RUSH: The Facebook IPO. Ho-ho-ho-ho! Oh-ho-ho-ho-ho! Somebody’s gonna have to pay for this. These are Obama’s buddies at Facebook. (interruption) Well, because the bottom’s falling out. They can’t maintain the initial price, the 38 bucks. (interruption) Right. Well, okay. So somebody’s gonna have to pay the price for this. Somebody’s gonna get the blame for this. You can’t have these people losing Obama money like this. That can’t happen. You can’t blame Goldman Sachs. They’re underwriters. They were in for $500 million at the outset, before the IPO.
You can’t blame Goldman Sachs because they’re Obama buddies. And you can’t blame JPMorgan Chase. They’re Obama buddies. But Morgan Stanley? A-ha! We have our target. Morgan Stanley is soon, if not already, going to be under investigation by the SEC for not being truly forthcoming about changes Facebook made in its prospectus. See, Facebook made a profound admission. It’s another thing I told you last week. In fact, it might have been Monday. When you ask about Facebook, I said, “Of all the stuff that’s been said about Facebook…”
RUSH: I’ll tell you, the poor Facebook people. I think they need to change the name of the company from Facebook to Facedown. It’s not pretty, folks. It really isn’t pretty. And I tell you, only 25% of the shares were made available to the public. The majority of shares were being bought by the institutions: The hedge funds and mutual funds, the repositories for pension funds and all this kind of thing. Oh! I’ll tell you the way the regime is looking at this.
They’re looking at this and they’re saying, “We gotta find a Wall Street bank to blame! It’s right there. It’s made-to-order for the campaign! We’ve gotta blame a Wall Street bank for this.” It’s gonna be Morgan Stanley. Even though JPMorgan and Goldman did the exact same thing that Morgan Stanley did (they revised their views on Facebook’s IPO the day before), it’s Morgan Stanley, which is not a Democrat-oriented firm, that’s gonna take the hit.
Is Facebook too big to fail?
Is it too big to succeed?
RUSH: So what happened? Thursday of last week… I think it was Thursday of last week (it might have been Wednesday), Facebook changed their prospectus, and when they make a change to the prospectus, the public is supposed to be informed of it. And all the underwriters were told of the change to the prospectus. And the change to the prospectus was a very important change because the Facebook guys admitted that many of their users are now mobile users.
They’re accessing Facebook not from the Web (or not from their desktop computers or their laptops), but from their mobile devices such as their iPads or telephones. And then they said mobile advertising, Facebook mobile advertising, has not shown strong results. This should have resulted in a lower share price, and at least a warning to people that there was a problem here; that this was not golden IPO that everybody built it up to be. And not just this mobile advertising business.
I feel like a lone wolf on this ’cause everybody’s trying to, you know, blame a Wall Street bank and Morgan Stanley here for a number of things. But Facebook had a bigger problem than all that: When General Motors pulled their advertising saying it didn’t work. Folks, that’s all Facebook has. They’ve got 900 million users, but how do they generate revenue? They sell advertising! If General Motors pulls back and then publicly says, “Our advertising didn’t work, and that’s why we’re pulling our ads,” that’s the biggest red flag in the world, and it was out there for everybody to hear.
And I’ve noted that the really smart people in the financial community are saying, “Well, yeah, that might have been a little factor. But really, there are more formulaic problems here with the IPO. The share price, the number of shares.” I think all that’s academic. When your number one fundraising tool is said publicly not to work by a major advertiser, I think that’s all the problem you need. And then Facebook doubled down. Well, they didn’t double down. They had to admit it.
When they changed or amended the prospectus to say that more and more of their users are using mobile platforms and that advertising in the mobile platforms is really not showing any results, they had to. And I guess the underwriters are being looked at and investigated here for not making public the change to the Facebook prospectus. Facebook did what it was supposed to do, even though their chief financial officer is also under investigation.
AP has it: “Regulators are examining whether Morgan Stanley, the investment bank that shepherded Facebook through its highly publicized stock offering last week, selectively informed clients of an analyst’s negative report about the company before the stock started trading. Rick Ketchum, the head of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the self-policing body for the securities industry, said Tuesday that the question is ‘a matter of regulatory concern’ for his organization and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
“The top securities regulator for Massachusetts, William Galvin, said he had subpoenaed Morgan Stanley. Galvin said his office is investigating whether Morgan Stanley divulged to only some clients that one of its analysts had cut his revenue estimates for Facebook before the stock hit the market on Friday.” And that’s because of the mobile advertising claim. So, as far as the regime is concerned… The SEC is the regime. As far as they’re concerned, a Wall Street bank has to be to blame.
Now, Morgan Stanley did the same thing that JPMorgan and Goldman did, Goldman Sachs. All three did the same thing. Now, Morgan Stanley was a primarily underwriter, there’s no question. All three revised their views on Facebook’s IPO, just like Morgan Stanley did. But the claim is that Morgan Stanley didn’t tell everybody, just a select few. So they’re being looked at. It’s also worthy of note that Morgan Stanley, among Wall Street banks, is among the least supportive of Obama in terms of donations.
RUSH: Headline: “How Zuckerberg Cashed in $1.13 BILLION Worth of Shares Before the Stock Cratered.” He did. Zuckerberg, as soon as he could, sold a bunch of his shares after the IPO, before the stock cratered, at $1.13 billion. So did some others. Pete Thiel, who started PayPal, who had given Zuckerberg 500 grand early on to help get started. I didn’t read this whole story. It prints out a long way, and I’d be surprised if this story doesn’t mention it at the end, but this was all in the prospectus. Zuckerberg did not do anything that was not known. The prospectus said that Zuckerberg and a number of others were gonna sell their stock, a portion of it. He was worth $19 billion after the IPO, at 38 a share he was worth $19 billion. It’s not that now, but he’s still worth multiple billions even with the share price where it is.
But the prospectus was very clear that Zuckerberg and some of the others were going to sell. He didn’t do anything in a secretive manner. He didn’t run any kind of a scam, no. He didn’t do something that people weren’t aware he was gonna do. This is what happens. This is one of the reasons why there are IPOs. He’s the founder. Up ’til now all he’s had is paper money. The company had not been monetized. It was always a company on the come. Now, I think Goldman Sachs put $500 million into it. I remember when that happened everybody was trying to value the company. What is this company actually worth? Everybody remembers the dot-com bubble when there was no “there” there, all these dot-com companies. And for the longest time, people thought that of Google, when the Google stock price was 500, 600 bucks, still is, what are they? Well, they’re an advertising company. And that’s what Facebook was gonna be, but they’ve got big problems.
But Zuckerberg selling some of his stock, $1 billion worth, was part of the original prospectus, part of the deal. There was nothing chicanerous about this. I’m just telling you. Everybody missed this. When General Motors pulled out, said we’re no longer advertising, that, to me, was the biggest red flag about this that anybody could have told me. If a prominent government-owned company, a buddy of Zuckerberg, Obama, claims that Zuckerberg’s advertising doesn’t work, head for the hills.