Big Tech was taken to task during a recent hearing put on by the House Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law. But entirely missing from the conversation was the active role that Wall Street and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) played in paving the way for Big Tech to become the monopolistic behemoth that it is today.
Were it not for Wall Street underwriting the mountains of debt that Big Tech firms like Amazon and Facebook were able to acquire, allowing them to engage in potentially illegal share buybacks and spiking their stock prices to “unfathomable levels,” to quote Pam and Russ Martens from Wall Street on Parade, then Big Tech would not even exist, at least not like it does currently.
Despite the serious conflicts of interest involved with this process, major Wall Street banks for years have been putting out buy ratings on stocks for all of the major tech giants. This, in effect, has encouraged retail stockbrokers connected with these banks to continue buying up these stocks, driving up their values to obscene levels.
Wall Street banks have likewise been actively trading the stocks of tech giants in what are known as “Dark Pools,” or unregulated stock exchanges that the SEC allows to operate internally within these same banks. Though there is no valid reason to allow such internal trading, the SEC has been sanctioning it for quite some time now, unbeknownst to most average Americans.
“For all anyone knows, these banks could be making a two-sided market in these stocks,” the Martens further write. “But Congress will never be able to figure that out because the Securities and Exchange Commission has been stalling for years to complete its work on a consolidated audit trail (CAT) that could monitor and catch manipulations of stock prices.”
In other words, Big Tech is a product not simply of itself, but of the entire corrupt financial system that basically dictates life here in America. Wall Street, the federal reserve, and the federal government have essentially been conspiring all these years to grow and empower Silicon Valley into a certifiable beast system, which will never go away unless the snake is cut off at its head.
“Until these Wall Street issues are addressed, monopolistic policies and practices will continue unabated in America, including among the largest Wall Street banks, which are also allowed to trade their own bank stock in their own Dark Pools,” the Martens explained.
So while it is encouraging to see companies like Facebook, Twitter, Apple, and Amazon face much-needed scrutiny by our elected officials, the missing Wall Street component almost ensures that nothing will ever actually be accomplished other than a lot of bellyaching and unfulfilled promises.
Rep. Matt Gaetz, for instance, has been calling out Big Tech for years, while accomplishing next to nothing in terms of actually reigning it in and putting a stop to widespread censorship. He and other have also systematically ignored the Wall Street and SEC component, which is rotten to the core and directly responsible for all of the problems we now face with Big Tech.
“While a few Republicans showed sincere concern in the monopoly power of these tech giants, the majority of Republicans wasted their time whining about a liberal bias at the four tech companies,” the Martens explain about how the Republican probe into Big Tech is largely misplaced because it is inherently focused on the wrong target.
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