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Government Watchdog Says No Exit Plan in Sight For Huge Parts of the Bailouts

The government bought up a whole lot of stuff with TARP. So now the government owns a whole lot of stuff that it doesn't really want to own.

Christy Romero, special investigator general for the Troubled Asset Relief ProgramTARP is one of the big bailouts you remember from 2008, in which the government bought up a bunch of stuff with the goal of stabilizing the financial sector—gave an interview worth reading to MarketWatch, in which she addressed the headline-making plans for the U.S. Treasury to sell off more than half of its interest in insurance giant, AIG, then moved on to discussing other aspects of TARP.

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Facebook Doesn't Need Your Money; Invest in Africa Instead

Facebook may be the rage, but a more productive investment awaits abroad, where demand for capital is far higher.


Today, Facebook will launch the largest initial public offering in history. Over the course of a few minutes, an eager public will invest $16 billion in Facebook’s 3,000-odd employees. Here in Nairobi, Kenya, where I live, the eye-popping figures produce passive astonishment: A single company will absorb the rough equivalent of half a year’s GDP for Kenya’s 40 million citizens.

Facebook will invest some of its windfall to create growth for its shareholders. But will the investment be productive? Facebook is being forced public by SEC regulations and the desire of some early investors to cash out; founder Mark Zuckerberg has made clear his company doesn’t need the cash. As such, financing growth for Facebook probably means investing in some combination of server racks in Oregon, lobbyists in Washington, and ergonomic keyboards, massage tables, and sushi in the California headquarters.

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Dude, Where's My IPO? The Groupon Founder's Lessons for Facebook

Another young startup billionaire shows Mark Zuckerberg just how rough the first year after a public offering can be.


As he prepares for a monumental IPO of his own next week, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg could look to another young startup billionaire to see just how rough going public can be.

At a conference last summer, Andrew Mason, the CEO of Groupon, was asked about rumors that his company would soon sell its stock publicly. In response, Mason gave a “death stare”: His eyes widened and set, his mouth stayed shut. His interviewer let out a nervous chuckle, then tried again, only to be met with the same reply. A scatter of laughs erupted from the audience.

A year later, Groupon’s $13 billion IPO was the largest for any web company since Google, but Mason swiftly learned that he wouldn’t get laughs being as cagey as he was before. On Friday, shares of the Chicago company fell below $10, less than half the price when it went public. The drop erased $4 billion from its market value. Much of the tumble came after news broke last month that the SEC plans to investigate the fledgling tech company for its troubling accounting practices.

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Public Access: Facebook Says There's No Conflict Between Profit and Privacy

About to realize a fortune, Mark Zuckerberg promises: "We make money to build better services."

As Facebook’s founders and earliest investors moved this week to sell stock in the social media giant and reap billions, they filed a public disclosure that offered insight into the company’s view of the relationship between profits and privacy.

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Sellouts: A Video of What Groupon Could Have Been

In a 2008 video, Groupon CEO Andrew Mason describes his hopes for The Point, his idealistic collective action platform. Then he got into coupons.

The internet bubble 2.0 chatter is in overdrive after Groupon filed for an IPO yesterday. While I don't particularly care about the IPO or any of the internet bubble 2.0 chatter, I can't stop thinking about Groupon, particularly, its beginnings.

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