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How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

AI Regulation - Urgent Need For A Sherman Act Mark Two

Politics / AI Oct 01, 2023 - 10:03 PM GMT

By: Christopher_Quigley

Politics It is almost certain that the advent of  Artificial Intelligence (AI) will bring about even greater consolidation of power among the top American tech companies. These include Amazon, Meta (Facebook), Alphabet (Google), Microsoft, Apple, Tesla, Advanced Micro Devices, NVIDA and Intel.

This development presents a great opportunity for these companies but it also presents a great threat to the very fabric of capitalism and democracy. I believe, before it is too late, it is time that the power of these tech companies be broken and thus it is time for a new Sherman Act.

Enlightened Governemnt

In the late 19th century the exploitation of the "working class" became so extreme that a powerful politician John Sherman of Ohio drafted a bill to break up the monopoly power of big business. The bill got the support of President Roosevelt and was signed into law. This was the first United States Federal statute to limit cartels and monopolies. It falls under antitrust law. The act provides:

"Every contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, is declared to be illegal." The act also provides: "Every person who shall monopolize, or attempt to monopolize, or combine or conspire with any other person or persons, to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, shall be deemed guilty of a felony." The act put responsibility upon government attorneys and district courts to pursue and investigate trusts, companies and organizations suspected of violating the act. The Clayton Act (1914) extended the right to sue under the antitrust laws to "any person who shall be injured in his business or property by reason of anything forbidden in the antitrust laws." Under the Clayton Act, private parties may sue in U.S. district court and should they prevail, they may be awarded treble damages and the cost of suit, including reasonable attorney's fees.

John Sherman (1823-1900) was the younger brother of the American Civil War general William Tecumseh Sherman. He became a U.S. senator from Ohio and served as a chairman of the Senate finance committee. He also served as a member of the U.S. Cabinet, including Secretary of State under President William McKinley and Secretary of the Treasury under President Hayes. Sherman was an expert on the regulation of commerce and was the chief author of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

For the first twelve years of its existence, the Sherman Act was a paper tiger. United States courts routinely sided with business when any enforcement of the Act was attempted. For example, the American Sugar Refining Company controlled 98 percent of the sugar industry. Despite this virtual monopoly, the Supreme Court refused to dissolve the corporation in an 1895 ruling. The only time an organization was deemed in restraint of trade was when the court ruled against a labour union. However, when a favourable supreme court came in being the act was successfully used to break up the Northern Securities railway trust and later J. D.  Rockerfeller's Standard Oil. The act went on to be used in 1948 to break up the Hollywood studios monopoly.

In recent years the act has been used against Google and Microsoft  but nothing of consequence was achieved to dent their power. It is my belief that a new Sherman Act is needed to be drafted to specifically target and break up the new monopolistic power of the tech giants. The task however is to find a "John Sherman" i.e. a powerful politician who understands the tech industry and the threat posed by AI. The top 8 tech companies, with an approximate valuation of 9 trillion dollars, comprise 50% of the NASDAQ 100 and 25% of the S & P 500. This is a staggering fact. These companies dominate computers, chip making, retail, smart phones, logistics, search engines, music, advertising, communication, information processing and media. Through their use of algorithms to search data they are in a position to know everything about everybody due to the fact that folk are happy to give all their personal information for "free" in order to use social media, phones and email.

Unless something is done to halt the inevitable rise of tech company power it is only a matter of time, in my opinion, that there will be no real independent stock market left. This is a dangerous situation for any democracy. AI will only lead to greater consolidation of power and wealth at the top and inequality, exploitation and poverty at the bottom. The current Sherman Act is not sophisticated enough beat the tech titans so it is time the American Congress consider a complete re-draft. I think there should be no more important policy objective on any incoming American president's agenda. The very "father" of AI, Dr. Geoffrey Hinton, is very concerned

about how AI is developing , and if anybody is well placed to see what is coming down the tracks he is. This is what he recently had to say, as reported by the Guardian

The man often touted as the godfather of AI has quit Google, citing concerns over the flood of misinformation, the possibility for AI to upend the job market, and the “existential risk” posed by the creation of a true digital intelligence.

Dr Geoffrey Hinton, who with two of his students at the University of Toronto built a neural net in 2012, quit Google this week, as first reported by the New York Times.

Hinton, 75, said he quit to speak freely about the dangers of AI, and in part regrets his contribution to the field. He was brought on by Google a decade ago to help develop the company’s AI technology, and the approach he pioneered led the way for current systems such as ChatGPT.

Some of the dangers of AI were “quite scary”, he told the BBC, warning  it could be exploited by “bad actors”.

Christopher Quiqley

B.Sc., M.M.I.I. Grad., M.A.

Mr. Quigley was born in 1958 in Dublin, Ireland. He holds a Bachelor Degree in Accounting and Management from Trinity College Dublin and is a graduate of the Marketing Institute of Ireland. He commenced investing in the stock market in 1989 in Belmont, California where he lived for 6 years. He has developed the Wealthbuilder investment and trading course over the last two decades as a result of research, study and experience. This system marries fundamental analysis with technical analysis and focuses on momentum, value and pension strategies.

Since 2007 Mr. Quigley has written over 80 articles which have been published on popular web   sites based in California, New York, London and Dublin.

Mr. Quigley is now lives in Dublin, Ireland and Tampa Bay, Florida.

© 2023 Copyright Christopher M. Quigley - All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any trading losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors before engaging in any trading activities.

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