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.
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.
The FB IPO selective disclosure stories just keep getting worse. If true, an absolute outrage. Come on, Wall St!!—
Sallie Krawcheck (@SallieKrawcheck) May 23, 2012
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."
It started as the little engine that maybe, possibly could. Facebook swirled around college campuses and became a way to find out a little bit more about your classmates. But when the site went mainstream, it spread like a digital wildfire and in eight years it has gone from the little engine that could into the juggernaut tank in the social media world.
Now, the company's long road to an initial public offering is officially coming to an end. And today it will fill in one last piece of the puzzle: It's final IPO price.
It's not just the talk of the town or Silicon Valley, but about to be the talk of .... well, everyone. Want perspective? Facebook could raise as much as $16 billion in its IPO. That would make it the largest tech IPO in history - and the third largest U.S. IPO ever, trailing only the $19.7 billion raised by Visa in March 2008 and the $18.1 billion raised by automaker General Motors in November 2010, according to rankings by Thomson Reuters.
So as the big day approaches we wanted to give you a little insight into the company and the ins and outs of going public.
A look at the hottest ticket in town
Some days you love Facebook. Some days you want to delete your profile, run away and never, ever return. Since Facebook's big foray into mass-market appeal, you'll always hear arguments for both.
It's been lauded for helping connect generations. It's also been called things that make you think it's the devils spawn.
FBI Director Robert Muller said the bureau has opened a preliminary investigation into a major JPMorgan Chase trading loss.
"All I can say is that we have opened a preliminary investigation," Robert Mueller said in response to questions at an FBI oversight hearing on Capitol Hill.
The loss, while massive on the face of it, is expected to be easily absorbed by JPMorgan, which is the nation's largest bank by assets. Even this quarter, the bank is expected to turn a multi-billion dollar profit.
The group that suffered the losses is part of the bank's so-called corporate unit, and had been making trades designed to hedge against risk, which is a fancy way of saying it operates as a kind of insurance agency, CNNMoney.com reported. When a big bet is made, the office tries to find ways to mitigate the risk to the bank should the bet go south.
Over the past few months, the unit has staked out a very large position in insurance-like bets called credit default swaps, the same type of instrument that caused so much havoc in 2008.
CEO Jamie Dimon, who on Monday a $23 million compensation package approved, told analysts and reporters the losses were caused by "errors," "sloppiness" and "bad judgment."
In the wake of the financial crisis, critics have made the case that the biggest banks are still so large, so complex, and their desire for profits so great that they remain a systemic risk to the global financial system.
Dimon, in full damage control mode, was forced to hold a hastily-arranged conference call to announce the loss, and followed that with an appearance on Meet the Press, where he admitted the company had made a mistake.
"This is a terrible mistake," Dimon said. "In this job, you hope they're small and few and far between. This one is far too big."
Read more on JPMorgan:READ FULL CNNMONEY.COM STORY
Jamie Dimon, the CEO of the nation's largest bank, JPMorgan, went before before shareholders at the company's annual meeting Tuesday and had his $23 million pay package approved, CNNMoney.com reports.
The meeting came just days after the bank disclosed a $2 billion trading loss, an event that led to the departure of its chief investment officer and forced its CEO to apologize for what he called "a terrible mistake."
Dimon, who also serves as the bank's chairman, faced shareholders who have seen the company's stock decline by more than 14% over the previous five trading sessions.
In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, shareholders have looked upon the nation's largest banks with increased scrutiny, and have often used shareholder meetings to push an agenda of reform.
Read about how JPMorgan made its multi-billion dollar blunder, and how Dimon gets $23 million for 2011 and bragging rights and then let us know in the comments section how you feel about the CEO's $23 million compensation package.
Do you think Dimon should get that kind of compensation? Does he deserve the pay considering how much his company profits or does a message need to be sent to major bank executives? Let us know below and we may feature your comments on CNN.com
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.
Things have been eventful in the business world. Readers are certainly talking about these recent developments.
