Oops, Facebook’s Market Cap Plunges by $143 Billion

Throughout the scandals, Facebook was clad in Teflon and nothing mattered. But today, it mattered.

Facebook shares plunged 23% to $169 in late trading today, after successfully dodging the impact of various scandals the company has been embroiled in recently over its horrendous privacy practices, including disclosures that political analytics firm Cambridge Analytica, now defunct, had improperly accessed data from about 87 million Facebook users. This led to the world being served up the spectacle of CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifying before Congress in early April.

Facebook was clad in Teflon at the time, and none of this mattered [Then Why Is Anyone STILL on Facebook?]. But today, it mattered.

Wall Street wasn’t happy with revenues that, at $13.2 billion, were a tad weaker than expected, and with a warning that sales growth – a blistering 42% in Q2 compared to a year ago – would slow sharply in future quarters.

Net income rose 31% to $5.1 billion in the quarter. So whatever is dogging Facebook, it is still successfully milking its user-base to generate huge amounts of profits.

But monthly active users (MAU), at 2.23 billion, inched up only 1.5% from the prior quarter – a fraction of its quarter-to-quarter growth rates that had been mostly above 3% in prior years, ranging between 2.1% at the low end in Q4 2017 to 4.8% in Q3 2016.

Similarly, daily active users (DAU), at 1.47 billion, inched up a crummy 1.4% compared to Q1’s growth rate of 3.4%.

DAU in the US and Canada, at 185 million, were flat compared to Q1, and up just a notch year-over-year.

DAU in Europe, at 279 million, dropped 1% from Q1, a debacle that CFO David Wehner said was “due to the GDPR” — the EU’s privacy laws that came into effect in the quarter.

On a year-over-year basis, the DAU and MAU metrics rose 11%, and that would be fine for lesser gods, but not for Facebook.

When earnings and user-growth data first came out, shares dropped 7%. But during the earnings call, Wehner said that revenue growth would experience high single-digit drops each quarter for the next few quarters.

He blamed the dollar, adding “new experiences,” and having to back off its horrendous privacy practices:

“In terms of what’s driving the deceleration, it’s a combination of factors. First of all, there’s currency that’s going from a tailwind to a modest headwind. Secondly, we’re going to be focusing on growing new experiences like Stories . . . and that’s going to have a negative impact on revenue growth. And we’re giving people who use the service more choice in terms of privacy.”

This was when shares came unglued and plunged 23%. And Facebook’s market capitalization, at $621 billion before the market closed, plunged by $143 billion.

Facebook remains immensely profitable because it knows its users better than anyone else knows them, has figured out how to target these users, sometimes in a spooky manner, and pitches this to advertisers. Average revenue per user in all markets rose. In the US and Canada, it rose nearly 10% to $25.91.

There is another astounding number in the earnings report: “Headcount” at the end of June was 30,275 – “an increase of 47% year-over-year,” it said. Let that sink in for a moment.

Facebook is a hiring-machine – and throws large amounts of money at this issue. In April, it disclosed that the median income of its employees in 2017 was $240,430. In May, Facebook signed an office lease for the entire 755,900-square-foot Park Tower in San Francisco, the biggest office-lease deal in San Francisco’s history. In 2017, it had signed a 436,000-square-foot lease two blocks from Park Tower. It now leases 1.18 million square feet in the City — in eight months from nothing to third-largest tech tenant (behind Salesforce and Uber). Monetizing your users’ personal data is a very profitable activity.

Ten months ago, Equifax was hacked. Now the results are in how Americans dealt with it. Do they even know about it? Don’t laugh…  Results Are In: How Americans Faced the Equifax Hack where Personal Data of 45% of US Adults Were Stolen

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  144 comments for “Oops, Facebook’s Market Cap Plunges by $143 Billion

  1. Bobber says:

    The FB stock price will likely continue dropping for a while. Lower growth has been confirmed. No need for the high P/E anymore, especially since expense growth now exceeds revenue growth. Plus, you have negative goodwill brewing with the public, which has seen their data misused.

    They won’t be able to call it FAANG any more. Now that Microsoft is hot and Facebook is not, maybe they should call it MAANG.

    • Bobber says:

      of MAGNA?

    • MCH says:

      You hadn’t read the older article where Goldman Sachs coined the term FANGMAN. ANGMAN sounds less good, do we have tech stocks with the R and Y in its names of tickers? ANGRYMAN anyone?

    • van_down_by_river says:

      I picked up FB after hours, it was down 20%, I allocated 5% of my 401K. I expect FB will only be down about 5% shortly after the open, if so that will net a quick 15% gain.

      You know, this has happened in the past with FB and each time the stock was significantly higher 6 months later.

      • Bobber says:

        This is different. FB said it’s growth is going to slow dramatically. They wouldn’t admit that if it weren’t true. Even a Goldman analyst will realize this needs a lower PE. Hence the higher than normal 20% drop.

        Once growth slows, it hardly ever returns in tech. The analysts will start shunning this.

        • van_down_by_river says:

          Well, I purchased 200 shares at $173 (on the nose), like I said a little over 5% of the 401K account – we’ll see how it goes.

          If it gets cut in half my 401K would lose about 2.5%, I can survive that. I suspect it will eventually double from here. If Facebook can’t keep earnings growing they can always resort to the time honored tradition of just making up rosy earnings numbers (maybe they already have).

        • CrazyCooter says:

          I am going full Alpha-Hole… so bear with me …

          The secret to any tech stock is SELLING OUT at the BIG BEE before actually having to deal with long term reality. There are so few … very few exceptions … and this is a story with less than decade, two if lucky, by which to make judgements.

          Let’s take Mark Cuban for example – he sold out BroadCast.Com for BILLIONS to Yahoo – people act like he is some sort of entrepreneur. He screwed his partner(s) so hard they go nothing and he walked away with the vig. He is a hustler – just just got the Willy Wonka Golden Ticket and acts like he did something useful with his existence (compared to say – me – I produce value at a wage).

          Zuckerberg really isn’t all that different, just the circumstances are – and we have to ask our selves – what is reality?

          You see, Zuckerberg’s problem is that – he made the BILLIONs – that is he is about to lose – based on the social whims of how humanity chooses to socialize. He got the god-pecker that these sociopaths get when they get to run a show and think they are in control of something.

          It is people. It is their social whims.

          Are. You. Sierra-ing me? (phonetic for “S” – figure it out)

          Fashion has a cycle of like … months. Look at REAL value. What is the entrance cost to this market?

          Reality is it is low – this is just the CROWD.

          Hmmm, what was that book I read … Madness … Crowds … damn, can’t remember … have to chew on that, maybe I can …

          What happened to MySpace? And any other social media platform before the present gaggle of names?

          Here is the thing – something like EMAIL is a hook – people can’t walk away from an inbox with ten years of stuff (I delete everything after 30 days – but don’t pretend it is really gone). It was REALLY hard the first time, just do it religiously now.

          I realized I don’t care – I know who my real friends are. I see them regularly.

          The real investor question with Foxtrot-Book is – who is real and how easy is it for them to walk away.


          Nothing. Then all at once.

          Probably not now.

          But, will happen in time.



        • Nicko says:

          van-by the river….why play casino with 35K? You’re catching a falling knife.

        • Jack says:

          Bobber, “Once growth slows, it hardly ever returns in tech. The analysts will start shunning this.” So true. How many years was the mighty MSFT’s stockprice depressed after it lost its lustre?

        • Jaco says:

          The five fang stocks with Microsoft also included, have a larger market cap than the bottom 300 companies combined in the S&P

          Anyone who thinks that’s healthy and going to continue is in for a rude awakening.

          Besides, I’d bet a nickel against a donut that the planning stages are underway and a concerted effort to break up and separate Amazon’s retail division from it’s web services division will commence in the not to distant future.

      • cd says:

        I would wait to see if the gap closes at 159 on a margin call long tail spike tomorrow or next couple days….

        • Mickey says:

          The real issue with FB is what revenues are actually generated by companies by advertising, and if said companies become liess willing to shell out money for that advertising.

        • Javert Chip says:

          When you get a drop that big (%age-wise) you get an IMMEDIATE T-call.

          If you don’t answer the phone, enough of your stuff gets sold to meet the call.

      • Spanky Bernanke says:

        I hope your strategy works! Not sure how Suckerberg can continue suckering analytic-based firms with my grandma’s data? She votes republican—okay, pay up sucka fools…

      • That sound about right, they rigged Netflix sharply higher the next day after their earnings came out after hours. Many think facebook will be green by the close today. In a market where fundamentals mean absolutely nothing I don’t even know why U.S. stocks fall on bad earnings reports anymore? I guess soon they won’t even bother reporting and just watch their share price climb as the central bankers, shysters and criminals rig everything on the rig list higher. It is sad how all these criminals turned the U.S. stock market into a pure ponzi.

        • CrazyCooter says:

          I am 100% in govy MM – I get way less than 1% (hell, zero) for a while.

          I will pickup chips when things properly crater – but not before. I am just waiting (for a while now TBH).

          I can’t imagine being long at this point in the game.

          But I am young-ish, maybe a fool!



      • Ambrose Bierce says:

        That’s very intelligent. While I have no inclination to invest I did think that these earnings events are one offs. However it came to me as a knee jerk reaction, the sort of epiphany that is shared collectively by millions (anyone who ever turned on CNBC). So I wish you well taking whatever profit the market accords to those who are in the flow. We live in a world in which idle thoughts become institutions, and Star Wars the movie is longer than Star War the story. So FB might well be there for your grandchildren. Nothing ever changes.

        • MooMoo7656 says:


          You miss the salient point – its not Value that determines equity prices… its the flow of money. Can you imagine when interest rates rise and ALLL that money flows out of government bonds when the 40-year rally ends and government debt goes super-nova? Its going to go somewhere… and that somewhere will be equities. (p.s. – the equity markets are a fly on the ass of an elephant compared to government bond markets)

      • Dr. Michael says:

        You are getting screwed, Facebook insiders are cashing you out by giving themselves millions of gift stock (zero cost to them) and selling against mom and pop and 401k retirement accounts. Dr. Michael

      • MASTER OF UNIVERSE says:

        Buy the dip was yesteryear, man. FB will continue tanking tomorrow & Monday et cetera. Peak FB has been telegraphed market wide and on MSM bigly. If I were the boy wonder I would cash in my chips tomorrow morning and hand the helm over to whomever wanted to pay the most money to buy me out.

        Peak FB means peak FAANG too. And if that actually happens we will evidence mean reversion on the stock markets to the tune of at least 50%.

        Buying FB on a hunch of bounceback on the share price is a risky bet IMHO.


      • Jack says:

        Surely you’re not hoping for a dead-cat bounce?

    • Dave says:

      Bobber, you da MAANG! lol

    • Tom Kauser says:


  2. Bobber says:

    One other comment. Why does the media like Bloomberg refuse to discuss the 20% drop in Facebook? I was watching the show live and they barely mentioned it. They chose instead to focus on analysts that are saying stocks will rise tomorrow as a result of Trump’s new trade “deal” with the EU. I guess that fact that stock valuations are at all-time highs, as a result of Facebook and others, is not to be mentioned.

    I have to agree with Trump. Mainstream media is fake news, although I would go one step further and put FOX in the fake news category as well. The major media is deceptive and biased.

    • TropicalSunset says:

      Bloomberg is surprisingly very left learning for a business oriented news network. Strongly anti-Trump, anti conservative, much more so then the WSJ.

      I agree on the Fake news, it’s all become so one sided. Same for Fox With the Internet today its so easy to go to CNN, MSNBC, Fox, Bloomberg, NY Times, WSJ quickly and see what they are choosing to highlight and how they spin it. The mainstream news has become so terribly one sided and biased its really disgusting. They all have turned into biased tabloid whores for eyeballs attacking the other side.

      But most of the networks are liberal so they have the BIG advantage with the propaganda megaphone. Liberals also have Hollywood, Facebook, Google, AMZN, Netflix, and major universities on their side.

      Fox is really the only right learning major network. WSJ is barely in the center. Everything else learns hard left,

      • MCH says:

        Yep, it sucks to have to go to CNN, fox, and a third network (not msnbc) just to see all the news… and it sucks that everyone of those spins it.

        I blame Social media and twitter in particular. Attention span of 140 characters.

        • alex in san jose AKA digital Detroit says:

          Bobber, Tropical, MCH … what amazes me is, I consider myself pretty far Left but I find Yahoo News to be crappier than Drudge, and go to Drudge routinely. I know Drudge is slanted, so it’s half for new and half for laffs.

          But I also “marinate” in NPR all day just like other people “marinate” in Fox, and I know there’s going to be a bias in both. If NPR were really “socialist’ they’d be out interviewing the working class, the real working class that changes their own oil, lives in a trailer, probably has at least one crucifix around the place, etc. I’m still waiting.

          I like Bloomberg and think Mike Bloomberg would probably make a fine President. But even in their case, if someone made a good case that paying the subscription fee to get their much-vaunted Bloomberg Terminal is a ripoff, would they air it?

          If I can hold out a few more years I’ll be able to brag that I was never on “that Facebook thing that everyone used to do”.

      • CrazyCooter says:

        Stop with the left-right … it is a false narrative (in this instance – life is complicated). I get the political angle – but in finance/investing, that doesn’t influence the big dogs/fish/whales – pick a mammal.

        It is insiders and outsiders.

        It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it!




        P.S. I promise Wolf, I will stop spamming …

        • John Taylor says:

          Left/Liberal means you are a laissez-faire globalist supporting labor arbitrage to get wages to barely life-sustaining levels and manufacturing/mining to counties unconcerned with the environment and supporting a broken open-border system to create an underclass of Undocumented immigrants to push down wages for remaining local jobs all while pretending you actually care.

          Right/Conservative means openly supporting large corporations over small businesses while reducing environmental restrictions and fighting minimum wages here, while pretending that we have a fair capitalist system which rewards the most productive and leaves only the less intelligent and lazy behind.

          Trump is really neither, which is actually a good thing. He gives me hope that we can roll the dice enough to get real change. His actions on both the domestic and world stage really aren’t that bad if you compare to those of Obama. I do think we could really need the next FDR to come along though.

        • Mickey says:

          Then why are so many key Fox hosts constantly discussing how great the economy is when auto and housing sectors are weak?

          There is a big disconnect ther and i believe there is confusion with inflation driving econ growth. Last month the rise in gasoline prices drove retail sales.

          Gdp might be driven now by inventory building ahead of expexted tariffs.

        • RangerOne says:

          While Trump has no personal leaning philosophically. With regard to most policies accept trade he plays the part of a standard Republican. So I don’t know how anyone can stick by the narrative that he is not a normal politician and that is a net positive over any Repub president.

          The things that make him notably different are his willingness to throw anyone under the bus to defend himself. And his usually shitty/lazy foreign policy. Though I think many of his supporters like his foreign policy because they would prefer to give a middle finger to the EU.

          But yeah. Taxes, regulation, and immigration. He’s playing a fairly convincing republican. Just more obnoxious and ignorant.

        • Jack says:

          CrazyCooter, can’t hear any audio in your George Carlin link.

