- Elizabeth Warren sat down for an interview with Yahoo Finance on Thursday.
- The Democratic Senator from Mass. said that big tech companies are a “threat to our democracy” and should be broken up.
- Warren also bashed bitcoin’s environmental impact and reiterated her calls for a wealth tax. Detailed below are her eight best quotes.
- Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.
Elizabeth Warren sat down for an interview with Yahoo Finance’s editor-in-chief Andrew Serwer on Thursday and laid into big tech companies, cryptocurrencies, and the ultra-wealthy.
Warren said that she was happy that Trump has been removed from Facebook, but questioned the power of big tech companies to be able to make that choice.
The Democratic Senator from Massachusetts also touched on inflation, arguing concerns are overblown and only being mentioned because of democratic spending programs.
Warren then discussed some of her concerns around Robinhood and retail investing, and called for a wealth tax on top US earners.
Here are Warren’s 8 best quotes from the interview, lightly edited and condensed for clarity:
- “I also think with bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies, I think there’s a real issue about the environmental impact as well. This whole notion of how much energy is consumed just to keep the currency tracking going, you know, you don’t consume that kind of energy in order to have money on deposit at a bank or a mutual fund. In that sense, bitcoin is very different and in the 21st century we’re becoming a lot more sensitive to the worldwide impacts of the choices we make.”
- “Well, first, I’m glad that Donald Trump’s not going to be on Facebook, suits me. But part two is that this is a further demonstration that these giant tech companies are way, way, way to powerful. And listen to the arrogance of it. The name of the group that made this decision is called ‘the Supreme Court.'”
- “We need to break up these big tech companies and we need to do it for two reasons. One is a pretty straightforward economic reason…Amazon’s the easiest one…You want to buy or sell goods on that platform you have to go to Amazon. Amazon makes money doing that, but they also rake off all the information…so Amazon goes let’s see what else is happening here. Andy is running a pet food business…it’s turning out really good so we’ll just turn this into NBO’s pet food business and move Andy back to page seven and just scoop up all the business. Anticompetitive. So they need to be broken up in order to keep commerce flourishing. You can either run the platform or compete in the businesses, but you don’t get to do both at the same time.”
- “The second reason we need to break these guys up is how much political power they have. The idea that they get to decide whose voice gets heard and who doesn’t and they do that on their own with something they call a ‘supreme court.’ No, no, they have too much influence and they pose a threat to our democracy.”
- “No, look every time democrats talk about making investments into the economy a bunch of Republicans, and Larry Summers, stand up and say ‘oh inflation.’ Notice they don’t talk about it during tax cuts…if inflation moves we have a lot of tools to deal with it.”
- “My principle issue with Robinhood is how much they actually disclose to their customer about how their customers’ data and trades are being used. I worry a lot about these companies that get out and appear one kind of good guy model and it actually turns out they are not this little scrappy upstart they are actually fronting for giant companies that are making money, not only in the trades, but making money harvesting the information ahead of everyone else in terms of what those trades are doing.”
- “What I want to see here is I want to see the SEC take a close look. I think it’s time for the SEC to update its regulations on disclosure but also on what business models ought to be permissible in a market.”
- “We need a wealth tax in America…the difference between the top and the bottom in income is big, but the difference between the top and the bottom in wealth is orders of magnitude bigger….I have proposed a wealth tax, a two percent tax on fortunes above $50 million, a little bit more if you have a billion or more in assets. That would produce $3 trillion in revenue over ten years.”
Read more: The head of global macro strategy at Delphi Digital breaks down why Bitcoin’s price has more room to run over the next 9 to 12 months in 4 charts – and shares what the next 10 years could look like for the emerging crypto economy