The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life
Browsing Evil

shorting Facebook, part II

May18

I’m sure I have another post on this Blog called something like, “shorting Facebook, blah, blah, blah…”. you go look for it, I’m feeling quite self-involved, today.

background for warm-up:

short sellers bet against shares by borrowing the security, then selling it. if the stock drops, they buy it back at the lower price, return it to the lender and pocket the difference as profit.

let’s be very clear… the primary reason the typical retail investor (you) can’t short Facebook (FB) TODAY
is because “shorts” looking to bet against Facebook early face an uphill battle. honest traders will admit the stock will be hard to borrow, at least for a few days – and, only the best-sourced hedge fund managers will able to find lenders.

a buddy of mine that is a prime broker at one of the top underwriters of the IPO said the firm would not be lending shares, at least until the initial settlement in the first three business days of trading. this is a form of “managed” risk.

seriously.

…and, it’s legal.

seriously.

“I don’t know how many shares will be available for shorting,” said the broker, who requested anonymity (hell yeeeeah). “We would only provide them once the deal has stabilized.”

voila!

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

the Lighter Side of facebooks Evil empire

May15

so…

it’s no surprise that Facebook’s IPO is now as inevitable and comparable to anything relative to teen-aged self entitlement and adult wife-swapping.

…isn’t that what Facebook is for?

c’mon… all this and I still can’t find the Greg Trussell I knew in college, class of 1984. Greg, if you’re reading this, what’s up?

even when Facebook has tons of cash, I bet it’ll still ask users to ‘like’ Papa John’s damn pizza, everyday.

originally, the whole point of a company going public was to raise money for growth and also allow citizens to share in the fortunes of the company by stock acquisition. it made a  lot of sense… consumers would by the companies products and also shares. that ecosystem was self-sustaining and aligned with capitalism.

[pause for gripping sound bites]

Mark Zuckerberg, creator of the popular social networking site Facebook, is being sued by two former classmates who claim he stole the idea. What do you think?

“Poor guy. Sounds like he could use a smiley-face comment.” – Antonio, Systems Anaylst

“I hope the site isn’t shut down before I figure out what the poke feature is for.” – Paige Foster, Valet

“They probably would have guarded their secret more carefully had they only known that people’s basest voyeuristic and exhibitionist predilections could be exploited for money.” – Kyle, Rigger

[end of pause]

but, I can’t reconcile a Facebook IPO. the company does not create, build and deliver products like Apple, or even Google, if you want to stretch your imagination along with a sense of reality. Apple’s share price makes sense. the company offers products that people value enough to buy more of daily (read this Motley Fool article, because I said so). so, the company has value which is reflected in it’s stock.

but wait… should I at least try to be open-minded? consider the following drivel, op-ed, Surprise! Turns Out Mark Zuckerberg Is A Great CEO, by the nefarious Henry Blodget /1, no less.

its not the “cover jinx” (read the story!) that will kill this IPO… its the fact that the original investors are cashing out at the high. based on my own (admittedly small and anecdotal) research (that reads trite, doesn’t it?), about ten percent (10%) of the people I know have completely deleted their Facebook profile, and the volume of posting is trending down… and, according to my kids, their friends have dropped their Facebook time in favor of Pinterest. I suspect that FB activity is way down, but information like that is being hidden, while glowing articles, underwritten by Goldman Sachs sycophants will proliferate, until after the IPO.

in fact, this is such a puff piece its laughable. coming from the beacon of integrity known as Henry Blodget. I wonder how many shares he was promised for writing this article — conveniently at the start of Facebook’s PR campaign for their IPO. Its not as though Blodget has a history of falsely inflating IPOs for his own personal benefit…oh wait, that’s why he was convicted 12 years ago!

looking at Facebook (not literally; Joanne and I refuse to use it), all I see is a tapestry of self absorption and entitlement. as the Facebook IPO prepares for launch, current polls already have American’s convinced the social media platform is a fad.

all 1,472 employees of Facebook, Inc. reportedly burst out in uncontrollable laughter Wednesday following Albuquerque resident Jason Herrick’s attempts to protect his personal information from exploitation on the social-networking site. “Look, he’s clicking ‘Friends Only’ for his e-mail address. like that’s going to make a difference!” howled infrastructure manager Evan Hollingsworth, tears streaming down his face, to several of his doubled-over coworkers. “oh, sure, by all means, Jason, ‘delete’ that photo. man, this is so rich.” according to internal sources, the entire staff of Facebook was left gasping for air minutes later when the “hilarious” Herrick believed he had actually blocked third-party ads.

