Economic analysis

Facebook IPO: A roundup of notable quirky news

How the social network’s public offering will help plug California’s budget hole, get people to marry and divorce… and more!

Facebook/AP Photo

All talk of bubble, fizzle, and Nasdaq glitches aside, the Facebook IPO has generated some truly entertaining news in the past few weeks. Here’s a roundup of the quirky items you might have missed:

“Mark Zuckerberg does what Mark Zuckerberg wants.” David Benoit of the Deal Journal blog at the Wall Street Journal anticipated on Monday: “The CEO of Facebook, and birthday boy, doesn’t put on a suit just to impress the Wall Street suits that are about to make him a multi-billionaire and he doesn’t leave sunny California just to come ring some silly bell out of some symbolism. He’ll ring a bell, but he’ll do it from the comforts of his own HQ.”

And so it was.

  • Besides Silicon Valley geeks and Wall Street types, California divorce lawyers and wedding planners were also salivating over the IPO, April Dembosky, of the Financial Times reports:

“Divorce lawyers and wedding planners have been gearing up for the Facebook IPO, waiting for the influx of wealth in Silicon Valley to stir up drama in romantic relationships, for better and for worse.

‘When Google went public, there was a wave of divorces. When Cisco went public there was a wave of divorces,’ says Steve Cone, a divorce attorney based in Palo Alto, near the social network’s Menlo Park headquarters. “I expect a similar wave shortly after Facebook goes public.’ ”

  • Luckily, some of the gravy is supposed to trickle down all the way to the 99 per cent–or at least the ones who are California taxpayers–according to The Economist:

“Jason Sisney of the non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office says that the state seems to be facing an overall budget ‘problem’ of more than $9 billion this year and next.

Enter Facebook (see article). The details are not yet known—at what price the shares list, how many Facebookers cash out, and so forth. But back-of-the-envelope calculations by Mr Sisney suggest that California might get a windfall of $2 billion over the current and coming fiscal years, and possibly billions more if the shares trade well.”

  • The one per cent, meanwhile, was allegedly getting organized to minimize that trickle-down, as Bloomberg reported of Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin:

“Saverin, 30, joins a growing number of people giving up U.S. citizenship ahead of a possible increase in tax rates for top earners. The Brazilian-born resident of Singapore is one of several people who helped Mark Zuckerberg start Facebook in a Harvard University dormitory and stand to reap billions of dollars after the world’s largest social network holds its IPO.”

And a couple of senators immediately seized a golden opportunity to ride a wave of popular rage:

“Now two U.S. senators want to make sure he never sets foot in the U.S. again unless he pays tens of millions of dollars in taxes he will owe after the company’s initial public offering Friday… Sens. Charles E.Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.) denounced him Thursday as a tax dodger and introduced legislation to punish anyone who gives up citizenship to duck big tax bills.”

Saverin is now insisting he just really likes Singapore:

“The social media entrepreneur and investor said in a statement, emailed to Reuters by a spokesman, that his decision to move to Singapore was “based solely on my interest in working and living” there. Saverin said he has been there since 2009.”

Okie dokie.

  • And in one last piece of worthy news, the IPO might help Bono beat out Paul McCartney as the world’s richest musicians. Read more on Business Insider.

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