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Was LinkedIn scammed by their bankers?

Of course they were. Was LinkedIn Scammed? - NYTimes.com
On Thursday, LinkedIn, an Internet company that connects business professionals, became the first major American social media company to go public. The company had hired Morgan Stanley and Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch division to manage the I.P.O. process. After gauging market demand — which is what they’re paid to do — the investment bankers priced the shares at $45. The 7.84 million shares it sold raised $352 million for the company. For this, the bankers were paid 7 percent of the deal as their fee. For a small company with less than $16 million in profits last year, $352 million in the bank sounds pretty wonderful, doesn’t it? But it really wasn’t wonderful at all. When LinkedIn’s shares started trading on the New York Stock Exchange, they opened not at $45, or anywhere near it. The opening price was $83 a share, some 84 percent higher than the I.P.O. price. By the time the clock had struck noon, the stock had vaulted to more than $120 a share, before settling down to $94.25 at the market’s close. The first-day gain was close to 110 percent. I have no doubt that most everyone at LinkedIn was thrilled to see the run-up; most executives at start-ups usually are. An I.P.O. is an important marker for any company. And, of course, the executives themselves are suddenly rich. But, in reality, LinkedIn was scammed by its bankers. The fact that the stock more than doubled on its first day of trading — something the investment bankers, with their fingers on the pulse of the market, absolutely must have known would happen — means that hundreds of millions of additional dollars that should have gone to LinkedIn wound up in the hands of investors that Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch wanted to do favors for. Most of those investors, I guarantee, sold the stock during the morning run-up. It’s the easiest money you can make on Wall Street. As Eric Tilenius, the general manager of Zynga, wrote on Facebook: “A huge opening-day pop is not a sign of a successful I.P.O., but rather a massively mispriced one. Bankers are rewarding their friends and themselves instead of doing their fiduciary duty to their clients.”

May 20, 2011

Kentucky cuts social services, freezes teacher pay, while giving over $43 Million to a Bible-themed park

ThinkProgress -- While Cutting Social Services, Kentucky Gives $43 Million Tax Break To Bible-Themed Amusement Park
A group of private investors and religious organizations is hoping to build a Bible-themed amusement park in Kentucky, complete with a full-size 500-foot-by-75-foot reproduction of Noah’s Ark, a Tower of Babel, and other biblical exhibits on a 800-acre campus outside of Williamstown, KY. Their effort got a shot in the arm yesterday when the state approved $43 million in tax breaks for the project. In addition to the tax incentives, approved unanimously by the state’s tourism board, taxpayers may have to pony up another $11 million to improve a highway interchange near the site. . . . Beyond constitutional issues, the tax breaks for an amusement park come at a time when state leaders are asking residents to sacrifice as they cut important social programs. “The state has gone through eight rounds of budget cuts over the past three years,” including cuts to “education at all levels” and a pay freeze for all teachers and state workers. Meanwhile, the state cut funding for Medicaid by shifting enrollees to managed care plans, which often make it more difficult for enrollees to access care while increasing administrative costs by up to 20 percent by adding a new “layer of bureaucracy between the Medicaid Department and providers.” . . .

May 19, 2011

What is Goldman Sachs next big scam? China?

Also in this article is a great rundown and plain speech explanation of Goldman's recent underhanded dealings. It’s Getting Harder To Defend Goldman Sachs - Great Speculations - Buys, holds, and hopes - Forbes
What’s the next Goldman lemon trade? I’m guessing it may be brewing with China. Ex-CEO Hank Paulson opened many deals in China, moving many American businesses and jobs to China. Goldman pumped up China for great profit, without any regard for doing business with the CCP communists and corrupt parties. Goldman may be arranging its big-China short now to get “closer to home.” If and when the China’s financial-market bubble bursts, Goldman may make another fortune on the sell-off. Many EU and German officials accuse Goldman of doing a similar pump and dump trade with Greece and other PIIGS. They argue that Goldman and Lehman sold their currency swaps and Repo 105 strategy to help Greece cheat to enter the Euro, disguising debt as sales. Later, Goldman and Lehman dumped the Greek bonds, setting off a mark-to-market bomb around Europe. That tragedy is still unfolding. Will the EU tar and feather Goldman before the U.S. does? Is the U.S. protecting Goldman? Perhaps Goldman is up to some dirty dealings with commodities too. It recently lowered forecasts on oil prices that seemed to squeeze out some leveraged longs. After the drop, it may buy again and issue a price hike forecast to $150 a barrel in 2012 right before the election. How can heavyweight forecasters also be allowed to trade behind closed doors? Can’t regulators prevent the next Goldman scam, rather than just harp about the past ones and do nothing about them?