Overheard on CNN.com: 'I saw this one coming a mile away,' reader says of Facebook
This thumb points upward at Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park, California, but many readers see things differently.
May 23rd, 2012
07:11 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: 'I saw this one coming a mile away,' reader says of Facebook

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

We've seen a lot of talk about the Facebook IPO's less-than-stellar debut. Some are surprised; some aren't. We decided to look back at the comments from our readers and see how views have changed or indeed whether they have changed. Here's some comments from before and after the IPO; looks like many are saying "I told you so."

BEFORE

Back at the end of January, we were seeing a lot of cynicism about the IPO. Much of it was centered around the idea that going public might affect the course of a business' mission. We also heard from a lot of readers who said they didn't like Facebook in general. To be fair, there were also plenty of folks who said they thought it was a good move for CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Co.

Facebook IPO's meaning: Zuckerberg faces reality

People at that time were talking about increased focus on profit after an IPO.

BossMoney: "Facebook is now 100% profit-driven ... expect it to turn into an advertising billboard and your personal info to be sold to commercialists as shareholders demand mega-profits from this ... Facebook and Zuckerberg are on the way out ..."

zeitsev: "This will be the end of Facebook. Just like all other companies that thought this was a good idea, a business-minded (not consumer-minded) Board of Directors will oust the CEO, and install another businessman who will ruin everything that Zuckerberg built. Like him or not, Zuckerberg has largely been consumer-oriented and won't allow ads to impede usability. That won't be the case when an MBA gets a hold of it."

Fr33Th1nk3r: "I miss the old, non-corporate capitalism. Where small business thrived, and big business didn't sell your privacy to the highest bidder."

Others were feeling cynical about Zuckerberg.

URKiddinMe: "Now he's going to have to answer to shareholders. I hope they beat him down to a pulp. Can't stand the guy or FB."

whatfor2name: "You cannot compare Zuckerberg to Gates and Jobs. The first one is manipulative and sick, the other two are creative and mature."

BanHammer: "Jealous much?"

This reader was more optimistic. FULL POST

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Filed under: Business • Facebook • Finance • Overheard on CNN.com • Social media • Technology
24 hours through the lens
May 23rd, 2012
04:57 PM ET

CNN Mash-up: Voting, marrying, gambling

The CNN Daily Mash-up is a roundup of some of the most interesting, surprising, curious, poignant or significant items to appear on CNN.com in the past 24 hours. We top it with a collection of the day's most striking photographs.

This is what democracy looks like

Ahmed Raafat, a CNN iReporter in Cairo, shot photos of voting lines for Wednesday's Egyptian presidential election, the first such election since last year's revolution.

"There is a general feeling of optimism and that the country is moving to a brighter future," Raafat said. "I saw hope in the eyes of the voters. It's the first time they  get to choose among different candidates and it's the first time they don't know the results in advance. "People want to see a president who feels their suffering and can deliver change. People want to see a new country that is built on justice and equality. People are waiting for development plans that can lift the country from its economic malaise."

This is what democracy sounds like

Nadia Fahmy, a 70-year-old grandmother, was so determined to be the first to vote at her polling station in Egypt that she camped out in a plastic chair for 2½ hours before it opened. She declared:

I am here to vote for the first time in my life. I want to see a new generation for my country. I want everything to change.

If it's worth having, it's worth waiting for

Another 70-year-old woman also has had a long wait. She is getting married for the first time - and her father will walk her down the aisle.

FULL POST

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Filed under: CNN Daily Mash-up
Oh, Zuck: Facebook's bumpy start just got a little worse
May 23rd, 2012
11:55 AM ET

Oh, Zuck: Facebook's bumpy start just got a little worse

To say its been a rough ride for Facebook's IPO would be an understatement.

And as the social media giant edges toward the close of its first week of trading, questions are swirling about the company's valuation, its profitability and now allegations that full details of the stock's likely value were shared with only a select group of people.

Did some people get a heads-up Facebook's IPO wasn't what it seemed?

Regulators are now looking into the possibility that Facebook's Wall Street investment banks may have tipped off some clients that Facebook wasn't necessarily a great buy or worth the hype it was receiving, according to reports Wednesday from Reuters and several other news organizations.

“Facebook changed the numbers – they didn’t forecast their business right and they changed their numbers and told analysts,” a person at one of Facebook’s banks told Reuters.

Overheard on CNN.com 'I saw this one coming from a mile away'

The big question is: Did certain privileged customers receive information about the Facebook offering that you as an individual investor might not have?

Rick Ketchum, head of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, an independent regulatory body, acknowledged in an article from Reuters that a Morgan Stanley analyst reduced his revenue projections for Facebook shortly before the offering and shared the information with institutional investors.

And now Facebook shareholders have filed a lawsuit against the social network, CEO Mark Zuckerberg and a number of banks, alleging that crucial information was concealed ahead of Facebook's IPO. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Wednesday morning, charges the defendants with failing to disclose in the critical days leading up to Friday's initial public offering "a severe and pronounced reduction."

Facebook  defended themselves on Wednesday saying they "believe the lawsuit is without merit and will defend ourselves vigorously."

The report, and now the lawsuit, raises questions about whether Morgan Stanley, one of the underwriter companies that handled Facebook's IPO, or other banks knowingly offered certain investors privileged information that should have been made public. Other underwriters targeted by the lawsuit include Barclays Capital, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Merrill Lynch, a unit of Bank of America.

It is possible that Morgan Stanley may have signed off on a price that was too high or agreed to sell too many shares in the deal, CNNMoney.com reports. Then, Morgan Stanley analysts are alleged to have told certain people they had a negative assessment of the social network's offering.

"If true, the allegations are a matter of regulatory concern to FINRA and the [Securities and Exchange Commission]," Ketchum said in a statement via a spokeswoman.

The New York Times reported Morgan Stanley did more than just quietly share a negative outlook; they actually "held conference calls to update their banks' analysts on business."

"Analysts at Morgan Stanley and other firms soon started advising clients to dial back their expectations," the article says. "One prospective buyer was told that second-quarter revenue could be 5 percent lower than the bank’s earlier estimates."

Sallie Krawcheck, Bank of America's former head of wealth management, took to Twitter to share her outrage about the allegations.

A glitch leaves investors not knowing if they have Facebook stock

Facebook's debut on the market was hindered by early confusion when trading was delayed by two hours after what Nasdaq called a "technical error."

"People didn't know where their orders stood, and it became a big guessing game," one trader, who had put in an order to buy Facebook shares ahead of the opening bell, told CNNMoney.com. "Nasdaq couldn't handle it - they blew it."

FULL POST

May 23rd, 2012
10:47 AM ET

After Niagara suicide attempts, questions about how and why

After two people tried to commit suicide by going over Niagara Falls in two days, local media were asking questions about the falls, including:

What could enable a person to survive a plunge?

Are suicide attempts from the falls on the rise?

Is a coming high-wire stunt walk over the falls encouraging the suicide attempts?

On Monday, a man plunged 180 feet over the Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side of the Niagara River. He's now in a Hamilton, Ontario, hospital recovering from injuries that include several broken ribs, a collapsed lung and gashes to his head and shoulders, according to a report in the Buffalo News.

He was pulled to safety by emergency crews after collapsing in waist-deep water, according to a report from CNN affiliate WGRZ in Buffalo.

He is only the fourth person to survive a plunge over the Horseshoe Falls, historian Paul Gromosiak told the News.

The others include a 30-year-old Canadian man in 2009, a Michigan man in 2003 and a 7-year-old boy in 1960, according to the news reports.

The Toronto Star reports that thousands of people have gone over the falls, especially in the 19th and 20th centuries, and asks why the known survivor cases are predominantly recent.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Canada • Niagara Falls
May 23rd, 2012
08:36 AM ET

Egypt makes history with vote for president

One of the world's oldest civilizations took a major step toward democracy Wednesday, as Egyptians began a historic vote for president.

Grandmother Nadia Fahmy, 70, was so determined to be the first one to vote at her polling station that she camped out in a plastic chair for two and a half hours before it opened.

"I am here to vote for the first time in my life," said Fahmy. "I want to vote for the first time. I want to see a new generation for my country. I want everything to change."

Other people told CNN they had waited up to four hours to vote as an atmosphere of enthusiasm swept polling stations in the capital.

FULL STORY

Filed under: Egypt
Senator: Colombia prostitution scandal probably not isolated incident
The Hotel Caribe in Cartagena, Colombia, has been at the center of a sex scandal allegedly involving U.S. Secret Service agents.
May 23rd, 2012
08:21 AM ET

Senator: Colombia prostitution scandal probably not isolated incident

The incident involving U.S. Secret Service agents and members of the U.S. military allegedly hiring prostitutes before President Barack Obama visited Colombia was "almost certainly" not isolated, according to Sen. Susan Collins of Maine.

Collins' comments come in an opening statement she plans to give Wednesday morning at a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security Committee. She is the ranking Republican on the panel.

