Must-Read Money Stories for Wednesday, Nov. 16

by November 16, 2016
Snapchat's parent company is gearing up for a Wall Street debut that could be the nation's largest technology IPO since 2014. (Image "Snapchat" by AdamPrzezdziek via Flickr, CC BY 2.0.)

Snapchat’s parent company is gearing up for a Wall Street debut that could be the nation’s largest technology IPO since 2014. (Image “Snapchat” by AdamPrzezdziek via Flickr, CC BY 2.0.)

Snapchat parent eyes Wall Street

Snap Inc.—the company formerly known as Snapchat behind the popular messaging smartphone app—is reportedly gearing up for one of the largest technology debuts on Wall Street by as early as March, potentially boosting the IPO market’s otherwise lackluster activity this past year. According to interviews with unnamed sources by the Wall Street Journal, Snap confidentially filed initial public offering paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission prior to last week’s presidential election. Estimates for the deal, sources say, are being pegged in the range of $20 to $25 billion—potentially marking the largest U.S. technology IPO since Alibaba Group Holding’s whopping $168 billion debut in 2014.

Facebook takes heat for fake news stories

The uptick in fake news stories that began during the presidential contest between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton has now gone viral since Election Day—and the bulk of public scrutiny is being aimed at Facebook, according to The Hill. With 44 percent of Americans consuming news via Facebook, a liberal group called Media Matters for America launched a petition Tuesday calling on the social media giant to address its “fever swamp/cesspool of misinformation” by weeding out and preventing dubious news stories from trending on users’ Facebook feeds and going viral. Other tech-giant executives have vocalized concerns over the trend, including Google CEO Sudar Pichai, who recently told BBC News they’ve made mistakes despite their best efforts to curb the problem.

Firms push back over growing Dakota Pipeline protests

Environmentalists and Standing Rock Sioux tribe members beefed up their opposition to the ongoing Dakota Access Pipeline construction this week, multiplying demonstration efforts across North America to perhaps their largest numbers to date on Tuesday, according to Reuters. The protests were amassing as companies behind the controversial pipeline—a $3.7 billion project intended to transport oil between Illinois and North Dakota—filed paperwork late Monday asking a federal court to intervene. Their request came a day after the government postponed granting an easement for the project in North Dakota and follows repeated construction delays in recent months by protesters on-site.

Pessimism mounts over Fannie, Freddie

During the throes of the nation’s recent housing crash, the U.S. government, with the help of a $187 billion-bailout from taxpayers, took the market’s two biggest players, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, into federal conservatorship—and there they’ve stayed for eight years. Housing experts told the New York Times this week that that conservatorship status—leaving Fannie and Freddie in limbo with their own management teams and ultra-strict government oversight while awaiting permanent reform by Congress—was a fly-over topic during the presidential election and will likely continue as such under the Donald Trump administration.