Who will like Facebook’s IPO?
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
How much are our jokes, our stories, our likes and dislikes, our pictures, our family and friends worth?
To you, priceless, but on the open market, perhaps as much as $100 billion.
We could find out as soon as today
with the expected Facebook initial public offering getting ready to be unveiled in documents that will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission
. Depending upon who is analyzing and who they’re talking to, Harvard dropout and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg
is seeking to raise between $5 billion
to $10 billion through the IPO. If the latter, it would place the social media site’s total value between $75 billion and $100 billion
, making it among the country’s most valuable corporations. Not bad for a company whose only marketable possession is what its users choose to post.
The IPO is being eyed by both Wall Street
and Silicon Valley
for what it portends for other social media sites such as Twitter and Yelp
. So far, the market has not been kind to social media. Morgan Stanley
has been tapped to take the lead in the offerings based on its experience in handling IPOs for Groupon
, the online coupon king, and Zynga
, the network game site. But while the initial sales were kind to the companies, their stocks have since dropped along with other social media companies. Investors are interested in seeing if Facebook can reverse the slide.
Facebok, though, is different from many other sites, not only because of its 800 million users worldwide (with the notable exception of China’s 1.3 billion people, who can’t get Facebook on their Internet), but because every click, every post, every “like” by its users, every game of Farmville
and Mafia Wars
we play adds more information and therefore more value to advertisers and other purchasers of the knowledge. And unlike many other sites, Facebook requires you to use your name and a real email address, no pseudonyms allowed.
One of the ancillary – or primary, depending on your view – results will be that the notoriously private Zuckerberg will have to open up his books and some of his operation to the public at large
. That could create a blueprint for smaller competitors to hop on the Facebook wagon, perhaps even give a lift to Google+
. It’s safe to say that’s probably why this offering has taken so long to come to fruition.
It’s mind-boggling to think a company that offers nothing more than a social experience can become so dominant in our lives and our economy. It leaves us with one question: Give us a “like”
, will ya? --JACK SULLIVAN BEACON HILLSenate President Therese Murray
says she has concerns about consolidating control over the state’s community colleges, the Lowell Sun reports
(via State House News).
Doctors who write prescriptions for opiates would be required to register with a state monitoring board
to see who and where the drugs go to under a proposed bill.Transportation Secretary Richard Davey
says riders would prefer higher fares to reduced service, the Lowell Sun reports
. Senate President Therese Murray
says the MBTA needs more revenue, but doesn’t favor a gas tax increase, CommonWealth reports
Davey also says
the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy
should plan to get by without any public dollars by the end of the decade.
The MetroWest Daily News has reaction
from lawmakers to a proposal that would ban legislators from holding fundraisers during budget season, along with an op-ed
from Sen. Jamie Eldridge
, the lawmaker who introduced
the legislation.MUNICIPAL MATTERS
Bostonians honor former Mayor Kevin White
at his Parkman House wake, WBUR reports
. Brian McGrory recounts
White’s love for dogs. Frank Phillips recounts the lack of love
between former Boston Herald
columnist Peter Lucas
and White mayoral spokesman George Regan
, which erupted on the set of WGBH-TV’s Greater Boston
on Monday night -- an exchange that got so heated the segment wasn’t aired. Lawrence’s fiscal overseer
says he doesn’t control paychecks for no-show workers, the Eagle-Tribune reports
. The newspaper, in an editorial
, disagrees, calling the overseer’s stance “oversight without accountability.”Governing looks
bid to become a resurgent city.
Middleboro selectmen approved a range of changes in the town’s three privately owned mobile home parks
that affect rent increases, accommodations, and evictions.
The interim Fall Rive
r fire chief who was removed after a two-week stint in December for work irregularities and undocumented absences is now out on full medical leave for stress-related issues
officials unveiled a master plan to revitalize the city following last year’s tornado, the Springfield Republican reports
A candidate in last year’s Marlborough
city council election has been indicted
on voter fraud charges after allegedly submitting an absentee ballot in the name of a deceased resident. NATIONAL POLITICS/WASHINGTON Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan
, whose city has a large Portuguese-American
population, sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
urging the State Department
to reconsider shutting the consulate in Sao Miguel the Azores
to save money.ELECTION 2012 Time says Mitt Romney
takes control of the race. The National Review
offers its regular conservative symposium to divine what Florida means
for the candidates, the campaign, and the future of America. Poor phrasing choice: Romney says he’s “not concerned with the very poor” during an interview with CNN, the Washington Post reports
. The Atlantic says
Romney’s Florida victory
was costly, but he should get a further bump
in this weekend’s Nevada
caucuses. Newt Gingrich
declared there’s still “46 states to go”
after the results came in last night. Which is true, except that his plan to collect delegates in drips
is harmed by his failure to get on the ballot in next week’s Missouri
primary as well as the Virginia primary, which doesn’t allow write-ins. But Gingrich could still force a drawn-out Republican race, writes
’s Christopher Rowland
, something that could be damaging to the GOP’s November prospects.
Wonder who’s financing super PACs? The New York Times
has a shiny interactive graphic
answering that very question. BUSINESS/ECONOMY
administration details plans
to refinance underwater mortgages, placing an FHA
guarantee on the loans, and funding the program with a bank tax that a top Republican calls “dead on arrival.” The administration will also roll out bulk auctions of Fannie Mae
-owned foreclosures. Philip Edmundson
, in a CommonWealth column
, says workers comp reform offers wellness lessons for policymakers.
US labor official offers a prescription for creating jobs that singles out the incubator set up by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino
, Governing reports
Developer Arthur Winn
is fined $100,000 but avoids jail time
in sentencing on campaign finance law violations.
One downside of an improving economy could be a rise in foreclosures
as lenders, wary of dumping too many homes into a down market, are more willing to move the houses with the increase in buyers.EDUCATION
Can a dynamic young principal drive change at a low-performing high school in Springfield? CommonWealth asks.HEALTH CARE
Pfizer recalls 1 million packs of birth-control pills
with insufficient doses, Reuters reports
. Meanwhile, more than 1 million condoms
are recalled in South Africa, NPR reports
editorial page urges the Legislature to hold off
tweaking a law designed to rein in health care costs until it’s clear what the implications of the move would be. TRANSPORTATION
may have hit record ridership of late, but that seems destined to be fleeting, reprorts
, because of the fare increases and service cuts being considered.
Rep. Michael Capuano doubts
that the state has the money to pay for the Green Line
extension, and says public transit advocates should take whatever they can get, rather than insisting on a fully completed project.
Republicans are proposing a $260 billion transportation bill
that would give states more say in how the money is spent, Governing reports
.CRIMINAL JUSTICE Governing examines
the smart on crime movement
, just as CommonWealth
did in its recent issue
The FBI apologizes to a Fitchburg woman
after cutting open her apartment door with a chainsaw and pointing their guns at her, the Lowell Sun reports
Do sex offenders
have a constitutional right to use a public library? WBUR’s Radio Boston analyzes
the New Mexico case that raised that question.
A Level 2 sex offender
from Ware was charged a second time with possession of child pornography, highlighting problems in state law with the classification of sex offenders, the Springfield Republican reports
The Berkshire Eagle urges the legislature
to reject a bill that would increase penalties for convicted felons who fail to comply when asked to give DNA samples after they have served their time.MEDIA
A new iPad app aggregates long-form journalism
, the Nieman Journalism Lab reports
New software called open-source weave
liberates data for journalists, the Nieman Journalism Lab reports
-based company believes there is up to $3 billion in platinum aboard a sunken British cargo ship off the coast of Provincetown
, the Cape Cod Times reports