|Bid||35.15 x 900|
|Ask||35.16 x 1400|
|Day's Range||34.93 - 35.31|
|52 Week Range||26.19 - 46.90|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||0.17|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||20.37|
|Earnings Date||Jul 26, 2019|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y Target Est||39.90|
Twitter Lists have never gotten the attention they deserve. A feature largely adopted by Twitter power users, lists allow you to create custom timelines by adding only those users whose tweets you want to track. According to a tweet shared today, Twitter has been thinking about how to make lists easier to get to.
(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump complained again about supposed bias against conservatives at social media companies and said the U.S. government should sue Google and Facebook Inc. for unspecified wrongdoing.Trump complained in an interview with Fox Business Network on Wednesday that social media companies are run by Democrats and that Twitter has somehow made it difficult for people to follow his @realDonaldTrump account, from which he tweets prolifically.“What they did to me on Twitter is incredible,” Trump said in the interview with Fox’s Maria Bartiromo. “You know I have millions and millions of followers but I will tell you they make it very hard for people to join me at Twitter and then make it very much harder for me to get out the message.”Twitter said that followers of high-profile accounts may have been deleted as part of an effort to remove fake, abusive and malicious accounts.For More: Trump Accuses Twitter of Political Bias in Culling His FollowersThe White House said Wednesday it’s planning a Social Media Summit July 11 to “bring together digital leaders for a robust conversation on the opportunities and challenges of today’s online environment.”Trump also complained about the European Union targeting U.S. technology companies in the interview. EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has fined Google billions of dollars for antitrust violations and has opened an early-stage probe into Amazon.com Inc.‘s potential use of data on smaller rivals’ sales.“You know, look, we should be suing Google and Facebook and all that, which perhaps we will, okay,” Trump said. “They’re suing everybody, they make it almost impossible to do business.”Trump didn’t say what he thinks the U.S. should sue the companies for.Alphabet Inc.‘s Google, Facebook and Twitter shares dipped on the news before recovering and were little changed in early trading.Representatives for Google and Facebook didn’t comment.Social media companies have sought to more aggressively police their sites for what they consider hate speech and fraudulent accounts, but say they have no policies targeting conservatives.Trump’s threat comes after Project Veritas, a conservative organization known for deceptively edited hidden-camera videos, released footage this week allegedly depicting a Google employee saying the company wants to prevent Trump’s re-election.In a blog post, the woman from the video said the notion Google is trying to sway the election “is absolute, unadulterated nonsense.”She said she was explaining that her former team at the company “is working to help prevent the types of online foreign interference that happened in 2016.”House HearingAll three companies were scheduled to testify before a House committee Wednesday on efforts to combat terrorist content and misinformation.Representative Mike Rogers, the top Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee holding the hearing said he had “serious questions” about Google’s ability to be fair given the Project Veritas video.“This report, and others like it, are a stark reminder of why the founders created the First Amendment,” Rogers said in his opening statement. “We are in trouble” if the views in the video represented Google company policy.Google’s global director of information policy testified Wednesday that no single employee could skew search results based on her political beliefs.“We are in the trust business,” the executive, Derek Slater, told Rogers. “We have a long-term incentive to get that right.”Big technology companies are coming under heightened scrutiny in Washington from the government and Congress. Trump’s Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission have taken the first steps toward investigating four big platforms for antitrust violations by splitting jurisdiction over them. The Justice Department has taken responsibility for Google and Apple Inc., while the FTC will oversee Facebook and Amazon.The House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee, led by Rhode Island Democrat David Cicilline, has launched a broad investigation into the nation’s biggest technology companies starting with a focus on how companies like Google and Facebook have impacted the news industry.For more: House Panel Kicks Off Antitrust Probe With Focus on News MediaSeparately, state attorneys general, including Nebraska’s Doug Peterson and Louisiana’s Jeff Landry -- both Republicans -- are advancing a broad inquiry into whether the biggest U.S. technology platforms are violating antitrust and consumer protection statutes.(Updates with White House plans to hold social media summit in fifth paragraph)\--With assistance from David McLaughlin.To contact the reporters on this story: Alyza Sebenius in Washington at email@example.com;Ben Brody in Washington, D.C. at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Wayne at email@example.com, Sara FordenFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- The biggest refinery on the U.S. East Coast will shut down, after a massive explosion and fire crippled operations at a site that has helped fuel the region for 153 years.The Philadelphia Energy Solutions Inc. complex on the banks of the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers in Pennsylvania has been in place since 1866, a year after the Civil War ended. It emerged from bankruptcy just 10 months prior to two fires in June that closed down key gasoline-making units just as the summer driving season gears up.Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said Wednesday the refinery will close within the next month. The complex produces 335,000 barrels a day, meeting about 3% of gasoline demand in a densely populated region. Futures in New York jumped more than 5% on a Reuters report Tuesday night that the refinery would close.On Monday, the United Steelworkers union said any decision to shut the complex would have lasting consequences “starting with almost 2,000 workers directly employed by PES and tens of thousands more whose employment depends on the refinery to some degree,” according to a statement by USW International Vice President Tom Conway.PES officials will meet with Ryan O’Callaghan, president of USW Local 10-1 at noon local time, he said in an interview Wednesday. O’Callaghan, who represents 640 USW workers at the refinery, said he hadn’t been given prior warning of any plans to close.The refinery was beset by two fires, on June 10 and June 21. The most recent, affecting an alkylation unit used to make high-octane gasoline, was triggered by an explosion in the complex’s Girard Point section that could be seen miles away and was picked up by weather satellites. The earlier blaze was at a fluid catalytic cracker in the Point Breeze section of the refinery.Biggest ComplexThe plant is the biggest of five refineries in the Northeast. It’s faced threats before. In 2012, with supply outpacing demand, it took a change of ownership and a push by lawmakers and unions to keep it operating."That refinery plays a huge part in the gasoline market," said Gene McGillian, vice president at Tradition Energy, a risk management firm in Stamford, Conn.In 2012, the Philadelphia facility almost closed before being taken over by Energy Transfer Partners subsidiary Sunoco Inc. and the Carlyle Group. It emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August with the previous owners retaining smaller stakes.The fundamental problems that undercut the complex in 2012, though, largely remained.East Coast refiners aren’t on the receiving end of crude pipelines from America’s oil shale riches in Texas and North Dakota. So the only way they can get hold of U.S. crude is by train or U.S.-flagged tankers, which are much more expensive. The result: Philadelphia-area fuel makers still import crude from West Africa and the North Sea.PES used to take at least 200 rail cars a day of Bakken crude, but most of those barrels were diverted to Midwest and Gulf Coast customers after pipeline expansions. Margins for processing imported crude sank in early June to the lowest in three years, according to Oil Analytics data. At the same time, refiners in the Midwest were threatening to encroach on part of the nearby western Pennsylvania market.Girard Point was already facing months of downtime as inspections continue to determine extent of damage from Friday’s explosions and fire.To permanently shut both Girard Point and the Point Breeze section “could take up to a year to fully secure the facility and removes the crude and products that remain in the process units and the storage tanks,” said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates LLC in Houston.(Updates with analyst comment in final paragraph. A previous version corrected spelling of a river in second paragraph.)