Often enough, products, services, and contests that originate in the U.S. are just available and/or open to American citizens. Now, in an unusual reversal of that custom, Goldman Sachs has announced that only clients who aren’t based in the U.S. will be allowed to buy shares of Facebook’s private stock through the firm.
Goldman Sachs maintains that this move wasn’t ordered by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which is thought to have been sniffing around Facebook as of late. Indeed, according to Aaron Lucchetti and Liz Rappaport, Goldman said the change wasn’t "required or requested by any other party."
Goldman also tried to make clear that it isn’t trying to sidestep an ongoing investigation, telling Lucchetti and Rappaport that it "concluded the level of media attention might not be consistent with the proper completion of a U.S. private placement under U.S. law."
So, for better or worse, we’re just left with the fact that Goldman will give overseas investors a first shot at perhaps $1.5 billion in Facebook shares.
This is sure to spark more than a few discussions. Some onlookers are concerned laws have been skirted. Others feel government regulations have effectively cheated American investors of a great opportunity. Then there’s the theory that Facebook’s overvalued and this development will save Americans some cash.
As always, we’ll be sure to see what happens.