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July 29, 2020 | Lawmakers Pretend to Grill Tech Mafia Dons

Rick Ackerman

Rick Ackerman is the editor of Rick’s Picks, an online service geared to traders of stocks, options, index futures and commodities. His detailed trading strategies have appeared since the early 1990s in Black Box Forecasts, a newsletter he founded that originally was geared to professional option traders. Barron’s once labeled him an “intrepid trader” in a headline that alluded to his key role in solving a notorious pill-tampering case. He received a $200,000 reward when a conviction resulted, and the story was retold on TV’s FBI: The Untold Story. His professional background includes 12 years as a market maker in the pits of the Pacific Coast Exchange, three as an investigator with renowned San Francisco private eye Hal Lipset, seven as a reporter and newspaper editor, three as a columnist for the Sunday San Francisco Examiner, and two decades as a contributor to publications ranging from Barron’s to The Antiquarian Bookman to Fleet Street Letter and Utne Reader.

Corleone, Barzini, Tattaglia, Cuneo, Stracci.  They were all on Capitol Hill Wednesday, feigning respect toward a Congressional panel that seems unlikely ever to earn anyone’s respect. Tech’s dons will return this weekend to their Left Coast aeries, secure in the knowledge their inquisitors will never figure out how Google, Amazon, Twitter, Facebook and AAPL make money, let alone how to bring these omnipotent corporate dirtballs to heel. All act with increasing impunity, most recently by brazenly muffling conservative voices ahead of the presidential election.

Bezos, zillionaire owner of the Washington Post, does it the old-fashioned way, with news stories and editorials that would have done Goebbels proud. The others claim to have no political bias.  “It’s just algorithms,” they are wont to reply, lying through their teeth each time they are summoned to Washington.  With only a few rare exceptions, even the Republicans are odiously obeisant. We long to hear just one of them tee up Zuckerberg and let fly: “Tattaglia’s a pimp. He never could’ve out-fought Santino. But I didn’t know until this day that it was Barzini all along.” Yeah, sure. What a shocker it would be if someone on the Hill actually called a spade a spade. Let’s not hold our breath waiting for the people’s Representatives to score a point.

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July 29th, 2020

Posted In: Rick's Picks

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