Thursday, May 24, 2012

How the Little Guy Beat Wall Street

Was planning to say more about this, but am running out of time tonight and whenever I get like this and plan to write more later, I rarely ever do.  And so I'll just say this here.

Mark Zuckerberg totally conned the shit out of Wall Street.  Seriously.  You always hear about how Wall Street screws the little guy, and how the system is rigged against us and we shouldn't even try, and then you have a dude who became a multi-billionaire from a website that everyone already knew shouldn't have made him a multi-billionaire.  But he did it.

And the problem is that no one now remembers that Zuckerberg is just some Harvard geek with a big idea and an even bigger inferiority complex.  No, he's Mark Fricking Zuckerberg, dammit, one of the big boys.  And with his stock debacle, he somehow teamed with Wall Street to screw the little guy, yet again.  And you'll even read conspiracy theories about how it's just a matter of time before we bailout Wall Street again because of this.

Why does anyone think we'll bailout Facebook?  Because that's the only way the little guy could possibly get screwed by this deal.

Seriously, maybe you're some little guy and you were dumb enough to invest your hard earned savings of five grand into Facebook and bought a paltry 125 shares when it was selling at $40/share; thus purchasing 0.00003% of stock that doesn't even give you voting rights, and now you're reeling from the loss you've taken so far.  I'm sorry, but you had it coming because all the other little guys knew better.  And all the same, your five grand isn't how Zuck made his money.  He got it from the big guys.

Because it wasn't the little guys who got suckered by this.  It was Wall Street.  They bought into this, hook, line, and sinker; and they're the ones who made Zuck a multi-billionaire.  And yeah, they planned to rip you off, figuring they'd ripoff the middle boys, who'd eventually sell to us suckers and we'd be the ones left holding the empty bag.  But...we weren't there to buy, because we were already on to this from the start.  Everyone was.

The biggest non-secret before Facebook went public was that Facebook was vastly overpriced and only suckers would buy.  And the only reason anyone bought was because they assumed they weren't the sucker.  But that's what suckers always do.

Rigged Game

And the whole thing was a set up.  This wasn't a case of naive computer geeks meekly approaching Wall Street vultures and lucking into a billion dollars.  This was a set up from the start (an excellent read, btw).  And while Zuckerberg is a dork with a big chip on his shoulder, he's not stupid about how to manipulate people.  Because they rigged the whole thing, including the choice of Morgan Stanley over Goldman Sachs, as well as dictating their terms for how this was going down.

Because the thing is, nobody thought Facebook was worth $100 billion.  Nobody.  But...Facebook was able to convince Wall Street that the suckers would fall for it, and Wall Street loves to find a new mark.  They probably assumed that all 900 million Facebook users (a vastly over-inflated number), would latch on to the stock like crazy, and the traders would be laughing all the way to the bank.

But the thing is, as much as people use Facebook, nobody really loves it.  Nobody.  We like what it does and we like our friends, but we feel no sentimental attachment to the company itself.  It's not like Apple and Steve Jobs, or even the way you feel about your car.  We all know it's a tacky place created by a jerk manchild, and any feelings we have for the company are negative.

And if Mark Zuckerberg died tomorrow, rather than the mourning we saw for Steve Jobs, you'd just see lots of snide remarks (on Facebook, no less) along with tepid reprimands about how inappropriate it was to make fun of the recently deceased, and then we'd forget about him completely.  I'm not even saying that as badwill against the guy, as I don't have anything against him.  I'm just saying how it is.  Even Tom from MySpace is better liked than Zuckerberg, and nobody uses MySpace anymore; not even Tom.

And let's just get back to the original point: The little guy beat Wall Street.  And it wasn't just Zuck, it was all of his buddies, too.  They pulled a big con on the bankers, and while I'm sure they're working overtime to get the stock up higher for future stock sales, I seriously doubt they're working too hard.  After all, they've already got more money than they can spend, and they've got to know that there aren't too many more suckers out there to be had.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Doc

I miss you and the rest of the merry nihilists.

Anyway, you'll love this.