Easy Street

Easy Street May 24: LinkedIn Survives the Shorts

Heidi Moore May 24, 2011

Easy Street is our daily roundup of the most interesting news stories and commentary about Wall Street, Washington and the curious world of finance. You can see more of what we think are the biggest stories of the day on our News in Brief page. Every day, you can download Marketplace’s daily show on iTunes and follow us for more headlines at twitter.com/mktplaceradio. If you want to listen to Marketplace on the radio, find your local station and time here.

Markets & Traders

We at Easy Street love Intrade, the online prediction market. So it was sad news to hear that one of its founders, John Delaney, died while climbing Mt. Everest. He passed out close to the top, and before he heard the news of his new daughter.

IPO Glasnost: We have another giant IPO success story, this time out of Russia. The popularity of LinkedIn’s IPO is having a global effect: it boosted shares of Russian Internet company Yandex, which just raised $1.3 billion in the biggest tech IPO since Google.

The Treasury will sell its AIG shares tomorrow. The chatter about the price: $29 to $30 a share. Kate Kelly calls this a “psychological victory,” because the government thinks AIG’s shares are worth a lot. And yet: the government actually thinks AIG’s shares are worth MORE than $30. So it’s also a psychological loss, of sorts.

Today is the first day you can short the stock of LinkedIn: Until now, you could only buy LinkedIn stock while betting it would go up. Today, traders can sell the stock short, which means they’re allowed to bet it will go down. Will this affect its lofty price? Perhaps not, because to short it, you still have to buy it – and at $95, it’s still a high-priced stock to buy. Shares were up 8% today.

Goldman Sachs’ forecast on oil seems to have single-handedly sent the price up by at least $2.

The CFTC sues three oil traders.

Corporate America

AT&T: Haters gonna hate. Shira Ovide names them.

Lions in Winter: The 15 oldest chief executives in business.

Can you get prosecuted for distributing your own pictures? Twitpic is a service that allows Twitter users to upload photos into their tweets. Now Twitpic has sold the rights to those users’ photos to a news agency – which not only will use the photos without the permission of the individual Twitpic users, but will also prosecute anyone who sells any Twitpics without contacting the agency.

Politics & Regulation

New York State AG Eric Schneiderman’s probe of banks and bond insurers has expanded, but is still vague.

Elizabeth Warren fends off Congress with a chair. Here’s her written testimony today.

Recreational Reading

The barter economy goes horribly wrong: a woman tries to exchange an Olive Garden to-go salad for cocaine. As Reuters wag David Gaffen points out, in a deal like this you really have to at least throw in the breadsticks.

Measure your poverty: our former colleague (at the WSJ) Jacob Goldstein breaks down the value of your college degree, by major. You’ll kick yourself for not becoming a petrochemical engineer.

Everyone at the Wall Street Journal seems to have disliked the movie version of Too Big To Fail, which was written by a reporter at the New York Times. Coincidence, no doubt. Bygones!

Twitpic is going to sell its users’ photographs to a news agency, which will then in turn sue anyone who uses those photographs. This was presumably arranged under the legal doctrine of “finders, keepers.”

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