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IRONY: Mark Zuckerberg Would Like IPO Banks to Protect Privacy


Shut your pie hole!

That’s the message that notoriously press-averse Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has sent around Wall Street recently, telling Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and the other banks involved in his company’s $100 billion IPO to stop leaking juicy tidbits to the media and to stop talking up the stock offering to clients, The Post has learned.

Zuckerberg, 27, whose stake in the social network giant amounts, in round figures, to around $28 billion, wasn’t too happy that some aspects of the much-anticipated initial stock float — including the fact that its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission would take place on Feb. 1 — were disclosed. Facebook officials let the bankers know about it through phone calls and e-mails, sources said.

Facebook officials also appeared to also be irked about what appeared to be subtle sniping in the press between Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs centered on which firm would grab the coveted lead underwriting role on the IPO — the highest profile since Google went public with a $1.7 billion offering back 2004.

Zuckerberg’s warning appears to be working.

The powers that be at each bank, sources said, have reacted by warning employees not to discuss the filing.

“[Facebook] wants to be taken seriously and viewed as a blue-ship company,” said one bank official familiar with the listing, but not authorized to speak publicly.

Facebook and its team of underwriters are in a so-called quiet period since filing the paperwork, known as an S-1, with regulators.

Although the Facebook e-mails and calls contained no threats, running afoul of Zuckerberg could result in a bank getting dropped from the IPO. Just two years ago, UBS was dumped from the group of banks handling General Motors’ much-anticipated IPO.

For the banks, the Facebook IPO means more than just the $40 million it could earn from the deal. Indeed, landing the prestigious Facebook offering is likely to have a halo effect that could help a bank land future tech IPOs. Getting booted from the deal can have the same halo effect — in reverse.

At lead underwriter Morgan Stanley, the reaction to Facebook’s warning has been quick and unambiguous. Its private wealth advisers were admonished to stay mum on the upcoming IPO — a difficult task considering clients are clamoring to get in on the action.

The hush-hush mandate comes as the underwriters are gearing up in the coming week or two to hash over — with Zuckerberg, CFO David Ebersman and COO Sheryl Sandberg — the most appropriate valuation for the Menlo Park, Calif., company.

Despite the white-knuckle media frenzy surrounding Facebook, underwriters will be aiming to hit a sweet spot of offering the social media giant’s shares at a level that deep-pocketed institutional investors can wrap their head and their wallets around.

A $100 billion valuation for the IPO would peg Facebook at an eye-popping 100 times its profits of $1 billion in 2011.
Read more: http://trade.cc/ahyb

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$MGM Grand Renovating to Become a Hot Hotel on Las Vegas Strip

(via examiner.com)

As we announced in an October 2011 article , MGM Grand is undergoing a major renovation project in Las Vegas. New faces will adorn rooms, bathrooms, elevators, hallways, and the central rotunda area.

The hotel has just installed a full – scale mockup of their new standard King rooms in the main lobby for folks to check out. The rooms feature a neutral pallette of beige, brown, and panda color schemes. Other features include 42″ LCD televisions, LEED certified carpeting, Caesarstone motif platforms, and a desk nook table with chairs.

Though the bathroom facelift is not presented in the lobby mockup, baths will feature new hardware, lighting, new door handles and hinges, new paint, shower fixtures, curved curtain rods, and “electric” mirrors.

We phoned the hotel to confirm that some of the new rooms are indeed available for booking. Midweek rates for a two – queenbed room on December 22, 2011 were quoted at $75 per night plus taxes and resort fees ( grand total of $106.40 ). That nightly rate is about $20 more than the quoted going rate ($55) for their old standard rooms. Even though we’re currently right in the middle of the lowest average annual room rate windows for Las Vegas, the mere $20 disparity in old vs new room rates is quite encouraging.

MGM Grand has always been on our favorite Vegas hotel lists for several reasons. The new rooms at very reasonable rates only adds to the property’s Grand appeal. Stay updated on the progressing property – wide renovation by visiting The Grand Renovation website.



Charles Higgins

Article info source = Vegas Chatter

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Charles Schwab: Fed’s Policy Harming Economy

“CEO Charles Schwab says the Federal Reserve’s prolonged, “emergency” near-zero interest policy is hurting, not helping the economy.

“The Fed policy has resulted in a huge infusion of capital into the system, creating a massive rise in liquidity but negligible movement of that money,” Schwab writes in The Wall Street Journal. “It is sitting there, in banks all across America, unused.”

“The multiplier effect that normally comes with a boost in liquidity remains at rock bottom. Sufficient capital is in the system to spur growth — it simply isn’t being put to work fast enough,” wrote Schwab, the founder and chairman of the Charles Schwab Corp.”

