Facebook and Cambridge Analytica:
With 2,1 Billion of users and an 8th place on the ranking for the biggest companies in terms of valuation, Facebook is a major leader of the current business environment. Nothing seemed to be able to break this trend. But, this week proved us that even the strongest firm has weaknesses.
On the 18th of March, The New York Times and The Observer revealed that Cambridge Analytica, an English firm specialized in data analytics for politics (they previously worked with Donald Trump for instance), used data from 50 millions of American citizen taken from Facebook data centre. The only problem is… without any authorisation. Actually, they collect the data by creating a fake academic question nary. Every person who answered, their friends, every likes or shares were an additional profile to the collection.
How can a firm like Facebook still face those type of problems? Is it the only case or other breach occurred?
Beside those first questions, the political aspect of this breach is real. Cambridge Analytica counted in its top manager positions Steve Bannon: a current politician, strategist of Donald Trump in 2016 and former director of Breitbart News (a far-right website).
Reconciliation in Korea:
South-Korean President Moon Jae-In said on Wednesday that he was thinking about a possible summit between North Korea, The United States and his country. Such meeting would chase a triple-goal: the Korean peninsula’s denuclearization, a lasting and peaceful regime in North Korea, and a normalization between Pyongyang and Washington.
The conciliation policy set up by the South-Korean President, taking advantage of the recent Pyeongchang’s Olympic Games, provided some spectacular effects for the moments. The last announcement of a Korean summit (gathering North and South), planned for the end of May, and the unexpected mention of a future historical meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un, both surprised the entire world.
On the 8th of March, the American President surprised everyone by declaring himself ready to meet his North Korean counterpart from now to the end of May. In a message diffused on Wednesday, the official North Korean press agency KCNA reported a “spectacular atmosphere of reconciliation” and raised that some signs of change took also place regarding the North Korea-United States relationship. The KCNA assigns it to the Pyongyang’s “peace proposition” instead of the maximal pressure campaign led by Donald Trump on the country.
Moon Jae-In’s wish is not as fanciful as we could think. Indeed, a little summit gathering the three countries already stands in Finland since last Sunday. No fewer than 18 diplomates and experts are present in Helsinki, where they regularly met in an isolated residence, belonging to the government.
However, we’ve recently seen the arrival of the new National Security Advisor John Bolton and the new Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the Trump’s government. Both men are clearly not in favor of such a reconciliation between the United States and North Korea. Will this arrival have an impact on the two countries relationship? We will probably have the answer by the end of May...
« March for our lives »
More than a million people, especially the young ones, gathered in several American cities on Saturday. They were claiming a more stringent control of guns sales in the United States, in response to a series of mass killings in the school environment. More than 800 demonstrations were registered around the country and the entire world.
They were thousands of people in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Seattle, Las Vegas or Los Angeles, and 175,000 in New York. In Washington, the number of participants exceeded 800,000 people.
Demonstrators were asking for more regulations in the guns sales, after the Parkland shooting, in Florida, where 17 high school students died last February. The movement comes from the young people, from this “shooting generation”, who grew up under the threat of firearms. Thanks to their determination and their belief, these adolescents from both middle and upper classes succeeded to take the control of the political agenda, putting traditional defenders of totally free sales of firearms in a difficult position, especially the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA).
The American President Donald Trump was not in Washington on Saturday, and didn’t say a word about the demonstrations. If he has showed again his willingness of prohibiting “bump stocks” on Friday (bump stocks are the accessories which allow bursts of gunfire), the prohibition of assault rifles is still not on the agenda.
Stock markets tumble:
The overall political and economic environment is putting more and more pressure on stocks as the S&P registered its biggest weekly loss in 10 years.
Of course, the Facebook scandal played a role in this loss, but most importantly, the possible Trade War between the USA and China has affected deeply and badly the market. The Chinese government answered to the new tariffs by announcing retaliatory responses (not buying treasuries, put barriers…). In addition, the US treasury is making clear announcement about a hike in the interest rates.
According to Jason Browne, chief investment strategist at FundX Investment Group,
“There is a tug of war between Fed tightening, fiscal stimulus, strong earning but slowing sales and now tariffs and potential trade wars”.
Edited and Corrected
by Vee Venski
This article is not a promotion of financial investment. Investing money in financial instruments is risk-reward process. Losses and gains are part of financial investment process. Only invest money you can afford to lose.