Good morning

The headlines:

  1. Mark Zuckerberg got married. Link: Improving Facebook Relations with China. His new wife is Priscilla Chan. MZ managed to wear a suit. He designed the ring himself. They got married in a garden. When your social highlights become a Bloomberg news item, you KNOW that you’re IT royalty.
  2. Trade disorder caused some awkwardness with the $16 billion Facebook IPO. Sure. “Trade Disorder”. Firstly, trading started half an hour late (apparently – the NASDAQ struggled to price the first transaction). Then it couldn’t confirm the trades (ie. it couldn’t allow a trade to be completed). Now they have to take appeals or something. But seeing as the share price opened at $42 and ended at $38 – anyone purchasing shares will have won by saving $4 a share. But still – when the eyes of the world and twitter are on you – being a fail is such a fail. Oh – and did I mention that other shares (ie. Zynga) had trading suspended? The NASDAQ comes with circuit breakers – if your share price falls by more than 10% in five minutes, the system cuts it. No one is sure what happened – but it seems that it was all part of the same problem. Oi vey. Link: Oh NASDAQ.
  3. NASDAQ blames poor design. Link: But you designed it, surely? Something something “not designed to handle this kind of activity and/or cross trade”. What they mean by “cross-trade” is that the share price being asked by sellers was higher than the share price being bid by buyers. When I want to buy for $42.50 and you want to sell for $42.99 – that creates some awkwardness on the price front. NASDAQ naturally concluded that the opening price would be $42.05. Which looks like nothing natural to me. Until the share price dropped almost immediately back to $38.01; at which point, vindication (see below). Nasdaq’s CEO Robert Greifield admitted that this was not their “finest hour”, but he “certainly hope[s]” that his job is safe. Bungling the biggest IPO, like, ever? Hope may be all you have. Because a technology fail for a technology IPO has poetic irony – an irony begs for a scapegoat’s head on a platter. A silver platter that can be sold to pay off all the folk that are going to be suing this morning. Ha ha ha ha ha.
  4. The Undertakers Underwriters step in to save Facebook IPO price. Link: Not as wonderful as hoped for. Which means that every time the share price dropped to $38.00, they stepped in to buy up shares, boost demand, and maintain the price. A meager gain of $38.23 by close of trade. Baited breath to see what happens when they let it all hang loose. My feeling is: “Drop it like it’s hot”.
  5. Alibaba is rebuying its shares from Yahoo. It’s repurchasing Yahoo’s 20% stake for $7 billion, which it’s been trying to do for over a year; and the pressure really has been on since September. In that time, Yahoo has been through two CEOs and is now on its third. Some say that Three Point and/or Daniel Loeb are to blame. From what I recall, I think that DL is quite the fan of the Alibaba sale. So is Alibaba. Amazing how not even a week after Mr Thomson left the building, Alibaba is delighted to announce its repurchase. The Chinese are saying that Yahoo can use the cash to turn Yahoo around. That, or give all the cash back to its shareholders (which is exactly what Yahoo is planning on doing). I remember when Yahoo was awesome. Now? Now I’d rather buy Facebook shares at any price*. Link: Taking back China for the Chinese.
  6. Iranian minister expects oil prices to rise. Link: Oh yes! The Iranian oil sanction crisis. It’s still ongoing. July 1 is D-day. Can you imagine an oil crisis on top of a Euro crisis on top of an American Debt crisis? Maybe the Mayans were a touch optimistic with their predictions. December 21st seems too far away.
  7. Luxury homes bidding wars in California. Link: You just can’t keep good Americans down. The sellers are surprised.
  8. China to speed up approval of qualified foreign investors. Link: Red tape? So not only are there quotas, it’s also super painful to get onto them. It really makes you feel wanted. The Chinese always strike me as super-cautious. They’ll help the Eurozone out with aid just as soon as the Eurozone has sorted itself (and no longer needs the aid). They won’t change rates to boost the economy, they’ll just change reserve ratios to allow people to borrow more at the current rate. They won’t ease foreign investor restrictions, they’ll just make the current restrictions easier to navigate. Maybe caution is not such a bad thing in the current climate…
That’s all for now.
Have a good day.
*Yes, that’s an ironic lie – because I’d rather buy Greek bonds. Which is also an ironic lie: actually, I’d rather be Robert Greifield this morning. But then, that’s an ironic lie as well. No. If anything, this morning I’d like to be Priscilla Zuckerberg nee Chan – because she got in there just before MZ “created” the FB. She’s put up with him for over 9 years. Respect. But mostly, can you imagine what her divorce settlement will look like?