Why Facebook didn't have to go public
Never mind the $16 billion in the bank, the poster child for botched IPOs could have saved itself all sorts of grief by staying private.
It's a strange world we live in when a financing event that raised $16 billion for an eight-year-old company is widely panned as a failure. It's even odder when tongues wag that the young CEO of that same company, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, should be fired because of the company's lousy reception in the public markets and his general disregard for the investing public.
The oddest thing, however, is that Facebook (FB) didn't have to go public at all. Over and over, senior Facebook executives lamented that they were being "forced" to go public by arcane Securities and Exchange Commission rules triggered by a company's shareholder count. Because so many of Facebook's employees are shareholders, Facebook had to become a public company. And so the firm was dragged kicking and screaming into the world of Sarbanes-Oxley, Nasdaq bell-ringing and so on.