Weekend Reading

20 January 2018 | by Paul Perrino, CFA®

A summary of this week’s best articles. Follow us on Twitter (@INTRINSICINV) for similar ongoing posts and shares.

Facebook, Alphabet shifted in sector classification system (Noel Randewich, @randewich, Reuters)

It seemed like any company using technology to deliver a service was lumped into the Technology sector. The Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS) is trying to catch up to the times. They’re renaming the Telecommunications sector to Communication Services. A number of companies will be moving out of the Technology sector and into this new Communication Services sector, such as Facebook and Twitter. Disney and DISH will be moving from the Consumer Discretionary sector to the new Communication Services sector.

The Difficulties With Facebook’s News Feed Overhaul (Farhad Manjoo, @fmanjoo, NYT)

Over the past few years research has been popping up about the damage Facebook causes people and society. After the 2016 Presidential election a number of critics blamed Facebook of the spread of and profiting from fake news. On 1/11/18, Mark Zuckerberg announced a plan to revamp the News Feed to help address these issues.

Beyond the Bitcoin Bubble (Steven Johnson, @stevenbjohnson, NYT)

While the price of cryptocurrencies may be entertaining to watch, the underlying technology that’s driving it could be a technological leap forward. It also comes at a time when a number of critics are saying that the quality of the internet has eroded and needs fixing. Some think blockchain can be the solution. The author does an excellent job of making cyrtocurrencies understandable and wrestles with the cognitive dissonance of the parabolic rise in the price of cryptocurrencies while also recognizing the potential revolutionary nature of the technology.

Fiat Chrysler’s Marchionne: The Future of Cars Will Be Electric and Commoditized (Tommaso Ebhardt, @TEbhardt, Bloomberg)

The development of artificial intelligence and electric motors (and storage) have been disrupting the research department in the auto industry for the past few years. Auto companies not embracing this change could be in for a rude awakening. “Within a decade, he expects widespread adoption of cars at Level 4 autonomy, capable of driving without human intervention in restricted geographic areas. By 2025, he predicts that fewer than half the cars sold will be be fully combustion-powered.”

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