Join 3,432 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Why Skype-eBay was the Worst Kept Secret On Wall Street.
October 3, 2005 1:20 AM   Subscribe

Why Skype-eBay was the Worst Kept Secret On Wall Street. The traders on Wall Street knew way before the “tech crowd” that the acquisition was a foregone conclusion by Thursday closing. The leak might have come from a cabbie in New York who overheard the eBay Executives. And you thought they didn’t understand english….
posted by snark9 (14 comments total)

 
ah, the privelege of being the first to say "great post! long may it take up space!"
posted by Hat Maui at 2:05 AM on October 3, 2005


Experience talking: "Ignoring the cabbie" is right up there with "picking an incredibly obvious project code name" and "going through labeled, uncoded work files in the airport" on the Stupid Investment Banking Tricks Top 10. It's all part of being a self-absorbed yuppie prick.

When I was in the M&A game, the lack of discretion would drive me nuts -- we'd have a bunch of analysts cooped up in a hotel room on a "need-to-know" project and they'd leave all their work papers out when room service came in. I wondered just how lucrative being a bell boy could be...
posted by Opposite George at 2:54 AM on October 3, 2005


I always thought that the cabbie story was a nice excuse for a leak. It's a lot better excuse to say 'the cabbie must have heard it' than 'I only told my mom to buy 20,000 put options, I don't know how the story got out'.
posted by sebas at 4:10 AM on October 3, 2005


I'll grant that the timing wasn't was granular, but weren't we talking about this impending deal 2 or 3 weeks ago?.. along with Fark, Slashdot, Plastic, etc.?
posted by clevershark at 4:19 AM on October 3, 2005


I submit that hearsay and rumour on a blog, whose source is an unsubstantiated post on a forum does not make a good post.
posted by aidanf at 5:06 AM on October 3, 2005


M&A bankers communicate primarily through cabbies and bell boys. It may not be efficient, but that's how we yuppie pricks like to do things.
posted by mullacc at 7:37 AM on October 3, 2005


I can sort of kind of understand the acquisition. But 4.1 billion???? You gotta be kidding me. I am wondering if Whitman is miss-calculating a few zeros here.. Like that Skype guy said in his forum.. .. it's a little free program for people to make phone calls... No wonder the stock will drop if the CEO can't even count zeros...
posted by ivorylily at 8:39 AM on October 3, 2005


It's not quite a free little program for people to make phone calls, though. Take a look at SkypeOut's overseas phone rates and compare them to your phone company's best discounted rates. At least here in Ontario, the difference is astounding. I was looking up prices for Colombia and it was over a dollar a minute on Bell, but less than 20 cents on SkypeOut. Long distance calling is a big money business, that's why you see so much advertising for it. I can't imagine why eBay wants to be in that business, exactly, but it's not without revenue potential.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:03 AM on October 3, 2005


e-bay executives don't understand English?

That's really odd.
posted by fluffycreature at 9:31 AM on October 3, 2005


The obvious way to test the cabbie hypothesis would be:

1. hire a dozen underemployed actors (shouldn't be hard in NYC)
2. assign six of them to "team IBM" and six to "team Dell"
3. make up a fake month-long meeting schedule involving separate hotels and a common meeting place
4. write up an M&A script ("I don't know about these Dell guys, they just don't understand big iron" at the beginning, "OMG, Synergy!!!!1!111" at the end)
5. send everyone out to do their job

Of course, there won't be any actual meetings, the whole point is to convince the cabbies that IBM and Dell are thinking about, then ultimately going to merge.

6. Watch the IBM and Dell stock charts.
posted by b1tr0t at 10:20 AM on October 3, 2005


7. PROFIT
posted by raedyn at 12:10 PM on October 3, 2005


I drive towncars for a living, handling a great deal of business people going to and from the Microsoft and Amazon headquarters. If I kept track of all the juicy discussions I've been privy too I'm sure it would make for a very interesting blog...

...and it'd probably get discovered and I'd be fired, which would then make for a very interesting book...
posted by bizwank at 2:47 PM on October 3, 2005


Got any stock tips, bizwank? ;-)
posted by nlindstrom at 2:52 PM on October 3, 2005


buy some!
posted by bizwank at 2:53 PM on October 3, 2005


« Older The hard drive is the new bling....  |  Conversation between two mothe... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments