Friday, May 18, 2012

Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Facebook

The Facebook IPO priced at $38 per and the offering was increased 25% by over 100 million shares. At this price Facebook will be the largest tech IPO in history and second largest IPO of all time behind VISA. Depending on how the offering trades, it may finish the day as the largest offering of all time. At the IPO price Facebook as a company will be valued more than tech giants Cisco, Amazon, and more than all except 20 other companies listed on the S&P.

There is no shortage of advice on how to assess the value of Facebook's stock. You can easily find analysis outlining the bull case, the bear case, and everything in between. The financial news networks have turned all their programing over to 7x24 Facebook coverage. Many spent $5.00 to download an anonymous author's analysis in e-book form - The Pitch. This blog will not try to assess the merits of the company value versus the IPO value versus the value of as it trades in a speculative frenzy. However, we will suggest that the best book for analyzing the Facebook offering is available for a free download for your Kindle, or on the web.

Charles Mackay's Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds was first published in 1841 and summarized three economic bubbles:

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Carnival of Divided Government LIII
Três et Quînquâgintâ
Special May Day Edition

Welcome to the 53rd edition of the Carnival of Divided Government - Special "MAY DAY GENERAL STRIKE!!!!" Edition. It is the First of May - International Worker's Day - May Day - and the official start of the Occupy [FILL IN THE BLANK]! protest season.

Today the Occupiers kick off the season by calling for a national General Strike. Their inspiring motto: "No Work. No School. No Banking. No Shopping. No Housework." is emblazoned across dramatic posters calling for May Day protest actions. Vera HC Chan has identified what may be their most important and lasting cultural contribution: "Whatever the outcome of May Day, one thing has clearly emerged -- the return of propaganda art."

Wait. What? No House Work? Yeah. The poster actually says "No House Work." Is this really how the "99%" are going to stick it to the man? No house work? Some of the posters substitute "No Chores". No joke. It's like an Onion story.

Here in EssEff, the Occupiers were very excited about closing the Golden Gate Bridge. Until they decided not to close the Golden Gate Bridge. Then, apparently experiencing some Midwest Protest Envy, they decided to embark on a "Wisconsin-Style Occupation of San Francisco City Hall". And just like in Wisconsin, about 300 protesters marched into City Hall carrying sleeping bags, made some noise, then left. I guess that is sort of like what happened in Wisconsin. Well, if all else fails, they always have breaking windows and vandalizing small businesses in minority neighborhoods to fall back on.

The Dividist is disappointed that "No Blogging!" was not included in the general strike directives. He now has no excuse for failing to get this latest Carnival of Divided Government posted as scheduled.