Facebook Derivatives: Wall Street Goes Rogue-er

Just when you think the financial services industry has gone entirely rogue and needs to be eradicated, it goes a little rogue-er:

Facebook Inc.’s soaring valuation is spurring shareholders to slice and dice their stock, giving investors everywhere from Silicon Valley to Wall Street a chance to bet on the company.

EB Exchange Funds LLC, based in San Francisco, as well as New York firms Felix Investments LLC and GreenCrest Capital LLC, have opened Facebook funds for investors looking to get a piece of the social-networking company and its half-billion users.

By creating derivatives of the stock, the investment firms are helping Facebook keep its shareholder count at 499 or less, the maximum number a company can have before it has to disclose results to the public. They’re also potentially creating a new class of assets for investors, letting them tap fast-growing private companies like Twitter Inc., Zynga Game Network Inc. and LinkedIn Corp. — all valued in the billions of dollars.

Unbelievable, dangerous, greed-headed and yet another example of the craven idiocy of what passes for regulatory oversight in this country.

More here.