Read more here 

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Blankfein to Speak Out for Same-Sex Marriage


Lloyd C. Blankfein, the chief of Goldman Sachs who has become a lightning rod for Wall Street critics, might seem an unlikely advocate for same-sex marriage. But his credentials — a public figure in a conservative industry — could make him a powerful voice for that cause.

The Human Rights Campaign, a national organization that promotes equal rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, has persuaded Mr. Blankfein to be its first national corporate spokesman for same-sex marriage, an issue that will come up for a legislative vote in several states this year, including Washington and Maryland. Fred Sainz, an executive with the Human Rights Campaign, said the organization sought Mr. Blankfein, in part, because he is “an unexpected messenger.”

“Lloyd Blankfein is not someone average Americans would think is going to support marriage equality,” Mr. Sainz said. “The green visor crowd is not typically associated with socially progressive policies, and this is further proof that a diversity of Americans are coming to the same conclusion.”

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Teacher Says She Wishes Her Students Dead; Judge Says She Can Keep Teaching

(via NY POST)

A Brooklyn teacher — fired for posting snarky online comments suggesting her unruly students should drown — can go back to the classroom, a judge says.

Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Barbara Jaffe last week overturned an administrative decision to boot Christine Rubino, who taught at PS 203 in Flatlands, for posting “repulsive” comments on Facebook.

A blow to the city Department of Education, the ruling underscores the grueling process to fire teachers accused of misconduct or incompetence. Even after lengthy administrative trials, judges can reverse decisions either way, and prolong a costly battle.

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SHE’S A CRASS ACT: Kid-hating teacher Christine Rubino is getting her job back, thanks to a state judge.

SHE’S A CRASS ACT: Kid-hating teacher Christine Rubino is getting her job back, thanks to a state judge.

“After today, I’m thinking the beach sounds like a wonderful idea for my 5th graders. I HATE THEIR GUTS! They are all the devils spawn!” Rubino wrote on Facebook on June 23, 2010.

She made the remarks one day after a 12-year-old Harlem girl, Nicole Suriel, drowned on a school trip to a Long Island beach.

When a Facebook friend asked, “oh you would let little Kwame float away!’’ Rubino posted in reply, “Yes, I wld not throw a life jacket in for a million!!”

While “offensive” and “repulsive,” the comments were posted outside the school building and after hours, Jaffe ruled.

The judge found no evidence that Rubino, frustrated by her students’ rowdy behavior, meant them actual harm or that the comments “affected her ability to teach.”

Jaffe even gave Rubino a pass for allegedly obstructing an investigation. A friend of Rubino admitted she lied when she claimed authorship of the ugly comments, but Rubino denied asking her to do so. Rubino’s “clumsy attempt at a cover-up reflects panic, not planning,” the judge wrote.

In firing Rubino last June, hearing officer Randi Lowitt said Facebook and other social media “are becoming embedded in society.” Lowitt chided, “People post without regard to the fact that what they post has a shelf life of forever.”

Jaffe differed. “Even though [Rubino] should have known that her postings could become public,” the judge wrote, it was “reasonable” to expect that only her Facebook adult friends would see them.

Citing Rubino’s “unblemished” 15-year teaching history, Jaffe voided the termination and sent her back to the department for a “lesser penalty.”

Rubino, who made $78,885 a year, won’t go back on the payroll so fast because the department may appeal.

Rubino’s lawyer, Bryan Glass, said, “A simple warning to Ms. Rubino about her mistake would have sufficed, and it would not have been repeated. Perhaps in this time of scarce resources, the substantial time and money on this case could be better allocated by the DOE supporting its teachers in the classroom rather than demonizing and punishing its staff.”

Read more: http://trade.cc/ahpe

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2012 Super Bowl: Point Spread Could Be Tightest In 30 Years

by Jonathan Tjarks

With marquee teams featuring top bill QB’s playing in two of the biggest cities in the US, anticipation for Super Bowl XLVI has reached a fever-pitch.

And if Las Vegas is correct, fans may be treated into another nail-biter similar to the New York Giants 17-14 defeat of the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.

The line, with New England now only favored by 3, is the tightest in 30 years, when the San Francisco 49ers were one-point favorites over the Cincinnati Bengals in 1982.

That game, a 26-21 49ers victory that featured Joe Montana at the height of his powers, is widely remembered as one of the greatest Super Bowls in NFL history.

Now, 30 years later, Tom Brady and Eli Manning have a chance to cement their legacies next Sunday and put themselves in truly rarefied air.

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