FB - Facebook, Inc.

NasdaqGS - NasdaqGS Real-time price. Currency in USD
+0.37 (+0.17%)
At close: 4:00PM EST
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Previous close221.77
Bid222.05 x 800
Ask222.14 x 800
Day's range220.53 - 222.29
52-week range142.52 - 222.63
Avg. volume13,700,482
Market cap633.488B
Beta (5Y monthly)1.06
PE ratio (TTM)35.51
EPS (TTM)6.26
Earnings date28 Jan 2020
Forward dividend & yieldN/A (N/A)
Ex-dividend dateN/A
1y target est243.51
  • Brexit, Facebook, Endowments and Other Errors

    Brexit, Facebook, Endowments and Other Errors

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Every year for the past decade I have been making a list of what I got wrong. This act of contrition allows me to own my mistakes, recognize my fallibility and learn from the experience. I hope you find some value in doing the same exercise.Let’s get to the errors:No. 1. Trading commissions: Last February, I cited a Morningstar survey that found that “fees fell 8 percent in 2017, the largest one-year decline ever reported.” It seemed, according to data on fees, that the point of diminishing returns had been reached. “The race to zero may be reaching its natural limits,” I wrote.Boy, did Charles Schwab Corp. prove me wrong.Although commission-free trading has been around awhile, it was either a niche product or offered as a teaser for other products. After investment giant Schwab said in October that it would offer commission-free trading, everyone from Fidelity to Vanguard to TD Ameritrade followed suit.One caveat: There is no free lunch, and free trading means that offsetting fees may be hidden or buried in the fine print. I continue to believe that, at least in finance, cheap is better than free. No. 2. University endowments underperform: Each October, many college endowments release their investment performance data for the past fiscal year. I wrote about the Ivy League endowments and how they had failed to beat benchmark returns.But I made an assumption that the benchmark these endowments were being compared against was a globally diversified portfolio. I was wrong. As it turns out — buried in a footnote of the research I relied on — the benchmark used for the study was a domestic portfolio.  This is not a good comparison because the endowments invest globally. It stands to reason that they would look like laggards in a period of U.S. market outperformance versus the rest of the world. The lesson learned: The footnotes matter — a lot.No. 3. Brexit: I have been saying that the British will eventually come to realize that Brexit is a self-destructive and needless exercise and eventually would reverse the referendum mandating that the U.K. leave the European Union. I said it here, here and here.The election as prime minister of Boris Johnson, an opportunistic Brexiteer, pretty much means that the exit is going to be fast-tracked in a way that his predecessor, Theresa May, could never manage. There is no need to wait for it to be official: I was wrong about Brexit. The only argument left is whether the U.K. will leave the EU with or without a deal setting the terms of the departure.No. 4. Fiduciary rule: I have long argued that the brokerage industry owes consumers a higher level of care than now on offer and that putting client interests first should be the standard. In other words, rules should require brokers to serve as fiduciaries rather than as the glorified used-car salesmen that they historically have been.Despite opposition from the brokerage industry to any rule change, investors have been voting with their dollars and hiring financial advisers that conform to this better standard. It is all but inevitable, I wrote, that this fiduciary standard would be adopted by the industry, albeit with a nudge from the government.But I underestimated what the deeply motivated and deep-pocketed brokerage industry can accomplish in a deeply corrupt Washington. For now, rules requiring the adoption of the fiduciary standard are on hold.No. 5. Facebook didn't flip the 2016 election: I made a mistake on the long-running debate about the role of a weaponized Facebook in the 2016 election, arguing that very few people change their minds based on social media. Mostly, I argued, social media is a giant echo chamber and that people aggressively avoid ideas that challenge their established opinions.Given how close the 2016 election was — decided by a tiny share of the votes cast in three or four states — I am willing to admit that maybe Facebook content did persuade a few people to change their votes or stay home. Theoretically, this could have swung the election. And while I was predisposed to discount the role of social media in 2020, I now believe it could matter a lot. Let’s hope the 2020 election isn’t so close that the role of social media even matters.To contact the author of this story: Barry Ritholtz at britholtz3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Greiff at jgreiff@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is chairman and chief investment officer of Ritholtz Wealth Management, and was previously chief market strategist at Maxim Group. He is the author of “Bailout Nation.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Financial Times

    Facebook apologises after Xi Jinping name translated as an obscenity

    Facebook has been forced to apologise after a “technical issue” caused Chinese president Xi Jinping’s name to be rendered as an obscenity in Burmese-to-English translations. On Saturday the Chinese president’s name appeared as “Mr Shithole” in translations from Myanmar’s main language into English, including on the Facebook pages of news website The Irrawaddy and Ms Aung San Suu Kyi’s office. “Mr Shithole, President of China arrives at 4pm,” one of the posts read when translated into English.

