6th October 2021
Good morning Have you ever had a “fat finger” moment at work? Well, it probably wasn’t as bad as the engineer at Compound, a popular cryptocurrency platform. Last week, in what should have been a routine update, a coding mistake sent $90m worth of cryptocurrency into some users' accounts.The company's founder, quickly took to Twitter to persuade users to return the surprise windfall — veering from persuasion to praise to threats against anyone who doesn't return the tokens.
Facing the music – Facebook’s rocky week
Race to equality – Widespread discrimination in finance
SOCIAL MEDIAFacebook’s rocky week
What’s going on?This week has gone from bad to worse for Facebook – and it’s only Wednesday. The social media giant suffered a massive outage on three of its platforms at the start of the week and yesterday a whistle blower testified in the US congress criticising the company.
Why is this important?
For six hours on Monday Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp stopped working after "configuration changes on the backbone routers that co-ordinate network traffic between our data centres caused issues that interrupted this communication". For the non-technical it basically means Facebook's systems stopped talking to the wider internet.Over 3bn people use Facebook’s apps for business and communicating with friends and family. To make matters worse, the company’s internal communications network was down, and employees’ badges didn’t work when they tried to enter the office. Over the weekend a former Facebook employee, Frances Haugen, leaked thousands of pages of documents to the Wall Street Journal newspaper and US financial regulator, then gave a TV interview arguing that the company was prioritising profit and growth over user safety.Then yesterday Haugen appeared in front of Congress criticising the company as "one of the most urgent threats" facing the country. In a rare show of unity both Democrats and Republicans agreed that Facebook was harmful to young people’s mental health.Facebook shares, which had already been sliding after Haugen revealed herself to be the whistle blower, fell more than 5%. It was the stock’s worst day all year.
TakeawayAnalysts estimate that the outage cost Facebook $60m in lost revenue. A big number but only 0.2% of the advertising revenue it made in second quarter.The more lasting impact will be on the growing scrutiny from whistle blowers, governments and beyond over how the company operates.
WORKWidespread discrimination in finance
Two thirds of British ethnic minority financial services workers have faced discrimination at their workplaces, according to Reboot, a professionals network. The survey of 800 employees from 440 companies highlights how far the industry still has to go on race equality.Over a quarter of respondents said discrimination was holding back their career and nearly half believe that their career progression has been slower than white colleagues.40% of workers surveyed also remain sceptical that their organisations are committed to diversity and inclusion.In the wake of the murder of George Floyd last year by a US police officer, diversity and inclusion has risen on the corporate agenda.But the financial services sector still has some way to go to reach racial equality. Few City firms track ethnic minority data on employees but a report from the City watchdog, found that less than 10% of management roles were held by ethnic minority staff.While gender pay gap reporting has been a legal requirement for UK businesses with more than 250 employees since 2017, only 13 of the FTSE 100 currently report their ethnicity pay gaps.
Stat of the day
In 2006 the companies with shares listed in London were worth 10.4% of the global equity market, today it's 3.6%
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