“The case against Clevinger was open and shut. The only thing missing was something to charge him with.”
– Catch 22, Joseph Heller
Facebook – Upside down
On May 18, the Nasdaq IPO of Facebook made headlines around the world. The IPO price of its share was $38; yet, at the trade opening time it was traded at $42.43, it jumped to $43, and then dropped to the starting point of $38. The underwriters supported the stock at this level and caused it to rally back to $41.50. However, by the end of the day, the stock was barely above $38. At this price, Facebook’s market capitalization is around $81 billion. It was the third-highest IPO-day valuation in history, behind only the $19.7 billion raised by Visa in March 2008 and the $18.1 billion raised by General Motors in November 2010. More than 80 million shares changed hands in the first 30 seconds of trading. By the end of the day, around 567 million shares had changed hands. This set a new volume record for IPOs; the previous one was held by General Motors. These numbers are very impressive; however, there are clear hints that we have seen a very clumsy operation by Mark Zuckerberg; it seems he isn’t exactly what he claims to be.
One way of understanding Facebook IPO is as an hysterical success, after all, Facebook barely makes any profits from its customers. Yet, most traders do not react directly to economic data; they speak about “support levels” and “expectations.” A company featuring bad economic data may still see its stock rise if there is a positive sentiment attached to it. Other way of analyzing Facebook’s IPO, is as a colossal failure. The underwriters were forced to support the stock during the trade, and at the end of the day it was barely over its base level. This creates a bad aura around this share that many expected to become the next Superman of Nasdaq. Business Insider posted a poll asking readers where they thought the $38 stock would be by the end of Friday. In the morning of the IPO day, 15% said under $35. The biggest cluster of respondents said somewhere between $40 and 55. 10% predicted the stock would reach over $90 a share. Facebook, ended the day at its starting price, below $40. Most investors will analyze this as disappointing, and would probably shun this new white-elephant. The company doesn’t sell enough, and the market sentiment towards it is not good. Yet, that is not all. There are also serious market reasons for this. Many are of the opinion that comprehensive personal databases as Facebook cannot succeed in the long term. People need privacy. Instead, it is predicted that specialized social media platforms will rise. For example, as described in The Cross of Bethlehem II: Back in Bethlehem, writing the book wouldn’t have been possible without my use of such specialized social media as a safe data storage, hiding everything in plain sight. If this tendency will continue, Facebook is expected to decline in a few years.
Considering the mechanics behind market sentiments and how these polls are done, the failure of Facebook is astonishing. Most of the abovementioned polls, and certainly the public sentiment, are driven by the media. One of the groups involved in the early analysis of the IPO was Meltwater; their digital media intelligence platform scans over 162,000 online publications worldwide in real time. I mention here their data, because they made public an important aspect of the raw data they used. Meltwater claims that there have been over 13,570 online articles of Facebook’s IPO in the 30 days that preceded the event in the US press alone. This is an astonishing number, matching the combined data for the last three large internet IPOs (LinkedIn, Zynga, and Groupon). Over 68% of the coverage was positive while over 31% was is negative. Despite this positive sentiment, the actual result of the trading was almost neutral. One can summarize that American mainstream press supported Facebook and failed in its assessment of the IPO. Was this failure an attempt to drive the market in its favor by Facebook?
If that was so, then Zuckerberg proved his failure to understand the tool he has under his hands. A hint to this was provided by the Wall Street Journal, which recently claimed that more and more hedge funds are using social media insights to build trading strategies. In other words, Facebook has the tool needed to catapult its own IPO into success; instead it apparently attempted to manipulate mainstream media. What was the Wall Street Journal referring to? The prestigious journal used the word “insight” as a euphemism for what is better described as “social media aggregation company.” One of these companies is Gnip, from Boulder, Colorado. They have been dubbed “Grand Central Station for the Social Web,” which is an excellent metaphor. They collect the data passing through open social media platforms (like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blog sites and many others) and analyze it. It goes down to the level of tracking single usernames. Beyond the obvious surveillance value of their activity, they can provide market trends. In other words, they can tell you what Facebook users think of the Facebook IPO. This data is provided to companies like hedge funds, which can base their investing strategies on these reports. If I am aware of this, then also the financial assessors of Mark Zuckerberg are. Facebook could have used its power—in several ways, which I won’t analyze here—to manipulate the sentiment of its users towards the issue and henceforth, the evaluation of his company by the sharpest financial sharks in the market. In other words, Facebook could have created using an array of innocent tactics a positive sentiment towards itself and influenced in such a way the market behavior in the IPO day. Instead, Zuckerberg was busy issuing pretty pictures of himself to the media.