        • Jack says:

          CrazyCooter, ah, found one where the audio still works:


      • Nicko says:

        Bloomberg is centrist…. which obviously confuses many Americans (particularly Trump voters)….they’re mostly positive, that is to say, bullish for globalization and that everything will be ok so long as free markets (and free trade) are allowed to do their thing. They have an obvious blind spot for missing populist movements (like Trumpism)….but over the long term, they’re probably more on the level than say, CNBC. IMHO of course. ;)

      • fajensen says:

        Your outrage just provides fuel for The Borg – Everyone, Everyone on the planet and their dogs too, have the “experience” that: “Main Street Media is Sooo Biased”!

        Well, How could this be one wonders?

        Clever Software Engineering, Market Segmentation and Targeted News Items is what; We now each have our own little filter-bubble intended to piss us off and get us whining about it ceaselessly on SoMe channels.

        Internet media runs on outrage, because outrage is what is best for generating many page-views and lengthy interactions. Machine Learning has figured out a long time ago exactly which buttons to press and Facebook & Co has also figured out onto whom it is most effective to press them buttons!

        Just let go of the MSM / SoMe loser games, It is a gross waste of precious time and energy that could be used on “local problems” that actually matter to oneself, friends and family.

        MSM are there to keep everyone busy and ineffective so wealth and power is never challenged. It is working beautifully.

      • Eferg says:

        TropicalSunset, your description of various news media as “biased tabloid whores” tweaked a particular nerve in me. So allow me a bit of a snarky observation: tagging the news media as “whores” significantly maligns the timeless ladies profession of prostitution.

    • Matt P says:

      What are you talking about? It was on their front page immediately and was where I learned the news.

    • TropicalSunset says:

      Very well said John Taylor and Dem, Rep, Trump…I think you really nailed it.

    • TropicalSunset says:

      Alex in SJ…..I like NPR (my parents were big fans of public broadcastng too going waaaay back). And NPR claims to be unbiased. But I would guess that 95% of the people that work at NPR are liberal. And those 95% probably get all their media information about the world via liberal media (NY Times, CNN, etc…).

      So even though NPR is not corporate AD supported, reporters & editors are human beings. And if 95% of them are likely very liberal, they are going to have a very liberal bias in what they CHOOSE to report, and HOW they choose to talk about it, etc.

      There are thousands of things you could report on every day. You have to choose a few things as you can’t report on everything, And then you have to choose HOW you are going to report on them, What facts will you emphasize and de-emphasize? Will you tell half truths? Will you leave out other facts you don’t like or our inconvenient to the narrative?

      • Wolf Richter says:


        NPR has a lot of corporate “sponsors,” including Facebook (which they disclosed as they were timidly, belatedly, and practically apologetically reporting on the FB scandals. It’s one of the most relentless and unquestioning outlets for propaganda of large corporations, and this includes Wall Street. Its economic coverage is not liberal or conservative, it’s just in the pocket of corporate and Wall-Street interests.

        • Escher says:

          Yup – NPR/PBS just talk more softly than CNN and Fox. At some level, they are probably more in hock to big corporates than the so-called “commercial news outlets”.


      The binezz of the MSM is to shill up markets so that irrational exuberance prevails to prompt the ignorant unwashed masses to buy their rhetoric lock-stock & barrel. All the Financial news programming on radio & tv promote irrational knee-jerk investing off of their own proprietary gobbledegook. Some people like Bloomberg and some people like MSNBC but we can agree that they are all pretty much full of cheese & baloney compared to real empirical analytics offered up by industry analysts & academics that are unbiased as opposed to the MSM dudes & dudettes.


  3. Rates says:

    I want to see how it is in the morning. This is a preview of Tesla’s earning this Monday. Probably will drop 100 in one go.

  4. 2banana says:

    Median or average?

    My guess is average. A few billion at the top for the executives will skew the average salary…


    “it disclosed that the median income of its employees in 2017 was $240,430”

      • Suzie Alcatrez says:

        Wow! IBM pay a little over 20% of what Facebook is paying. How can IBM recruit any new empl7?

        • Ethan in NoVA says:

          H1B living 8 to an apartment.

          All the talent wants to be at places like FB.

          I interviewed with FB recently and they weren’t talking that kind of scratch. They were talking insane growth though.

          Don’t forget Instagram is where the growth is.

        • Ed says:

          Facebook outsources almost anything that isn’t design or management.

          Having no support staff or manufacturing makes a big difference. Then, too, they are paying in N. California whereas IBM has many employees in cheaper locales.

      • TropicalSunset says:

        Median means that half of their employees make over $240k. That means 15,000 employees making over $240k. That is impressive. I’m sure their are plenty of folks under 30 making $240k+.

        • Mch says:

          Those companies are what props up the Bay Area real estate market. As long as their stock doesn’t go too far south, the area will stay afloat.

        • Mickey says:

          Are H1B workers counted as workers for jobs numbers but not in tthe numbers for the denominator. If so the % of those working is inflated. That would also affect average wages. Many ways to game the jobs numbers.

      • RagnarD says:

        They cite Equilar as their source.

        Here’s payscale for Google

        Do you have any view on Equilar vs Payscale for veracity of salary data? These are huge discrepancies.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          The salary data I cited on Facebook comes from Facebook’s quarterly SEC filing. Every company is now required to disclose median salary in their quarterly filings with the SEC. That’s where the Recode data came from. They went to each company’s SEC filing and got the numbers. They got the data from Equilar, which uses search software that combs through SEC data automatically in seconds.

