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Facebook's annual F8 conference in San Jose, Calif.f. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

After Facebook unveiled plans for its own cryptocurrency, Congress members including Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, and fellow committee member Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) called for the tech company to testify and push pause on the project.

Why it matters: Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency project is ambitious, but hinges on regulatory approval if it wants to enable users to convert the currency to and from fiat money.

What they're saying:

  • “Facebook has data on billions of people and has repeatedly shown a disregard for the protection and careful use of this data,” Waters said in a statement according to Reuters. “With the announcement that it plans to create a cryptocurrency, Facebook is continuing its unchecked expansion and extending its reach into the lives of its users.”
  • “Facebook is already too big and too powerful, and it has used that power to exploit users’ data without protecting their privacy," said Sen. Sherrod Brown, the top Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee, in a statement per Reuters. "We cannot allow Facebook to run a risky new cryptocurrency out of a Swiss bank account without oversight."

Others like Sen. Mark Warner, as well as regulators in foreign countries, also expressed concern about the project.

Go deeper

Trading platforms curb trading on high-flying Reddit stocks

Major trading platforms including Robinhood, TDAmeritrade and Interactive Brokers are restricting — or cutting off entirely — trading on high-flying stocks like GameStop and AMC Entertainment.

Why it matters: It limits access to the traders that have contributed to the wild Reddit-driven activity of the past few days — a phenomenon that has gripped Wall Street and the country.

2020 was the economy's worst year since 1946

Source: FRED; Billions of chained 2012 dollars; Chart: Axios Visuals

One of the last major economic report cards of the Trump era lends perspective to the historic damage caused by the pandemic, which continued to weigh on growth in the final quarter of 2020.

By the numbers: The U.S. economy grew at a 4% annualized pace in the fourth quarter, a sharp slowdown in growth compared to the prior quarter. For the full year, the economy shrank by 3.5% — the first annual contraction since the financial crisis and the worst decline since 1946.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

How GameStop exposed the market

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Retail traders have found a cheat code for the stock market, and barring some major action from regulatory authorities or a massive turn in their favored companies, they're going to keep using it to score "tendies" and turn Wall Street on its head.

What's happening: The share prices of companies like GameStop are rocketing higher, based largely on the social media organizing of a 3-million strong group of Redditors who are eagerly piling into companies that big hedge funds are short selling, or betting will fall in price.