\--With assistance from Barbara Powell.To contact the reporter on this story: Jeffrey Bair in Houston at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Marino at email@example.com, Reg GaleFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- For decades, freedom and democracy have been part of the U.S. brand. That doesn’t appear to hold true any longer, at least not in established democracies.A study commissioned by a group founded by Anders Rasmussen, the former Danish prime minister and North Atlantic Treaty Organization secretary general, showed that in many Western nations, U.S. foreign policy and well as two mainstays of its global power – the finance and technology industries – are regarded as threats to democracy.The group, the Alliance of Democracies Foundation, and Berlin-based Dalia Research, polled 177,870 people in 54 countries about their perceptions of democracy as a concept, its state in their home nations, and in the world in general.These are timely questions to ask: Influential thinkers, such as Johns Hopkins University professor Yascha Mounk and Cambridge University professor David Runciman have been writing about a crisis of representative democracy. In many countries, people are deeply unhappy with the political class. New technology, climate change and inequality are threatening established political systems.The Democracy Perception Index, as the Alliance of Democracies and Dalia named their research project, shows that people haven’t lost faith in democratic government – rather, they want more of it. A whopping 79% said democracy was important to have in their country, while 41% said there wasn’t enough of it.But the research also appears to show that people around the world have widely divergent notions about what it is and who promotes it. To people in 21 of the 54 countries, the U.S. has a negative impact on democracy throughout the world. While these countries include Russia, China and Turkey, where people might be expected to resent America’s global role, most of the 21 are established democracies, and 14 of them have higher scores than the U.S. from Freedom House – the think tank whose data are commonly used as an indicator of how free societies are.Rasmussen says he would like the study to be “a wake-up call to the U.S. that protectionism and isolationism chip away at the democratic rules-based order that has brought prosperity and peace to our modern world.”That’s a transparent swipe at Donald Trump’s divisive administration. But data from the survey belie the convenient explanation that the president’s policies are the reason so many people no longer regard the U.S. as the “shining city on the hill,” as Ronald Reagan used to put it.Negative perceptions about the U.S.’s impact are highly correlated with the belief that the finance industry, where the U.S. is the dominant player, hurts democracy. In Italy, France, Germany, Spain and a number of smaller European countries, the sector is seen having a large net negative impact. Of course, the correlation could mean that an increasing number of Europeans view the U.S. as a competitor to the European Union rather than an ally. But it’s more likely that the mistrust earned by the financial industry in the crisis of 2008 is still alive and well. Given the industry’s strong links with the U.S., this will remain a problem long after Trump leaves the White House.There is a similarly high correlation – close to 0.7 – between those who view the U.S. as a threat to democracy and those who see social networks as a threat. In most countries, the likes of Facebook and Twitter, both U.S. companies, are still seen as net positive influences, but increasingly large minorities are alarmed by these companies’ political impact.That won’t go away with Trump, either. The link in people’s minds between the U.S. and the so far unbridled aggression of its tech industry is obvious. It can only be broken by a successful regulatory effort to rein in or break up the big social media platforms.The U.S. doesn’t just have a Trump problem. In much of the Western world – not least in America’s immediate neighbor, Canada, and such staunch allies as Australia and the U.K. – people appear to see a fundamental disconnect between unilateral U.S. leadership and democracy. That, perhaps, is the best indication that the Pax Americana may indeed be ending. That doesn’t mean, however, that there aren’t still large parts of the world where the U.S. is seen as a beacon of democracy. In 34 of the 55 nations in the Democracy Perception Index, most of them developing countries, the U.S.’s perceived net impact is positive or neutral.Supporters of the U.S.’s efforts to promote democracy overseas should take heart from that part of the data. Even though countries with strong representative systems of their own have largely grown critical of U.S. democracy, much of the rest of the world is still enthralled by it. There, grateful recipients of American advice and pro-democracy efforts can still be found.If that trend holds in the post-Trump era, it might be a good reason for the U.S. to seek closer alliances with those countries rather than stick with its traditional, but less appreciative, friends.To contact the author of this story: Leonid Bershidsky at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Leonid Bershidsky is Bloomberg Opinion's Europe columnist. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website Slon.ru.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump threatened Iran with forceful retaliation for any attack on the U.S. after the Islamic Republic ruled out talks to resolve escalating tensions between the two nations.“Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force,” Trump said Tuesday in a tweet. “In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration.”Iran earlier said the path to a diplomatic solution with the U.S. had closed after the Trump administration imposed sanctions against its supreme leader and other top officials, raising tensions days after the downing of an American drone brought the Middle East to the brink of war.Trump’s comments came after some news outlets reported that Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said that the Trump administration suffered from “mental retardation.” A more precise translation from Farsi, however, would be: “The Americans have become confused and they do strange things. Things that no wise person in the history of politics has done. The White House has a mental disorder.”Trump’s tweet in response: “Iran’s very ignorant and insulting statement, put out today, only shows that they do not understand reality.”Trump last week abruptly canceled planned airstrikes against Iran for shooting down the drone. The administration also blames Tehran for recent attacks on oil tankers near the Persian Gulf, which Iran denies.“I hope they understood the message,” Trump told reporters later Tuesday at the White House. “I decided not to strike -- they shot down an unmanned drone.”Tensions have spiked in the Gulf since May, when the Trump administration revoked waivers on the import of Iranian oil, squeezing its economy a year after the U.S. walked away from the landmark 2015 deal meant to prevent the Islamic Republic from developing a nuclear weapon. Since then, a spate of attacks on oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, a shipping chokepoint, has raised the specter of war and pushed up oil prices.‘Futile Actions’“The futile sanctions against the Iranian leader and the country’s chief diplomat mean the permanent closure of the diplomatic path with the government of the United States,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said, according to the semi-official Iranian Students News Agency. “The Trump government is in the process of destroying all the established international mechanisms for maintaining global peace and security.”The new penalties are unlikely to have a significant impact on a country that’s already in recession due to stringent U.S. sanctions on its oil sector and has been largely shut out of the global financial system. The U.S. has sanctioned more than 80% of Iran’s economy, according to Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, who was in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates this week to rally a front against Iran.The targeting of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for U.S. sanctions on Monday shocked some Iranians because he’s considered a spiritual guide and a holy man by his most devoted followers.Trump has coupled his “maximum pressure” campaign of sanctions with invitations to sit down with Iranian leaders. In an interview that aired Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” the president said that he thinks Iranian leaders want to negotiate and he’s willing to talk with no preconditions except that the outcome must be Iran acquiring no nuclear weapons.His national security adviser, John Bolton, said on Tuesday that Iran had an “open door” to negotiations on a revised nuclear deal as he met Israeli and Russian officials for talks on the Iranian presence in Syria. But he said that any talks would have to “completely and verifiably eliminate Iran’s nuclear weapons program, its pursuit of ballistic missiles delivery systems, its support for international terrorism, and its other malign behavior worldwide.”(Updates with Trump comment in seventh paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Joshua Gallu in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org;Ladane Nasseri in Dubai at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Wayne at firstname.lastname@example.org, Joshua Gallu, Larry LiebertFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
In addition to Twitter and Square's successful IPOs, this investor has exited investments in startups that were acquired by Target, Silicon Valley Bank, Twilio and Stripe.
