The Market This Week: Scandals, Protests and Where Women Are Missing

Laura Shin
Posted

There’s more than one way to throw your weight around.

That became apparent this week, which began with news that Apple, like many tech companies, evades billions in taxes in multiple states and countries–perfectly legally–because of tax loopholes especially beneficial to tech firms.

May Day Occupy Oakland Protest

Two other heavyweights–Google and the government–are gearing up for a showdown. The government has hired a lawyer, signalling its intention to take the tech giant to court for possibly skewing search results to competitors’ disadvantage.

But you don’t have to be one of the world’s richest companies to toe the line with the law: Thousands of protesters in the Occupy Wall Street movement took to the streets of cities such as New York City, Los Angeles, Oakland and Seattle on May Day, an internationally recognized day to celebrate labor.

Similarly, a steady stream of disaffected freelancers have been adding their unpaid freelance invoices to The World’s Longest Invoice, which is as of this writing, is on its way into the high-teen millions.

Speaking of big numbers, late Thursday, Facebook set the price for its initial public offering at $28-$35 a share, which would value the company as high as $96 billion. (Find out whether you should try to buy the stock.) As for the overall economy, homeownership is at its lowest in 15 years, banks are targeting low-income consumers with fees and the job rate slowed in April.

But two movements afoot could help you: First, in the next few years, we may see more women on corporate boards, to the benefit not just of women on the corporate ladder, but to investors everywhere. Second, a couple scandals involving big corporations (News Corp. and Google) impinging on the privacy of regular citizens could make other corporations more cautious when it comes to respecting our own business.

Facebook Protest Highlights Lack of Women on Corporate Boards

Facebook doesn’t have a single woman on its board. Does that matter? Learn why women make a difference on corporate boards–and who’s doing something about it.

From Google to News Corp: Privacy Scandals, and What They Mean for Us

Corporations hacking into our voicemail and taking our passwords? Amassing personal data from customers by spying on our WiFi? Find out who did what—and how you can protect yourself.

photo: The May Day Occupy protest in Oakland, Calif. (jsruby22/Flickr)