Facebook: NY Post Reporter Paul Tharp Uncovers an Interesting Story

November 20, 2009

Making Friends (and money) on FACEBOOK

New York Post reporter Paul Tharp tries to shine some sunlight on the shadowy world of private trading pools. What's a "private trading pool?" Well, it sure as hell isn't the New York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ. The bigger question is what are these pools and are they welcomed innovation or a potential threat to market stability?

Facebook has 300 million users but the company's valuation has gyrated between $15 billion in 2007 to a recent low of $5 billion. Where will you find the per share prices for Facebook? For starters, try the private trading pools of SecondMarket and SharesPost, both located in that hot bed of stock markets, Santa Monica, California. As Tharp notes, those venues limit trading to Facebook employees and others holding the non-public shares. 

The fascinating aspect of this story is how one values a non-publicly traded stock that is, nonetheless,sort of publicly trading -- except it's not so much "public" as "private," and . . . well, read Tharp's November 20th story for the details. (November 20).