(Bloomberg) -- Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. launched its Falcon Heavy rocket for the U.S. military early Tuesday in a spectacular night time liftoff that Musk described as the company’s toughest yet.The rocket and payload rumbled aloft at 2:30 a.m. local time from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida after a three-hour delay. SpaceX then recovered the rocket’s two side boosters -- which flew in April as part of the Arabsat-6A mission -- at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The center core failed to land on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.https://t.co/nqzTRmYihI pic.twitter.com/GEvNn2L7IS— Bloomberg (@business) June 25, 2019 Falcon Heavy was carrying 24 satellites for the space agency, Department of Defense research labs and other partners. SpaceX fought for the right to compete for Air Force launches, and Tuesday’s liftoff marks a huge milestone for the company’s relationship with the U.S. military.“It’s the first multi-mission, multi-payload deployment for the Falcon Heavy and that’s really exciting for everybody,” Col. Robert Bongiovi, director of the Launch Systems Enterprise Directorate at the U.S. Air Force Space Command, said in a statement before the launch.The mission, known as STP-2, was to place the 24 spacecraft in three different orbits. The payload includes an Air Force Research Laboratory Demonstration and Science Experiments (DSX) satellite; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-sponsored Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere and Climate-2 (COSMIC-2) and four NASA experiments, according to SpaceX’s website. The final deployment was scheduled to take place more than 3 1/2 hours after the launch. Shortly before 3 a.m. local time, SpaceX’s Twitter feed began confirming deployment of the first satellites.https://t.co/ywGmMWnOj9 pic.twitter.com/G1gjpUbT3j— Bloomberg (@business) June 25, 2019 SpaceX set a company record last year with 21 launches for customers. Last month, the Hawthorne, California-based company sent up the first batch of its own satellites, a key step toward creating a space-based constellation that beams broadband to under-served areas across the globe.Much of the focus in 2019 has been on the first flight with humans on board. SpaceX and Boeing Co. have contracts with NASA to ferry American astronauts to the International Space Station as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew program.SpaceX completed the Demo-1 flight of its Crew Dragon spacecraft in March without humans on board. But in late April, the capsule was engulfed in flames and destroyed during a test, a mishap that probably will push back the commercial crew schedule. NASA and SpaceX are reevaluating target test dates.(Updates with details of liftoff in the second paragraph.)\--With assistance from Tony Capaccio.To contact the reporter on this story: Dana Hull in San Francisco at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Craig Trudell at firstname.lastname@example.org, Melinda Grenier, Angus WhitleyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- K-pop sensation BTS has racked up a string of firsts over an astonishing six-year run. Now the seven-member group star in their very own smartphone game, marrying two of South Korea’s hottest exports.Netmarble Corp., the country’s biggest mobile-app publisher, has unveiled a game featuring global K-Pop phenom BTS, the latest attempt to wed the country’s tech and entertainment industries to drive economic growth.“BTS World” contains previously undisclosed videos and photos of the boy band. The game takes players to their pre-debut days to recruit and train the singers. Users can pay to quicken the process of guiding the seven young men to stardom. Created by local developer Takeone Company Corp. and published by Netmarble, the game also features video and text chats with BTS members based on pre-written scripts.It’s the first major mobile title to focus exclusively on a K-Pop group, a testament to the rapidly growing clout of two of Korea’s most promising exports -- games and K-Pop -- as Hyundai cars struggle to regain momentum and Samsung semiconductors undergo an industry downturn.BTS or Bangtan Sonyeondan, which translates as Bulletproof Boy Scouts, has amassed millions of fans around the world thanks in large part to social media. The band’s Love Yourself campaign, which calls on people to take better care of themselves and encourages them to speak out on social issues, has resonated in particular with young fans.“Managing BTS myself would make me feel closer to the members,” said Paik Ji-min, a 29-year-old South Korean fan who flew to London to attend a BTS concert and said she would be willing to spend about 50,000 won (around $43) playing the game. “Just the thought of it makes me smile ear to ear.”Netmarble already plans a sequel to BTS World, seeking to maximize profit from what has arguably become the biggest K-Pop success after singer Psy. BTS has 20 million followers on Twitter and has made television appearances on Saturday Night Live and Ellen DeGeneres’s talk show. This year, the band sold out London’s 90,000-seat Wembley Stadium in just 90 minutes.The company’s founder, Bang Jun-hyuk, teamed up with relative Bang Si-hyuk of Big Hit Entertainment, the agency behind BTS, to develop the game. The entrepreneur is betting the recipe will re-energize growth at Netmarble, which trades about 20% lower than when it listed in 2017.“Even though it’s based on story-telling, as you progress you can discover a lot of missions and gaming elements,” Seungwon Lee, Netmarble’s chief global officer, told Bloomberg Television. “It’s sufficient incentive to keep motivating users to play.”BTS creator Bang Si-hyuk, who is also known as Hitman, told Bloomberg in 2017 that the company was diversifying into intellectual property-protected content that could possibly multiply its revenue. Big Hit is now worth an estimated $2 billion, according to the Hyundai Research Institute. The company is drawing on the popularity of the band to collaborate with Line Corp. for character merchandise and Mattel Inc. for dolls. The K-pop industry is worth about $5 billion, according to the government-affiliated Korea Creative Content Agency.Read More: High School Dropout Turns Billionaire on Games Firm IPONetmarble, whose titles include Lineage 2 Revolution and Marvel Future Fight, ranked 5th among publishers of Google Play and Apple iOS apps last year in terms of revenue, according to analytics firm App Annie. Founded in 2000, the Seoul-based company has drawn backing from Chinese giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. and South Korean conglomerate CJ Group.Vey-Sern Ling, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst, said it may be relatively easy to generate money from players because they’re already fans who display a strong willingness to pay for BTS content. But the lifespan of the game could be limited. “Once the content is consumed there should be very little reason to play on, just like how you wouldn’t watch the same movie multiple times,” Ling said.Read More: ‘Hitman’ Worth $770 Million With K-Pop Craze Rocking the PlanetTo contact the reporters on this story: Sohee Kim in Seoul at email@example.com;Sam Kim in Seoul at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at email@example.com, Colum MurphyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Japan sees ensuring the safety of shipping in the Strait of Hormuz as a matter of life and death in terms of its energy security, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said.Suga was responding Tuesday to a question about President Donald Trump’s tweet that said nations heavily dependent on fuel exports from the Middle East -- including China and Japan -- should defend their own ships rather than relying on the U.S. The Trump administration has blamed Iran for recent attacks on oil tankers near the Persian Gulf, though Iran denies it.“We are seriously concerned about rising tensions in the Middle East,” Suga said. “In particular, the safety of shipping in the Straits of Hormuz is a matter of life and death for our country in terms of energy security and it is extremely important for the peace and prosperity of the international community.” He added that Japan would continue diplomatic efforts in close cooperation with the U.S. and other countries.In a call with reporters Monday, U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo’s envoy for Iran, Brian Hook, said more than 60% of the oil that passes through the strait goes to Asian countries.Read more: U.S. Seeks Support to Watch Gulf Shipping as Iran Tensions RiseHemmed in by its pacifist constitution, Japan relies on the U.S. for security. It has gradually expanded efforts to support U.S. military actions, including sending peacekeeping troops to Iraq about 15 years ago. Under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the decades-old U.S.-drafted constitution was reinterpreted in 2014 to allow Japan to defend allies in cases where it faces an existential threat.Trump has recently mused with aides about withdrawing from the U.S.-Japan security treaty, Bloomberg News reported.To contact the reporters on this story: Isabel Reynolds in Tokyo at firstname.lastname@example.org;Takashi Hirokawa in Tokyo at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org, Jon Herskovitz, Karen LeighFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Google warned employees about protesting against the internet giant at official company events during Pride celebrations, according to people familiar with the situation.Some workers have been planning protests at the Pride parade this weekend in San Francisco to speak out against the company’s policies on harassment of LGBTQ people on YouTube.The Google video service has been under fire for how it responded to homophobic and racist jokes made in clips by conservative comedian and commentator Steven Crowder. Some Google workers spoke out against YouTube on Twitter, and a small group organized protests last week during the annual shareholder meeting of parent company Alphabet Inc.One of the next steps planned by these employees is to speak out about YouTube during Pride activities this weekend because they think the company hasn’t done enough to quash LGBTQ harassment on the video service, the people said. The parade in San Francisco requires people to be invited to a specific contingent to march, so that often means workers attend as part of groups organized by their employers.Google warned workers not to protest against the company if they are marching with Google’s official contingent. Doing so would violate the company’s code of conduct, according to internal memos viewed by the people. The Verge reported the memos earlier. A Google spokeswoman didn’t respond to a request for comment on Monday.The company’s actions may violate federal labor law protecting workplace activism, as well as a California law protecting employees’ political activities, according to University of California at Berkeley law professor Catherine Fisk. "Maintaining the policy would chill speech that is protected by law," she said."Google has undermined their own reason for participating in the Pride parade by trying to prevent its gay workers from criticizing Google’s alleged failure to address homophobic hate speech," she added. "They have sort of shot themselves in the foot on this one."\--With assistance from Gerrit De Vynck.To contact the reporters on this story: Joshua Brustein in New York at email@example.com;Josh Eidelson in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at email@example.com, Alistair Barr, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Consider a convertible bond. According to Charles Schwab & Co. Inc., convertible bonds tend to offer lower yields than traditional bonds, but have potential to generate higher total returns if the underlying stock's price rises. What is a Convertible Bond?
