NASDAQ had a choice. When its systems buckled under the titanic volume of Facebook IPO share orders, it could have pushed back trading a day, or at least recommended as much to Mark Zuckerberg and company.
But as the IPO’s scheduled time passed, NASDAQ made a cavalier decision to stumble forth on broken legs, pretending like little was wrong rather than halt trading as brokers asked. There seemed to be no plan for if things went wrong. An error-filled day of trading ensued, and confused investors pulled back. Financials aside, public perception is important for a public company. And when Facebook’s share price sunk, public perception went down with it.