any rationalization for the strike price is out the window along with any logical valuation protocols. so, why isn’t this a red-flag for everyone? if the opening price is $38 per share, what analyst in his right mind is going to tout that for long? their objective will be to lie about how great the company is just long enough for their traders to dump the stock into someone else’s lap. what growth strategy could possibly make sense that will fuel a sustained growth trajectory for the stock that could reward investors long-term?

well… I’ve given this some thought, and I’ve come-up with some possible new Facebook features analysts could get worked-up over, tout, and rely upon to hoodwink unsuspecting pensioners that are generally clueless about social marketing, and are hoping to cash-in on the Facebook “craze” – which is oh-so apropos.

to wit…

SweetSpace.com, the new social networking start-up from Caltech wunderkind Ima Felon, will launch soon with the stated intent of bridging the gap between Facebook and Facebook. “the easiest way to explain SweetSpace is that it’s essentially Facebook meets Facebook,” says Felon, noting that like Facebook, SweetSpace.com will allow its members to communicate publicly by having a wall that people can post to, but, like Facebook, members will also be able to message other users privately. “ultimately, the goal of SweetSpace is to be Facebook for the Facebook generation.” Felon added that the new site will have pri­vacy issues comparable to Facebook, but assured users it will deny them, just like Facebook.

in its ongoing effort to enrich the way people connect and interact, Facebook will  introduce a new feature that allows users to cancel their accounts. “to complement our recently overhauled interface – which now provides users with a real-time log of every single thing their friends are doing at any given moment – we’ve added a function that allows people to delete their entire profile with the click of a button,” said company spokesman Sef Entitled, describing how the change would bring “an exciting new level of user control” to Facebook. “it’s a really cool feature we’re happy to be offering for the very first time.” the company later confirmed that account closures would not stop Facebook from continuing to acquire, permanently store, and sell all information about its current and former users until the day they die.

after deciding to disable his Facebook account in an effort to increase productivity, Chad Fakid announced in a Facebook update Thursday that he was now “off the grid.” “I’m dropping off the radar for a while,” wrote Fakid, 36, who lives in a two-story house with running water, electricity, regular garbage pickup, wireless Internet access, and high-definition satellite television service. “if you need something, text me.” Fakid has not been heard from since earlier this afternoon, when he confirmed via Twitter that he was “maintaining radio silence” and then checked in to his local coffee shop on Foursquare.

in an effort to enhance its social media presence, Walgreens pharmacies announced Wednesday the launch of “RxSocial,” a new Facebook plugin that enables users to “view, share, and comment on” the prescription drugs their friends are taking. “our goal is to create an interactive community that lets your friends see what your current dosage of Xanax is, what method of birth control you prefer, or whether you’re likely to have any spare Adderall,” said Walgreens e-commerce chief Sona Chawla, explaining that drug purchases show up automatically on users’ Facebook profiles and appear in their friends’ news feeds. “RxSocial even offers a real-time view of which drugs are trending right now.” at press time, Gina Sims of Lawton, OK had picked up her lithium.

I don’t know if Facebook is really just a fad. but, the stock is probably a short opportunity. the floor is where Goldman Sachs picked-up their shares.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

1/ In 2002, then New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, published Merrill Lynch e-mails in which Blodget gave assessments about stocks which conflicted with what was publicly published. In 2003, he was charged with civil securities fraud by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He agreed to a permanent ban from the securities industry and paid a $2 million fine plus a $2 million disgorgement.

the Law says eat Apples and spit out Androids

December21

the U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”), a federal agency, just so we are clear, said Monday they are siding with Apple against HTC and will impose a ban that will enforce an import ban on HTC Corp. (“HTC”) phones that infringe on a patent belonging to the iPhone maker. In other words, Apple’s iPhone does not violate (as HTC and their partner Google and likely prayed) four patents owned by HTC. this is a significant blow to HTC, and probably Google.

so… perhaps the headline should read, instead, “Apple Wins Partial Victory on Patent Claim Over Android Features”.

the ITC said in a final ruling that HTC may import some refurbished phones to offer customers as replacements under warranties and insurance plans. HTC, which is based in Taiwan, is a major maker of phones that use Google Inc.’s Android operating software.

the ban takes effect April 19, 2012 so that wireless carriers will have time to adjust their plans. but, it also means customers have an open-door to bail on HTC devices, and that has grim ramifications for Google, that is again caught in the midst of “evil” /1. this involves a set of important features commonly found in smartphones that are obviously protected by an Apple patent, a decision that could force changes in the way Google’s Android phones function.

