A suit has been filed by Facebook shareholders against Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook, Morgan Stanley and others. It’s based on a very simple concept: when internal analysts learned that Facebook’s numbers were going to be worse than expected, the company and its bankers didn’t tell everyone, but just “selectively disclosed” information to a small group of “preferred investors.”
Henry Blodget, who unfortunately should know about these things, gave a good summary of it all on CBS This Morning:
I was on the phone last night with a former hedge fund CEO who was talking about this. “Facebook,” he said, “is a colossal example of a complete clusterfuck where everybody wins except the ordinary investor.”
His point was that virtually every week now we see stories like this that hint at a kind of two-tiered market system – in which most of the real action takes place inside an unregulated black-box network of connected insiders who don’t disclose their relationships or their interests, while everyone else, i.e. the regular suckers, live in the more tightly-policed world of prospectuses and quarterly reporting and so on.