(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump imposed sanctions on Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and eight senior military commanders, a provocative step designed to increase pressure on the Islamic Republic.Trump told reporters at the White House on Monday that the penalties would deny Khamenei and his office access to financial resources.“The supreme leader of Iran is the one who ultimately is responsible for the hostile conduct of the regime,” Trump said.Trump last week abruptly canceled planned air strikes against Iran for shooting down a U.S. Navy drone on Thursday. The administration also blames Iran for recent attacks on oil tankers near the Persian Gulf, though Iran denies it.The penalties won’t have a significant impact on a country that’s already in recession and facing heavy sanctions from the U.S. Still, the new restrictions serve as symbolic reprimand for the attacks, according to former Treasury officials.‘Annoy the Iranians’“It will have an effect because it will annoy the Iranians and make negotiations hard to pull off if the supreme leader is sanctioned,” said Brian O’Toole, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council who previously worked in the U.S. Treasury Department’s sanctions unit.The U.S. already has sanctioned more than 80% of Iran’s economy, according to Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, who visited Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to rally a front against Iran.Trump has coupled his “maximum pressure” campaign of sanctions with invitations to sit down with Iranian leaders. In an interview that aired Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” the president said that he thinks Iranian leaders want to negotiate and he’s willing to talk with no preconditions except that the outcome must be Iran acquiring no nuclear weapons.At the United Nations on Monday, Iran’s Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi ruled out one-on-one talks with the U.S., urging Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to help organize regional talks instead. “You cannot start dialogue with someone who is threatening you, who is intimidating you,” Ravanchi told reporters.Outside a session of the Security Council called by the U.S. -- where Iran wasn’t invited to participate -- U.K. Ambassador Karen Pierce told reporters that “there’s a lot of desire to see de-escalation and to look for diplomatic solutions. At the same time, one has to take very seriously the sorts of attacks that have occurred on the tankers, which is dangerous for international shipping, dangerous for regional security.”Reflecting the same ambivalence, French Ambassador François Delattre said “maximum pressure only makes sense with maximum diplomacy.”Khamenei’s WealthKhamenei, who was initially elected president of the nascent republic in 1981, has “possessions” valued at an estimated at $200 billion, according to a Facebook post by the U.S. embassy in Baghdad in April. He’s backed by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and has survived an assassination attempt and front-line combat.The U.S. Treasury Department said Monday those sanctioned also include eight officials of the Guard Corps who supervised “malicious regional activities,” including its ballistic missile program and “harassment and sabotage” of commercial ships in international waters.Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said at a news conference in Washington that some of the sanctions had been “in the works” and others were a result of “recent activities.” He said sanctions against the Islamic Republic have been effective in cutting off funds to the military and “locking up” the Iranian economy, and that the new penalties would be effective as well.Mnuchin said the U.S. will impose financial restrictions on Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif “later this week.” Typically, the U.S. doesn’t announce sanctions in advance against individuals so they don’t hide assets before penalties take effect.Zarif, viewed as Iran’s most skilled diplomat, was lead negotiator in the multi-party nuclear accord reached in 2015 under the Obama administration that Trump has since rejected.Trump told reporters Monday that, “A lot of restraint has been shown by us, a lot of restraint -- and that doesn’t mean we are going to show it in the future, but I thought that we want to give this a chance,” he said.Any financial institution that knowingly assists with a financial transaction for those who were sanctioned could be cut off from the U.S. financial system, according to the Treasury.Even before the new penalties were announced, the U.S. had applied sanctions to almost 1,000 Iranian entities, including banks, individuals, ships and aircraft. In May, the Trump administration prohibited the purchase of Iranian iron, steel, aluminum and copper.Tensions have spiked in the Gulf since May, when the Trump administration revoked waivers on the import of Iranian oil, squeezing its economy a year after the U.S. walked away from the landmark 2015 deal meant to prevent the Islamic Republic from developing a nuclear weapon. Since then, a spate of attacks on oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz shipping choke point have raised the specter of war and pushed up oil prices. The U.S. has blamed the attacks on Tehran, which has denied any wrongdoing.On Monday, Trump questioned in comments on Twitter why the U.S. was protecting the shipping route on behalf of other countries.Hours later, a State Department official said the U.S. was seeking allies to join in a “Sentinel” program to deter Iran by equipping ships with cameras to monitor tanker traffic and document any threats. That would stop well short of the “tanker wars” of the 1980s, when the U.S. re-registered Kuwaiti ships under the U.S. flag and gave them armed escorts.(Updates with Iranian, other envoys at UN starting in ninth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Ladane Nasseri and Nick Wadhams.To contact the reporters on this story: Saleha Mohsin in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org;Shannon Pettypiece in Washington at email@example.com;David Wainer in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Wayne at email@example.com, Justin Blum, Larry LiebertFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Oil investors delivered a split decision Monday that reflected the muddy outlook for the U.S.-Iran confrontation, with global benchmark Brent crude retreating while U.S. futures gained for the third straight day.Brent closed down 0.5% while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude added almost 1%. Days after abruptly aborting a strike on Iran, President Donald Trump in a tweet asked “why are we protecting" the Strait of Hormuz, the critical Persian Gulf waterway. Yet he also imposed new sanctions on Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and eight military commanders.Brent fell in part due to traders downgrading the chances of an immediate confrontation, said Bill O’Grady, chief market strategist at Confluence Investment Management LLC in St. Louis. U.S. barrels, nonetheless, may look more attractive as tensions simmer, he said; government data last week also suggested U.S. demand is on the rise, O’Grady said.“Between higher exports and hopes for inventory contractions in the U.S., being long on WTI might make some sense," he said.West Texas Intermediate for August delivery rose 47 cents, or 0.8%, to $57.90 a barrel at the close of official trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent for August settlement slipped 34 cents to $64.86 on London’s ICE Futures Europe Exchange.Russia added another wild card for oil traders on Monday, with Energy Minister Alexander Novak declining to say whether his nation supported an extension of production cuts with OPEC that many investors see as crucial to stabilizing crude markets. A decision will have to wait until after this week’s G-20 summit of major world economies, he told reporters in St. Petersburg.WTI completed its best weekly gain in more than two years on Friday, adding 9.4%, after Iran shot down an American spy drone, and Monday’s decline may have included investors selling out of the market to lock in profits, said Marshall Steeves, an energy markets analyst at Informa Economics in New York.Traders are also awaiting two key events over the next week. Trump is set to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G-20 summit in Japan, raising hopes they can restart stalled trade talks. Days later, OPEC, Russia and other top suppliers will gather in Vienna.“It’s unclear what the next step is in the Persian Gulf," Steeves said. “We don’t know if there is going to be another attack, what the duration of the hostilities will be. There are a lot of unknowns."