So it’s all over the news: Goldman Sachs’ “attempt” to offer shares of Facebook, in a private placement with some of its mega-clients, has been halted. To borrow a line from Seinfeld, for Goldman Sachs’ American clients, it’s now a case of “No shares for you!”
Now it’s time to speculate about just how smart the brainiacs at G-S really are.
Did they really think that a “~private offering” of $1.5 billion shares of Facebook, probably the most highly anticipated IPO of this century, wouldn’t become a blip on the media radar?
Hmmmm . . No. The only way around that possibility would have been to drag every offeree into a room, at an undisclosed location, without outside contact allowed and deliver the offer. But the uber rich would not appreciate the inconvenience. So was the “leak” was forseeable, inevitable? What’s the odds? I’d say pretty good that word would get out.
Next, we have to ask, would a person of intelligence appreciate that once word got out “the news” would go viral?
You doubt that once word got out it would go global, making headlines? Probably causing other G-S clients, who didn’t “get the private news” (cough) to phone up and ask the inevitable “What about me?”
I take it you don’t have a Facebook account, Twitter account, RSS feed, or maybe even email.
Okay, so inevitable media attention with instantaneous global coverage. Forseeable? I’d say “Ya, fer shur”.
Were the legal consequences of global media attention unknown? Unforseeable? If so, I’d like to speak with the G-S lawyers that were only able to figure that out “after the fact”.
So, no, I don’t think so. The legal consequences weren’t a blindspot in the analysis.
So, could it be said that this outcome was intentional? Sorry, no Wikileak for me on that score, so I have no smoking gun to offer. Just a bit of critical analysis.
But, wait! Is this really a case of egg on Goldman Sachs’ face or is there as much upside to this as downside . . or more?
What if EVERYONE wanted a piece of cake at a party but 2,000 people showed up – because they all thought the party was open to all friends – BUT there was only enough cake to feed 500? How would you handle that if you were hosting the party? Apologize?
No, if it was cake and you could afford it you would run and buy more cake. You’d buy the bakery for the right crowd, just so no one was disappointed.
But when it’s shares of Facebook, and you can’t run out and get more shares (and maybe you don’t want to or aren’t able to free up any other shares under your control) what could you do to avoid annoying a large number of . . . here it comes . . . Facebook “friends”, all of whom want a piece . . of cake?
Dear Friends: We’re sorry to advise but our hands are tied. The law binds us, as it ALWAYS does, to one and only one course of action. We’re sorry. It’s not our fault. The MEDIA did it! No cake for you. Maybe next time.
Is that possible?
Nah. It’s all just a fictional account of Facebook history.