IT’S HARD to imagine a time when it wasn’t around, but believe it or not today marks the 25th birthday of the internet. That means the world wide web is the same age as the Louvre’s Glass Pyramid, fashion house DKNY and, er, Tim Burton’s Batman movie. Pats on the back all round for proud parent Sir Tim Berners-Lee and the boffins at Cern.
It goes without saying the internet has completely revolutionised the City, so to celebrate we thought we’d take a look back at some of our favourite stories that would never have been possible without it.
1. The Libor smiley face emails
The internet made the use of email available for the masses. It also sped up the development of emoticons, which allow us pixel-based heads to convey emotion via computer messaging.
This would one day lead us to the discovery of these messages between traders involved in the Libor scandal – as released by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission in September 2013: “Derivatives Broker 1: brooliant!! they are malting fortunes with these high fixings!!! :-)”
“Derivatives Broker 1: Ifu can pls move 3m up more than 6m wud be much appreciated :-P”
2. The @GSElevator account
No internet means no Twitter, which means no Goldman Sachs elevator parody Twitter account, which has brought us much joy over the past few years – particularly in recent weeks when John Lefevre was unmasked as its author (he’s never worked at Goldman Sachs).
3. Carl Icahn’s tweets
Activist investor Carl Icahn’s tweets are literally gold. In August, when Ichan tweeted about buying Apple shares, the tech company’s market cap increased by $17bn in under two hours. That’s some sway.
4. Facebook’s expensive mistake
The social media giant has recently splashed out $19bn on messaging app Whatsapp. Historical tweets by Whatsapp founder Brian Acton let us know he was turned down by both Twitter and Facebook for a job years before. Kicking themselves much?