Ina Drew, JPMorgan Chase's chief investment officer, has left the bank after revelations of a $2 billion loss sustained over the past six weeks. Readers talked about the fact that she is retiring.
Cliff Eden Gardner: "Wow, wish I could still be set for life after costing my company billions."
dcjohnny: "Go to school, then work 80 hours a week, then go back to school, then work even harder. Ascend to the respect level she commanded via an extraordinary career, and then – if you find yourself at the tail end of a bad decision gone haywire – you will most likely be able to retire with more money than any of your friends. You know how not to reach that potential? Complain about others and elect people who will throw you the occasional scraps from their table every election cycle."
Melissa Walker: "Someone costs your company $2 BILLION and you're allowed to retire? With a golden parachute and pension and everything? Sheesh, even after the financial collapse, it's clear the Fat Cats don't get it - FIRE THE WITCH-RHYMES-WITH and let her enjoy the wide world of unemployment and looking for a job at her age with her 30 years of experience."
mwilder: "Until we have regulations in place this will continue to happen. Plain and simple."
Similar conversation, with a dash of wisecracks, followed this story. FULL POST
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.
JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon recently suggested that the United States has a "royal straight flush," a name for the best hand you can have in poker. Dimon cites the world's strongest military, best businesses, most entrepreneurial workforce and deepest capital markets. And, he says, things would be even better were it not for government policies. Some readers at the proverbial table nodded in agreement, while others thought he might be bluffing a bit.
A few commenters responded with poker terminology of their own, while others could potentially have such lingo applied to their remarks. Let us explore some poker metaphors.
Pair of threes
Mtl300: "Jamie Dimon sees a 'royal straight flush' with stacked red and blue chips on the table ... most of us see a 'pair of threes' with a handful of one-penny white chips on the same economic table ..."
Ride it out
David R Priest: "I know of 16 trillion reasons that the U.S. is not holding a good hand right now, but if we take a few cards and throw away a few bad ones, we could get back in the game."
Nelba: "The economic flush I see is of a different kind. "
Of fish and sharks FULL POST
Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson does not have a bachelor's degree in accounting and computer science. Rather, he has a bachelor of science degree in business administration, with a major in accounting. The discovery that his resume was fudged a little has sparked a discussion among our writers and readers about the act of resume embellishment and what it says about a person.
One reader says some sins are of omission.
jt99: "I have never padded my resume, but I did not include one item, which is on my resume now. I am a veteran, serving from 1968 to 1972. I the '70s and '80s, being an honorably discharged veteran was not viewed as a positive. I never denied my service during that time period, but I didn't make it a resume line item. I won't go into the issue any further."
This person feels they got the raw end of the stick.
Morgansher: "I never once padded my resume. It was unthinkable and unconscionable, but I am bitter about having lost out twice to people who lied on their resumes (for different jobs) and got the jobs I'd been applying for. The only consolation was learning years later that one of the people hired had been hiding a criminal record and that they embezzled nearly $350,000 before getting caught."
Maybe Thompson was just management material. FULL POST
Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett has disclosed he has been diagnosed with stage I prostate cancer, but says it is not life-threatening.
In a letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, the 81-year-old billionaire (pictured) said he received his diagnosis last week.
"The good news is that I’ve been told by my doctors that my condition is not remotely life-threatening or even debilitating in any meaningful way," Buffett said in the letter, which the company released Tuesday.FULL STORY
The U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday brought a lawsuit against Apple and several publishing companies over an alleged scheme to fix e-book prices, a source with knowledge of the investigation told CNNMoney.
The suit likely stems from the 2010 release of the iPad, when Apple reached an agreement with five publishers to release books on its then-new iBookstore.
A similar investigation led by the European Commission is probing whether Apple colluded to raise the price of e-books with CBS's Simon & Schuster, News Corp.'s HarperCollins; Hachette Book Group; Pearson's Penguin unit and Macmillan.
