Welcome back to our Friday re-cap of this week’s news on the money side of life.
Facebook official. Facebook sold 421.2 million shares of stock yesterday, raising $16 billion and making Mark Zuckerberg the 29th richest person on earth. It also set a new record for IPO trading volume…and prompted a lot of “Okay, is the hype over yet?” statements from the rest of us.
Greek withdrawals. The Greek banking system is in further crisis after Greek citizens withdrew 800 million euros from Greek banks earlier this week. Why the withdrawals? With the possibility of Greece getting kicked out of the euro zone looming, Greeks are pulling their currency before it can potentially get switched to the drachma–meaning a major demotion in value. As a result of the mayhem, the banking system is running out of cash and finding itself even more in dire need of bailout funds from the European Central Bank.
Uh oh. Following last week’s bomb-drop news that JP Morgan Chase lost $2 billion in trading, the FBI and Securities and Exchange Commission have started an investigation into the losses. CEO Jamie Dimon is having an exciting week.
Warren Buffett, newspaper man. Mega-investor Warren Buffet whipped out his checkbook and bought up 63 newspapers in Virginia and the south this week. What seems like an odd investment–the newspaper industry is notably in decline, and most of the papers he bought have very small circulations–may pay off well. Among other potential revenue, word is that Buffett will earn 10.% interest on a major loan to the newspapers’ former owner. (Buffett’s a newspaper lover, claiming he reads 5 newspapers a day.)
Star Trek Enterprise. An engineer wants to build his very own version of the Star Trek Enterprise–at an estimated cost of $1 trillion over the next 20 years. Whoa.