282.36 +0.35 (0.12%)
Pre-Market: 4:15AM EDT
|Bid||277.57 x 1000|
|Ask||283.49 x 800|
|Day's Range||279.29 - 282.10|
|52 Week Range||171.89 - 283.33|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||0.88|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||43.51|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||1.32 (0.48%)|
|1y Target Est||N/A|
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- For 47 years, the Business Roundtable has lobbied on behalf of corporate America. Much of that time, it maintained a fiction(1) -- that the sole purpose of a corporation was to maximize profits on behalf of shareholders. This philosophy has been under assault for several years now, and this week the Business Roundtable announced it wants to put it to rest.In a widely circulated memo, the 200-member organization reversed itself, writing that "shareholder primacy” is no longer the sole purpose of a corporation. Instead, corporations must include a commitment to “all stakeholders,” which includes customers, employees, suppliers and local communities.Some kudos are in order for JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, and chairman of the Business Roundtable, for driving these changes. He has been discussing the need for a more inclusive form of capitalism, both in public speeches and in his letters to shareholders, for some time.But turning this aircraft carrier around won’t be easy, in large part because of the group's own history. Indeed, the Roundtable has spent most of the past four decades advocating against the interests of those exact stakeholders. To cite some of the more notable examples:\-- It fought the rise of labor unions and pro-union legislation;\-- Helped to defeat antitrust bills;\-- Prevented the formation of the Consumer Protection Agency;\-- Opposed corporate governance changes to make boards of directors and CEOs more accountable to stockholders;\-- Fought proper accounting of stock options given as compensation to executives and insiders;\-- Opposed increases in the national minimum wage (it now favors increases);\-- Lobbied to prevent restrictions on executive compensation;\-- Fought legislation that would create cleaner energy and address climate change;\-- Pushed for corporate income-tax cuts;\-- Supported anti-consumer Supreme Court decisions, including the fiction that corporations are legal people, and that campaign donations equal speech. The Roundtable might respond that this is all in the past. Let’s hope so. But the organization has an even greater challenge: Scan the list of 181 signatories to the recent memo and it's a Who’s Who of corporate behavior that has burdened and disadvantaged the very stakeholders they will now champion.Consider a few of the signatories:\-- Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc.: Two of the most valuable companies in the world are famously effective at using various tax dodges to avoid paying their fair share. I can recall when the Internal Revenue Service went after maneuvers that serve no valid business purpose other than tax avoidance. Consider that what isn't paid in tax by those who avoid them must be made up for by those who do -- mostly average Americans who also happen to be customers of these companies.The share of federal tax revenue paid by corporations has dropped by two-thirds in the past seven decades -- from 32% in 1952 to 10% in 2013; and corporate income tax as a share of gross domestic product has fallen from about 6% in 1946 to about 1.5% today.\-- Visa Inc., Mastercard Inc. and American Express Co.: Show good faith -- working with card-issuing banks as needed -- by simplifying the incomprehensible small print in the cardholder agreement and spell out in clear language the terms and penalties for late payment. Second, do the same for mandatory arbitration clauses that take away the right of customers to seek redress in public courts.\-- Ameriprise Financial Inc., Morgan Stanley and Principal Financial Group Inc: The brokers and insurers on the list have been zealous opponents of the fiduciary rule. Instead, they prefer a less stringent rule that allows them to sell products that are better for them than for their customers. Until those firms -- and Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan are in this group -- embrace a higher duty of care, their gestures toward stakeholders are hollow. Oh, and they should drop the requirement that customers agree to mandatory arbitration clauses as one of the conditions for opening a brokerage account.\-- Coca Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc.: For years these companies have been helping the American public achieve record levels of diabetes and obesity by selling health-damaging sugary drinks. They should acknowledge and warn customers of the consequences of consuming too much of their products, and accept the same kinds of taxes and health warnings now affixed to cigarettes.\-- Deere & Co.: The maker of farm machinery has led the fight against customers, insisting that they not make repairs to the equipment they own, and denying them access to parts and instructions. Repairs can only be made by Deere service technicians in what has come to be known as a “repair monopoly.” Apple, by the way, does the same thing.\-- Walmart Inc. and McDonald's Corp.: Both were steadfast opponents of increases in minimum wages for years. Although both now offer higher minimum pay, it was only after a tightening labor market forced them to increase wages. But this wasn't a case of corporate altruism -- their stores were messy and employees were sullen, and pay increases were part of plans to keep ill-treated customers from defecting. (McDonald's is not a signatory to the Roundtable memo).For the Roundtable commitment to be meaningful, the signatories are going to have to alter their behavior in ways large and small, and maybe even in ways that aren't always optimal for maximizing short-term profits. Still, we should be encouraged. But the proof will be in the follow through and the actual actions of the Roundtable members.(Corrects to clarify section on credit-card companies to indicate the role of banks in setting terms for customers. )(1) In “The Shareholder Value Myth,” Lynn Stout explained how the entire theory is based on a misreading of a 1919 court case -- Dodge vs. Ford – at the time, both privately held, non-public companies.To contact the author of this story: Barry Ritholtz at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Greiff at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or 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/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Today we'll evaluate Mastercard Incorporated (NYSE:MA) to determine whether it could have potential as an investment...