Before the release of the iPad, Amazon's Kindle was the preeminent e-book reader on the market. Amazon forced publishers to sell most books at $9.99 - a price that came in below the cost of the books.FULL STORY
If response to the following story is any indication, a good chunk of our CNN.com commenting population identifies themselves as introverts. Susan Cain, a writer and TED2012 speaker, opined that these folks are responsible for some of humanity's greatest achievements.
Readers identified what it means to be an introvert, and how that affects their lives. This was a popular comment:
Travis211: "Score one for the introverts. Something about us introverts that extroverts don't know about us:
1.) We do not believe in artificial chit-chat (We hate small talk, because its illogical)
2.) We only believe in talking when we believe we have something to say
3.) We find happiness in solitude, extroverts find happiness in rooms with people
4.) We are constantly thinking in our heads
5.) We are quietly planning to take over the world!!"
isolate: "I agree on all points but #5. A world where introversion was predominant (itself almost a contradiction in terms) would be a strange world indeed - devoid of professional sports, supermarket tabloids, mega-churches, casinos, and most of what passes for media entertainment these days. Facebook and Twitter, et al, would vanish, and anyone who proposed a television show like 'Real Housewives of New Jersey,' would be banished to an asylum. Imagine politics based on reality and not megabucks, personalities and theatrics. To you and me it would be heaven indeed, but what would happen to the millions of extroverts forced to live in a world without relentless, mindless distractions? Mass catatonia? If I might, I would replace your #5 with, 'We are self-doubting, always verifying what we think we know to be sure it's true.' "
This commenter doesn't like lots of noise.
tapeworm: "I have not been to a mall shopping in years! On top of that I hate crowds and cannot stand a lot of noise. I feel best when sitting outside or in a field where there is a breeze and only the sound of birds and the breeze. Loud music drives me insane!"
Some of our readers found kindred spirits in the comments. FULL POST
The United States plans to announce Tuesday that it is filing a trade case over China's export restrictions on minerals that are crucial for the production of many high tech devices, a senior Obama administration official said.
The European Union and Japan will join the United States in the case, which aims to pressure China to lift export limits on certain minerals known as rare earths, the official said Monday.
China produces about 95% of all rare earths, which are used to make products like flat-screen televisions, smart phones and hybrid cars.
The United States will ask the World Trade Organization, the organization tasked with monitoring trade between nations, to serve as a facilitator in talks with China, according to the U.S. official.FULL STORY
Children are getting bigger, say the statistics, and companies that make school furniture are nudging up the sizes to accommodate larger pupils. Some say this is a disturbing trend in coping with childhood obesity.
One of the biggest questions this story raised among our readers is whether stigma spurs kids to lose weight or merely depresses them. This was the most-liked comment:
Techsupp0rt: "Yes, let's keep babying the fat kids and lying to them and telling them they're just like the rest of the other kids. They aren't, and they know it, and you insult their intelligence by lying to them. You aren't helping them by giving them bigger chairs, you're enabling them. Being fat is supposed to be uncomfortable, because our bodies are not designed to carry that much extra weight. Discomfort should be a motivating factor in losing weight. When they complain about it at home, their parents should do something instead of just handing them another Twinkie and sitting them in front of the TV and telling them that they'll 'grow out of it'. Very few of them ever will, and if their parents are also fat, then it's highly unlikely that they will ever be anything but fat, until they grow up and learn what they can do for themselves."
Binky42: "Shaming a fat person to be thin doesn't work. It just ends up causing psychological problems, which is turn usually results in weight gain."
Being overweight is a person's responsibility, many of our readers said. FULL POST
It's an idea that has the potential to revolutionize the construction industry: Use prefabricated modules to build more than 6,000 housing units. If the real estate development firm Forest City Ratner is able to turn the idea into a reality, the firm will build the tallest modular construction building in the world, a 32-story residential tower in Brooklyn, New York.
(Click the audio player to hear more on this story from CNN Radio's Steve Kastenbaum)
Prefabricated houses are not new. They've been around for decades. But modular construction today is principally used for low-rise buildings. Strong winds exert a tremendous amount of force on taller buildings, and lower floors have to support the weight of many floors above. With modular construction, the challenge comes in designing components that can withstand those forces and do it within a certain price range.
