Political Social Media Ads Targeted in New Bipartisan Bill
October 19, 2017
McCain signs on to social media political ad disclosure bill; Trump to nominate new FTC chair; Lowest jobless claims in 44+ years; Oil falls on inventory, despite OPEC signaling of continued production cuts ahead of Nov meeting.
- McCain signs on to social media political ad disclosure bill. Senators Mark Warner and Amy Klobuchar have secured a key ally for their political ad disclosure bill, Republican senator John McCain. The ad targets Facebook and the impact of social media political ads on the 2016 election. The legislation, titled the Honest Ads Act, is the result of investigations into the impact of political ads on social media platforms purchased by foreign governments (Russia). Senator Warner, a long-time technology policy leader from his experience as a telecommunications venture capitalist, argues the legislation uses a “light touch” as to not “restrict free speech or people’s access to the internet, “and make sure Facebook ads are “covered by the same rules as ads sold on TV, radio, and satellite.” Lobbyists for Google and Facebook have sought input into the bill’s language, and Senator Klobuchar indicated that tech companies have not yet signed onto the legislation. [Politico]
- Trump to nominate new FTC chair. The President nominated DC based anti-trust lawyer Joseph J. Simons for the chairmanship of the Federal Trade Commission. He also nominated Rohit Chopra (D), a Chuck Schumer pick, and Noah Phillips (R) for the remaining partisan-allocated seats of the Commission. The FTC’s primary role in governance is to police companies for deceptive practices and oversee mergers. Simons briefly headed up the Competition bureau of the FTC during the beginning of the Bush administration. [The Hill]
Economic Indicators & News
- Lowest jobless claims in 44+ years. A strong US job market is showing some of its most impressive figures yet. As the impact of two domestic hurricanes dissipates, jobless claims were at their lowest levels since 1973, when the labor market was much smaller. Claims decreased by 22%, to 222k, and the four-week average dropped to 248k. Continuing claims also fell by 16k, painting an overall picture of a strong and improving job market. [Bloomberg]
- Oil falls on inventory, despite OPEC signaling of continued production cuts ahead of Nov meeting. Crude rose for four straight trading sessions since late last week, on news of tensions in Iraq, a key oil-producing state. However, on the announcement of higher US stockpiles in yesterday’s EIA report, the increase streak broke and oil fell to $52/barrel. The OPEC cartel will meet at the end of November, and appear to be taking production cues from Russian President Putin, who has advocated for sustained production cuts. OPEC has surprised some skeptics by cutting half of the global surplus with those production cuts. [Bloomberg]