App Annie.As more young people flock to VSCO, the challenge for the company will be to leverage the audience it’s gained from Instagram and TikTok to keep and extend this new user base. And convince more people to sign up for a $20 annual subscription— without sacrificing its status as a creative sanctuary.Flory started VSCO – based in Oakland, California, and pronounced to rhyme with “Frisco” – with Greg Lutze as a place for creative professionals like themselves. In the beginning, VSCO sold filters for photographers using Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop to help enhance images and streamline the editing process. In 2012, they launched a mobile app and made money by charging for individual filters or packages of them. Next came the VSCO Grid, an in-house social network that allowed users to follow each other and share their work. Eventually the company added more social-media type features, such as the ability to message people and to republish other’s posts. Even as it became more like Instagram, VSCO made a conscious decision to draw some distinct lines.In fact, Flory attributes VSCO’s recent surge to all of the ways it’s different from Facebook Inc.’s Instagram, which thrives on likes, a tally of followers, sponsored influencers and ads. VSCO has none of those metrics. What attracts people to VSCO is its focus on expression and creativity without any pressure for social validation, according to Flory. “We don’t sell ads, we don’t sell data,” says Flory, 39. “We sell something that people find value in directly paying for. We’ve been very intentional about that from day one.”Some of VSCO’s 20 million weekly users have indeed found value in sharing their personal posts outside the social media circus. Jesse Calderon, 19, who has been using VSCO since 2014, said that when she was in high school people used it as a “secret Instagram,” because it was a more carefree space. Eleanor Larson, 18, said she’s had VSCO since junior high and after starting out using it just to edit photos, she now also uses it to post digital art and journal entries. VSCO is for her “work in progress,” whereas Instagram is for “finished products,” she said.While viral, monetizable social interaction and influence is what led Facebook to acquire Instagram in 2012 for almost $1 billion, there’s been a growing backlash against the need for posts to be “Instagram perfect,” and an increasing sense that social networks can encourage comparisons to an unreachable ideal. Instagram itself announced earlier this year that it was considering hiding like counts on posts, hoping to center users’ focus on the actual content shared, rather than the number of likes they get. VSCO, which Flory likes to describe as a creative community where people go to express their real selves rather than worrying how other people see them, has benefitted from the growing disillusionment with the potential negative emotional and mental-health effects of social media.Markus Cooper, 19, who runs an Instagram account with more than 2 million followers, says VSCO has been popular for years as a way to edit photos. Recently he feels like it’s become more of a social network, but “a healthier space than Instagram. Just because there’s no likes there’s no comments there’s no nothing.” Cooper recently shared his first photo on VSCO’s feed.The company has evidence it’s onto something. In a recent study, VSCO found that its users, 75% of whom are under 25, appreciate the platform as a place where they can post whatever they want without concern of judgment from their peers. It also showed 82% of Gen Z-ers – roughly those age 10 to 25 – surveyed refrained from posting things online out of fear of what others might think.Last year, VSCO’s paid subscribers reached 2 million, and Flory said the company is on pace to nearly double that this year. Paid subscribers get access to more than 130 preset filters, as well as advanced editing tools including for video. The free version offers about 10 basic filters.Revenue in 2018 doubled from the previous year to $50 million, according to Forbes – the company doesn’t disclose financial information and declined to comment on revenue. VSCO recently announced it’s opening a new office in Chicago and plans to add 20 employees to its current workforce of more than 150. Backed by $90 million in venture capital from Glynn Capital Management and Accel, VSCO was valued at $550 million in 2015, according to Pitchbook. It’s probably worth more than that today, VSCO said, without providing a more specific updated valuation. Photographer Nesrin Danan, 24, said VSCO is her go-to app for editing personal iPhone photos, although she doesn’t use it for her professional work capturing music artists including Shawn Mendes to A$AP Rocky. For Danan, VSCO has always been a place she edits images before posting elsewhere. So she was surprised at some of the comments she received when she spoke at a convention for young influencer-hopefuls, called Brand Camp, earlier this year. “They were like, ‘We don’t even post on Instagram anymore, we just post on VSCO,’” Danan recalls. The high school attendees told her that feedback such as likes and follows wasn’t important. VSCO just looked cool.John Barnett, co-founder of Chroma Labs, and a former Instagram product manager whose resume includes inventing Boomerang, says for Gen Z, “visual creation is their thing. Successful apps over the last decade that you see are apps that give teens tools to express themselves.” Of course all memes have a life cycle and sooner or later VSCOgirls will be overtaken by something else. But Flory isn’t worried. He’s seen plenty of trends come and go on VSCO and says the site is ``anything but one side, one perspective or one stereotype.” Flory says he sees it as “a win-win, because really all it is, is an opportunity that creates a sense of awareness. And once VSCO is in someone’s mind they’ll go seek out what it is.”To contact the author of this story: Kiley Roache in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Molly Schuetz at firstname.lastname@example.org, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Booking Holdings, the company behind the travel websites Booking.com and Priceline, became the latest company to confirm that it is pulling out of Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency on Monday. Booking, which was the only travel company to have signed up to Facebook’s Libra Association, did not give a reason for its departure. Members of the Libra project were due to meet in Geneva on Monday but international scrutiny, particularly in the EU, has made it a contentious project.
“Keep an eye out — this could be our big chance for a selfie with some very happy central bankers.” Copyright © 2015 The Financial Times Limited. Please don't cut and paste FT.com articles and redistribute ...
Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie blasted Facebook’s continued influence after its widely publicized data scandal,
Facebook’s plans for a digital currency are coming under further pressure as global regulators step up their scrutiny of the struggling Libra project. In a letter to G20 finance ministers on Sunday, Randal Quarles, the head of the global Financial Stability Board, said that, with a “host of challenges” posed by global “stablecoins”, such as Libra, “possible regulatory gaps should be assessed and addressed as a matter of priority”. This, the letter said, created challenges including financial stability, consumer and investor protection, data privacy, money laundering, terrorist financing, fair competition, cyber security and tax evasion.
As it meets with backers on Monday, Facebook is realising just how much. Digital transformation in banking is welcome, but regulators are right to argue that Facebook has yet to make the case for its own e-bucks. Libra — billed as a “stablecoin”, pegged to a basket of currencies — was sold as a disrupter that could bank the unbanked and slash transaction costs and times.
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren's Democratic presidential campaign this week challenged Facebook's policy that exempts politicians' ads from fact-checking, by running ads on the social media platform containing the false claim that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg endorsed President Donald Trump's re-election bid. "Facebook changed their ads policy to allow politicians to run ads with known lies - explicitly turning the platform into a disinformation-for-profit machine. Facebook Inc's policy has come under fire from another Democratic front-runner in the 2020 race.