"I think we figured out a way to do this," said structural engineer David Farnsworth. He and his colleagues at the design and engineering firm ARUP spent two years researching and developing ways to build a high-rise modular building.
"The first challenge that we had to overcome was how can we make a modular system that can be built at height and withstand the wind loads," Farnsworth said. "You don't want the building to be moving too much in the wind that people feel it and then they get sick."
At long last, the Holy Grail of Internet IPOs is here. Facebook filed Wednesday to raise $5 billion in an initial public offering.
It's not yet known on which stock exchange Facebook will trade, or what its ticker symbol will be.
In 2011, Facebook earned $1 billion on sales of $3.7 billion. As of December 31, Facebook had 845 million daily active users.
The vast majority of Facebook's revenue comes from advertising: a combination of search and display ads.
Facebook's other revenue stream is its payment system for purchases within apps and games: Facebook Credits. Facebook keeps 30% of the revenue from those payments, and passes the remaining 70% on to the app developer.FULL STORY
An interesting conversation began on a story today about creative works that enter the public domain. William Patry, a senior copyright counsel at Google Inc., argued that the length of time required for this to occur has become far too protracted. Many of our commenters tended to agree, and two popular responses are included below.
Several readers said they felt copyright law has become too prohibitive. Do you agree or disagree? Comment below and let us know.
Clouseau2: "The whole logic of the copyright has been turned upside down. It makes perfect sense to give authors a limited time when their work is protected to give them an incentive to make it in the first place. However, now 'limited' means 'forever.' Whenever Steamboat Willie is about to enter into the public domain, Disney just throws a million or two into the pockets of a corrupt Congresscritter and magically the copyright gets extended for another 20 years. Authors are not going to avoid making something because 50 years after their death it's going to go into the public domain. That's ridiculous. The main purpose of copyright law today is to protect the profits of a few media empires, not to enable creative output. These long copyright terms seriously infringe on the arts, as older works are lost forever and new derivative content cannot be produced."
The comment below was also popular. We heard from several people who said they were content creators and wanted to have protection for themselves and their future generations.
flyboy60: "I'm all for strong copyright laws since I am an artist and content creator. I want to benefit from work my whole life, and what's wrong with my kids benefiting too? Granted, it doesn't need to be lifetime plus 70 years, maybe lifetime plus 20 would be good. All this 'information needs to be free' horsepucky is said by those who don't create anything for a living!"
What do you think? Share your opinion in the comments area below and in the latest stories on CNN.com. Or sound off on video via CNN iReport.
Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.
Eastman Kodak Company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in New York early Thursday.
Kodak listed total assets of $5.1 billion and debts of $6.75 billion in the filing in the southern district of New York.
Kodak said it has obtained $950 million in financing from Citibank to maintain operations. The company said the credit facility is still subject to court approval.
Kodak said it has enough liquidity to continue to operate during the bankruptcy process.
The company's shares, which had already dropped more than 90% in the past year, fell further this month after the Wall Street Journal reported that the company was preparing for a bankruptcy filing in case an attempt to sell a number of digital patents failed.
A day before that report Kodak disclosed that the New York Stock Exchange had warned that it could be delisted in six months if its struggling stock price does not recover. The warning was triggered by the fact that the stock's average closing price has been less than $1 per share for thirty consecutive trading days.
Earlier this month, Kodak announced it had streamlined its corporate structure as part of the ongoing effort to evolve from film to digital.
Kodak said the company is now structured into two divisions, the commercial segment and the consumer segment, as of Jan. 1. These segments will report to the newly created chief operating office, which is led by Philip Faraci and Laura Quatela.
The company was previously organized into three divisions, the graphic communications group, the consumer digital imaging group and the film, photofinishing and entertainment group.
Kodak was a relatively early pioneer in the field of digital photography, though it has been slow to leave behind its heavy reliance on outmoded film technology.
