And the overselling is where the real sleaziness comes in.

Just before Facebook went to market, it amended its paperwork in an oblique way seeming to reflect the fact that much of its most recent growth had been due to handheld wireless devices.

And when you combine the initial crazed overvaluation with the prospect of less-than-robust earnings promised, you have a bunch of nervous stock analysts. Nervous analysts often mean a stock goes down.

On top of all this, Morgan Stanley is under suspicion for informing only some of its most favored clients in advance, so they could limit their exposure. In addition, some close to the deal suspect that a Facebook insider alerted Morgan Stanley of the true significance of the pre-IPO paperwok change.If that is true, it's another major violation of SEC regulations.

Even by Wall Street standards, as widely reported, Facebook has a shady history. Harvard classmates who said company founder Mark Zuckerberg ripped off their social-networking idea reached an out-of-court settlement with Facebook in 2008.

And e-mails have been made public suggesting that Zuckerberg considered early Facebook users as "Dumb fucks."

Last year, Facebook settled charges with the Federal Trade Commission that it engaged in "unfair and deceptive" practices when it changed its privacy policy. Facebook admitted to no guilt in doing so.

In many ways, Morgan Stanley and Facebook deserve each other. But how about the rest of us? Users? Consumers? Investors?

We don't have any bright ideas about policing the Zuckerbergs of the world. But as for the financiers and investment bankers, strong measures are clearly called for immediately. (It should be noted that, despite promises to make financial reform a centerpiece of this then new administration, Barack Obama has done very little to effectuate any such reform, and not a single player in the meltdown has been prosecuted.)

We have a modest suggestion: at noon every Friday, crucify a bank executive in Manhattan at the corner of Wall Street and Broad.

After a few weeks, the financial community should get the message.

< prev  1  |  2  | 
Related: Phantom Gourmet kisses ass, defends Upper Crust, American jitters, Review: Arbitrage, More more >
  Topics: The Editorial Page , Wall Street, Facebook, economy,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   MERCY AND SAL DIMASI  |  March 13, 2013
    When it comes to showing a modicum of mercy to some of those convicted of federal crimes, Barack Obama is shaping up to have the worst track record of any president in recent memory.
  •   NEXT, MARRIAGE EQUALITY  |  March 05, 2013
    On March 27 and 28, the US Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in two cases that could essentially put America on the road to full marriage equality.
  •   THUS SPAKE MARKEY  |  February 26, 2013
    Last week, Congressman Ed Markey inadvertently injected some daring political thinking and a touch of historical imagination into the race to fill the US Senate seat vacated by John Kerry's appointment as secretary of state.
  •   DRONES: 10 THOUGHTS  |  February 20, 2013
    Foreign drone attacks are almost (but not quite yet) as American as apple pie.
    America is a prisoner of the War on Terror, which military and diplomatic policy makers once called the Long War.

 See all articles by: EDITORIAL