The government is more likely to invest in the tech giants than break them up. Inthe months leading up to Wednesday’s tech giant hearing, the U.S.
In the months leading up to Wednesday’s tech giant hearing, the U.S. federal government was buying millions in tech giant debt. Through BlackRock, an intermediary, the Federal Reserve picked up $25 million in Apple bonds, another $4 million in Amazon, and about $18 million in Microsoft.
The buying spree took place amid a much larger fed program aimed at keeping the bond market active. But it was telling that the tech giants — on solid financial footing — were included. These companies are now pillars of the stock market, underpinning retirement accounts and general economic confidence across the country. Their failure would devastate the economy. So today the U.S. government is more likely to buy their debt than break them up.
“If the tech giants get regulated, people’s 401(k) accounts are going to get blown up,” one concerned tech giant employee told Big Technology. “That’s a conflict.”
Since the start of the pandemic, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft have grown more entrenched in our daily lives, and their share prices reflect it. Amazon shares have jumped more than $1,000 since mid-March. Alphabet is up $400. Apple has added $150. Facebook and Microsoft are up around $70. The tech giants started the year making up 17.5% of the S&P 500. Now, they account for 22%. Remove them, and the S&P 500 would be down 5% this year. Their success is the market’s success.
Government employees themselves are counting on the tech giants to grow — and have shared in their success. California Public Employees’ Retirement System owns more than $1 billion in Facebook stock. The State Board of Administration of Florida owns hundreds of millions in Amazon. The State of Wisconsin Investment Board owns a chunk in Alphabet. New York State’s Common Retirement Fund invests a small country’s GDP worth in Apple. Add in ETFs (which contain plenty of tech stock) and they have a lot riding on the tech giants.
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