The rise and rise of Netflix

Online TV streaming and content giant Netflix has caught up with both BM and Disney to become the S&P 500's largest firm by market cap.

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"Investors have witnessed a Twilight of the Gods' moment", says John Authers in the Financial Times. Since the inception of the S&P 500 index in the 1950s, IBM has spent the most time as the index's largest firm by market capitalisation. Its stint at the top included the entire 1980s, and in 1985 it comprised 6.3% of the index, a bigger share than Apple has ever achieved. Now, however, online TV streaming and content giant Netflix has caught up with it. And as if to underline this "dramatic shift" in the balance of power in the tech sector, Netflix has also caught up with Disney, "a company that is very much in the same line of business these days".

Viewpoint

"For decades, personal connections have provided a well-trodden path to success in Indian business. State-owned banks provided cheap financing for firms whose success often rested on winning official approvals. If a venture soured, the taxpayer frequently ended up being left to shoulder losses... cronyism, not competition, has been the surest route to riches [Now, however, a] new era of Indian capitalism may be dawning. For the first time... struggling tycoons face the prospect of having their businesses seized from them. The fate of 12 troubled large concerns is due to be settled within weeks, while another 28 cases are set to be resolved by September. Between them, these firms account for about 40% of loans that banks themselves think are unlikely to be repaid. For enforcing a bankruptcy system that is usually skirted by those with connections, the government of Narendra Modi deserves much credit."

The Economist

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