Many of us inside the computer industry were highly skeptical of Facebook’s IPO. I warned those near me that Facebook (NASDAQ FB) was grossly overpriced and would crash so hard, so fast that it might serve as a bullet in the head for the struggling global economy. It’s not just that Facebook’s market cap has sunk from $100-billion to $48-billion since the May 17th IPO, a short three months, but that Facebook was loudly trumpeted as the “face” of a recovering American economy.
Consequently, as Facebook tumbles, so falls public confidence in an improving U.S. economy.
Given the size and importance of Facebook, it is increasingly likely that the American Government will intercede to bail out the collapsing tech company. With Facebook’s earliest investor, Peter Theil, dumping most of his shares last week, the bailout might be at hand very soon.
Interestingly, while Facebook’s growing popularity is losing steam almost as fast as its stock price, several mainstream articles have appeared recently positing that a Facebook presence might soon become required by employers. UK’s DailMail went as far as to write, “Is not joining Facebook a sign you’re a psychopath? Some employers and psychologists say staying away from social media is ‘suspicious’.”
Additionally, last March a controversy erupted after media reports of a few employers who began requiring Facebook login IDs and passwords from job applicants and even current current employees for screening and monitoring purposes. Schools and universities were also cited for demanding full Facebook access from students, prospective or current.
With the Feds directly overseeing Facebook, the Government could generate reports for each Facebook user, preserving personal details while scoring the user across various vectors of trustworthiness. In a real sense, the U.S. Government would serve as a Big Brother who would vouch for you.
Two years ago we wrote that TSA’s growing intrusiveness in airports might be a deliberate attempt by the U.S. Government to soften public resistance against a National ID initiative. Perhaps the plan is to use Facebook for that system. With Homeland Security oversight after a Government takeover, Facebook might serve as the basis of a comprehensive and invasive national identification registry.