One story about Mitt Romney's estimation that he has an effective tax rate of about 15% drew more than 13,000 comments. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a supporter, has called for Romney to release his tax returns, and the South Carolina GOP race is heating up. Romney mentioned that he made about $375,000 in speaker fees, which he called "not very much." Commenters debated whether current tax policies are fair, and they also discussed Romney's views about perceived income disparities.
Romney's money comes from mostly investment-related sources, so his tax rates are somewhat lower than the rate on wages. Fortune's Dan Primack says such lower tax rates (like capital gains rates for profits on investments) are intended to reward taking on the risk of investment and being in business, but also suggests there are loopholes that give some people tax breaks without assuming enough risk to justify it. Readers debated the finer points of taxation policy.
black743: "This isn't a loophole. You invest, you pay 15% on the capital gains. What's so hard to understand about that? He doesn't get a paycheck anymore, he's retired. This is a 15% tax on capital gains of investments. Why can't you people get that through your heads? I would love to see one of you suddenly come into wealth. I'm sure you would just give 35% to the IRS out of the goodness of your hearts, right? I'm so sick of this wealth envy in this country. If we keep raising capital gains taxes on investments, then it's quite easy for folks to just invest in other countries and leave America high and dry."
terre08: "You are wrong. Almost all of his income from Bain was taxed at 15% due to lax regulations when it comes to equity firms. He has a 'pension' as well from Bain where he pays 15% as well for the same reason. It is obviously not called a pension."
The following reader argued capital gains taxes could be raised, since the rates have been higher in the past. (Some are proposing to raise these rates in the future, while others seek to lower them or eliminate the tax entirely.) FULL POST
An action figure in the eerily accurate likeness of late Apple Inc. founder Steve Jobs will not happen, its would-be maker announced Sunday.
"The original intention for creating the figurine was driven by a fan’s admiration of Steve," the pop-up announcement at InIcons.com reads. The announcement goes on to say the company has been subjected to "immense pressure" from Apple and Jobs' family to cancel the project.
Apple did not respond to a request for comment.
"Regardless of the pressure, I am still Steve’s fan, I fully respect Steve, and his family, and it is definitely not my wish or intention that they be upset," the unsigned statement says. "Though we still believe that we have not overstepped any legal boundaries, we have decided to completely stop the offer, production and sale of the Steve Jobs figurine out of our heartfelt sensitivity to the feelings of the Jobs family."
Jobs died October 5 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
The 12-inch doll was to feature Jobs' iconic black turtleneck, rimless glasses, blue jeans and New Balance sneakers. It was to have retailed for $99.
Shipments were to have begun in February, the San Jose Mercury News reported. Pre-order payments would be refunded, the InIcons statement said.
Tallahassee: " There's a box of Twinkies in that grocery store. Not just any box of Twinkies, the last box of Twinkies that anyone will enjoy in the whole universe. Believe it or not, Twinkies have an expiration date. Some day very soon, life's little Twinkie gauge is gonna go ... empty.'
IT HAS BEGUN!"
phfyrebyrd: "The same thought popped into my head when I heard the news. My condolences, Tallahassee.
Whether wrapped in plastic or fried at fairs, the humble Twinkie is the elongated pastry that pleases. CNN.com's intrepid foodies have been following the story of Hostess Brands' Chapter 11 bankruptcy filling, er, filing, very closely. Commenters shared their memories and thoughts about these pastries and the impending zombie Twinkie apocalypse referenced above.
An informal and highly unscientific poll attached to the bottom of this Eatocracy post showed that something like 27% of the clickers had not eaten a Twinkie in years. But many others found themselves yearning for years past.
eastcoaster: "Isn't it funny that Twinkies bring back this nostalgia for our long lost childhoods where we had no idea that what we ate (quite frequently) was likely to be harmful to us. It will be interesting to see just how this translates into medical/health headlines 30 years from now. Maybe we'll all be surprised with, 'Gen Xers are the most healthy generation despite the tremendous amount of junk food consumed in the in their early years!' Then we'll bring back the Twinkies..."
You get to growing up and all that stuff ... FULL POST