The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced on April 24th that it would impose a fine up to $5 billion on Facebook for being involved in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. During the incident, a researcher called Aleksandr Koganraw developed a Facebook app that illegally collected data from more than 87 million Facebook profiles. The personal information was then used by the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica to develop political strategies for the Trump campaign.
Lyft went public last month on March 29th. On its first day of trading, Lyft’s share price rose by 8.7%; it hit a valuation of $26.4 billion by the end of the day. But the strong stock performance did not hold for long. On its second day of trading, Lyft’s share price dropped by 12%, closing below its initial public offering price of $72.
The US International Trade Commission (ITC) released a report last Thursday detailing the potential economic impacts of the Trump administration's new trade deal proposal, the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Renegotiating and replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was a major campaign promise made by President Trump in his 2016 election. The White House Council of Economic Affairs (CEA) also released a report outlining its own findings for USMCA impacts. The two reports differ greatly in the extent to which the new deal will benefit the US economy.
On March 25th, a group of Hollywood big names like Steven Spielberg and Octavia Spencer gathered on the Apple campus, bearing witness to the momentous announcement that the Silicon Valley giant will soon launch its own video streaming service.
Last Wednesday, the Colorado state legislature approved and passed major oil and gas procurement reforms. The calls for reform stemmed from heightened public concern for increasing levels of drilling and fracking activity posing as a major threat to health, safety, and the environment.
Last Wednesday, Google was fined $1.7 billion by the European Commission for unfairly blocking other companies from posting ads on third-party websites that use the Google search engine. According to European regulators, Google required owners of third-party websites to prioritize its own ads over those from competing advertising agencies.
The Fed has announced that it will put interest rate hikes on hold between 2.25% and 2.5% and has hinted at the possibility of slashing rates before the end of the year, citing poor economic indicators and widespread uncertainty as drivers behind these decisions. The US economic picture is made even more unclear by the recent unprecedented 35-day government shutdown causing a lag in the availability of the most updated data. Global trade tensions have increased as a result of political systems continuously failing to reach trade agreements—creating, in turn, heightened market volatility. Finally, political and economic confusion surrounding the future of Brexit has made it difficult for investors to react with confidence.
This past Wednesday, the FDA’s policies regulating the sale of flavored e-cigarettes have officially been put into effect. Convenience stores and gas stations nationwide will not be permitted to sell e-cigarettes in flavors except for tobacco, mint, and menthol unless they either restrict minors from entering their stores altogether, or create a store segment where minors cannot enter.
The first thing one notices about ThriveCash, a lending service, is exactly who it’s meant for. Its website is crammed with testimonials from beaming college students describing their experiences with ThriveCash. Anderson from Harvard got $5,000 to secure housing in NYC. Rachel from NYU went on summer getaways with friends. Tom from RIT paid off a security deposit. Friendly illustrations and a texting helpline complete the picture of a product targeted at enterprising—but perhaps financially inexperienced—undergrads.