Like the big banks, big-hearted tech applies its lobbying muscle to avoid regulation, and thinks it should play by different rules. And like the banks, it could be about to wreak fiscal havoc on us all. By Rana Foroohar

‘In every major economic downturn in US history, the’ villains’ have been the’ heroes’ during the preceding boom, ” said the late, great administration guru Peter Drucker. I cannot help but wonder if that might be the case over the next few years, as the United Government( and perhaps the nations of the world) brains toward its next large-hearted slowdown. Downturns historically come about once every decade, and it has been more than that since the 2008 financial crisis. Back then, banks were the “too-big-to-fail” establishments responsible for our fall inventory portfolios, home rates and salaries. Technology corporations, by comparison, have led the market upswing over the past decade. But this time around, it is the big tech firms that could play the spoiler role.

You wouldn’t think it could be so when you look at the biggest and richest tech firms today. Take Apple. Warren Buffett says he wished he owned even more Apple stock.( His Berkshire Hathaway has a 5% stake in the company .) Goldman Sachs is launching a new credit cards with the tech titan, which became the world’s first$ 1tn market-cap company in 2018. But veiled within these bullish headlines are a number of agitating economic trends, of which Apple is already an exemplar. Study this one company and you begin to understand how large-scale tech corporations- the brand-new too-big-to-fail institutions- could indeed sow the seeds of the next crisis.

Related: Why Silicon Valley can’t fix itself

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