Well, here’s something we thought we’d never hear from Mark Zuckerberg. He’s willing to comply to the fullest extent, it seems.
Is Zuckerberg Ready to Throw in the Towel?
Yesterday, the Facebook CEO had the heat laid on his shoulders by members of the U.S. Congress. It appears that many are simply not happy with how Libra has handled itself, and don’t trust Zuckerberg or his team to adhere to the “appropriate” financial goals. This includes blocking attempts at money laundering and other white-collar crimes.
However, it can also be argued that these attacks wouldn’t be hitting Zuckerberg if it weren’t for the Cambridge Analytica scandal that popped up in 2018. Facebook had allegedly been selling customers’ private data to third parties for years for advertising purposes, and the CEO took plenty of criticism during his testimony for the company’s past relationship with the firm.
Zuckerberg seems to be growing very tired of all the questioning as of late, because during his hearing, he stated that Libra would not continue if Congress didn’t approve. Thus, Libra could potentially be over before it even officially begins. While this would probably please a lot of people, it would also mean a lot of time, energy and above all, money down the drain.
Either way, Zuckerberg acknowledged that Facebook probably isn’t the ideal company for delivering a product such as Libra. He explained during his testimony:
I believe this is something that needs to get built, but I understand we’re not the ideal messenger right now. We’ve faced a lot of issues over the past few years, and I’m sure people wish it was anyone but Facebook putting this idea forward.
One of Zuckerberg’s biggest critics is Maxine Waters, the House Financial Services Committee chair. During the hearing, she explained:
I have come to the conclusion that it would be beneficial for all if Facebook concentrates on addressing its many existing deficiencies and failures before proceeding any further on the Libra project.
Reiterating these criticisms was democrat from New York Nydia Velazquez, who said that Facebook poses a real danger to the global financial infrastructure. She states:
Facebook’s internal motto was for a long time ‘move fast and break things.’ Mr. Zuckerberg, we do not want to break the international monetary system.
Sympathy from Strange Sources
Interestingly, most of the sympathy this time around came predominantly from republicans, who commented that Facebook had grown into a major conglomerate, and that Zuckerberg should be proud of himself for building such a large business. Most of the grilling came by way of democrats, who seemed hellbent on getting the CEO to submit to their agendas.
Either way, it’s difficult to say if this event will hinder or enhance Libra’s production.