  • Bloomberg

    Democrats Try to Reassure Latinos Over Trump’s Socialism Cry

    (Bloomberg) -- Democrats seeking to counter President Donald Trump’s use of “socialism” as a slur can look to a yearlong effort to fight back now underway in Florida.Trump frequently attacks Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders as socialists in the mold of progressives in Congress like Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who are pushing the party to adopt far-left policies.This attack has particular resonance among Hispanic voters, particularly those from socialist countries. Democrats were stung by a narrow loss in a gubernatorial race in 2018 that featured similar accusations, and Florida Democrats are looking to blunt those attacks in the crucial 2020 swing state. The party is reaching out to voters whose negative experiences with governments in Nicaragua, Venezuela and Cuba have heightened their concerns about socialism and made them receptive to Trump’s criticisms.Over the past year, the state Democratic Party has hired a Latino outreach director, launched a Spanish-language radio show and trained surrogates to make their case on Univision, Telemundo and local TV and radio. It’s also seeking to register more Latino voters as part of a $2.8 million effort on voter registration.Roughly one in six registered voters in Florida is Hispanic, according to the Pew Research Center. Exit polls showed that Cuban Americans, who make up roughly a third of Florida Hispanics, were about twice as likely to vote for Trump in 2016 as non-Cuban Hispanics.Democrats nationally fear that the attack is effective enough to peel off votes from other Latin American immigrants in 2020.Charges of socialism have “absolutely worked” in the past, said Evelyn Perez-Verdia, a Colombian-American consultant who works in South Florida. “They are playing with the fears of our communities,” she said.Joshua Karp, a former spokesman for Andrew Gillum, a Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate in 2016, said he’s concerned that the national party is underestimating the potency of that messaging, especially in such a closely fought state.Gillum lost by slightly less than half a percentage point in a race in which both Trump and the Republican candidate, Ron DeSantis, painted him as a “far-left socialist” who “wants to turn Florida into Venezuela,” a label Gillum rejected and fact-checkers rated as false.Still, Karp said the accusation may have been effective in damaging Gillum’s campaign in a state where races are often decided by the thinnest of margins.“In the research I have seen, this word is a gateway to people believing other negative narratives about Democrats,” he said. “By leading with socialism, Republicans can inject other arguments about Democrats that would otherwise be dismissed by a lot of voters.”Trump has signaled that he will intensify those attacks, regardless of the eventual Democratic nominee.One recent series of ads by the Trump campaign on Facebook claimed that “every 2020 Democrat candidate” has embraced “the ideas of radical socialists like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar to try and appeal to their extreme left-wing base.”“We’ve seen socialism completely FAIL in countries like Venezuela and Greece,” the ad says before asking voters to take an “official socialism approval poll.”Trump is hardly the first Republican to paint an opponent as a socialist. John McCain and Mitt Romney both used the label to describe Barack Obama at times. Among the crowded Democratic field, only Sanders calls himself a “democratic socialist,” while the attacks have helped push Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden to state they are capitalists.At a debate in September, Sanders was pressed by a Univision reporter to explain the difference between his views and those of authoritarian socialists like Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. ”Let me be very clear: Anybody who does what Maduro does is a vicious tyrant,” Sanders responded.Trump is already pushing hard on the attack line in online ads that are aimed at building up lists of potential voters and donors.Online AdsA recent online ad segues from a news segment on the Green New Deal proposal endorsed by Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez to images of Joseph Stalin, Fidel Castro and a flag-burning by a fringe U.S. group, the Revolutionary Communist Party, all shown beneath a banner urging viewers to text the campaign.Trump is spending big on online ads already, putting $28 million toward ads on Facebook and $13 million for ads on Google so far, making him one of the biggest advertisers on both platforms.But Florida Democratic Party spokeswoman Luisana Pérez Fernandez said many of the key voters there can be reached better through local radio and TV shows. That led the party to launch “Democracia al Dia,” a half-hour radio show on Saturdays that reaches about 6,000 listeners each week, and why it’s training media surrogates to appear on local news shows.Among the arguments that Democrats are making: criticizing the Trump administration’s handling of Venezuela’s troubled government, deportations of Cuban residents and failure to grant temporary protected status to Venezuelans. They’re also hitting back with an epithet of their own, calling Trump a “caudillo,” a Spanish word for an authoritarian leader.“His systematic attacks against the free press, his intentions to pack the judiciary, his idea of justice -- where the whole Justice Department, the FBI and the intelligence community has to be loyal to him -- this is exactly what we fled in Latin America,” said Leopoldo Martinez, a Democratic National Committee member who fought the regime of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela. “This is not a thing of left or right.”But Republicans argue that Democrats brought the charge of socialism on themselves. Rory Cooper, a Republican political strategist, said that Democratic proposals for Medicare for All, a Green New Deal and free college have reinvigorated the debate over socialism, as has the prominence of Sanders in the primary.“If you look at the platform that the Democrats are struggling with right now, it’s very clear that within their own party there is this generational tension between the Bernie Sanders platform and the Obama-Biden pragmatic platform,” he said. “I think it makes complete sense for Republicans to take advantage of that tension.”(Updates Trump spending on Facebook ads in 19th paragraph. A pervious version of this article corrected name of Florida Democratic Party spokeswoman Luisana Pérez Fernandez in 20th parargraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Ryan Teague Beckwith in Washington at rbeckwith3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at wbenjaminson@bloomberg.net, Steve GeimannFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Trump’s on Trial While in Iran, Fallout is Fierce: Weekend Reads

