Hugh Pickens writes "Nathan Vardi writes in Forbes that in the last two months, Mark Zuckerberg has had a rude introduction to the capital markets. With Facebook's stock in free-fall, down more than 40% from its IPO price, Zuckerberg has a big problem. 'Zuckerberg did not want to deal with the pressures of being a public company. Like many entrepreneurs these days he viewed the capital markets with suspicion,' writes Vardi. 'So Zuckerberg made a fateful decision, he decided to keep Facebook a privately-held company for much longer than other success stories like Google or Amazon.' But waiting eight years to conduct an IPO has turned out to be an impossible problem to manage. The bankers at Morgan Stanley applied all the lessons of the last 15 years and priced the IPO at $38, which was very aggressive, in an attempt to avoid leaving any money on the table and the embarrassment that a huge IPO pop would represent. With such a big valuation at IPO time, Facebook had to show some results. But the numbers that Facebook announced in its first quarterly earnings report were underwhelming and the trading hordes drove Facebook's stock down by 15% in Friday morning trading. Now the early institutional investors are heading for the exits and it's hard to imagine morale at Facebook won't take a hit that correlates with the loss in value of the shares belonging to the employees. 'The lesson of the Facebook fiasco for Silicon Valley is clear. Start-up entrepreneurs cannot evade the discipline of the capital markets any more than can the prime ministers of Spain and Italy.'"
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