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When I read this:

Google is using its vast database of web shopping data to construct the ‘Google Price Index’ – a daily measure of inflation…is working on “predicting the present” by using real-time search data to forecast official data that are only released with time lags.

I think to myself, this is just the tip of the iceberg.  Google needs to find revenue streams other than search. At some point, Google is going to realize that

  • Google is all about processing information
  • Wall Street is all about processing information
  • Google would be very good at doing what Wall Street is doing
  • Doing what Wall Street is doing (better) would create an enormous revenue stream.


  1. Not sure… even if Google were good at predicting which way markets are going, I think they would give this information away for free. Google’s brand is all about giving away free information (e.g., the free Android operating system).

    Also, all the negative connotation with Wall Street and Google’s “don’t be evil” brand.

  2. Joe, I generally agree with what you said.

    However, Google is a for-profit corporation, and ultimately responsible to its shareholders. Google has three pretty sizable competitive advantages over most Wall Street firms: in access to information, computing power, and programming talent. It has a considerable disadvantage in specific knowledge of financial markets, and will require investment to be able to compete, but if it does, I could see it crushing the current Wall Street firms.

    I’d much rather have a company with “don’t be evil” in its mission statement running the financial world than the current players.

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