    Trump’s on Trial While in Iran, Fallout is Fierce: Weekend Reads

    (Bloomberg) -- Want to receive this post in your inbox every day? Sign up for the Balance of Power newsletter, and follow Bloomberg Politics on Twitter and Facebook for more.For only the third time in America’s history, a president is about to go on trial. Donald Trump’s impeachment case — in which he faces charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — got underway Thursday with a show of pageantry in the Senate.It came a day after the U.S. and China signed a phase-one deal that’s aimed at stemming the damage from their bruising trade war.In Tehran, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei gave his first Friday sermon in eight years, seeking to rally Iranians around an embattled establishment after a furious domestic backlash over the government’s attempts to cover up the unintentional downing of a passenger jet.Dig deeper into these and other topics and click here for Bloomberg’s most compelling political images from the past week.Xi’s Wider Fight With U.S. Only Just Beginning After Trade DealIn a letter read out during Wednesday’s trade deal signing at the White House, Chinese leader Xi Jinping asked Trump to take steps to “enhance mutual trust and cooperation between us.” But as Bloomberg News reports, that won’t be easy.With Iowa Looming, Bernie Sanders Is Poised for an UpsetThe cantankerous senator’s campaign appears to have taken off at just the right time, Joshua Green reports. But it will take more than just his hardcore supporters for Bernie Sanders to win the Democratic nomination.The Tokyo Job: Inside Carlos Ghosn’s Escape to BeirutDespite being under intense surveillance, with a camera trained on his front door and undercover agents tailing him when he left his house, Ghosn somehow made it to Lebanon. Matthew Campbell reports on the elite extraction team that spirited the former CEO out of Japan.Fury at Air Crash Cover-Up Puts Iran’s Leaders Back on DefensiveThe admission by authorities in Tehran that they accidentally shot down a passenger jet packed with Iranian students last week shattered a brief moment of unity, Marc Champion, Arsalan Shahla and Golnar Motevalli write.Strength in Weakness: Why Iran Fights the Way It DoesThe pinpoint accuracy of Iran’s response to the killing of commander Qassem Soleimani, striking two U.S. bases in Iraq while avoiding causing casualties, has signaled Tehran’s capacity to harm American assets. As Marc Champion reports, it’s also shown the limitations on Iran’s freedom to openly do so.Trump Bailout Means Farmers Emerge Optimistic From Trade WarDonald Trump is boasting that he’s made farmers “really happy.” He’s not wrong, Mike Dorning reports, but it’s not just the trade deal that’s left farmers optimistic for 2020.The European Union Is Going to Miss the U.K. When It’s GoneWith one foot inside and one foot out, the U.K. was never sure which way to turn — and the European Union never seemed to know how to make it more comfortable. Now, the overriding feeling among the EU’s political elite remains one of regret, Ian Wishart writes.How Putin Was Thrown Off Course by a Furious Libyan GeneralKhalifa Haftar was expecting the Kremlin red carpet. Instead he was cooped up in the Russian Foreign Ministry hoping for an audience with President Vladimir Putin, Samer Al-Atrush, Ilya Arkhipov and Selcan Hacaoglu write. In the end, the Libyan commander stormed out.No Soul Searching for Xi After Taiwan Rebuffs China in ElectionIn a democracy, two resounding election defeats in a matter of months might prompt some soul searching in the losing camp. But as Samson Ellis and Peter Martin report, in China a snub at the polls in places it claims is more a minor setback rather than a sign of a flawed strategy.Bloody Mutiny in Sudan Casts Shadow Over Drive for DemocracyWhen disgruntled Sudanese spies took up arms and gunfire rang out across Khartoum, even members of the most powerful pro-government militia were startled, Mohammed Alamin and Samuel Gebre report.Drones Target Polluters in One of Europe’s Smoggiest PlacesKrakow was one of the most choked-up urban areas on the continent, James M Gomez and Dorota Bartyzel write. Then the Polish city became ruthless in its fight for clean air.And finally ... Whenever somebody on Twitter takes issue with the network’s policies, they almost always resort to the same strategy: They send a tweet to @jack. But while Dorsey is the company’s public face, the taxing job of creating and enforcing Twitter’s rules don’t actually land on the CEO’s shoulders. Instead, that falls to Twitter’s top lawyer, Vijaya Gadde, Kurt Wagner writes. \--With assistance from Kathleen Hunter.To contact the author of this story: Ruth Pollard in New Delhi at rpollard2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Karl Maier at kmaier2@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Google Joins The Trillion-Dollar Club: Who's Next?

    Google Joins The Trillion-Dollar Club: Who's Next?

    Google Joins The Trillion-Dollar Club: Who's Next?

  • Tech Daily: GOOGL, AMZN, AAPL, TSM, FB, MSFT

    Tech Daily: GOOGL, AMZN, AAPL, TSM, FB, MSFT

    Alphabet's trillion dollar valuation, Amazon's India troubles and TSM's upbeat earnings announcement are the top stories in this daily.

  • Which Stocks are in the $1 Trillion Club?

    Which Stocks are in the $1 Trillion Club?

    The $1 Trillion Valuation Club is one of the most exclusive groups on Wall Street, and it just added its newest member.

  • Buy Google parent Alphabet Stock at its New $1 Trillion Market Cap?

    Buy Google parent Alphabet Stock at its New $1 Trillion Market Cap?

    Shares of Google parent Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) have jumped 9% in 2020 to help it ascend into the $1 trillion market cap club. Is it time to buy?

  • Biden Calls for Repeal of Law that Shields Internet Giants From Liability

    Biden Calls for Repeal of Law that Shields Internet Giants From Liability

    (Bloomberg) -- Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden called for the repeal of Section 230, part of a U.S. law that protects internet companies from liability for content their users post online.In an interview with the New York Times editorial board, Biden said companies should be responsible for libel on their platforms. The former vice president focused his ire on Facebook Inc., the largest social-media company, and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg.Section 230, a provision of the Communications Decency Act passed in 1996, “should be revoked, immediately,” Biden said.The rule has allowed internet giants to take a hands-off approach to content on their sites, but has also spurred free expression online. Overturning Section 230 could make internet companies far more cautious about what they let users write on their platforms. Smaller websites could be hurt the most.Read more: The 26 Words That Helped Make the Internet a MessTechnology companies have lobbied to protect Section 230, but there have been successful efforts to weaken it already. Congress passed a sex trafficking law in 2018 that chipped away some of the protections.Biden’s remarks to the New York Times, published Friday, came as part of the newspaper’s presidential endorsement process. He focused particularly on Facebook. “It is propagating falsehoods they know to be false,“ Biden said. “You guys still have editors. I’m sitting with them. Not a joke. There is no editorial impact at all on Facebook. None. None whatsoever. It’s irresponsible.”“I’ve never been a fan of Facebook, as you probably know,” Biden added. “I’ve never been a big Zuckerberg fan. I think he’s a real problem.”Other Democratic presidential candidates have expressed concern about Section 230. At tech industry conference SXSW, Amy Klobuchar said, “It is something else that we should definitely look at as we look at how we can create more accountability.”Biden also said the U.S. should embrace some privacy protections like those in Europe, where citizens have more rights to remove negative content about them posted online.To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Newcomer in San Francisco at enewcomer@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Mark Milian at mmilian@bloomberg.net, Alistair Barr, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Amazon Is Left Out of Mega-Cap Tech Surge to Records

