THE FACEBOOK IPO: RISK FACTORS AND OTHER LEGAL BLAH, BLAH, BLAH

The long-awaited initial public offering of Facebook is fast upon us, and the press is awash with fawning stories about its hoodie-wearing CEO and how he is re-writing the rules of corporate management.  (Suggestion:  Place these stories in a time capsule to be opened in, say, 2017, with hiliarity to ensue.)  With respect to the IPO at least, it appears that the suits are firmly in control.  The prospectus—other than the ringing preamble “our mission is to make the world more open and connected” and a letter from the CEO describing his management philosophy, the “Hacker Way”—is rather conventional, old school, and boilerplate.  It should provide ample cover against the securities fraud lawsuits that will be brought by investors who are carried away by some of the utopian hype being broadcast through informal channels.

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