Apple spokeswoman Kristen Huguet reiterated an earlier statement, saying competitors (i.e. GOOGLE and HTC) should, “create their own technology”. I’ll add, not steal it from Apple.

NOTE: the ITC ruling can be appealed. But it is one of the most significant so far in a growing array of closely watched patent battles being waged around the globe by nearly all of the major players in the mobile industry. in fact, the case is part of a broader dispute involving Apple, HTC and many other phone makers. in federal courts and before the ITC, companies have been accusing one another of stealing ideas for popular phone features. while the courts can award damages, the commission has the broader and debilitating power to block imports of products and parts made with contested technology.

in fairness to how people might organize their own thinking around stock acquisition, or not, the ruling was only a partial victory for Apple because the commission did overrule an earlier decision in Apple’s favor in the case, involving a patent related to how software is organized internally on mobile devices. in simpler terms, it would have been harder for the defendant, again HTC, one of the world’s largest makers of smartphones that run the Android system, to adapt its devices to avoid infringing that patent. that’s what legal experts say, in any event.

but, this is clearly decisive for Apple; potentially deadly for HTC (whom by the way blew it in negotiations with Apple when they had an opportunity to be part of the build process for the iPhone); and certainly problematic for Google whose advocates have had to constantly twist numbers to make it appear that it can compete with the iPhone in terms of  the masses Android “can have”, and opposed to the iPhone “must have”.

people of discerning taste can eat Apples with better results. and, obviously Androids can’t.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

1/ Google was supposedly founded under a mandate of “do no evil”. but, that hasn’t worked-out very well, for anyone associated with them.

brian cork can run Over the Abyss

December16

Feel free to indulge yourself with an audio version of this post,  brian cork can run Over the Abyss. click on the link to listen. do it!

so… I found myself being updated around the continuing adventures of Mary Guthries family. I coached two of her daughters in soccer for a couple of years. they taught me a lot. and, like my own daughter, Haley Anne, I’ll likely long consider great days of coaching soccer as being associated with the Guthrie girls, Claire and Grace.

I’ll keep the details of the most recent email exchange with Mary in trust. but, the immediate result would be the following excerpt from that dialogue…

[…]

I am, the eternal optimist.

my own home is under pressure from Satan. I know that sounds dramatic, and it’s meant to be. I don’t know precisely how Satan works because I don’t qualify as as an evangelical Christian. but, in my imagination, this is how dante may have been inspired for the abyss.

but, I always feel like I can prevail and with the balances of forces between good and evil, light and dark, I am a good guy, and thusly hold a tenuous advantage. kind of like the Hal Jordan Green Lantern (my favorite). the ring knows Jordan’s heart is pure, and his greatest test is always his own deeply rooted sense of humanity. that constant test of strength, character and will raises him above many of his brethren, and fuels the awesome power of the ring that is focused against evil.

so Mary, this Fred character makes me think of Sinestro, a Green Lantern arch villain. Or, possibly a Shakespearean villain (actually Sinestro is quite Shakespearean by design, I’m certain, and he is clearly meant to come across as fascist). I’m not prepared to label Fred a “fascist” (mostly because I know hardly anything about him), but he should always offer the courtesy of keeping you in the loop where the kids are involved. but, with that said, I have to believe your daughters approach him with a mix of many feelings, not the least of which is curiosity. but, I would trust them to maintain a level head. you can tell them I expect they’d both to make terrific Green Lanterns.

moods are good. they suggest “feeling” with it’s attachment to life, and change. remind Claire to take a run when she might feel blue. it certainly works for me.

[…]

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

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Lots of stuff.

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All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman - and, authentic.

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