The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

the Lighter Side of facebooks Evil empire



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…, 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, 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.


Told Ya


See yesterdays post: General Motors ON

UPDATE 11/17/2010 @ 1pm: VOILA! – GM Confirms Expanding IPO by 31 percent

I’ll just keep it coming.

Peace be to my Brothers and sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork


General Motors ON


It’s no secret that General Motors (“GM”) has it’s Initial Public Offering (“IPO”) this week.

What might be a secret to the masses, however, is it’s truest underlying purpose.

The government lent money to GM. There is some thinking that the government could own as much as sixty-one percent (61%) of GM. And, the big auto-maker, as leading and cutting-edge as it’s vehicles have become, will struggle for decades to pay our thinly stretched United States Treasury back – and, it does not have a prayer of meeting it’s pension obligations.

So, they, that insidious “they” (no doubt led by the pipe-smoking-black-dog), mind you, are going to foist the problem on the American Citizens the very best of the good old fashioned way, certainly time-honored… By manipulating the stock market.


Here is how this particular effort will play-out. You simply need to make the decision if you are going to benefit, or keep getting your collective asses kicked.

The IPO will likely open up around $28.00 a share. Insiders (by many a definition) will pay less. For example, the United States Treasury is going to own shares as will friends of the big brokerage houses. JP Morgan is the syndicate lead and they are making all manner of new friends on Capital Hill with this play. This is not widely publicized for obvious reasons.  In any event, based on the aforementioned loan details, the Treasury will break even when the stock hits approximately $44.00.

So, it’s a good bet the stock will do just that, and then some.

I’m guessing there will likely be close to a $6m billion over subscription of the stock leading up to the IPO. My experience tells me we’ll see about $1 billion in roiling. Then that “over-hang” of back-orders will kick the stock up. After that, it’s all about “management”.

This is not evil. This is simply the way things work. You, why not you, can argue it’s part of the American dream.

I have to say something. It’s one of the many reasons you read this Blog. And, it’s something a Prudent and Optimistic Gentleman finds, required.

Good luck. But, there is little of that actually involved. Fortuna, perhaps, eh Dr. Pappas?

UPDATE 11/17/2010 @ 1pm: VOILA! – GM Confirms Expanding IPO by 31 percent

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters

Brian Patrick Cork


What’s All This About?

"What am I looking at?", you might wonder.

Lots of stuff.

Meanwhile, here, I discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

You'll also learn things about, well, things, like people you need to know about, and information about companies you can't find anywhere else.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

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

brian cork by John Campbell

photos by John Campbell


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