UPDATE, 2:30 PM: Massachusetts Secretary of Commonwealth William Galvin is conducting his own investigation into what Morgan Stanley told big investors about Facebook, and when the disclosures took place. A spokesman tells Reuters that the office has issued a subpoena to Morgan Stanley regarding “the analyst’s discussion with certain institutional investors about the revenue prospects for Facebook.”
PREVIOUS, 1:07 PM: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg may rue the day he agreed to take his company public. The share price fell 8.9% today — to $31.01, or $6.99 below the offering price on Friday — after SEC chairman Mary Schapiro said that her agency plans to investigate “issues” involving the IPO. While she wasn’t specific, her comment came as Reuters reported that the consumer Internet analyst for Morgan Stanley, Facebook’s lead underwriter, recently slashed his revenue forecasts for Q2 and all of 2012 — and that news was passed along to institutional investors during the company’s road show but not to the public. If true, then it could have violated laws that bar companies from selectively disclosing important information to certain shareholders. It also could explain why institutional buyers chose not to buy Facebook shares as the price fell on Monday and today. “This is a classic example of investor greed, including institutional greed and underwriter greed and company greed,” Vanguard CEO Jack Bogle said on CNBC. “So the message is, when all the parties to a transaction are greedy, this is the kind of outcome you can expect.” Yesterday, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority said it will review what happened on Friday, when investors trading about 30M Facebook shares weren’t given confirmations for their transactions, a major snafu.
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