The director of the Secret Service, Mark Sullivan, is set to testify at the hearing. The committee is investigating the use of prostitutes by Secret Service agents in Colombia last month before Obama's visit - one of four congressional committees looking into the incident.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Politics
May 23rd, 2012
08:19 AM ET

'Detailed proposal' emerging at Iran nuclear talks

World powers holding talks with Iran on its nuclear aspirations are proposing "confidence-building" and "reciprocal" steps allowing the country to prove its program is solely for peaceful use, a Western official told CNN.

The Wednesday meeting, in Baghdad, is a follow-up to last month's talks between Iran and six nations - the United States, France, Russia, China and Britain - the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council - plus Germany.

Western powers fear that Iran may be trying to build nuclear weapons, despite its insistence that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes. They have been using sanctions and diplomacy to stop Iran from producing nuclear arms.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Iran
May 23rd, 2012
07:46 AM ET

Wednesday's live events

The race to the presidency now turns toward the general election in November.  CNN.com Live is your home for all the latest news and views from the campaign trail.

Today's programming highlights...

9:00 am ET - Florida real estate developer trial - Testimony continues in the trial of Adam Kaufman, who's charged with second-degree murder in the death of his wife.

FULL POST


Filed under: Crime • Justice • On CNN.com today • Politics
Actor Michael McKean hit by car in NYC
May 23rd, 2012
07:00 AM ET

Actor Michael McKean hit by car in NYC

Actor Michael McKean was hit by a car while walking along a New York City street on Tuesday, suffering a broken leg, the New York Post reports.

Harriet Sternberg, his manager, told the Post McKean was being checked out at St. Luke's Hospital.

“He has sustained multiple injures and we are trying to find out the extent of other injuries,” the Post quoted her as saying.

McKean, 64, played the lead singer for the band Spinal Tap in the movie "This is Spinal Tap" among numerous other roles.

He was to have performed on Broadway in Gore Vidal’s “The Best Man” on Tuesday night, the New York Daily News reported.

“It’s the first time he will have ever missed a curtain in his entire life,” Sternberg told the Daily News. “He’s never missed stage, screens in film or television. His understudy has never gone on in 40-plus years.”

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Filed under: Celebrity • Movies • Showbiz
World powers to hold nuclear talks with Iran in Baghdad
Iran is under intense international pressure to rein in its nuclear program.
May 23rd, 2012
03:26 AM ET

World powers to hold nuclear talks with Iran in Baghdad

Officials from six world powers are due to hold talks with Iranian representatives in Baghdad on Wednesday about Tehran's controversial nuclear program.

The meeting takes place the day after the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said he would soon sign an agreement with Iran, a sign that Tehran may have agreed to broader inspections of its nuclear facilities.

The Baghdad talks come at a critical time for Iran. The country's economy has been crippled by sanctions imposed by the United Nations, the United States and the European Union. And since 80% of Iran's foreign revenues are derived from oil exports, an embargo by the EU set to go into effect in July will put further pressure on its economy.

Western powers fear Iran may be trying to build nuclear weapons, despite its insistence that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

FULL STORY

Filed under: World
May 23rd, 2012
03:23 AM ET

North Korea says it will 'expand' nuclear program in face of U.S. 'hostility'

North Korea has said it will press on with its nuclear program as a response to what it described as hostility from the United States after an analysis of satellite images indicated increased activity at its nuclear test site.

"We had access to nuclear deterrence for self-defense because of the hostile policy of the U.S. to stifle the DPRK by force and we will expand and bolster it nonstop as long as this hostile policy goes on," an unidentified spokesman for the North Korean Foreign Ministry said in a report Tuesday by the state-run Korean Central News Agency.

DPRK is short for Democratic People's Republic of Korea, North Korea's official name.

The top U.S. envoy for North Korea, Glyn Davies, warned Pyongyang on Monday that a possible third nuclear test would be "a serious miscalculation and mistake."

FULL STORY

Filed under: World
Nancy Reagan still recovering from fall
Former first lady Nancy Reagan is still recovering from breaking her ribs in a fall earlier this year.
May 23rd, 2012
03:20 AM ET

Nancy Reagan still recovering from fall

Nancy Reagan is recovering from a number of broken ribs after a fall in March, a representative for the former first lady said Tuesday.

Reagan, 90, was unable to attend a speech given Tuesday evening by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.

"Mrs. Reagan has been recovering slowly and has been adding a few appointments back on to her schedule, but was advised by her doctor today not to try and attend large events too far from home just yet," said Joanne Drake, a spokeswoman for Reagan. "She personally invited Congressman Ryan and really wanted to be here, but sent her apologies to him earlier today."

FULL STORY

Filed under: Politics • U.S.