          I use a similar service — Fintel — a startup. You see this when you click on the GM ticker in the second paragraph of my “Carmageddon in Detroit” article. The company automatically combs through current SEC data and can pull just about anything.


          I linked the Recode article because it’s easier to read than 25 SEC filings for 25 companies. These are the official numbers for the overall median salary of the company.

          This data does not disclose how much a median programmer makes at the Amazon HQ in Seattle. You need to go to other sources to approximate that.

        • D says:

          Payscale’s numbers tend to be low, especially for tech companies. There are many (plausible) reasons.

          They collect their data from self-reported salaries (and not from, eg, employers or ADP) – so they have to be very careful with data cleaning (and conservative with what gets averaged into the model).

          Programmers excitedly take these salary surveys when they join a company – but not later, when options or RSUs are vesting (and they have probably appreciated by then). Individuals don’t necessarily think of RSUs as salary anyway, so may not think to include them. Companies must, however, report them in their comp costs. Options no longer get favorable (corporate) tax/reporting treatment, so are somewhat out of favor.

          The available salary data is fairly thin (because they’re trying to infer more than just medians – i.e. the incremental impact of each combination of skills, location, etc, on salary – so you need a lot of data to disentangle those contributions). It is necessarily collected over a period of years, so could be several years old. This is surprisingly hard to correct for: is some salary’s drift attributable to the location, an occupation, the evolution of the company, or a particular combination of skills? Meanwhile, all the big boys are in cut-throat competition for devs from all over the world (in particular, we’re building things using technologies that were invented within the last 5-10 years – google, facebook, many startups: think self driving cars, clusters of TPUs, giant transforming robots, etc). In hot industries, and hot cities, historical salary numbers will lag.

          Cynically: Payscale makes their money on the back end, by selling HR/salary tools to companies. It is to their customer’s benefit if the numbers are low. Although that’s probably a little uncharitable: salary data is messy, and the BLS statistics tend to be low as well.

          BTW: H1Bs are counted and reported just like everyone else. At the bleeding-edge companies (and most startups), they are paid just like everyone else. At the programming sweatshops… not so much. This is also one of the problems with the BLS stats being low: you can get away with importing someone from a low-income country and paying them a low income here: they won’t know any better (microsoft was famous for this in the 90s, and for the past two decades it’s been seriously abused by the large Indian contracting companies).

          Finally, I doubt that contractors (which are in many cases really disguised employees) are reported. Google employs many contractors for its non-core roles – apparently now roughly half of the company. I don’t work there, but I’d guess a ‘non-core’ role is any job where employee turnover doesn’t materially affect the company’s bottom line. So the salaries that *are* included are going to be the higher paid ones.

          I work in a hot programming specialty in a hot location. I have consistently found that Payscale underestimates even what the local startups are willing to offer.

    • Matt P says:

      A lot of it is tied to stock, so that median will go down now.

      • RagnarD says:

        So you think it is not an Apples to Apples comparison? The SEC filing “salary” data is some sort of stock option/equity + salary composite, whereas the Payscale data is simply salary as most people define it?

        That would make sense to me.

  5. Suzie Alcatrez says:

    “It now leases 1.18 million square feet in the City — from nothing to third-largest tech tenant in eight months”

    Anyone know who #1 and #2 are?

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Salesforce and Uber.

      (That was a logical question. So updated the article just now. Thanks).

      • alex in san jose AKA digital Detroit says:

        In my town, those little scooters are probably taking some biz away from Uber and Lyft, and well, “one less car”. Sure they’re annoying left on the sidewalk, but you can walk around them, or they’re pretty easy to move.

        I’m not sure what Salesforce does.

  6. Wolf Richter says:

    Equifax was hacked. That’s the bottom paragraph leading to a story about Equifax.

  7. van_down_by_river says:

    Buy the dip, your dollars aren’t buying much else these days. All of these big tech company stock dips have turned out to be massive buying opportunities.

    I’m openly arrogant with regards to my bullish stance on stocks. I have ZERO fear of a price correction. If there was even a tiny 3% dip in stocks, dip buyers would be swarming all over the opportunity pushing stocks to new highs in short order. Everyone is waiting for a dip and that’s why you will never get one.

    That is why stocks continue the inexorable rise.

    • Joe Banks says:

      Many of the things my parents used to say have proven to be solid advice on how to live and act. When I was bragging, my dad would say “be careful, some day you’re going to get your comeuppance.” Your comments here on this thread remind me of my father’s saying.

      • alex in san jose AKA digital Detroit says:

        I can tell you, that “a stitch in time saves nine” is super solid.

        And likewise “don’t cry over spilled milk” since it was mixed up from powder and never worth crying over.

    • cd says:

      I’m with you…have enjoyed this wall of worry market….

      I think WEAT is about to take off….softs run behind industrial commodities 8-10 months…

      • fajensen says:

        Should take off if it hasn’t already. Hasn’t rained in Scandinavia since May so the harvest will be 20-40% below normal. Small market, but, markets move on the margins.

      • Prairies says:

        In the middle of a global trade war with a unpredictable head at the controls I find myself skeptical of trying to game commodities. At this time last year grains spiked and plummeted from similar grain shortage rumours, only to have the harvest numbers come in showing positive gains.

    • Mike G says:

      Keep up that attitude, and your username will be your residence.

  8. Guido says:

    Aren’t DAU and other flimsy metrics known only to Facebook and roughly estimated by some third parties? Watching those numbers is like reading gdp numbers from China — all made up. I think they cook up these numbers and this time they couldn’t cover up the stink in spite of these made up numbers. That’s probably why Wall Street reacted that way.

    But no worries. SNB has its work cut out for the next few days. They’ll buy the stock and pump it back up.

  9. a, bona, m.d. says:

    if zuckerburg is counted in median income, fb could have tens of thousands of workers making say 50 or 70 k, and with his billions he could easily skew median income up to 240 k. do not believe anything he says. he is a proven expert in sophistry.

    • Guido says:

      Yup. Check out the amazon number. 28k median? That’s because they’re probably counting the hourly wage fellow or his nearest permanent employee.

      Recode could have asked these questions. Did it? I probably missed.

      • Wolf Richter says:

        Amazon has 566,000 employees worldwide, most of them in blue-collar distribution jobs (warehouses, etc.), and many of those in cheap countries. That’s why its “median” employee makes so little. However, the 45,000 employees at this HQ in Seattle make on “average” $110,000.


        • Guido says:

          Hi Wolf, thanks for the response.

          A couple of things.

          1] the Glassdoor salaries are stale. They have been around for 10 years and the data they show is usually old. This might be because the data for salaries is self reported and the frequency is not as high nor the data is updated by the same employee who reported his salary the first time. The link you posted used Glassdoor data.

          2] I know people who work at Seattle Amazon and all make more, by about 50%. These are the people you’d expect to be in median. The rule, I have been told, is a cap at 180k after which all compensation is stock based.

          3] Now, compare this with the compensation numbers from Facebook. They are ball parking by including the stock compensation.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      a, bona, m.d.

      To answer your question, the answer is no.

      There is some confusion between “median” and “average”:

      Median = half of the employees make more and half make less. So if one person out of 30,275 employees makes even $100 quadrillion a year, it doesn’t impact the median salary (though it has a HUGE impact on average salary).

      Average = total amount of salaries divided by total number of employees. This measure would be heavily skewed by a few big earners at the very top.

      • J.M.Keynes says:

        – Right. A LOT OF people confuse Median with Average. Median gives us a much better understanding of the data.

        • MD says:

          You’re a bit confused, too…strange, for an eminent – if dead – economist!

          Mean, median and mode are ALL forms of ‘average’.

        • phathalo says:

          To carry the bickering on, those are forms of “central tendencies” and not of averages :)

      • RD Blakeslee says:

        Reminds me of a recent gag making the rounds:

        Bill Gates walks into a bar and instantly all the patrons became millionaires, on average.

    • ZeroBrain says:

      that’s not how median works

    • Charlotte says:

      I think you mean skew the average….median can’t be skewed as it is the middle salary. The math teacher in me had to reply, but I get your point…:)

      • MD says:

        Median IS an average – as are mode and mean.

        Strange lack of knowledge for a math teacher..!

        • Variance Doc says:

          Wrong! Mean, Median and Mode are *different* measures of central tendency.

          They are not the same.

        • Ed says:

          Sure, you are right.

          But I suspect you also know that common usage is to say “average” when “mean” is meant. No point in slamming everyone if you know about the common usage.

        • Javert Chip says:

          “Average” and “mean” have exactly the same definition.

          “Median” (half above & half below) and “mode” (value occurring most frequently) are VERY different, unless your data is perfectly normally distributed.

          “Normal” is a technical statical term, having no relationship with the definition of “normal” in common speech, meaning typical or expected.

    • Escher says:

      Zuckerberg’s income will skew the mean, not the median.
      That is the whole point of using the “median” statistic, to reduce the impact of outliers.

    • Javert Chip says:

      a, bona, m.d.

      You’ve confused “average” (aka “mean”) and “median”.

      Median is the value where half the data points are above and half are below (think of median strip in a highway).

      Zuckerberg has essentially zero impact on Madian salary, but a huge impact on the average.

  10. Bobby says:

    I have to chuckle everytime I read articles about the fang stocks how they “remain immensely profitable” ,billions in profits, yet no mention of the sky high P/E ratio. Everything is relative, 600billion company making 6billion year is the same as a 100million dollar company making 1million. (peanuts). The amount Facebook is set to fall tomorrow equals the Market Cap of Disney.

    • JZ says:

      This is where I agree wholeheartedly and yet I know if you think like this, the will never participate in the market for the “MAJORITY” of your life.
      Majority of the time, the market is a wealth transfer place like casino. What’s the worth of throwing dice? Yet people transfer millions to and from each other.

  11. Rg says:

    I’m not sure his religion is relevant to this discussion

  12. Dave says:

    I won’t be surprised to see FB catch a bounce, then fade then rise back up to to it’s highs then drop off again. That may not be saying much but we will see.

    • LessonIsNeverTry says:

      I agree. The only way FB won’t bounce back (over the near term) is if this is the start of the long postponed secular bear market. Otherwise the dip buying is too habitual and it will only be a long shadow on the monthly chart.


      If FB gets any sort of bounce it will be dead cat bounce only. Honestly, do you really think FB is going to make new advances in industry anytime soon?

      Zuk & The Duck are going to crash the stock market by the time Iran is bombed to cover it up and change the channel.


  13. Olivier says:

    How is a $240K median possible? Even for SF and the FAANG that is an eye-watering median. Unless maybe the distribution is strongly bimodal.

  14. Lt says:

    Oh boy, the irony. MAGA! Microsoft, Amazon, Google and Apple.

  15. JB says:

    kinda counter intuitive why these basically software platform driven web companies require so much employee input to operate and produce a product. Amazon aside,no tangible assets just computer code. Will automation replace the headcount ? Just a thought on the above commentary.

    • SnotFroth says:

      I imagine they’re hiring sales and customer account reps for their big data and advertising activities.

      They probably have quite a bit of server and network hardware that needs to be maintained as well.

      Maybe they’ll invent some new breakthrough AI to automate the sales and customer support for their social data and persuasion business. The first bricks of The Matrix have already been laid.

    • CrazyCooter says:




      P.S. An ! isn’t a post … or is it a ! isn’t a post … rhymes with *rowds … ok … I’ll shut up …

  16. Reluctant Motorist says:

    Swiss to the rescue.

  17. Bankruptcies in order: Timeline:

    1) Linkedin
    2) Twitter
    3) Facebook

    • polecat says:

      So then, the time must be near for the HANGMAN to arrive .. yes ? .. ‘;]

    • Rates says:

      You do know LinkedIn is part of Microsoft no? How can they go bankrupt? They might be shutdown, but they can NOT go bankrupt.

  18. Gershon says:

    True price discovery, when it can no longer be deferred by central bank money-printing, is going to be a bitch.

  19. AAAV8R says:

    I am wondering who these new DAUs are. I have two teen girls, neither on FB. NONE of their friends have FB. All of them have Snapchat and Instagram. A few have Twitter.

    “Facebook is for old people.”

    In addition, I usually hear of one or two friends (“old people”, of course) every month that have shut down their FB account. Mostly because they realize what a time suck it is, or they are tired of seeing the same (narcissistic) people posting 50 times a day about every aspect of their lives.

    Hard to see FB going anywhere but down from here.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Instagram is owned by Facebook. That’s where much of the growth is.

      • Buckaroo Banzai says:

        The difference is, Instagram doesn’t make money. Ask Twitter how easy it is to make money on a phone app.

    • Setarcos says:

      I had the same revelation on what a time suck the NFL is. So many more fulfilling ways to spend your time. FB is actually worse…it tricks you into feeling connected as you steadily become less connected. Like most things, it’s not all bad however.

      One of FB founders touted they knew they were exploiting a flaw in how brains are wired. That they can admit, even boast about that and at the same time claim higher moral ground is astounding. Perhaps they need to examine their own flaws.

      • Dan Romig says:

        Watching an NFL football game on live TV is really just watching advertising commercials with some interruptions for the football game to be shown between ads IMO.

        Similarly, I spent seven years racing in the Pro/Am peloton long ago, but I only watch the Tour de France on DVR because I can’t stand to see the same commercials constantly repeated over and over again.

        On the topic of Facebook, I occasionally find that some companies use Facebook as their website host/link, and that is a turn-off for me. If I want info on a product that I’m thinking of buying, there’s no way I’m linking on to Facebook in any way, shape or form, and that company has lost a potential customer (me) as result.

      • Javert Chip says:

        I’m not buying Facebook guys know how human brains are wired, let alone have discovered a “flaw”. Basic difference between Facebook and TV is Facebook can be a little more interactive.

        For a certain (admittedly large) set of people, looking at other people’s trivial stuff is interesting.

        Grandma is certainly interested in everything the grandkids et al. are doing. That’s not a flaw, that what grandmas do.

  20. Paul Morphy says:

    Great article, Wolf.

    I don’t use FB personally (I’m too paranoid), as I always assumed that it was a data harvesting scheme. Besides I’m a Luddite where possible.

    I can tell you that FB are buying up tracts of land here in Dublin (Ireland) city centre. And that land ain’t cheap either. Is FB intending to develop that land or are they going to flip it? I don’t know but buying they are.

    FB’s headcount figure, 30k employees, is a revelation. Again, my brother owned an apartment close to FB’s Dublin office. He made huge money renting it to FB employees (mostly foreign nationals hired for their language skills).

    British Television programme Dispatches exposed FB.
    Here is a response to the documentary https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZMEcW5TM6E

  21. Unamused says:

    ->Similarly, daily active users (DAU), at 1.47 billion, inched up a crummy 1.4% compared to Q1’s growth rate of 3.4%.

    That’s a lot of product. Plenty of money in social media commodities, but apparently only so long as there’s a glut.

    Still, rampant personal indiscretion is hardly a good thing. People who are desperate for affirmation ought to just get a puppy. And what should it tell you that malignant narcissism has become so fashionable?

  22. rawtrader says:

    When recessions hit the first part of the budget (outside of contractors) that companies cut is advertising. This will impact Facebook and Google big time when the time comes.

