More on that $38 Threshold

May 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

To be a fly on that wall

On CNET, Larry Dignan explains that, yeah, Facebook turned a profit, except with a pretty big catch:

But the far more interesting endpoint to Facebook’s IPO is that it needed help from its plunge protection team — 33 underwriters determined to make sure the offering didn’t break below the $38 price.

To understand how bankers supported the Facebook IPO, all you had to do is watch the Level II quotes — a stock system designed to show you underlying bid and ask prices — to see how millions of bids appeared every time Facebook hit $38.

Coincidence? Not quite. There weren’t zillions of people waiting for Facebook shares at $38. But investment banks were unloading every bullet they had to keep FB at least treading water.

The question is, would would have happened if the “plunge protection team” hadn’t stepped in? I SUSPECT THERE WILL BE LOTS OF THEORIES ABOUT THIS, ON THE INTERNET SOON.

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