The Death of the IPO

As many of you know, Goldman Sachs recently invested $500 million in Facebook at a $50 billion valuation. Goldman is also reportedly raising $1.5 billion from those special, lucky investors in a special-purpose vehicle that will invest alongside the firm. It's gonna be super special. All kidding aside, this is kind of a BFD. Speculation has been swirling for years around if and when Zuckerberg would take the social networking behemoth public. As you probably know, Zuckerberg has largely resisted, saying time and time again that he had no near-term plans for an IPO and would be taking his sweet time about going public, thank you very much ... and that you can go back to obsessively checking status updates for all he cares. (The Onion, as per usual, pegs The Zuck perfectly.)

Thus, when Goldman poured millions in this week, many in the press were seemingly elated, as its investment would give elite investors the opportunity to invest in Facebook stock and was therefore a clever little private IPO indeed that would save Facebook from having to ACTUALLY go public. Not so fast, Zuckerblurg. It seems an arcane securities law requires a company with over 499 shareholders to begin disclosing financial information -- which is typically followed shortly thereafter by a full-scale IPO. Considering that Facebook has said their number of shareholders will break 500 by the end of the year, it looks like the Goldman deal will force Zuckerberg's hand after all, likely pushing Facebook to an IPO by April of 2012.

Hockey and Wall Street

Hey Monkeys, Got a quick question for yas ... I just read this article in Dealbook that talks about some of the big names on Wall Street who've also formerly led second lives as hockey players.

I also happen to be born and bred a hockey player, love the game, and cringe every time somebody makes a wisecrack about how the NHL is a joke. Instead of going into the business of hockey and what the sport could do to build a bigger base (I'll save that for another post), I wanted to ask you about the inordinate number of hockey players in finance.

The Turnaround of GM: A Feat of PE Wizardry or Something Else?

As you may have heard, Dealbook reported today that GM is likely to raise the number of shares on sale in its imminent IPO by 31 percent -- to an expected 478 million shares. The projections surmise that shares will be priced between $32 and $33 and that GM could raise over $21 billion in their IPO, potentially making it the largest stock "debut" in American history. It is because of these (projected) numbers that GM is currently enjoying (at least for now) being one of the most successful turnaround stories in recent memory.

From Ho to the Big Show: Spitzer's Favorite Hooker Now a Trader

Director Alex Gibney's documentary, "Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer," released this week, detailing the Former New York Gov's epic taste for high-class hoes and gettin' freaky. I've yet to see the doc, but apparently it's worth seeing. It even dabbles in a little conspiracy-theorizing, claiming that Spitzer's downfall may have been orchestrated by a few of the powerful political enemies the guv made while in office. I'm not totally convinced this isn't a part of some liberal conspiracy/campaign to rehab Spitzer's image, but I'm still buying a ticket.

Julian Robertson Gonna Put You on a Diet, Fatty

In an interview with CNBC on Thursday, hedge fund elder statesman and father of Tiger Balm, Julian Robertson, shared his thoughts on the Critical Topics of the Day, including the recent elections, quantitative easing, and most importantly: fat people. Read the full interview transcript here, or fast forward to about 6:30 for Fat Talk.

There's no fooling Robertson. He sees you there, mayonnaise flecking your third chin, reaching after that fallen french fry like some sort of beached Manatee. Robertson has his eye on the ball, always has, always will, so when he's of the opinion that winning a fight against American obesity could add $1 trillion to the GDP, you open your fat ears and listen.

New Social Media Fund BS or Right Play for the Future?

This week, investment firm Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers (KPCB) teamed up with Facebook, Amazon, and Zynga to create a $250 million fund for social networking start-ups. The fund, to be called "sFund" will focus on start-ups and businesses that fundamentally change the overall functionality of social networking, improving upon the standard in macro yet tangible ways -- not ideas that are add-ons or only improve some small part of social network usability.

Is Google a One-Trick-Pony?

Prior to the announcement of its monster Q3 earnings Thursday, Google's stock was down about $2, a ho hum dip in the big picture. Then, Google announced that its Q3 revenue jumped 23% to $7.3 billion, which blew away analyst predictions of about $6.67 earnings per share (It reached about $7.64 eps).

This astronomical rise puts Google it in striking range of Microsoft (at about $218 billion) and Apple (at about $278 billion) in term of overall market cap, and Goog might catch them both.

But what gets everyone really frothing at the mouth is that Google is now doing $2.5 billion of "non-text" ad revenue and $1 billion in mobile revenue, which means in other words, Google has officially become a multi-armed beast.

Best 5 Financial Shows on Television?

Alright monkeys, I don't get to watch a lot of television, so I want you guys to weigh in on the top 5 finance-ish (let's go broad here) shows you watch on the boob tube.

I watch Mad Money, but that's just because I like to watch shows that feel like an NBA halftime show, where at any moment I might have a seizure or lose all of my money, not because I feel it has any real value...

Here's a preliminary list to get the blood flowing and the anger mounting:

1) Squawk Box

2) Mad Money

3) Taking Stock

4) Kudlow & Company

5) Fast Money

The Mobile Game: Are you Apple, BBerry, or Android?

Now, the hard-line WSO conservatives might say, WTF, MAN?!?! This post is off-topic, FOR SHAME. Well, first of all, eat me. Second of all, I know ... you're right. BUT, this is something I'm really fascinated by and that I think potentially has big market implications, (which I'll address Wall Street-topically in future posts), so bear with me.

I want to know what kind of OS/smartphones you guys use (and what carriers you use as a result), and why you do, if you care to share.

Why do I ask this question now?

Prove Yourself Smarter Than Your Local Billionaire

In this week's issue of "Are You Smarter Than Your Local Billionaire?" we examine a few words from a Mr. David Tepper. Tepper, for those who've been stuck in an Excel template for the last 5 years, is the founder of Appaloosa Management and the guy who the New York Times named in March of this year as the top-earning hedge fund manager in the world in 2009.

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