1) Facebook Seeking IPO With Market Cap Of $86 Billion (Forbes) - So the IPO date is set for May 18th and it looks like the deal is going to value between $77 billion on the low end and $96 billion on the high end. Anyone else see the irony that the potential range of the Facebook valuation is greater than the entire market cap of the vast majority of American companies? Oh, and Zuckerberg has to sell 30 million shares just to cover the taxes. HAHA!
2) Black-Scholes: The maths formula linked to the financial crash (BBC) - Attention mathletes: you knew it wouldn't be long before folks started blaming you for everything, with all your countin' and bookin'. I get where the BBC is coming from, but to blame Myron Scholes and Fischer Black for stuff that happened nearly 40 years after they created their special sauce is a bit of a reach. Worth a read nonetheless.
3) Music Stops for Wall Street Bankers (Wall Street Journal) - Another in the seemingly never ending litany of "The Death of Wall Street" articles with one important twist - this one actually points out that the latest cuts aren't going to be at the junior level (for pretty much the first time since 2008). That's right, the old guys taking up space who haven't made it rain since they sold all those Russian bonds in '97 are finally on their way out the door. Don't let the door hit 'ya where the good Lord split 'ya, gramps.
4) The 2% Catastrophe: How One Number Explains the Miserable Economy (The Atlantic) - The Federal Reserve is crucifying the U.S. economy on a cross of two-percent inflation. That one line alone qualified this piece for a Bonus Banana. But it's actually a thought-provoking argument in favor of higher inflation. I can't say I agree, mostly because I disagree with Fed manipulation period, but it's a cogent line of reasoning that Fed policy wonks will enjoy.
5) Wikinvest Pivots to SigFig, a Comparison Site for Investments (Pando Daily) - First, if you're not reading Pando Daily you should be. Second, this is an interesting twist for Wikinvest. In its new incarnation known as SigFig, Wikinvest is outing the loafers in the game, and this is bound to piss some people off. One of the free screening tools offered lists all the mutual funds with identical portfolios and then breaks out the ones with the highest management fees. Ouch. Gotta love the Internet.
6) Peter Thiel's 3 Rules for Starting a Business (Inc Magazine) - I've always believed that if you want to be the best you need to learn from the best. So I was pretty excited to find out that PayPal founder Peter Thiel is now a professor at Stanford (which, on the other hand, is kinda disingenuous when you consider that he pays kids not to go to college). Be that as it may, you don't need to rack up student loans to find out his 3 rules for starting a business.
7) Who Googled You? This Website Knows (Yahoo! News) - Online reputation management is becoming big business, and one of the leaders in the field is BrandYourself. And based on some of the stupid shit I've read on WSO, a lot of you should probably stop reading right here and just go sign up.
8) Infographic: 50 Mistakes Dudes Make While Getting Dressed (Complex Style) - When you're getting ready to musk up with the Sex Panther (60% of the time it works every time) should you spray it in the air and walk through it like a girly man or apply it to your pulse points and behind your ears? Well, if you listen to your old Uncle Eddie, probably neither. But then I didn't write these tips.
9) Actress Marilu Henner Speaks of Rare Mental Condition That Allows Her To Remember Almost Every Moment of Her Life (CBS New York) - I can't decide if this is a blessing or a curse. Marilu Henner and a dozen other Americans have been diagnosed with Highly Superior Auto-Biographical Memory, or H-SAM. She can literally recall any moment in her life in vivid detail. While there are a few memories I wouldn't mind being able to experience on demand in HD, there are some parts of my highlight reel so horrific that I'd be non-functional if I weren't able to suppress them. Imagine how differently you might live your life if you knew you'd never be able to forget anything.
10) Pet parakeet returned to Japanese owner after telling police his address (My Fox New York) - Okay, I'm gonna file this one under, "sounds like a load of shit to me." Nice story, but I'm just not buying it. My nieces had parakeets and they were dumb as a stump. I know people who have 20-year old macaws that couldn't tell you their home address. Whatever. If it happened, that's awesome. Cool story, bro.
I almost didn't do Bonus Bananas this week.
I'm was (and still am) pretty devastated by Junior Seau's suicide on Wednesday. We weren't friends, but we did have friends in common. I spent a sunny afternoon drinking with him at the Carlos Murphy's in Oceanside the summer before his rookie year when we were both just 21. Over the years I'd run into him from time to time at his restaurant or at some charity event. I can't say I was entirely surprised to hear the news after he drove his truck off a cliff a couple years ago, but I can't help feeling sad about it anyway because he was such a good guy.
I'm not saying that just as a fan. I know people who knew Junior well and he was a class act both on and off the field. I remember Junior was the only guy who tried to mentor and continued to stand up for the hopeless Ryan Leaf during that whole disaster. He was a guy who brought everything he had each week and left it all on the field. And on the field he was an absolute BEAST. Maybe the greatest linebacker who ever played the game. I remember when Shawne Merriman was making a bunch of noise about how he was going to be better than Seau and then it was revealed that he couldn't even do it with the help of steroids.
If you guys remember a Super Bowl appearance for him it was probably the one with the Patriots in 2007, but that was actually his second appearance at the big dance. He went with the Chargers in 1994 when they lost to the 49ers, but he was the reason they were there in the first place. Two weeks earlier in the AFC Championship game he single-handedly stopped the Steelers on the 1-yard line to win the game. Full beast mode.
The Video of the Week this week is Junior at a press conference before signing with the Patriots at the end of his career. His level of professionalism is unmistakable, and his admission that, "I'm too old to be excited" sums up the results-oriented style of play he brought to the field.
You can't coach courage.
Have a great weekend, guys, and let me know what you think about this week's bananas in the comments.