\--With assistance from James Thornhill and Saket Sundria.To contact the reporters on this story: Alex Nussbaum in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org;Grant Smith in London at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: James Herron at firstname.lastname@example.org, Reg Gale, Carlos CaminadaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- In his first comments on Twitter about the Federal Reserve since its decision last week to leave interest rates unchanged (but signal that a cut may be coming soon), President Donald Trump seemed to sense that policy makers were on the verge of giving him what he wanted.So in between a couple of insults, he laid out why they ought to lower interest rates in July, as bond traders fully expect:Whether he typed this out off-the-cuff is anyone’s guess (though the fact that the second tweet came instantaneously suggests it was pre-written). But with inflation still below the central bank’s target, job gains slowing a bit and other key data missing estimates, Trump and his team probably feel they have the wind at their backs in advocating for easing policy. Perhaps more important, though, is that this unprecedented public criticism has reached a sort of tipping point — rather than the Fed being seen as exerting its independence by defying the president’s calls for rate cuts, Chair Jerome Powell and others now risk being seen as unduly political if they refuse to lower rates.In fact, former Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer made some stunning comments before the central bank’s latest decision. During a talk in Israel, he said policy makers might not have raised interest rates in December if Trump hadn’t been pounding the table for cuts. “It’s not a desirable thing to have the president pronouncing on monetary policy,” he said. “What the president has understood is that he can have a one-way bet by announcing what he thinks they should have done.” Basically, Trump has nothing to lose from accusing the Fed of bringing about a recession — either the economy slows down and the Fed becomes his scapegoat, or it doesn’t and he boasts about its strength. If the December interest-rate increase was at all political, it was only at the margin. Sure, equity prices were falling, but the general consensus was that policy makers would hike and then signal an extended pause, which Powell did in early January. That has never been good enough for Trump, who has called for reducing interest rates by a full percentage point and demanded the Fed immediately “stop with the 50 B’s” when it came to monthly reductions in its balance sheet. Neither has happened yet.Again, it’s virtually impossible to know whether Trump’s criticism played a role. If anything, the bond market has been a bigger factor than the president in getting the Fed to alter course. At the same time, the political stakes are only mounting. Bloomberg News reported last week that the president believes he has the authority to demote Powell to the level of board governor. Powell responded at his press conference that “I have a four-year term, and I fully intend to serve it.” Then, in an NBC interview aired Sunday, Trump said that he didn’t threaten to demote his pick to lead the Fed but that he’d “be able to do that if I wanted.”There are few winners in a world in which the most important central bank becomes politicized, but Trump senses he may be one of those rare victors. It doesn’t take a political mastermind to realize that the strength of the U.S. economy in recent years — not to mention record stock-market prices — will be one of the main talking points as he seeks re-election. His very next tweet after his Fed comments, in fact, was to reveal a new fund-raising platform. To top it off, the first Democratic presidential primary debates are this week. Trump has a lot riding on keeping the good times going, and he sees easier monetary policy as a way to make that happen.One of the stranger things is that if Trump truly wants the Fed to lower interest rates in a hurry, he has an incentive to keep trade tensions with China elevated after this week’s pivotal Group of 20 meeting. A recent Bloomberg Economics’ analysis of data on more than 10,000 U.S. import categories showed the trade war has struck a significant blow. “The break in supply of crucial inputs is imposing significant costs on U.S. manufacturers,” Tom Orlik and Maeva Cousin wrote. Indeed, on Monday, a Dallas Fed manufacturing index fell to the lowest since mid-2016.Because of these trends, the Fed’s new favorite word appears to be “uncertainty.” Officials seem to have tilted a bit away from data dependency and are thinking more about the path forward in the months ahead. Clearly, based on their updated dot plot, many see a case for reducing rates in the coming 18 months. Just in time for the 2020 election.To contact the author of this story: Brian Chappatta at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Brian Chappatta is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering debt markets. He previously covered bonds for Bloomberg News. He is also a CFA charterholder.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump launched the Republican Party’s new digital tool designed to close the online fundraising gap with Democrats.Trump announced WinRed with a tweet Monday, calling its creation “a priority" that “will allow my campaign and other Republicans to compete with the Democrats money machine.”The new tool is the GOP’s version of ActBlue, the online platform that has raised $3.5 billion for Democratic candidates and causes since 2004, including $1.3 billion in the 2018 midterm elections.In his tweet, Trump included a link to a donation page for the Trump Make America Great Again joint fundraising committee, which focuses on small-dollar donors and benefits his campaign and the Republican National Committee.Until the launch of WinRed, which, like ActBlue, also functions as a political action committee, Republicans didn’t have a single platform that donors could use to contribute to candidates across the party. That put the GOP at a disadvantage, forcing donors who wanted to contribute online to create separate accounts each time they gave to a different candidate. ActBlue allows Democratic contributors to give to any candidate they like once they’ve set up their accounts.WinRed relies on two entities that were key to Trump’s 2016 success. It combines Revv, the payment-processing company his campaign used whenever online donors made contributions, with Data Trust, which maintains the RNC’s voter information files.Trump’s campaign and the RNC have built a formidable small-dollar donor fundraising operation. Contributors giving $200 or less have contributed $59 million to them, FEC records show. The GOP hopes that WinRed will allow congressional candidates and committees to emulate that success.In the 2018 midterm elections, ActBlue helped fuel a $525 million spending advantage for all Democratic committees, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The GOP deficit was particularly pronounced in House races, where Democrats raised $1 billion, compared with $599 million for Republicans.To contact the reporter on this story: Bill Allison in Washington at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at firstname.lastname@example.org, Max BerleyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Over the past several weeks, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has turned its nascent, fledgling commerce efforts, into a full-blown commerce pivot centered around the company launching its very own digital currency. The long-term goal? That digital currency, dubbed Libra, enables and empowers Facebook's 2 billion-plus users to more actively engage in commerce activities on the platform, and in so so doing, it creates a foundation for Facebook -- traditionally thought of as the world's largest social media company -- to become the world's largest commerce platform, too.Investors celebrated the pivot because it: 1) dramatically expands the company's addressable market, and 2) significantly lengthens the company's big growth runway. FB stock consequently rallied from $160 to $190 in just a few weeks on this commerce catalyst.But, Facebook isn't the only social media platform that can jump into commerce. Over the past several years, the lines between the digital ad and commerce business models have become increasingly blurred. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), the world's largest e-commerce business, has a burgeoning digital ad business. Facebook, the world's largest social media platform, will soon be a very important e-commerce player.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsThese convergences are happening because all that matters in either model is engagement. If you have a social media platform with a highly engaged user base, you can easily throw commerce opportunities onto that platform, and turn eyeballs into shoppers. By the same token, if you have an e-commerce business with a highly engaged shopper base, you can easily throw ads on that platform, and turn those shoppers into eyeballs. * 10 Best High-Growth Stocks to Buy for Young Investors Because of this, I don't think Amazon and Facebook will be the only two companies that blend e-commerce and advertising. With that in mind, let's take a look at six digital ad stocks that could follow Facebook into commerce. Pinterest (PINS)Source: Shutterstock At the top of this list of digital ad stocks with potential commerce upside is arguably the most "shoppable" social media platform in the world, Pinterest (NYSE:PINS).Pinterest is all about visual discovery and inspiration. Consumers go there to get inspiration for a new outfit, a home remodel, or any other project/venture where inspiration can be visually derived. Because of this, consumers are going to Pinterest with something in mind, and that "something in mind" usually leads to some sort of transaction at the end of the process. Presently, that transaction does not happen on the Pinterest platform.But, how easy would it be to migrate that transaction to the Pinterest platform? Very easy. Consumers go to Pinterest. See a shirt they like. Click on it. Get a price quote. Buy the shirt. Pinterest takes home a high-margin commission fee. Repeat this process at scale with hundreds of millions of users. That's a lot of high-margin commission fees.As such, it's reasonable to call Pinterest's commerce opportunity very large. Twitter (TWTR)Source: Shutterstock Next up, we have a social media platform that is the center of digital conversation, and which can easily leverage that positioning to be an important e-commerce platform, too.Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) is the heartbeat of social dialogue on the internet. If consumers have an opinion on that new show, the recent ball game, or a new product, they often take to Twitter to publicly voice that opinion instantaneously and at scale. As such, Twitter is presently a collection of consumer opinions on various experiences.Layering commerce on top of that existing structure would be very easy to do. Imagine this. You go to Twitter to read recent sports headlines. You see something about your local team making a trade for some big player. You're scrolling through the feed of tweet responses to that trade. As opposed to Twitter feeding you an ad every few posts, they mix in a few posts where you can directly buy tickets to the next game through some ticketing service, but on the Twitter platform. Maybe it strikes your interest. Maybe you buy the tickets. Twitter takes home a high-margin commission fee. * 7 Top S&P 500 Stocks of 2019 (So Far) Much like Pinterest, if you repeat this process at scale with hundreds of millions of users, those fees add up. All in all, then, Twitter's present status as the social dialogue platform of the internet gives it a unique opportunity to turn that dialogue into commerce action, all on its own platform. Digital Ad Stocks With Commerce Upside Potential: Snap (SNAP)Source: Shutterstock On the more speculative side of digital ad stocks with commerce upside potential, we have Snap (NYSE:SNAP).Much like Instagram and Pinterest, Snap is a visual-first platform where a lot of consumers go to consume photos and videos from friends and publishers. As such, it's easy to see how commerce can be put into the ecosystem, and turn eyeballs into shoppers.But, the unique upside here is from the fact that Snap dominates the youth demographic, which is more comfortable with the idea of mobile shopping and social commerce. It's very reasonable to believe that young consumers will be the first ones to adopt social commerce. Snap has all those young consumers. Putting two and two together, it's also very reasonable to believe that Snap could become an early leader in social commerce.As such, one of Snap's presumed weaknesses to-date -- its niche reach and narrow audience -- could actually be a tailwind for this company as it pivots into commerce. Alphabet (GOOG)Source: Shutterstock The digital ad stock with perhaps the biggest upside potential in commerce is the world's largest digital advertiser, Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL).Google Search is the backbone of the internet. They control the top of the discovery funnel when it comes to consumers learning about any service or product. Because they do, they can easily keep consumers in that discovery funnel by building out services that help consumers lower in the funnel. That funnel ends with a consumer transaction. Thus, it's very reasonable to see Google Search flowing into Google Shopping, and Alphabet becoming an e-commerce giant.That's only one leg of Alphabet's commerce potential. Alphabet also owns YouTube, which is where consumers watch a bunch of online videos, a bulk of which are product reviews and promotions. Alphabet could build in "Buy Now" functionality into those videos, so that consumers can go from watching a product review on YouTube, to buying the product, all on the YouTube platform. * 7 Telecom Stocks to Set on Speed Dial Net net, Alphabet has a tremendous opportunity in front of it to become a commerce giant. Yelp (YELP)Source: Linny Heng via FlickrOne digital ad stock that should have a fairly easy time building out a tangential commerce business is Yelp (NASDAQ:YELP).The restaurant and services review aggregator is currently the go-to place for consumers to quickly judge the quality of a restaurant or service. If a consumer is doing that, it's because they are interested in going to that restaurant or buying that service. Thus, much like Google Search, Yelp controls the top part of the discovery funnel in the restaurants and services world.Because of that, they can easily build out the bottom end of the funnel, too, and control the whole process. To be sure, there aren't any online transactions when you go to a restaurant. But, in the era of food delivery, there are multiple online transactions. As such, Yelp's pathway into the commerce world will be through online food ordering and delivery. That industry already has giants, so Yelp's move into this space should be through a revenue sharing partnership with a food delivery giant like GrubHub (NYSE:GRUB).If Yelp successfully pulls this off, it could result in enormous addressable market expansion for the company. Roku (ROKU)Source: Shutterstock Last, but not least, on this list of digital ad stocks with commerce upside potential is over-the-top content aggregator, Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU).Everyone is all excited about Roku's advertising opportunity. They should be. Consumption is rapidly shifting from the linear to internet TV channel, and as it does, ad dollars are chasing that consumption. Over the next several years, we will see a huge migration of TV ad dollars from the linear to internet channel, and a large portion of those dollars will wind up on the Roku platform.But, there's another big opportunity here in commerce. Not every video or show can be streamed through a subscription streaming service. Indeed, there are a lot of movies and shows out there that need to be purchased a la carte. If Roku can successfully become the centralized hub of internet TV service access, then it will naturally also become the centralized hub for ordering movies and shows a la carte. Those transaction revenues will add up over millions of accounts, and ultimately become a sizable business for Roku. * 10 Monthly Dividend Stocks to Buy to Pay the Bills Overall, Roku is oozing with growth potential across many different growth verticals, and that ultimately makes ROKU stock a long-term winner.As of this writing, Luke Lango was long FB, PINS, TWTR, GOOG and ROKU. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Telecom Stocks to Set on Speed Dial * 6 Stocks to Sell in the Back Half of 2019 * 7 Top S&P 500 Stocks of 2019 (So Far) Compare Brokers The post 6 Digital Ad Stocks That Could Follow Facebook Into Commerce appeared first on InvestorPlace.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Facebook Inc. appears to be moving ahead with the Supreme Court-like content oversight board it has been discussing for a year. It’s a worthy step but also a 1% solution for a unimaginably vast problem. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s co-founder and chief executive officer, has been talking for more than a year about an independent authority that would become a final arbiter about whether a social network post should stay online or be wiped away for breaching the company’s rules against hate speech, calls to violence or other abuses. People can also appeal to the independent body if they think one of their posts has been unfairly flagged or removed. Facebook has solicited feedback on the structure for this Supreme Court-like body, and Bloomberg News on Monday described some of the company's deliberations to come up with the best structure and policies. (Noah Feldman, a Harvard Law School professor and Bloomberg Opinion columnist, pitched the concept of an independent oversight board to Facebook. I haven’t spoken with him about this oversight body.)This is a promising idea, and I’m glad that Facebook, Google’s YouTube, Twitter Inc. and other internet gathering places are all (belatedly) thinking hard about how to deal with the inevitable and sometimes deadly downsides of giving billions of people a public megaphone. Sensible principles, however, must be tested and revised against reality, and I hope when the board does its work it will give the public opportunities to assess how well it’s working. But no one can pretend that this board of perhaps dozens of people will be able to tackle more than a minuscule fraction of disputed posts a year. That’s useful for high-profile judgment calls, such as the doctored video of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that surfaced recently on Facebook and for which Facebook faced criticism about how it handled the situation. Indeed, a Facebook executive suggested recently that the oversight board would be helpful for “dozens” of cases every year in which there is debate within the company on the right approach for a post or video. Dozens of cases are immaterial to Facebook’s scale. The company says that it gets millions of reports every week from people worldwide who believe posts have nudity, graphic violence, hate speech or other potentially inappropriate materials. Many of the judgement calls are made by relatively low-wage contractors who are left scarred by the experience of sifting through the worst of humanity to make split-second calls on whether a post violates Facebook’s rules. It is the hidden horror show behind the internet’s most popular hangouts. A Supreme Court would be the opposite end of this. A high gloss, highly selective, presumably well-paid group that would would deliberate how to best balance free expression and the protection of people from harassment, violence or manipulation. Facebook likes ideas that “scale,” and the Supreme Court cannot possible scale to the 2.7 billion people who use Facebook’s internet hangouts. