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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Top Wall Street Analyst Fired for Facebook IPO

Wall Street analysts have always been considered faultless and allowed to stuff up the economy just to end up earning even more money for their troubles. However, now the failed Facebook IPO seems to be the reason for blaming and firing someone.

At the moment, Citigroup stock analyst Mark Mahaney is cleaning out his workplace in the wake of an investigation into the IPO. He was a famous and well-liked person in Wall Street, so a lot of industry experts were pretty shocked to learn this news. In fact, if someone like him could be accused of dodgy financial advice, then they all could be.

Mark Mahaney was one of the best financial analysts on Wall Street, but the bank had to do something. Aside from firing Mahaney, it also had to pay a $2,000,000 fine to Massachusetts regulators in order to settle charges that they improperly disclosed research on Facebook ahead of its IPO. Of course, it wasn’t Manahey himself, but he seems to have failed to supervise a junior analyst who improperly shared the research in question with the press. In addition, he allegedly failed to consult with his management before giving interview about Google, and later claimed that there wasn’t any interview.

All these accusations are quite strange, taking into account that Mark Mahaney was named the top online analyst for the 5th straight year because he never waffled about a company’s chances, though his peers did that a lot. Although his involvement in the Facebook IPO stuff-up was minor, his junior analyst turned out to get him into trouble by leaking data about what the Wall Street thinks about Facebook IPO. The leaked information contained an outline which was supposed to eventually become the company’s 30-page initiation report.

Facebook’s stock was priced at $38 in the IPO, but recently the company has traded as low as $17.55. Industry experts believe that the share price will settle somewhere at $13 when the stock becomes unlocked.

Mark Mahaney was one of the analysts at the banks underwriting Facebook’s IPO who had quite cautious views of this offering and called it overvalued. His colleagues complain that it’s darkly ironic that one of the signature regulatory actions from Facebook IPO managed to involve punishing financial analysts for disseminating cautious data about the company.

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