This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Facebook Fed the 'Ignorant' Masses an IPO Lite

Stocks in this article: FB

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The Facebook IPO is an excellent reminder of the role that amnesia plays in the stock market.

It's said that markets are efficient, and I guess they are in a narrow sense, in that stocks tend to incorporate all of the publicly available information about them. But the same principle certainly doesn't apply to the way market participants interact with one another. So we have the spectacle of JPMorgan Chase repeating the mistakes of 2008 and losing $3 billion (and counting). For the rest of us, we have the Facebook IPO, in which an entire body of knowledge and memory of the IPO process was buried down the memory hole, totally forgotten.

How did a company best known for wasting people's time (when it's not violating their privacy) become the IPO stinker of our times? Because people forget that it's been proven time and again that the only proven winners in IPOs are the issuers, insiders and underwriters, with favored clients like hedge funds and institutional investors the only ones able to benefit consistently from IPOs that perform well out of the starting gate.


In this case, the issuer made out like a bandit. Facebook reaped $16 billion that will allow it to compete with the Goliaths of the industry. Facebook management, meanwhile, has borrowed from the techniques of shoddy used-car salesmen everywhere by failing to give full value for all that money.

As has been pointed out with increasing alarm by several commentators, most recently Matthew Yglesias at Slate, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg structured the deal so that he isn't even giving up control of the company. So in a larger sense, divorced from the aftermarket performance and the other controversies swirling around the IPO, the Facebook IPO already stank to high heaven before the first share traded. It was a kind of IPO Lite, offering shareholders the trappings of ownership of the company without giving them the full privileges of ownership.

And who are those lucky investors who bought into the IPO Lite? The word that comes to mind is "ignorant," and I mean that in a nice way.


1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,445.10 +57.89 0.33%
S&P 500 2,030.41 +0.86 0.04%
NASDAQ 4,694.0560 +12.5590 0.27%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs