When a city becomes a tech hub, it usually also becomes a bubble: a housing bubble, a pay bubble and an industry bubble, to name a few. The tech world talks about these bubbles like they’re inevitable. But what if they weren’t? Glenn Kelman, CEO of the real estate site Redfin, argues in a piece published on LinkedIn that reporting tech employees’ stock payouts properly could distribute wealth more evenly throughout the country. The following is an edited excerpt of his conversation with Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood.
Glenn Kelman: Silicon Valley has been playing by different rules than the rest of America, where we've been able to pay software engineers and other folks with stock instead of cash and it doesn't count against our profits. As a result, there have been these crazy housing booms in Seattle and San Francisco and Boston and Austin and Portland and all the places where there are a lot of tech companies. And now Wall Street has had enough. They've said, "Enough already, we're going to count it all." And it means that all of us are under a different pressure to find lower cost labor. And it all starts with a little accounting trick.