    Amazon Is Left Out of Mega-Cap Tech Surge to Records

    (Bloomberg) -- Major technology and internet companies have long fueled the U.S. stock market’s climb to record levels, but that trend has come with one notable exception: Amazon.com Inc., which has languished in a fairly narrow trading range for months.Amazon shares haven’t notched an all-time high since September 2018, in contrast to mega-cap peers like Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet and Facebook, which have been hitting records on a near-daily basis. Many of these names experienced pronounced draw-downs over the past year and a half, mostly due to disappointing earnings reports or outlooks. But they regained their momentum last year, as their growth assuaged investor caution. Amazon, however, remains about 8.5% below its own peak.Because of its long-term prospects, Amazon is about as close as a stock can be to a consensus choice among Wall Street firms. Over the near term, though, it is “the most hotly debated among investors” as “debates persist on both AWS and next day shipping efforts,” according to UBS analyst Eric Sheridan, referring to its Amazon Web Services cloud-computing business.Since the start of 2019, Amazon shares are up about 24%, below the 32% rise of the S&P 500, as well as the much larger gains seen in other bellwethers. Microsoft and Facebook are both up more than 60% since the start of last year, while Apple has doubled. The rally resulted in trillion-dollar valuations for Apple, Microsoft and Google-parent Alphabet, a milestone that Amazon briefly eclipsed in 2018.The underperformance reflects concerns over Amazon’s earnings trends, even as it has continued to grow revenue at a double-digit clip. Major investments into initiatives like one-day shipping are seen as headwinds, and shares “may be range bound ‘tactically’” given the impact of this spending, Morgan Stanley wrote on Thursday. The firm added that “near-term profitability is likely to still disappoint” because of these investments, even as it sees the effect as temporary and one-day shipping deepening Amazon’s competitive moat within e-commerce.Another key issue is the waning dominance of Amazon Web Services, which has long been a major driver for earnings and margins, but has faced growing competition from rivals like Alphabet and especially Microsoft. According to Bloomberg Intelligence, which cited IDC data, Amazon Web Services was 12 times larger than Microsoft’s cloud business in 2014. By 2018, the most recent year for which data is available, it was just four times larger.James Bach, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, wrote that Amazon was particularly facing “stiffer competition” with government contracts. “Microsoft’s extensive sales experience, installed base within U.S. agencies and broad range of edge-computing products all make a compelling offering,” he wrote. Microsoft is “uniquely positioned to claim market share as federal agencies upgrade and secure IT systems.”In October, Microsoft beat out Amazon for a $10 billion Pentagon cloud contract, a deal Amazon had been seen as the favorite to win. The company subsequently claimed it lost the contract because of political interference by President Donald Trump, and filed a lawsuit challenging its validity.Amazon earlier this week named a new sales chief for AWS. Deutsche Bank wrote that the “magnitude of personnel changes” at AWS, along with rising competition, underscored the “increased risk of further deceleration” at the business.Separately, Morgan Stanley this week wrote that a quarterly survey of chief investment officers suggested some cause for caution about AWS growth. “Quarterly survey results can be volatile, but AWS saw a notable [quarter-over-quarter] drop in net expected budget share gains” over the next three years, analyst Brian Nowak wrote. “It will be important to continue to monitor these metrics going forward as we think about AWS forward growth.”Amazon is expected to report fourth-quarter results later this month. According to data compiled by Bloomberg, Wall Street is looking for revenue growth of nearly 19% and expecting net income to fall by nearly a third. AWS revenue is seen growing more than 30% on a year-over-year basis, according to a Bloomberg MODL estimate.Wall Street remains almost unanimously positive on the stock. According to data compiled by Bloomberg, 53 firms recommend buying the stock, compared with the four with a hold rating. None advocate selling the shares.To contact the reporter on this story: Ryan Vlastelica in New York at rvlastelica1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Catherine Larkin at clarkin4@bloomberg.net, Steven Fromm, Janet FreundFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Ukraine’s Leading Duo Make Show of Unity to Defuse Leak Scandal

