Facebook, Goldman Sachs, Yet Again, Screw Up

I don’t know why I keep my Facebook profile.  It’s like a bad drug habit.  I know I shouldn’t be doing it, but I just can’t stop myself.  Everyone else is doing it.  But, it’s hazardous for your identity.  Facebook has divulged addresses and phone numbers that users have listed on the site.  First off, I don’t know why anyone would list that information on Facebook, and second, I don’t know why Facebook would think that their users would be alright with them selling it off.  I forget, it’s not that Facebook thinks their users are comfortable with it, it’s that Facebook just doesn’t care.

Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs, their bankers, are about to get into hot water for screwing up a stock issuance.  It’s known as a ‘private placement,’ which means that it’s not open to ordinary investors, but institutional and sophisticated high net worth investors.  Facebook, which is privately owned, can’t issue publicly traded shares.  Well, Goldman kind of shot themselves in the foot.  First, they went shopping the deal around to a whole bunch of their US clients, and then decided with all of the regulatory burdens, they were going to close the offer to US investors.  Which, arguably made a whole bunch of people angry.  And ignited a storm of media attention.  Which the Securities and Exchange Commission doesn’t like.  The reason is that when you’re conducting a ‘private placement,’ you’re not supposed to whip up a media frenzy in the process, thus making that placement a whole hell of a lot less ‘private.’

For a while, I used to think that we were all going to end up being the property of some evil Google/Facebook/Goldman Sachs/Comcast conglomerate.  With pedestrian mistakes like this though, it’s not looking likely that they’ll be able to pull global domination off.


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