“Big Brother” Facebook
Dear Rundown Reader,
Your letters about how we fix healthcare continue to come in. It’s the biggest response we’ve ever received on a topic. Today, we’ll look at more of your letters.
First, response has also been swift regarding our close friend and Investment Research Director Mike Burnick’s “Trump Bonus Checks” research.
As you know, Mike joined us in January after many years at Weiss Research. Over the years Mike’s analysis and research has reached tens upon tens of thousands of readers like you all over the world.
We’re lucky to have Mike with us, and we look forward to the many great strategies he can show you in the future.
March 29 is a big, important date for these Trump Bonus Checks. Click here to see why.
Back to how we fix healthcare. This letter caught our eye, part of which we recap here:
“The new ‘normal’ of doctors closing their practice and joining a hospital group makes them consider their job security over the best possible care of their patients, their oath to first do no harm notwithstanding. [This] puts them in the position of considering their job above the best interest of their patients. My 2017 was filled with pain and insecurities not knowing what my future was going to be like. I no longer trust doctors or the medical profession.”
Seeing your doctor should not result in ongoing pain and insecurities. We have several letters on the theme of doctor / patient interaction.
Doctors are always in a hurry, they don’t have time, and they don’t seem to answer many patient questions. Why?
Another letter: “Don’t you notice that no real breakthroughs have been achieved in medicine, through advanced technology? Why? There’s no money in it. Curing diseases would be a major impact initially, but for sadly for the providers, their relevance in the marketplace would be irrelevant.”
This one we’re going to disagree with. Vehemently. Hepatitis C now has a cure. Immunotherapy is revolutionizing cancer treatment. Yes, we do agree paying for these therapies is another story.
But it’s not like there aren’t breakthroughs around us and advanced tech coming. Because there are. Getting these new therapies in the hands of those who need them most, that’s the issue.
Your Rundown for Wednesday, March 21, 2018…
Facebook Faces the Music
Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), Trump, and big data.
This unlikely trifecta has cost the the king of social media over $60 billion in market value since Monday, according to Bloomberg.
Here’s a quick recap of what’s gone down so far.
Multiple reports allege Cambridge Analytica, a data analysis firm later hired to support President Trump’s 2016 election campaign, collected private data on 50 million Facebook users without permission.
50 million! That’s a lot of data! FB’s five-day chart tells all.
According to a Guardian report, Christopher Wylie, a Cambridge associate with close ties to data collection operations told reporters:
“We exploited Facebook to harvest millions of people’s profiles. And built models to exploit what we knew about them and target their inner demons. That was the basis the entire company was built on.”
That’s a PR nuclear bomb. But at least this guy’s honest.
BUT the plot only thickens! Yesterday, CBS News reported that Cambridge Analytica also had contracts with the U.S State Department.
And now, Orwellian conspiracies aside, it appears investors simply have had enough of FB’s data management problems.
The stock fell over 9% from $185.09 on Friday’s close to $168.15 as of pre-market Wednesday.
It was the company’s worst days “since July 2012, the year of Facebook’s initial public offering at $38 a share,” according to Bloomberg.
The crickets coming from FB’s camp aren’t doing them any favors, either.
But maybe in hindsight we should have seen this coming.
In 2012, when FB’s IPO was close to debuting, we asked ourselves the obvious question.
How would Facebook make money?
The easy answer was ad revenue. But that doesn’t really make sense in the long term. Ad revenue alone would never be sustainable.
FB’s real cash cow was always going to be your personal info. Your likes, your views, your hashtags. Every last bit of granular info about you represented dollars to FB.
It was only a matter of time before news broke that our data was grossly mishandled for high stakes.
Welcome to the future.
Now, turning to the markets this morning…
Market Rundown for Wed., March 21
S&P 500 futures are down 2.50 at 2,723.
Oil’s up 1.00% at 64.18 this morning.
Gold’s flat at $1,315.
Bitcoin bounces back some to $9,110 this morning according to CoinDesk.
We’ll talk again on Friday.
For the Rundown,