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Facebook shares are currently trading at $28.10, more than 25% below their IPO debut price. The most hyped IPO in history actually turned out one of the worst for the investors.

Who do you think should be blamed for the fiasco?

Morgan Stanley: The underwriters, in particulars the lead underwriter Morgan Stanley should be held responsible for the IPO mispricing. Just days before the IPO, the underwriters agreed to increase the size and price of the IPO. Further, the company’s revenue forecasts were revised downward during the road-show and the underwriters failed to properly disclose the resulting changes to analysts' financial forecasts. It appears that the revised figures were only passed along verbally to certain large institutional investors.

NASDAQ: The technical problems on the first day of trading, starting with the delay in start of trading to delay/failure in confirmation of clients’’ trades led to unprecedented confusion and later chaos. A number of investors dumped shares on the first day due to the confusion which send the shares plummeting below their IPO price, when the underwriters had step in.

Mark Zuckerberg: As the CEO of the company, Zuckerberg should share the blame for the IPO’s unreasonably high valuation and large size. Further, the reports about Zuckerberg buying Instagram for $1 billion without consulting the board, lead to great concerns about the corporate governance at the company and the ability of the CEO to protect the interest of the investors.

Investors:  Facebook investors deserve little sympathy. As Tracey pointed out in her post yesterday, many inexperienced investors invested in the IPO due to its hype.  It was well known that the company’s revenues were going to be volatile. GM had pulled its advertising campaign from Facebook, just days ahead of the IPO.  So, why did they invest in Facebook?


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