    (Bloomberg) -- Ukraine’s top politicians cemented a bond of mutual loyalty when the president rejected the resignation of his prime minister, who had offered to quit after being caught on tape criticizing his boss’s grasp of the economy.The move to quash the scandal may strengthen confidence in the efforts of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and his right-hand man, Premier Oleksiy Honcharuk, as they tackle challenges less than a year into their partnership.They include healing an economy that plunged into recession after a 2014 revolution and mending ties with Russia following the Kremlin’s annexation of Crimea and support for a separatist rebellion in Ukraine’s east.Zelenskiy acknowledged he had received Honcharuk’s resignation offer and noted it was “linked to the latest scandal and, let’s say, unpleasant situation.” The president said set a list of tasks for the cabinet and asked his premier to replace ministers that he considered “weak” but also said it wasn’t time to shake up the country.“Society in general and I personally granted you and the government a high level of confidence. It seems to me you haven’t repaid that yet, and you have sufficient energy to do so,” Zelenskiy said in a statement. “It seems to me right if I give a chance to you and a chance to your cabinet.”The comments from Honcharuk, a 35-year-old handpicked by the president to lead the economic overhaul, highlights a the youth of the less-than year-old administration. On the tapes, ministers and central bankers discussed their struggles in explaining the currency market and economic trends to the president.‘Sort It Out’At the same time, the scandal is relatively benign compared to leaks in Ukraine’s past that included politicians discussing corruption -- and even murder. And Zelenskiy, a former comedian who entered politics just a year ago, ran on his willingness to introduce change rather than his ability to understand the intricacies of monetary policy and financial engineering.“We are one team,” Honcharuk said in parliament Friday after announcing his offer to resign. “We all got into parliament and into government to change the country thanks to this person, thanks to Volodymyr Zelenskiy.”Even though Honcharuk is staying on, the leak has exposed the challenges that Zelenskiy faces at the head of a former Soviet country where billionaire oligarchs, Vladimir Putin, the European Union and the U.S. are wrangling for influence.Ukraine’s currency, the hryvnia, fell to a two-month low against the dollar, taking this year’s decline to 2.1%. Last year, the currency was the world’s best performer with a 16% gain.On the tape, a man with a voice that sounds like Honcharuk said Zelenskiy’s economic knowledge is limited and suggests illustrating the effects of a stronger hryvnia and slower inflation to the president through the price of a popular salad.One TeamHoncharuk thanked Zelenskiy for his confidence after his offer was rejected. Earlier, in a Facebook post, he hailed the government’s achievements, including renewing a financial aid agreement with the International Monetary Fund and a natural-gas transit deal with Russia.Those have come amid setbacks as well, including Zelenskiy’s involvement in the phone call at the center of the impeachment of U.S. President Donald Trump and a close relationship with Ukraine’s richest man, Igor Kolomoisky, who is fighting to take back control of the nation’s biggest bank after its nationalization and near collapse.Honcharuk, a lawyer who led Zelenskiy’s economic team after the president won last year’s election, was appointed prime minister in August. Before that, he led an NGO aimed at improving the investment climate.The premier flashed a confident smile when he and his ministers appeared in parliament for a weekly Q&A session Friday. He refused to answer questions, and dozens of lawmakers shouted “Shame on you!” as he left the assembly. But he made his allegiance clear.“We all respect” Zelenskiy, “and for us it’s very important to have 100% trust inside the team,” Honcharuk told the assembly before leaving. “We are ready to do much more together with you, but for that we must be united.”\--With assistance from Marton Eder.To contact the reporters on this story: Andrea Dudik in Prague at adudik@bloomberg.net;Volodymyr Verbyany in Kiev at vverbyany1@bloomberg.net;Daryna Krasnolutska in Kyiv at dkrasnolutsk@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net, Andrea Dudik, Michael WinfreyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Nazi Leader Paraphrasing Costs Brazil Culture Secretary His Job

    (Bloomberg) -- Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro fired the country’s culture secretary after he paraphrased notorious Nazi politician Joseph Goebbels in a video that stirred outrage in the nation.Roberto Alvim said that Brazilian art over the next decade will be “heroic” or “it will be nothing,” similarly to remarks made by Goebbels decades ago, according to a video posted on social networks early on Friday. Within hours, the term “Goebbels” became one of the top trending topics on Twitter in Brazil, and lawmakers including Senate President Davi Alcolumbre, who is Jewish, called for Alvim’s immediate removal.Music by Richard Wagner, who was Hitler’s favorite composer, plays in the background of the video posted by the culture secretary. An official photo of Bolsonaro looms over him, while a cross and a Brazilian flag can also be seen.In a subsequent interview with a local radio station, Alvim denied that he was a Nazi and said he was unaware that he had copied part of a speech made by Goebbels. “It was an unfortunate rhetorical coincidence,” he said. Alvim also said in a post on his Facebook page that “there is nothing wrong with the sentence.”In a statement dismissing Alvim, Bolsonaro said that “unfortunate” remarks made it impossible for the secretary to remain in the job. “I reiterate our repudiation of totalitarian and genocidal ideologies,” Bolsonaro said in the statement. “We also express our total and unrestricted support to the Jewish community.”The remarks represent the latest source of public uproar under the administration of President Jair Bolsonaro, who rose to the nation’s top job in part due to his non-conventional views. Bolsonaro has maintained a loyal support base, many of whom criticize the political left for being overly sensitive.Read More: Oscar-Nominated Netflix Film Is Slammed by Brazil’s BolsonaroWhile lacking status as a ministry, Brazil’s culture secretary oversees the nation’s culture and entertainment and provides millions of reais in financing to projects in those areas. In the local radio interview later Friday, Alvim said that he had explained the misunderstanding to Bolsonaro, and that his explanation was accepted by the president.Hitler ConfidantGoebbels was a government minister and close confidant of Adolf Hitler. He was known for his virulent antisemitism and calls for extermination of Jewish people, as well as for his strong oratory skills.Alvim’s remarks are unacceptable, according to a statement from Brazil’s Israeli confederation, known as Conib. “A person with those thoughts should not command the culture of our country and should be removed from the post immediately,” the statement said.In recent months, Bolsonaro has drawn international scrutiny by suggesting that NGOs were to blame for Amazon rainforest fires and making sarcastic comments about the wife of French President Emmanuel Macron. Before assuming the presidency, he downplayed Brazil’s history of slavery and made offensive comments against groups including women.(Updats with firing of Brazil’s top culture official)To contact the reporter on this story: Simone Iglesias in Brasília at spiglesias@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Walter Brandimarte at wbrandimarte@bloomberg.net, ;Juan Pablo Spinetto at jspinetto@bloomberg.net, Matthew MalinowskiFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Amazon’s Snooping on Alexa Chats Spurs EU Privacy Response

