Thursday, May 24, 2012

Facebook Not Friending Romney

I "bought" 100 shares of Facebook on Friday for $38/share. I use the airquotes because I cancelled my order at 11:47AM. Fidelity listed the order, as well as 2 other orders for 100 shares each as "pending cancel" for about 4 hours. One of the orders then executed ... 4 hours after I had cancelled it. The other two orders remained listed as "pending cancel" throughout the weekend.

Like many small investors (I am actually medium-sized physically but I am apparently a "small" investor), I got the short end of the stick in the Facebook chaos because I was trading blind for days. Worse yet, Morgan Stanley appears to have been giving information to its "valued customers" different than the information it was giving to its regular customer base (read: "small" investors).

The Facebook fiasco has been in the news all week now and, while the particulars are not a major campaign issue, they feed into an environment that is certainly better for Obama than Romney. One is arguing for leveling the playing field and common-sense regulation while the other is arguing for getting government out of the way of entrepreneurs and reducing red-tape and regulation. Both of these narratives are attractive to voters in a vacuum. Put another way, either message could work with voters IF the news environment fits the message. This particular news environment fits Obama's message much better than Romney's. Voters paying attention to the Facebook fiasco are going to be much more receptive to a message of government regulation of Wall Street than a message of getting government out of the way so that investors and bankers (read: Bain Capital) can have free rein to do what they want in the market.

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