For Google at least, in the regulatory realm, call it a case of adding insult to the inquiry. There was a bit of pun, but the Federal Trade Commision or FTC, in the wake of the $5 billion fine via the European Union, centered on the Android operating system, as well as antivirus violations, looks at the matter, as well. Last week, as it has been noted, the chairman of FTC, named Joseph Simons, said to U.S. lawmakers that he had spoken to the European Commissioner for Competition, named Margrethe Vestager, about the penalty, and he stated that they are going to read what the EU put out very carefully. He also noted that regulators are is going to be directed at both Google and Apple and that their respective weights in the smartphone industry.
As it was widely reported, the fine came after a ruling that the tech juggernaut abused its dominance via Android, which has been found on more than 80% of the smartphones in the world. The company used and still uses different methods through which it promotes its own search engines and mobile applications. Google said that the tactics, like not charging for the OS installation on those devices, are actually going to help competition, and an end result is lower prices for the end consumer.
The lending rates in crosshairs in China
The headlines have been dominated by trade wars, with the U.S. and China being the focus.
Of course, economics is an internal event, and also an external one, which crosses the borders via trade, in China, for instance, the regulators want to boost small business lending. Earlier in July 2018, those same lenders prodded banks to cut rates significantly for some small businesses beginning in the current quarter.
As it was noted by Reuters, the move is one which seeks to offset some of the effects of the above-mentioned trade war, that could actually include a slowdown of overall economic growth. Some smaller businesses on both the sides could see a disproportionate impact, and China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) took on the initiative through a non-public notice. The rates were also non-public, but monetary policy reports have pegged the price at lower than 6% in the first quarter of 2018. Lending to some smaller firms stood at one-third of lending balances as of 2017.
Once again, cryptos will get some examination
Within some regulatory discussions, cryptocurrencies are also mentioned. To that end, the regulators are eying the creation of a framework which is going to focus on risk which is tied to cryptocurrencies. As Reuters has noted, the FSB or Financial Stability Board issued a report which cites a ripple impact of sorts which could spread beyond cryptocurrencies.
The FSB said that regulators are monitoring the size, as well as the growth of crypto-asset markets is critical for understanding the potential scope of wealth effects, should valuations fall. The use of leverage, as well as financial institution exposures to the crypto-asset markets, is critical metrics of transmission of crypto-asset risks to the broader financial system.
That statement actually came after the ruling from the authority within the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission or SEC regulators from last month, which stated that cryptos are indeed securities. As they are securities, the cryptos would be bound to the oversight and other securities laws of SEC.
CFPB pick faces scrutiny on the hill
The reshaping of CFPB or Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a bit closer to home, continues via the Trump Administration. Kathy Kraninger, who is the nominated person to lead the bureau, faces some questioning from the panel of Democratic Senators. The group touched on a host of problems, but also focused on the experience that Kraninger had which would be relevant to leading the CFBP.
According to some news outlets, Kraninger seems on track to be confirmed as early as this month. As the newswire quoted Isaac Boltansky, who is actually the director of policy research at the Washington D.C. firm Compass Point Research & Trading, he said that they believe the odds of Ms. Kraninger securing confirmation has increased, given her avoidance of debilitating, but her testimony is still not sure.
One point of contention dovetailed with questioning which tied into immigration policy. Kraninger also stated that she had no role in shaping that kind of policy, which had separated thousands of children from their parents. However, she reported that she had attended some meetings on implementing that mandate, which in turn led Senator Elizabeth Warren to claim Kraninger had a “moral stain” on her character.
Besides everything, they charged that the nominee does not have the experience to lead the bureau. Also, supporters stated that her time with the White House Office of Management and Budget, where she actually worked with now acting CFPB head Mick Mulvaney, does indeed qualify her for the role.