    Amazon’s Snooping on Alexa Chats Spurs EU Privacy Response

    (Bloomberg) -- European Union privacy watchdogs are gearing up to police digital assistants after revelations that Amazon.com Inc. workers listened in on people’s conversations with their Alexa digital assistants.Bloomberg first reported in April that Amazon had a team of thousands of workers around the world listening to Alexa audio requests with the goal of improving the software.Similar issues have been raised over Google and Apple Inc.’s digital assistants, triggering privacy fears across the world, as intimate conversations in some users’ homes were laid bare to technicians fine-tuning the technology.EU regulators are now working on a common approach on how to police the technology, said Tine Larsen, head of the data protection authority in Luxembourg, where the U.S. retail giant has its European base and employs a staff of more than 2,000.“Because it’s a question of principle, the members of the EDPB should work out a common position in line with the consistency mechanism to apply data protection rules in a harmonized way for this type of treatment,” she said, referring to a panel of regulators from across the 28-nation EU.The revelations of the snooping into people’s homes came after regulators across Europe were handed beefed-up powers with its General Data Protection Regulation in May 2018, including the right to levy fines of as much as 4% of a company’s global annual sales for the most serious violations. But the move toward common guidelines for digital assistants means companies should avoid fines -- for now.Larsen’s comments echo those of Helen Dixon, head of the Irish watchdog, responsible for overseeing the likes of Apple and Google.She told Bloomberg in November that the regulator first has to “bottom out fully on whether it’s true” when companies say they need to do transcripts of people’s interactions with the assistants. That’s why a focus will be first on coming up with guidelines, instead of investigations or inquiries, she said.Amazon said in a statement that “to help improve Alexa, we manually review and annotate a small fraction of 1% of Alexa requests” and that “access to data annotation tools is only granted to a limited number of employees who require them to improve the service.”EU regulators are working on a common position on the privacy issues surrounding voice assistant systems, said Johannes Caspar, head of the watchdog in Hamburg, Germany. “We urgently need common and reliable industry standards on this to better regulate” privacy protections, he said in an email.Caspar’s office initiated a number of probes into the issue, including one into Facebook over audio transcriptions from its Messenger users, he said. The questions his office has asked of Facebook have been discussed within the EDPB, the EU body of national regulators. The plan is to use the results to have a more coordinated approach by all European regulators affected by the issue, he said.Europe Mulls New Tougher Rules for Artificial IntelligenceThe U.K., which is set to leave the EU at the end of the month, will soon publish the results of a consultation into security features for smart speakers and other connected devices, with proposals for mandatory industry requirements that could lead to potential new regulation, U.K. Digital Secretary Nicky Morgan told Bloomberg Wednesday.Siri ChangesApple, whose Siri virtual assistant is embedded in its operating phone and desktop computer operating systems, pointed to an August blog post about the issue.“We know that customers have been concerned by recent reports of people listening to audio Siri recordings as part of our Siri quality evaluation process — which we call grading,” it said. “We heard their concerns, immediately suspended human grading of Siri requests and began a thorough review of our practices and policies. We’ve decided to make some changes to Siri as a result.”Google, which offers similar technology, referred to its September announcement that it would add new security protections to the way its workers listen to audio snippets, meant to help improve the product’s quality.In a blog post in September, Google said it would tell users that their audio may be listened to if they opt in to a feature that also improves audio quality. “We believe in putting you in control of your data, and we always work to keep it safe. We’re committed to being transparent about how our settings work so you can decide what works best for you,” the company said.While Amazon is escaping penalties over Alexa, Luxembourg, which is the company’s main privacy watchdog in Europe, is probing the company for other potential breaches.This follows complaints from activists that the online retailer is illegally tracking and profiling internet users without their permission, as well as not providing full access to users’ data.Amazon ‘Cooperating’The company says it’s “cooperating” with the authority, “which is at an advanced stage of its fact finding,” according to an emailed statement. The data commission declined to comment on any probes, citing local rules.French privacy activists La Quadrature du Net, filed one of the complaints on behalf of more than 10,000 customers. They urge regulators to crack down on “behavioral analysis and targeted advertising” by Amazon and levy a fine that is “as high as possible” due to the “massive, lasting and manifestly deliberate nature” of the alleged violations without the consent of its users.None of Your Business (Noyb), a group created by Austrian activist Max Schrems, followed up with a separate complaint last January over data access concerns, accusing Amazon of violating EU law by not handing over all personal data requested by a user of its Amazon Prime service.Arthur Messaud, a lawyer with La Quadrature du Net, and Schrems said they’d had no updates from the Luxembourg regulator, which is bound by strict secrecy provisions under national law, meaning it can’t reveal details until after any fines have been levies and all avenues of appeal have been exhausted.(Updates with Google response from 15th paragraph)\--With assistance from Natalia Drozdiak.To contact the reporter on this story: Stephanie Bodoni in Luxembourg at sbodoni@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net, Peter Chapman, Giles TurnerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Financial Times

    Best books of the week

    Since 2016’s votes for Trump and Brexit, much effort has been expended to explain populism; this week’s essay focuses on a more sympathetic view of its supporters, arguing that they’re not necessarily racist . Contemporary America also features in a swipe at Silicon Valley and in fiction from prizewinning Jacqueline Woodson.

  • Financial Times

    Facebook does not understand the marketplace of ideas

    In doing so, the company’s co-founder and chief executive espouses a flawed idea that has become conventional wisdom: that a competitive “marketplace of ideas” exists and the best way to fight bad ideas is to put out good ones so a discerning public can choose. The first critical flaw in Mr Zuckerberg’s thinking is the idea that the marketplace for goods is efficient without regulation.

