Herald Mail Media
Facebook wants to take over the world monetary system. What could go wrong?
That’s right, the same company that is famous for videos of cats being scared by a zucchini, for allowing the Russians to take over our politics and for passing out your private data like Halloween candy has formed a company that has been secretly working for the past year on a currency named “Libra,” the Greek word for “internet scam.”
The plan, according to The New York Times, would “create an alternative financial system that relies on a cryptocurrency” that would make it faster, easier and less complicated for Facebook to take your money.
The Times writes that, “If the project, which Facebook hopes to begin next year with 100 partners, should come together, it would be the most far-reaching attempt by a mainstream company to jump into the world of cryptocurrencies, which is best known for speculative investments through digital tokens like Bitcoin and outside-the-law e-commerce like buying drugs online.”
OK, but that’s not my fear. I’m not worried that a bunch of 85-year-old Facebook users are suddenly going to start ordering crank.
What I do worry about is that — how do I put this nicely? — if I were looking around for a group to trust my money with, Facebook would rank about 3,738th on the list, right between the Gambino crime family and a group of third-graders holding a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese.
Facebook has spent the past decade doing everything it possibly could to not earn our trust. And now it wants our cash? Oh, all right, just let me finish filling out this waiver stating that if Facebook manages to lose my money it’s my own fault, and that I will pay them for the inconvenience of having to show up at congressional hearings.
Because you know this is where it’s going. Mark Zuckerberg sitting before the panel saying, “We didn’t mean to lose everyone’s money, it won’t happen again,” and a bunch of clueless old white male senators sternly saying, “Well, young man, see that it doesn’t.”
Because a data breach is one thing. People get their data stolen all the time and nothing ever seems to come of it, no matter how horrible we are told it is by companies trying to sell us data-protection services.
And privacy? I’m over it. I sort of appreciate that Facebook sells my personal information to companies, because I would rather see ads for mountain bikes than for Maalox.
But money is different. If Facebook screws that up, it’s not the same as a bad guy getting ahold of your account number at Macy’s. And forget idle hands: Money without accountability is the real devil’s plaything. Which the government knows. In fact, the Times says, “Financial regulators in the United States and other countries could stop Libra before it is even released if there are concerns that the technology will enable money laundering or other types of crime that have become common with Bitcoin.”
Good for the United States. You should only get to launder money if you’re the president.
I suppose I need to acknowledge the inconvenient truth that the big banks haven’t done such a great job of handling our money either. Every decade, like clockwork, they go off on some harebrained scheme that ends with a massive taxpayer bailout.
So who do you go with — Facebook or Wells Fargo? One loses your data, the other assigns you fictional data that doesn’t exist. I guess I’m old school. If I know I’m going to get hosed, I’d feel better about being hosed by an established financial institution. But all those old goats who used to bury their money in Mason jars aren’t looking so dumb after all.