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Facebook IPO: No place to hug a hoodie

Knowing your client is a big part of any business relationship. Finding out what they like to do, what their interests are and developing an understanding of their personality is vital. So when Mark Zuckerberg turned up for Facebook’s much vaunted and, as it later turned out, hugely anticlimactic initial public offering on Nasdaq, he must have been delighted that Bob Greifeld, the exchange’s chief executive, had taken note of two of Zuckerberg’s most obvious non-geeky interests: dressing-down and hoodies.

Greifeld usually cuts a Clark Kent-like figure when he appears in public: all solid hair, horn-rimmed spectacles and dark suits. This time he looked much like one of the T-shirted Facebook employees who packed the podium alongside him for the tech stock’s public debut. He whooped and hollered up a storm, repeatedly punching the air following the opening bell, and even trying tragically and unsuccessfully to get in on hugging the assembled Facebook crew.

But when the staged and frequently awkward celebrations died down, the stock failed to start trading because of a technical glitch. The delay cost several banks millions of dollars each. Just 11 days later, the stock had lost 21% of its value.

We imagine that, as a result, the Nasdaq hoodie Greifeld presented to Zuckerberg now has pride of place in the famously temperamental Facebook founder’s dustbin.