Struggling California Pension Funds Betting on Facebook's Popularity... 30 Years From Now


Apparently, CalPERS and CalSTRS aren't the only investment-challenged pension funds that decided to sink a bunch of money into the obvious farce that was the Facebook IPO, but they might be the only ones stupid enough to think Facebook will even be around in 30 years:

The California Public Employees' Retirement System, the country's largest public pension, refused to reveal how many shares it bought in the IPO. CalPERS had 557,140 Facebook shares on May 23 and more than doubled its stake to 1.3 million shares as of this week, according to a spokeswoman.

The California State Teachers' Retirement System bought about 500,000 shares in the IPO — worth about $19 million — and sold them when the price briefly popped on the first day. CalSTRS made about $250,000 on the sale, a spokesman said.

CalSTRS has since loaded up on 1.2 million Facebook shares, a stake that has cost the pension fund about $17 million in paper losses, a spokesman said.

"As a patient, long-term investor with a 30-year investment horizon we believe that over time, the stock and the company should perform well," CalSTRS spokesman Michael Sicilia said in an email.
Now let's see, I'm on the low end of 30 myself. Personal computers were NOT in every home when I was born (if you told me when I was a broke 7 year old that one day when I was a grown-up, I'd have not one but THREE fully functional laptops AND a magical space age device called an iPad, I would have kicked you in the balls), CDs were brand new and still came in oversized wrappers and your level of cool was directly related to the largeness of your Walkman, if you could afford one.

In my lifetime, I've seen the Internet go from chik-chik-squeeeeeeeeeee $2.99 an hour AOL to a given in every city cafe, library and palm in the country. I've mourned the loss of my car cassette player and its accompanying mix tapes that gave way to an AUX plug and playlists.

I've been on the Internet since 1994 at the ripe old age of 13. I can say with 100% certainty that I no longer participate in any Internet communities (Web -0.1, if you will) that I did then. In fact, I don't think I participate in a single Internet community or website I did even 10 years ago. The closest thing you'll get is my 9 year old Neopets account that has since been handed down to my son, opened just two months after he was born to give me something to do those late sleepless nights on diaper duty.

Facebook is not a technology company like Microsoft, it can only innovate so much before it becomes obsolete. It is a WEBSITE. Can any of us even begin to imagine what the Internet will look like 30 years from now? I sure didn't imagine it like this 18 years ago when I snuck onto Prodigy to talk to Alice In Chains fans across the country in the chat room while my mom was sleeping.

Ask the dog how things worked out for him next time you're seriously considering any Internet stock as a smart, long-term investment. In case you've forgotten (I know I was probably blitzed out of my mind in 1999, ah good times), went from IPO to liquidation in 268 days.

You still can't prove that Facebook knows how to make money. Sure it can sell its user base but eventually, the little sheep will wake up and realize they're giving away their lives for free.

I thought AOL was really cool in 1995. And now look at it. Think about that for a minute.

Let us know how that works out for y'all! Suckers.

Jr Deputy Accountant

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.


Michael Sicilia, CalSTRS said...

Please note the correction made by the Los Angeles Times on this story which impacts the context our your analysis:

Facebook and pensions: In the Sept. 1 Business section, an article on how major pension funds invested in Facebook said that the California State Teachers' Retirement System "loaded up" on shares of the social network company. In fact, the pension fund notes, it acquired the shares through a passive investment strategy that replicates the Russell 3000 stock index, of which Facebook became part of after its initial public offering. —

W.C. Varones said...

Pick your story, you dirty weasel.

First you say you "believe that over time, the stock and the company should perform well." Now you say you only own it in a passive index fund. Which is it?

Jesus, you government worker leeches can't even keep your lies straight.