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing, but let’s also not pretend an oversight board is anything close to a silver bullet. I also can’t help think that there is too much focus on Facebook’s policies and procedures and not enough on what the company does in real life. Facebook’s favorite excuse is that terrorism, calls to violence, promotions of illegal drugs, child exploitation or other abuses “are not allowed” on its internet hangouts. That’s because Facebook has written rules, and those rules have specific prohibitions against all manner of misdeeds. And yet all those abuses are rampant because Facebook exists in the real world and not on paper.Facebook is a reflection of the world, with the best and worst of humanity amplified and exposed to a wide audience. That means Facebook’s good intentions don’t matter. Its purported diligence and earnestness do not matter. What matters is what the company does when its good intentions meet reality, and too often Facebook has failed in that regard. Groups in Myanmar complained repeatedly that people in the country were systematically harnessing Facebook to sow hatred and violence against the Rohingya ethnic minority in the country, and yet Facebook could not or would not do anything to stop it. Would the supporters of the Rohingya in Myanmar be served by a Facebook Supreme Court? Would it matter if they appealed to an oversight board about genocide after the fact? Again and again, people broadcast in real time acts of violence on Facebook, and the company believes it should continue to allow live video on its site that is difficult or impossible to police until after the harm has already been done. Setting and enforcing rules for 2.7 billion people is not simple. Dealing with an open space for billions of people is often reactionary. Facebook too often ignores systematic problems until someone important complains or until it’s too glaringly obvious to ignore. Each country also has its own norms about the appropriate balance of free expression and harmful speech. And one post or photo on its own may be innocuous but it becomes dangerous as part of a pattern to encourage violence or sow division in an electorate. Assuming it is transparent about its work, having an oversight board for Facebook’s high-profile content disputes is a good step. But the public and regulators should continue to press Facebook and its peers on the bigger, pernicious problems.To contact the author of this story: Shira Ovide at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Shira Ovide is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. She previously was a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Follow @Brexit, sign up to our Brexit Bulletin, and tell us your Brexit story. Tory leadership front-runner Boris Johnson faces mounting pressure to submit to more public scrutiny, after Jeremy Hunt accused him of “cowardice.” Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn again indicated he’s warming to the idea of a second referendum, ahead of a key shadow cabinet meeting Tuesday.Must read: Johnson and Hunt Share Views, Not Style on U.K. Foreign PolicyKey Developments:Hunt calls on Johnson to submit to media interviews and to join a debate on Tuesday night on Sky News Sky says the debate won’t go ahead unless Johnson agrees. Hunt had wanted the broadcaster to empty-chair JohnsonJohnson repeats “we must and we will” leave EU on Oct. 31, giving little more detail in his Telegraph columnNext hustings, or political roadshow, scheduled for June 27Labour to set its Brexit position on Tuesday, says McDonnellPound fallsCorbyn Signals Support for Second Referendum (4 p.m.)Prime Minister Theresa May’s statement to Parliament on last week’s European Union summit largely avoided any of the contentious issues facing her party, and even under questioning, she refused to go near the detail of Brexit. But Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn did seem to signal that he continues to warm to the idea of another Brexit referendum.“What would be worse,” he asked, “crashing out with no deal in October, or putting this issue back to the people for a final say?” He repeated the point at the end of his reply: “Whatever Brexit plan the new Tory leader comes up with, after three long years of failure they should have the confidence to go back to the people on a deal agreed by Parliament.”That’s short of a full commitment to Labour backing a second referendum in all circumstances, but it’s movement from Corbyn’s position a few months ago, when he was focused on a general election.Clarke Would Vote With Labour to Stop No-Deal (1.20 p.m.)Veteran europhile Tory MP Ken Clarke said he would be prepared to vote to bring down the government in a confidence motion to prevent a no-deal Brexit (see 7:30 a.m.).“It might trigger an election, it might trigger a change of government without an election,” Clarke told BBC radio, referring to the law which gives the incumbent prime minister or a challenger a fortnight to find a working majority in the House of Commons.Clarke called for Johnson to "expose himself to public scrutiny" in the Tory leadership race because he isn’t on top of the policy detail of Brexit. "He doesn’t seem to realize that you can’t leave with no deal and have an implementation period during which there is more discussion,” Clarke said.McDonnell: Labour to Find Brexit Stance Tuesday (11:50 a.m.)The opposition Labour Party, which has been accused of maintaining an ambiguous stance on Brexit, will review its position on Tuesday, and shadow chancellor John McDonnell said he hoped a more “definitive” one will emerge.“Out of the shadow cabinet tomorrow I think we’ll find a position -- I’m hoping a more definitive position will emerge and we’ll be able to publicly communicate it,” he said in London.The shadow cabinet is split over a second referendum, with leader Jeremy Corbyn edging gradually toward backing one -- but still with reservations.Hunt Says Johnson is Cynical and Complacent (11:30 a.m.)Responding to Sky News’s decision to pull the leadership debate unless Boris Johnson shows up, Jeremy Hunt accused his rival of running down the clock and avoiding public scrutiny until after Tory members have already started voting in the postal ballot.“Trying to duck debates and run down the clock until after postal ballots have been returned is just cynical and complacent,” a spokesman for Hunt said in a statement. “Boris Johnson must stop trying to slink into No. 10 through the back door and come clean about his program for government.”Conservative members receive postal ballots between July 6 and July 8, and the winner will be announced the week of July 22.Rees-Mogg Attacks ‘Curtain-Twitchers’ (9:15 a.m.)Jacob Rees-Mogg, the veteran Brexit campaigner who is backing Boris Johnson for prime minister, attacked the neighbors who recorded a noisy argument between Johnson and his partner as politically motivated busy-bodies.Johnson allies have rallied to defend his right to privacy since news broke on Friday that police were called to his home. At a hustings on Saturday Johnson was cheered for his refusal to answer questions about the matter.“Corbynista curtain-twitchers are not attractive,” Rees-Mogg told LBC radio. “Putting a glass next to the door with their mobile. Were they doing that every day hoping to get a snippet?”While rival Jeremy Hunt has called for Johnson to face greater scrutiny on his policies, he is being careful to emphasize that he doesn’t want to probe Johnson’s private life. He said earlier that the public don’t want to see Tory candidates throwing “brick-bats” at each other over their private affairs.Hunt Focuses on Johnson’s Many Brexit Views (8:45 a.m.)During his media round on Monday, Tory leadership candidate Jeremy Hunt has been pushing rival Boris Johnson to explain how he plans to keep his supporters -- many of whom have divergent views on Brexit -- on side if he becomes prime minister.Johnson hasn’t made any media appearances, but his proxies on Monday rather prove Hunt’s point. Both Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who doesn’t favor a no-deal exit from the EU, and Priti Patel, a Brexiteer who does, have both been defending Johnson’s record.Patel told BBC Radio there would be no Brexit implementation period: “That ship has sailed.”Clegg: No Evidence Russia Shaped Brexit on Facebook (8:30 a.m.)Nick Clegg, Facebook’s head of global affairs, said there’s “no evidence” Russia used the company’s platform to influence the Brexit vote. The pro-EU former leader of the Liberal Democrats told BBC Radio: “The roots to British euroskepticism go very, very deep.”Hunt Won’t Guarantee Brexit by Oct. 31 (8 a.m.)Tory leadership candidate Jeremy Hunt said it’s “possible” for the U.K. to leave the European Union by Oct. 31 but that he’s not going to guarantee it. In comments that are likely to alarm Brexiteers in the Conservative Party, Hunt told BBC Radio that in the event Parliament blocks a no-deal Brexit, the government would have to continue to negotiate with the EU. Hunt said he wouldn’t call a general election in those circumstances.Hunt’s comments come after leadership front-runner Boris Johnson reiterated in his weekly Telegraph newspaper column that the U.K. “must” leave the EU by Oct. 31, without giving details.Minister: MPs Would Bring Down No-Deal Govt (7:30 a.m.)Tobias Ellwood, a defense minister, told the BBC that if the next prime ministers pursues a no-deal exit, a group of Conservatives would join forces with the opposition Labour Party and bring the government down.“I think a dozen or so members of parliament would be on our side, would be voting against supporting a no-deal and that would include ministers as well as backbenchers,” he told Panorama.Hunt Asks Whether Johnson Would Call Early Election (7:20 a.m.)Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt accused front-runner Boris Johnson of “cowardice” for dodging television debates and media interviews as he tries to get the upper hand in a race in which he’s seen as the underdog.Hunt said Johnson has to answer questions about his Brexit policy, how he has pulled together such a broad coalition of supporters, and whether he would call an early election to force his policy through.“The gravity of the constitutional crisis we face as a country is so enormous people want to know what is the plan,” he told Sky.He plans to turn up for a debate on Sky News on Tuesday and called on the broadcaster to leave an empty chair for Johnson if he doesn’t show.Earlier:Hunt Says Johnson Dodges Scrutiny as Race for U.K. PM Heats UpBrexit Bulletin: Dodging ScrutinyTo contact the reporters on this story: Kitty Donaldson in London at email@example.com;Jessica Shankleman in London at firstname.lastname@example.org;Robert Hutton in London at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Emma Ross-Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org, Stuart BiggsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump accused the Federal Reserve of behaving like a “stubborn child” in refusing to cut interest rates as he attacked the central bank again for keeping credit too tight.“Now they stick, like a stubborn child, when we need rates cuts, & easing, to make up for what other countries are doing against us. Blew it!,” the president said in a tweet on Monday.Trump has spent months criticizing Fed Chairman Jerome Powell for raising interest rates last year -- in Trump’s view -- too far and too fast. In his latest tweet, Trump reiterated his belief that if the U.S. central bank would cut interest rates, the economy would be stronger.At the Fed’s policy meeting last week, officials decided to leave interest rates unchanged but they opened the door to a cut.Trump criticized European Central Bank President Mario Draghi in a June 18 tweet after Draghi signaled more monetary stimulus may be on the way for the euro area. Trump said that would make it “unfairly easier for them to compete against the USA. They have been getting away with this for years, along with China and others.”Expectations are growing that the Fed is on a course to cut as soon as its July 30-31 gathering.Trump’s pressure on Powell intensified this month. Bloomberg reported last week that the president believes he has the authority to replace Powell as Fed chairman, demoting him to the level of board governor.Powell was resolute on Wednesday in a press conference after the central bank’s policy meeting, saying: “I have a four-year term, and I fully intend to serve it.”In a NBC interview aired Sunday, Trump denied that he’d threatened to demote Powell but said he’d “be able to do that if I wanted.”The Federal Reserve Act provides explicit protection for Fed governors against removal by the president except “for cause.” Courts have interpreted the phrase to require proof of some form of legal misconduct or neglect of basic duties. A disagreement over monetary policy wouldn’t meet that bar.It’s less clear, however, whether the president can demote a chair, removing him or her from the top position while leaving the person as a Fed governor.To contact the reporters on this story: Matthew Boesler in New York at email@example.com;Rich Miller in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Margaret Collins at email@example.com, Elizabeth WassermanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The internet was supposed to render geography irrelevant.(2) But the corporations that dominate the internet have turned out to be remarkably concentrated, geographically speaking. In internet publishing and web search portals, a somewhat ungainly but very important North American Industry Classification System category, 58% of all U.S. jobs in December could be found in just five counties, and more than 70% in the top 10.The location quotient is a measure of how concentrated an industry is in a particular place — a quotient of 1 means it’s right at the national average — and the location quotients in the above table make clear that this particular industry is heavily concentrated in the top five counties, especially the three bordering San Francisco Bay. In San Mateo County, home of Facebook Inc., one is about 30 times more likely to encounter an internet publishing and web search portal employee than in the country in general. Just to the south in Santa Clara County, the heart of Silicon Valley and the home of Google and its corporate parent Alphabet Inc., it’s 27 times more likely. Just to the north in San Francisco County, home of Twitter Inc. and Pinterest Inc., it’s 13 times more likely. The Bureau of Labor Statistics actually didn’t release fourth-quarter San Mateo County data for the sector, presumably because it was so dominated by Facebook that this would amount to disclosing private information, so I backed out the numbers using metropolitan-area data and a little elbow grease. The BLS did release San Mateo County numbers for the third quarter, and the employment total and location quotient were close to those I came up with (the average weekly wage was higher, at $8,872), so I don’t think this was much of a stretch.Related: Where Microbrewery Jobs Are OverflowingFinancial Jobs Aren’t Just in New YorkA Booming Local Health-Care Industry Isn’t Always a Good ThingEmployment location quotients of 30 and 27 are, it should be stressed, quite high, especially for such populous counties (San Mateo County has about 770,000 inhabitants; Santa Clara County nearly 2 million). Wayne County, Michigan, the headquarters of the U.S. automobile industry, had a December employment location quotient for motor vehicle manufacturing of 16.7; the District of Columbia’s location quotient for federal government employment was 13 and change.Santa Clara County did have a dizzying December location quotient of almost 64 for electronic computer manufacturing (thanks mainly, one assumes, to Cupertino-based Apple Inc.) and 40 for semiconductor machinery manufacturing (industry leader Applied Materials Inc. is based in the city of Santa Clara), but those are at least industries that revolve around creating complex, tangible products, which it stands to reason necessitates lots of people working in the same place. The internet is on first impression different: It’s everywhere, and it can be worked on from anywhere. Yet employment at the corporations that shape it is concentrated in a handful of places in the U.S. and has been getting more so. In March 2014, the top five counties accounted for 48% of the nation’s internet publishing and web search portal jobs, and the top 10 62%.Facebook and Google have been expanding overseas, so it’s possible that this focus on U.S. data is somewhat misleading — sadly there’s no global counterpart to the hyper-detailed Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages from which the data in this column (as well as pieces over the past few days on breweries, financial services and health care) is taken. Also, it’s not all about engineers at Facebook and Google: As the lower average wages outside of Silicon Valley indicate, this category also includes journalists working at online enterprises such as BuzzFeed Inc. and Vox Media Inc. in New York and elsewhere. It may also include contract workers slowly going crazy moderating Facebook pages in Phoenix; it’s often hard to know for sure how specific corporate activities are classified by the BLS, because the BLS isn’t allowed to say, but the goal is to assign the people working at a location to the industry sector that best fits what most of them are working on.Traditional media has a tendency toward concentration, too: Los Angeles County has 27% of the nation’s jobs in motion picture and sound recording industries. New York County (aka Manhattan) has 18% of all U.S. periodicals publishing jobs. The two counties together account for 20% of broadcasting employment. But the top-five and top-10 counties’ shares of jobs in these sectors are much smaller than with internet publishing and web search portals, and in motion pictures and periodicals, the very top counties have actually been losing employment share in recent years as media companies shift production to less expensive locales.In their much-cited 2009 review of what drives economic activity and the resulting wealth to “agglomerate” in certain cities, economists Edward Glaeser and Joshua Gottlieb wrote that:The largest body of evidence supports the view that cities succeed by spurring the transfer of information. Skilled industries are more likely to locate in urban areas and skills predict urban success. Workers have steeper age-earnings profiles in cities and city-level human capital strongly predicts income. It is possible that these effects will be reduced by ongoing improvements in information technology, but that is not certain and has not happened yet.It’s presumably the value of this transfer of information among skilled workers that has driven internet companies to concentrate in a few places. High costs in those places and those “ongoing improvements in information technology” might drive dispersion, although there’s no sign of that yet in this data. Politics might, too: As Facebook in particular has been discovering lately, having your employees concentrated in a few places can mean having few friends in Washington. But for now, the work of internet publishing and web search portals remains tightly clustered along the San Francisco Bay, and to a lesser extent the Hudson River and Puget Sound. Geography still seems to matter, a lot.Coming Tuesday: the sectors with the highest location quotients.(1) I realize that this has become something of a straw man, and that by this point far more has been written attacking the idea that the internet renders geography irrelevant than espousing it. But as someone who was at least halfway paying attention in the 1990s, I think it's fair to say that most people in those days assumed that universal connectivity would lead to a spreading out of economic activity rather than a concentration.To contact the author of this story: Justin Fox at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Brooke Sample at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Justin Fox is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering business. He was the editorial director of Harvard Business Review and wrote for Time, Fortune and American Banker. He is the author of “The Myth of the Rational Market.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.