Contrarianism on the Google IPO

I and many others have written repeatedly on how the Google IPO, as currently structured, is not a good deal for investors. It’s too expensive, the dual-class share structure is shareholder-hostile, the company is not sufficiently forthcoming about strategy, too many insiders are selling shares in the offering, etc.

The media is belatedly getting on this bandwagon, with an increasing amount of hand-wringing replacing the prior up-with-Google froth. The WSJ has a critical piece in today’s paper, citing a 30% empty hall in New York where Google management was presenting earlier this week. Where was all this dispassionate analysis the first time the subject came up?

Nevertheless, the upshot, of course, is that it could eventually pay to turn contrarian. At some price the Google offering, despite all its financial warts, gets interesting again. Is that $110? $107? $50? I’m not sure, but it’s worth reminding yourself that if Google-slagging becomes much more of a media bandwagon then the more profitable place will, perversely enough, be on the other side of this strange trade.