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US probe after Goldman investment in Facebook

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A Goldman Sachs investment of nearly half a billion dollars into Facebook has spawned a probe by US regulators eager to safeguard the dividing line between public and private companies, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

US media earlier this week said that investment giant Goldman had poured 450 million dollars into Facebook and that a Russian investment firm, Digital Sky Technologies, sank another 50 million dollars into the social networking site.

The Journal reported however that the federal Security and Exchange Commission has begun examining whether disclosure rules for privately held firms need to be rewritten as a result of recent deals allowing investors to buy shares in Internet companies such as Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook’s agreement with Goldman Sachs Group to create an investment vehicle that will allow some of the securities firm’s richest clients to buy as much as 1.5 billion dollars of equity in Facebook has caused the SEC to re-examine the divide between public and private companies, The Journal wrote.

SEC rules require firms with 500 or more shareholders of record in a given type of stock to publicly disclose certain financial information. The requirement is designed to protect investors from risking money on companies that say little about their operations and performance.

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Citing people familiar with the probe, the financial daily wrote that the review is at an early stage and that SEC officials looking at the recent deals have not concluded that any of them run afoul of the 47-year-old rules governing private companies.

The fast-growing Facebook website has more than 500 million active users per month worldwide as subscribers “friend” their contacts and share their activities.

Its founder Mark Zuckerberg, 26, recently named Time magazine’s “Person of the Year,” has resisted pressure to launch an initial public offering of stocks.

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With this reported fresh investment, Facebook has a bigger capitalization than Boeing, at 48.7 billion dollars, or Time Warner, about 36 billion.

Yet its annual revenue, primarily based on advertising, is estimated at two billion dollars, compared with Boeing’s 64.62 billion and Time Warner’s 26.5 billion.


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WATCH: Civil rights icon John Lewis drops the hammer on Trump — and has no qualms about calling his remarks racist

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On Tuesday, the fallout continued from remarks President Trump made telling four freshman congresswomen -- and women of color -- that they should go back to their own countries.

While some prominent Republicans criticized the president, they stopped short of calling his comments racist.

MSNBC reported Tuesday that Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) -- a civil rights icon -- deemed Trump's remarks racist.

"This is not any, any way for the president of the United States of America to be attacking to be saying what he's saying about these young women," Lewis said.

"It's just dead wrong. We must use everything in a nonviolent way to say that it's wrong."

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Trump believes white nationalism is a winning strategy — because Fox News tells him so

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Donald Trump thinks white nationalism is going to win him the 2020 election. This much is clear. Trump's racist Twitter rant on Sunday — in which he suggested that four nonwhite congresswomen, three of whom were born in the United States, are "originally" from somewhere else and should therefore "go back" — might have seemed at first like a spontaneous eruption of racist rage from the simmering bigot in the White House.

Soon, however, it became clear that this was strategic. Trump thinks it's a winning move to echo the claims of David Duke and other white nationalists who believe the United States is for white people. He justified his racism by saying that "many people agree with me," and by continuing to rave on Twitter about how the real purveyors of "racist hatred" are those who look askance at his embracing the rhetoric of Stormfront and the KKK.

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‘White supremacy is a hell of a drug’: columnist explains the GOP’s garbled response to Trump

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On Tuesday, President Donald Trump addressed comments he'd made telling four freshman congresswomen -- all American citizens and women of color -- to go back to their countries.

The comments set off a furor that the president was being outwardly racist.

“It's up to them. They can do what they want. They can leave, they can stay, but they should love our country,” the president told reporters Tuesday when he was asked about his remarks.

On CNN Tuesday, New York Times columnist Wajahat Ali explained how Donald Trump's comments -- and his Republican counterparts' refusal to call them racist -- is rooted in a dangerous white supremacy, or terror at the "browning of America."

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