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'Mayor of Wall Street' not caught up in Facebook IPO frenzy

May 18, 2012|By Andrew Tangel
  • Ted Weisberg, founder of Seaport Securities, on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Weisberg counsels caution amid the Facebook IPO hype.
Ted Weisberg, founder of Seaport Securities, on the floor of the New York… (Robert Caplin / For The Times )

NEW YORK -- Ted Weisberg, who some call the Mayor of Wall Street, has seen it all in his long career, and to him the newly public Facebook Inc. is “just another stock."

Weisberg, a longtime Wall Street trader and founder of Seaport Securities Corp., said he had a "professional curiosity" in Facebook's IPO but no "direct interest," despite all of the media attention.

“History seems to remind us that when it looks too good to be true it usually is,” Weisberg said. “It’s very hard for any stock to live up to the hyped expectation."

Weisberg's seasoned clients are generally not interested in buying Facebook's newly public shares -- at least not yet, he said. Facebook began trading Friday morning on the Nasdaq after their $38-per-share IPO price.

While there is some interest among his clients, Weisberg said, they have a “wait-and-see attitude.”

“If anything, they’re probably looking at it with a very jaundiced eye,” Weisberg said.

As the media hyperventilate about how high Facebook may (or may not) rise in its first day of trading on the stock market, Weisberg cautions not to pay too much attention to short-term fluctuations.

“Don’t get caught up in that,” Weisberg said.

“It’s a long life," he added. "What Facebook does today, there’s zero correlation [to] where it will be a year from now, six months from now, five years from now.”

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