Editor's Note » June/July 12

There’s no doubt the global economic crisis has managed to entangle many of the major economic countries in the world, including the United States. Recent dismal job numbers for May confirm that companies are taking a very bearish approach to employee expansion. But where other countries are on the verge of economic drowning, the U.S. economy is decently treading water and will overcome this setback, as it always has in the past.

Part of individual economic stability means guarding oneself against panicky investment advice, either for or against. Facebook seems like a prime example of that. To all those who frantically purchased Facebook shares at $38 a shot during the IPO – on dreams of becoming rich – playing the lottery might well provide better odds. Through all the hype, hoopla and hysteria, one major noticeable flaw has remained constant and plainly visible in this business model, and yet has been largely ignored: How can Facebook generate any appreciable level of advertising revenue to make it an ongoing relevant and growing business resulting in profits to shareholders?

The only answers until now seem to have been: “don’t know” or even worse: “it likely can’t”. General Motors pulled out of an advertising deal with Facebook, revealing that the working relationship did nothing to improve sales. Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg didn’t help matters during his visit to Wall Street when he quipped “Going public is an important milestone in our history. But here’s the thing: our mission isn’t to be a public company. Our mission is to make the world more open and connected.” Open and connected: great for social communication; not so great for shareholders.

Finally, you’ve likely heard there will be no more Big Gulps if Big Brother, aka New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has his way. In his infinite wisdom, the leader of Gotham has determined size limits should be placed on glasses and cups for soda pop sold in eating establishments and convenience stores (where applicable) in his fine city. Bloomberg is calling for cup-size restrictions of no more than 16 oz. While noble in his desire to help cut calories with obesity amongst Americans now at his highest levels ever, the truth is that anyone wanting more soda pop – diet or otherwise – will simply ask the wait staff for a refill, or in the case of fast-food restaurants with self-serve locations, go up to the counter themselves. Restricting the size of the container holding the heavily sugar-based drinks might help marginally for those who feel guilty about having seconds – but the real answer is changing people’s attitudes and outlook on health matters.

Angus Gillespie