Lost in the noise of Trump, and given its decibel level, unsurprisingly so, was a development that will send US Big Tech into a cold sweat. I have been monitoring this situation for the past few days, and today the House Judiciary Antitrust Committee released its final report that slammed the likes of Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Google for anticompetitive behaviour. It recommended changing US laws to make it easier to break up giant tech companies. The committee is dominated by Democrats but has Republican elements who endorsed some of the reports less draconian recommendations.
With opinion polls suggesting the Democrats have a real chance of a clean sweep in November’s elections, Big Tech should be rightfully concerned. Standard Oil style breakups could be a real possibility under that scenario and bringing Big Tech to heel likely has cross-party support. Being irrationally exuberant on the FAANGs ahead of the election could prove to be a bear trap, with the potential for some painful filling down of fangs a real possibility afterwards, in this scenario.
China continues its week-long holiday today, and the Asian data calendar is light to non-existent. Asian markets will likely spend the day digesting the implications of a no US stimulus agreement, content to trade off the morsels thrown out by President Trump’s Twitter account.
The FOMC minutes will be released later on Wednesday. There are unlikely to be any surprises amongst them. Still, markets may gain an insight into just how concerned the committee was for the growth outlook in a no fiscal stimulus scenario. That becomes more relevant given the overnight developments.
Wednesday also features the vice-0residential debate. Typically a side-show in most elections, it has assumed much greater importance this time around, given President Trump’s brush with Covid-19, and the fact that either presidential winner will be a one-term president. America and the world will gain an insight into their possible successors tomorrow, with the differences between the candidates never starker. A strong performance by both candidates will be vital for both this election and possibly the next.
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