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- In France, they call it taking mustard after dinner. In Germany, they talk about a child having already fallen in the well. In England, they speak of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.They all are good ways of describing how regulators have tended to deal with the world’s biggest tech firms. But when it comes to Facebook Inc.'s digital coin, Europe's antitrust watchdog seems to be intent on breaking with this previous inaction.Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday that the European Commission is scrutinizing the two-month-old Libra project and the group backing it amid concern the currency will be detrimental to competition. This is a good sign the regulator will do something about it.That’s welcome because antitrust authorities have, over the years, repeatedly failed to prevent the sort of practices which have cemented the dominance of Silicon Valley firms in their target markets. Regulators then struggle to rebalance the market after the fact.Some past decisions look misguided in hindsight. The most obvious are Google’s $3.2 billion acquisition of DoubleClick in 2008, which cemented the search giant’s control over digital ads, and Facebook’s purchases of Instagram and WhatsApp – deals that made it the preeminent social network.Facebook’s plan should give regulators plenty of reasons for concern. The organization administering the digital currency, the Libra Association, comprises 28 members so far, but the extent of Facebook’s leading role warrants closer examination.QuicktakeWhy Everybody (Almost) Hates Facebook’s Digital CoinThe motivation for many of the members seems at this stage to be a fear of missing out. After all, Facebook’s 2.4 billion monthly active users give it unparalleled scale. But that could also be construed as the Menlo Park, California-based firm abusing a dominant position: Members of the association might feel they can’t risk being left out, so have little choice but to take part.The group includes most of the world’s biggest payments companies: Mastercard Inc., Visa Inc., Paypal Holdings Inc., Stripe Inc. and Vodafone Group Plc, whose M-Pesa mobile money transfer service is dominant in parts of Africa.That means it could be seen as a horizontal agreement, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Aitor Ortiz. Those kind of arrangements may be acceptable in certain cases if they benefit the end user, but are normally anti-competitive if they consolidate the influence of a discrete group at the expense of consumers or rivals.Facebook has said that it won’t push ahead with Libra until it has secured all the necessary regulatory approvals. The European Commission’s message seems to be: Don’t push your luck. If the group fails to pay heed, it risks fines and punishments further down the line. That will make it harder to sign up new partners who are unwilling to expose themselves to such regulatory hazards.One has to wonder whether the growing regulatory scrutiny the currency is attracting will make the project worth the effort for Facebook. For sure, the social networking giant needs to find a way to diversify its revenue away from advertising. But I’m unconvinced that Libra does that.If anything, it will become another pillar of the advertising business by supplying valuable data on purchasing intent: every time you make a purchase using Facebook’s digital wallet, you give the company a better understanding of what you’re buying and why.All this highlights the contradiction at the heart of Libra: if it is truly independent, what’s in it for Facebook? Regulators are right to press for an answer.To contact the author of this story: Alex Webb at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Alex Webb is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Europe's technology, media and communications industries. He previously covered Apple and other technology companies for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Blockchain is one of the most revolutionary technologies of this generation and has applications that spread across every sector of our economy. The technology has applications that go way beyond a means of transferring wealth.
(Bloomberg) -- European Union antitrust regulators are already probing Facebook Inc.’s two-month-old Libra digital currency project, according to a document seen by Bloomberg.The European Commission is "currently investigating potential anti-competitive behavior" related to the Libra Association amid concerns the proposed payment system would unfairly shut out rivals, the EU authority said in a questionnaire sent out earlier this month.Officials said they’re concerned about how Libra may create "possible competition restrictions" on the information that will be exchanged and the use of consumer data, according to the document, which is a standard part of an early-stage EU inquiry to gather information.The investigation into founder Mark Zuckerberg’s ambitions to take on traditional cash adds to another preliminary EU investigation into how Facebook may unfairly use its power to squeeze rival apps. The Brussels-based commission, Europe’s most feared regulator, has already targeted Google and Apple Inc.Facebook and the commission both declined to comment on the investigation. The Menlo Park, California-based company has previously promised to appease all regulators before launching the cryptocurrency, a process that could take some time.Global CurrencyLed by a social network with more users than the combined population of China and the U.S., Libra represents a potential challenge that the guardians of money have never faced: a global currency they neither control nor manage.The EU questionnaire said regulators are also examining the possible integration of Libra-backed applications into Facebook services such as WhatsApp and Messenger. It said their investigation focuses on the governance structure and membership of the Libra Association.Facebook has previously promised to appease all regulators before launching the cryptocurrency, a process that could take some time.Visa Inc. declined to comment while the Libra Association representatives didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Mastercard Inc. had no immediate comment.Aside from the antitrust division, other EU regulators are "monitoring market developments in the area of crypto assets and payment services, including Libra and its development," a spokesman for the commission’s financial services department said.Data-protection supervisors are also worried about how Libra will share information. They said earlier this month that Facebook had the potential to combine "vast reserves of personal information with financial information and cryptocurrency, amplifying privacy concerns about the network’s design and data-sharing arrangements."\--With assistance from Alexander Weber, Alastair Marsh and James Hertling.To contact the reporters on this story: Lydia Beyoud in Arlington at firstname.lastname@example.org;Aoife White in Brussels at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at firstname.lastname@example.org, Peter Chapman, Alistair BarrFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
TransferWise’s debit card, which features low, transparent fees andexchange rates, first launched in the United Kingdom and Europe last yearbefore arriving in the United States in June
The Federal Reserve got some push to build a real-time payments network from the gas station lobby and, indirectly, Facebook.
Forget bitcoin, blockchain is where the average investor should put their money in, according to Sir John Hargrave , the author of a new book "Blockchain for Everyone."
The acquisition includes the clearing and instant payment services, and e-billing solutions of Nets' corporate services business. The acquisition will be complementary to Mastercard Send and Transfast technologies that deliver cross-border payments to bank accounts, mobile wallets and cards, Mastercard said. The financial technology sector is consolidating fast, with global payments set to reach $3 trillion a year in revenue by 2023 as more people switch from cash to digital payments for online and high street sales, consulting firm McKinsey predicted.