The one thing we worried about most ahead of the Facebook IPO was that normal people – “Muppets” they are increasingly called on Wall Street – would gamble on a big pop and lose after getting played by the pros.
That doesn’t seem to have happened.
On Friday, Facebook’s IPO “pop” only spiked from $38/share to $42/share before coming back to $38 and then crashing further today and yesterday.
Facebook is only now starting to approach what my boss, Henry Blodget, thinks is a reasonable valuation given its revenues, profits, and growth.
So the process worked, right?
Perhaps ironically, we may have avoided turning the stock market into (more of) a casino for a day because the market stopped working.
For a couple hours on Friday, NASDAQ was unable to confirm whether or not trading desks had actually bought or sold Facebook stock, and at what price.
One hedge fund manager told us this killed any momentum for a big consumer investor-drive pop in Facebook shares.
Not that he was happy about it.
“If there was any enthusiasm for this deal, that got wiped out. Think about a guy who was going to put five grand on this. You go to Vegas and put $5,000 on the roulette wheel and it breaks, it’s like, hold on, I’m not going to do that. Suddenly you’re like this is Wall Street and I hate Wall Street.”
So, were “Muppets” saved by NASDAQ’s screw-up?
“No doubt,” says our hedge fund manager. “This should have been a blockbuster.”
Here’s the kind of blockbuster we thinks he means:
Photo: Dylan Love