This new image of Zuckerberg as an unprofessional toddler is a bombshell. Over the years, Mr. Zuckerberg has developed an image of a slick thief, to the extent that I have asked in the past: Is Zuckerberg Mossad? The life story of Mark Zuckerberg supports such a claim. He was born into a Jewish family; his compromise to Judaism was so significant that he had a Bar Mitzvah at the age of 13. Don’t laugh at this; this isn’t just a familiar event with good food. A Bar Mitzvah is the formal acceptance of Judaism by those born into Jewish families. It isn’t a familiar obligation, but an act of choice. Having grown up in a Communist Kibbutz, I must tell that only a minority of its kids chose to participate in such a questionable event. Yet, our Mark was happy to participate. That means Mark Zuckerberg was in an excellent position to become a formal “sayan” of the Mossad. Former Mossad officer Victor Ostrovsky, in his book By Way of Deception, described the issue of worldwide Jewish-Israeli espionage extensively. The Mossad uses “sayanim,” (“helpers” in Hebrew) or local Jews living in foreign countries as its organizational base. Did Zuckerberg become one? Let’s see. He entered Harvard, and shortly after violated its computers, stealing an important database. He belonged to Alpha Epsilon Pi, a Jewish fraternity. Then, Harvard students Cameron Winklevoss, Tyler Winklevoss, and Divya Narendra accused Zuckerberg of intentionally making them believe he would help them build a social network called HarvardConnection.com (later called ConnectU); in such a way, Mark Zuckerberg stole the technology that allowed him to build Facebook. One could claim that Mossad wanted to get formal access HarvardConnection.com technology. It is useful for monitoring and controlling social networks. Spotting Zuckerberg as a cooperative individual wasn’t hard. Giving him an informal tip on how to break into Harvard’s computers was even easier. Explaining him how to trick out the technology from Cameron Winklevoss, Tyler Winklevoss, and Divya Narendra— none of them would have cooperated with Mossad—was also easy. Afterwards, the marketing of Facebook against other social media networks was easy due to the Harvard connection, everybody wanted to share the splendor of this Ivy-League establishment. Facts speak for themselves: Zuckerberg stole technology in a method not unknown to Mossad.
He belongs to the most faithful recruitment base of that organization. Probably we will never know for sure the exact details.
Zuckerberg public statements support this conjecture. He has an odd attitude towards freedom. On September 2010, he gave an interview to the Oprah Winfrey Show. Among other things he suggested not to talk about politics or religion. “Politics” can be defined as “the peaceful solution of conflicts.” The only alternative to politics is violence and war. Religion defines ones attitude toward God and his fellow humans. As such religion is the base for our politics. There is no other choice for each one of us to be actively involved in both. Any other claim takes us straight into the criminal hands of the Big Brother; every year would become 1984. Zuckerberg may not be the Big Brother, but he is family. I care very little about Mark Zuckerberg’s formal statistics; he was born—at least in spirit—in 1984.
Once Mossad got access to the raw data, it cared very little about what Facebook did. Its interest is to let the patsy organization to work free, for as long as it cooperates with the Mossad reasonable and humble needs to violate our privacy. Yet, in two cases, Facebook backfired. Google, Facebook and Twitter played a key role in the ousting of their favorite yes-man in the Middle East: Hosni Mubarak, the Last Pharaoh of Egypt. A boomerang hit the West. The Israeli support of Mubarak was known to the protesters. Then, it backfired yesterday, when a sloppy Zuckerberg—unable of anything but stealing—ruined the company’s IPO. This failure may cost Mossad its new toy. Zuckerberg’s arrogance led him to a very Jewish attitude: “it will be OK,” meaning there is no need to make efforts. Assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin used to speak against this attitude. These key events show us that security services are failing to understand the rapid technological development we are experiencing. Our multi-faceted reality has opened way to new ways of information interactions that in a strange way are providing us with strong defenses against our institutional violators. There is hope that soon we will escape this shady version of “1984” we are trapped in. Thank you, Mark!