  • Davos Elite Take On Climate With Greta’s Help

    Davos Elite Take On Climate With Greta’s Help

    (Bloomberg) -- Want to receive this post in your inbox every day? Sign up for the Balance of Power newsletter, and follow Bloomberg Politics on Twitter and Facebook for more.It’s easy to scorn billionaires when they warn about global warming from their world of private jets and luxury yachts.That’s not deterring some of the most powerful people from focusing on climate change at their annual gathering in the Swiss resort of Davos next week.There’s always a risk the World Economic Forum’s focus could backfire by strengthening the idea that rising temperatures are something only elites can afford to care about. And despite progress on electric cars and clean energy, the planet is getting hotter.But, as Peter Coy writes, don’t underestimate the power of talk.Sipping champagne with their peers in the shadow of melting glaciers may attract public disdain, yet it can galvanize a sense of urgency among the titans of industry, presidents and prime ministers, big-name thinkers and other Davos delegates.As images of the devastating wildfires in Australia capture the world’s attention, this year may finally see a shift in thinking about climate change among those who have the power to do something about it.Whatever else, the Davos crowd can bank on a very public climate shaming from one of their number: A certain Greta Thunberg is on this year’s guest list.Global HeadlinesBiden in focus | President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial will once again put an uncomfortable spotlight on Democratic candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter. But the proceedings — set to begin in earnest on Tuesday — also offer the former vice president an exceptional opportunity to campaign in a less-crowded field while his biggest rivals are holed up in the Senate chamber.Click here for more on how the trial will transform the Senate into a hushed courtroom. Read more about Rudy Giuliani’s tangled role representing Trump.Still at odds | In a letter read out during Wednesday’s trade deal signing at the White House, Chinese President Xi Jinping asked Trump to take steps to “enhance mutual trust and cooperation between us.” That won’t be easy: Apart from the trade agreement, Washington and Beijing are butting heads on everything from technology to human rights to territorial disputes.The Senate approved Trump’s U.S.-Mexico-Canada free trade agreement yesterday, a major political win for the president.Asymmetric warfare | Iran’s pinpoint attack on American bases in Iraq in retaliation for the Jan. 3 killing of General Qassem Soleimani showed its capabilities and limitations in striking its powerful foe. Marc Champion explains how Tehran must resort to using unconventional weapons, tactics and proxy forces to take on a far greater military might because it can’t afford to provoke a conventional conflict it would lose.Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called Trump administration officials “clowns” in a sermon today, saying the U.S. and European powers want to bring the Islamic Republic to its knees. He also ordered a probe into the shooting down of a Ukraine International Airlines plane that killed all 176 people on board.Secret operation | Many of President Vladimir Putin’s closest allies knew nothing of his plans to overhaul Russia’s constitution and replace the government, Evgenia Pismennaya, Ilya Arkhipov and Henry Meyer report. The political whirlwind Putin unleashed shows the former KGB spy retains the ability to shock even after 20 years in power. With speculation growing over his plans when his term ends in 2024, one analyst mused, “There could be more surprises.”Mountain murder | The prime minister of the tiny southern African mountain kingdom of Lesotho, Thomas Thabane, says he’s planning to resign over a controversy sparked by the murder of his second wife. A key suspect is the woman he married two months after the slaying. The scandal has prompted the opposition and even a faction of the ruling party to call for Thabane to quit. His wife has been on the run since the police issued an arrest warrant last week.What to WatchEuropean Union trade commissioner Phil Hogan raised the prospect of a legal challenge to the U.S.-China trade deal for violating WTO rules. In a Bloomberg TV interview later in Washington, he also said next week will be key to resolving transatlantic tensions over a French digital tax that has prompted threats of tariff retaliation from Trump. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy plans to reject the resignation of his prime minister, who offered to step down after he was heard in a leaked recording criticizing the president’s knowledge of the economy. The White House budget office violated federal law when it withheld about $214 million in security aid to Ukraine, an independent congressional watchdog agency has concluded.Pop quiz, readers (no cheating!). Putin shocked the world with his government reshuffle this week, naming Mikhail Mishustin, an obscure technocrat with little political experience, as prime minister. What was Mishustin’s previous job? Send us your answers and  tell us how we’re doing or what we’re missing at balancepower@bloomberg.net.And finally … Greece and Turkey are at loggerheads over maritime boundaries as a result of a controversial deal struck between Ankara and the UN-backed government in Libya. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday that Turkey will issue energy exploration licenses for what are contested waters in the eastern Mediterranean. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis shot back that he wouldn’t accept any political solution for Libya that doesn’t annul the maritime deal, complicating this weekend’s Libya peace summit in Berlin. \--With assistance from Anthony Halpin and Karl Maier.To contact the author of this story: Michael Winfrey in Prague at mwinfrey@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Alan Crawford at acrawford6@bloomberg.net, Kathleen HunterFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Financial Times

    Joe Biden calls for social platforms to be liable for content

    Joe Biden launched a stinging attack on Mark Zuckerberg on Friday for allowing false political advertising on Facebook, calling for the law that shields internet platforms from being held liable for user-generated content to be “revoked immediately”. , who is among the frontrunners for the Democratic presidential nomination, said that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which has long protected social media groups from legal action if users post illicit content, should be abolished. Instead, both Facebook and its founder should be “submitted to civil liability” for the posts that appear on its apps, the former vice-president said, in the same way that a newspaper would be for its content.

  • Facebook Foes Sue to Force Zuckerberg to Sell Majority Stake

    Facebook Foes Sue to Force Zuckerberg to Sell Majority Stake

    (Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc. was sued by four potential competitors who accuse it of anticompetitive behavior and who asked a judge to order Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg to give up control of the social media behemoth.The companies also said if Facebook isn’t forced to sell its WhatsApp and Instagram assets, it’ll integrate them into the social network, “consolidating its market power across the globe, likely permanently foreclosing competition in the relevant markets for decades to come.”The lawsuit was filed Thursday in San Francisco by Reveal Chat HoldCo LLC, a successor to the dating site LikeBright; USA Technology and Management Services Inc., better known as the credit and financial service provider Lenddol; former peer-to-peer site Cir.cl Inc.; and former identity verification provider Beehive Biometric Inc.The companies describe Facebook as “one of the largest unlawful monopolies ever seen in the United States” and say the aim of the lawsuit is “to halt the most brazen, willful anticompetitive scheme in a generation.”The big internet platforms are facing a high level of scrutiny of their business practices after years of virtual inaction in Washington. Both the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission, which share a mandate to enforce antitrust laws, have announced broad reviews of the technology sector -- indicating that Facebook and possibly Amazon.com Inc. will undergo parallel investigations by both agencies.Facebook Response“We operate in a competitive environment where people and advertisers have many choices,” Facebook said in an emailed statement. “In the current environment, where plaintiffs’ attorneys see financial opportunities, claims like this aren’t unexpected but they are without merit.”The companies suing say getting Zuckerberg to divest is necessary to get Facebook to cease its anticompetitive behavior.“There is no adequate remedy of law to prevent the irreparable harm that has -- and will continue -- to result from Zuckerberg’s continued control of Facebook,” the companies said.Facebook opened its platform to developers when it needed their help to catch up in the early 2010s to the fast-growing mobile market and then gave many of them the boot when it no longer needed them or started to see them as rivals, the companies claim in the lawsuit.The company cut off many developers’ access to user data, rendering their apps useless and forcing some out of business, according to the lawsuit.(Updates with Facebook comment)\--With assistance from Sarah Frier.To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Burnson in San Francisco at rburnson@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Glovin at dglovin@bloomberg.net, Joe Schneider, Peter BlumbergFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Why Apple (AAPL) Stock is a Strong Buy Heading into Earnings

