Virtually free money distorts companies and markets in all sorts of ways. From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:
Now you see it … maybe soon you won’t.
Over the last year, the seeming ability of stock values of many technology companies to keep rising forever met resistance. This was true even for the major technology companies known collectively as “big tech.” During the last 12 months, Meta (parent company of Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram), Amazon, and Alphabet (parent company of Google and YouTube) suffered layoffs and big declines in stock prices.
These were the result of both bad decisions and changing market conditions. For example, the end of covid lockdowns obviously reduced demand for Amazon’s delivery services. Also, an increasing number of people are leaving Facebook and other Meta sites for newer social media sites. Many of those who use social media for political organization, education, or discussion are abandoning Facebook and YouTube for sites such as Rumble — sites that don’t deplatform individuals for sharing opinions and news that displeases “woke” bureaucrats and politicians.
The magician in this scenario — the Federal Reserve — played a major role in big (and medium and small) tech’s rise and fall. Technology writer David Streitfeld, writing in the New York Times, recently examined how the Fed’s 2008 market meltdown related policy of near zero interest rates led many investors to throw money at tech companies. In many cases, these investors would not have bought tech companies stock had the Fed not distorted the signals sent by interest rates, which are the price of money. The historic expansion of the Fed balance sheet thanks to “quantitative easing” also helped create a tech bubble. Now that the Fed is raising interest rates (although still keeping them well below what they would likely be in a free market), the tech bubble is being popped as investors are able to get a more realistic view of tech companies’ value. This is causing a painful but necessary correction.