Wall Street affronted by Google: who do these kids think they are?
Hilarious responses already emerging from the corporate world to the perceived effrontery of the Google prospectus. The Wall Street Journal, still partly in shock, was driven to assemble a feebly-annotated version of the document. They wheeled out a hitherto unknown “associate analyst” from an outfit called Jupiter Research to observe that “This filing is Google at its defiant, headstrong best. They’re determined to not act like other companies, to manage to long-term goals and not short-term Wall Street demands. Whether or not they can actually hold to that strategy remains to be seen — but it’ll be a lot tougher than they think.” Wow! So this is what analysis lite looks like.
On the Google founders’ assertion that they propose to run the company their way, this associate cove comments:
“It’ll basically allow Sergey and Larry to become billionaires while ensuring that they’re left alone to run the company as they see fit. They’re throwing their weight around. They know they can get away with it, so they’re doing it.” But, he warns solemnly, “Wall Street can’t be thrilled with how they’re setting this up. With the dual voting structure, with refusing to provide guidance, they’re thumbing their nose at the Street.”
There’s more in this vein, but I won’t trouble you with it. It makes USA Today look like the collected works of Spinoza. Interesting, though, that even the WSJ couldn’t find a heavyweight commentator from the Street to go public at this stage.
Meanwhile, our own dear Financial Times has gathered its skirts and glared through its lorgnette like one of Bertie Wooster’s aunts. “Memo to Google: Don’t be arrogant” is the heading on its editorial comment. “Philip Larkin, the poet, once wrote that seeing the moon at night was ‘a reminder of the strength and pain of being young’. Youth’s strength of purpose can also be observed in the filing made by Google to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday”. Goodness, these young people! Don’t they know that Life Is Serious? Tut, tut.
What makes this cant so comical, of course, is that it comes from a segment of society which (a) encouraged mugs to blow trillions of dollars during the last technology bubble, (b) took billions in fees from the IPOs of fatuous dot-coms, (c) employed ‘analysts’ like Merill Lynch’s Henry Blodget who hyped technology shares long after it was clear that they were doomed and (d) overlooked (and in some cases cheered on) Enron-style corruption and fraud for decades.