    Why Apple (AAPL) Stock is a Strong Buy Heading into Earnings

    With Apple's first quarter fiscal 2020 financial results due out on January 28, it's time for investors to see why AAPL stock appears to be a strong buy...

  • Popular Aldi Facebook group denies membership based on gender
    Yahoo Finance AU

    Popular Aldi Facebook group denies membership based on gender

    Does a grocery shopping discussion board need to block one half of the population?

  • 3 Cloud Computing Stocks to Buy Now for Your 2020 Portfolio

    3 Cloud Computing Stocks to Buy Now for Your 2020 Portfolio

    We found three cloud computing stocks with the help of our Zacks Stock Screener that investors might want to consider buying for 2020...

  • Bloomberg

    FBI Will Report Cyber Breaches to States: Campaign Update

    (Bloomberg) -- The Federal Bureau of Investigation plans to notify both state and local officials if election systems are breached, marking a change from past elections when only local officials needed to be notified.“The FBI’s new policy mandates the notification of a chief state election official and local election officials of cyber threats to local election infrastructure,” the bureau said in a statement Thursday.Government officials, speaking on a press call with reporters on Thursday, said that the new policy came about because they recognized that election systems are different than other kinds of infrastructure -- in which breach notifications typically only go to direct administrators. While local officials oversee election infrastructure, state officials certify election results and should be aware of intrusions, the officials said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.“Cyber intrusions affecting election infrastructure have the potential to cause significant negative impacts on the integrity of elections,” the FBI said. “Decisions surrounding notification continue to be dependent on the nature and breadth of an incident and the nature of the infrastructure impacted.”Sanders Says He’d Rather Be in Iowa (4:30 p.m.)Bernie Sanders scoffed at the idea of skipping the Senate’s impeachment trial to campaign in Iowa despite having only 18 days left to make his case in the first nominating state.“Would I rather be in Iowa? I would. But this is my job,” the Vermont senator told reporters after the swearing-in session.Sanders and fellow Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Michael Bennet of Colorado, will have to stay in Washington to sit as jurors in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.The time off the trail so close to the caucuses could affect what polling indicates will be a tight race. Sanders is tied for first with Joe Biden at 20% in Iowa, followed by Pete Buttigieg at nearly 19% and Warren with 16%, in the RealClearPolitics average. -- Emma KineryButtigieg Says Zuckerberg Has Too Much Power (2:24 p.m.)Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg said Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg has too much power and that there is a strong case for the social media giant to be broken up.“No one company and no one person should have the kind of power that they’ve accumulated,” Buttigieg told The New York Times editorial board in an interview published Thursday.Buttigieg said he had concerns about the company’s data security and privacy practices as well as its monopoly power, namely Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp. “At a certain level, instead of the burden being on the state to demonstrate that some of these mergers will be harmful, I think the burden should be on the company to demonstrate that they won’t,” he said.The former South Bend, Indiana, mayor has not been as vocal as a critic of big tech as presidential rivals such as Elizabeth Warren, who paid for billboards in San Francisco calling for breaking up big tech companies. Moreover, Buttigieg has been criticized for his coziness with Silicon Valley, where he has held many private fundraisers and raised millions of dollars.Buttigieg was also asked in the Times interview about his relationship with Zuckerberg, who, as Bloomberg News first reported, quietly made staff recommendations to the Buttigieg campaign. “So, we were in college at the same time, got a lot of mutual friends, and it doesn’t mean we agree on a lot of things,” Buttigieg said. They both attended Harvard University. -- Tyler PagerMore Than One Democrat Could Claim Iowa Victory (12:31 p.m.)Changes in how the Iowa Democratic Party will report results of the Feb. 3 caucuses could allow three different candidates to claim victory — though only one number will count in the all-important race for delegates.For decades, Democrats have reported Iowa results in terms of state delegate equivalents — an estimate of the number of representatives each candidate will have at a statewide caucus to nominate Iowa’s delegation to the Democratic National Convention. That’s still the number that will be used by the state and state and national parties, and the Associated Press said Thursday it would use that number as well.But this year, as part of a push toward greater transparency following the contested 2016 caucuses, Iowa will report two other numbers:First allocation: The total number of caucus goers supporting each candidate in the first round of selection.Final allocation: The total number of caucus goers supporting each candidate after nonviable contenders — those who fail to meet a threshold of at least 15% — are eliminated in each precinct.Most campaigns have committed to using the state delegate equivalents, but a lower-polling candidate could benefit from touting a strong showing in the first round. -- Gregory KorteCOMING UP:The Democratic presidential candidates will debate again in New Hampshire on Feb. 7.The first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses will be held Feb. 3. The New Hampshire primary is Feb. 11. Nevada holds its caucuses on Feb. 22 and South Carolina has a primary on Feb. 29.(Michael Bloomberg is also seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. He is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.)\--With assistance from Gregory Korte, Tyler Pager and Emma Kinery.To contact the reporter on this story: Alyza Sebenius in Washington at asebenius@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at wbenjaminson@bloomberg.net, Magan Crane, Max BerleyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.