    I’m a 36 yr old who signed up for facebook when it was only accessible to college students. I permanently deleted my account 2 years ago because it got so damn annoying. More and more of my friends talk about doing the same but not many have taken the leap yet. They suffer from online FOMO.

    • Unamused says:

      ->They suffer from online FOMO.

      One wonders what they’d be missing out on.

      Gainful employment? Student loan repayment? Household formation? Parental responsibilities? Cultural engagement? While it’s true that these things may also lead to personal mediocrity and a banal existence, social media just puts you on the fast track. It’s an avoidance mechanism. You’d think they’d have better ways to waste their time.

      Nothing says you’re a loser more loudly than a faceplant page proclaiming yourself a winner.

      • Setarcos says:

        That is so true! FOMO leads to behaviors that actually do cause you to miss out!

    • Mark says:

      Agree. I was also an early adopter who can remember a time (2004) when having a Facebook account meant you went to an “elite” college. Today, undergrads universally think Facebook is for old people, and when I look at my feed, it’s basically full of people loudly announcing their pedestrian accomplishments or baby pictures. Hyperbole is the rule, not the exception. It’s nauseating to look at, and I couldn’t care less about how so and so’s baby is *so* special.

      As a general rule, I think the less you have going on in your life, the more you post on Facebook. People who went on to become doctors, attorneys, engineers, finance/MBA types rarely post, people who dropped out of school, never married, have 3 kids and sell CBD oil or nutritional supplements out of their parents’ basements post constantly.

      FOMO is absolutely toxic too. The sooner you can start setting your own goals and living life on your own terms, the better. A lot of people never figure that out and sleepwalk into kids, and in the words of Tyler Durden, working jobs they hate to pay for stuff they don’t need.

      Come to think of it, I’m going to suspend my Facebook account, again…

  23. GS says:

    Is this the biggest ever fall of market cap in one day (in inflation adjusted terms)? I searched but could not find a conclusive evidence. % wise there have been bigger falls but 100+ billion is a huge number for 1 day.

  24. ChillenAzn says:

    Eventually the FANG will become regulated as people in power realize the influence it has on the population. Not too sure about google though as it’s starting to integrate itself into the government. I believe Alphabet was create for that reason, and if anything gets regulated it’ll be for smoke and mirrors. I don’t believe that any data we have online is out of the reach of big brother… except maybe the dark web, but I have not interest in it.

  25. raxadian says:

    People still use Wassup and Spygram, Scambook will be fine.

  26. Ambrose Bierce says:

    My cable installation guy makes $40 a hour, I was his first “in home” installation. He gets all the overtime he wants, and he has a truck with a bucket so he isn’t climbing poles. What does an FB employee DO to make 240K a year? What sort of education does it require? I have teenage grand children I would like to give guidance. Go to work for the cable company out of HS? Take a couple hi tech courses, or college with a degree in Facebooking? I don’t know I have only a Liberal Arts education ;)

    • Lion says:

      My take is that 240k, give or take a bit, buys a lot of loyalty

    • GS says:

      Advice for grand kids:
      The job market will keep changing and what is hot now will become regular in 10-15 years. Don’t get tied to a professional choice or follow the really bad advice of “follow your passion”. Instead do the following.

      1. Lead a life of discipline in the middle and high school getting good grades and getting a solid foundation in math, science and basic communication skills.

      2. Before you join the college, look at the job market and make a choice as to what you want to go in (like computer engineering or medicine or something else). by this time you should know what is the starting pay students with good grades in that course have gotten over the last 4 years in that college.

      3. Keep the student loans as minimal as possible and keep it only for tuition and very basic living. A lot of foreign students actually do this for masters. Keep their living expenses to < 500 $ a month by huddling together and keeping their loans to tuition + 6k per year. If you qualify for a good in state college take it.

      4. in your first year of employment pay off student loan by continuing to live cheaply.

      5. Most importantly inculcate in them the right attitude. The world does not care about their feelings nor is it the world's job to take care of them. It is their job to provide value and thereby earn a good living.

      • RagnarD says:

        Quite different (lower) #s here. And you can check Yahoo, Google, Caterpillar etc.

      • Ambrose Bierce says:

        If you went to work for MS in the early days you are still viable, right? So tech changes but it doesn’t change that much. What do you need to know to go to work in the business? I told one young man to skip the Computer degree and go for an EE, harder but worth it. I seem to recall that the military had what is now cutting edge technology years before industry had the same thing. Is that still the case? Is the military with a tech degree a good move? They will buy your college education for X years service? When I was coming of age civil service was considered the bottom, now its the top, will it stay there?

  27. Shawn says:

    It would be interesting to know how they count 2.23 billion with a B, monthly active users and 1.47 billion daily users. The numbers seem unbelievable.

    • Kenny Logouts says:

      They may well count an email with personal ‘updates’ that is accessed as a daily connection?!

      The content in them is unique to the user for tracking purposes, so could be classed as a user participation.

      In many (almost all) email clients non text content is loaded automatically, and often the emails may be brought up when a previous one is deleted.

      Bubbly bubble bubble!

  28. Trinacria says:

    Facebook is impersonal and for exhibitionists who have never mentally gotten past high school. If you want someone to have a picture, just send them an email with the photo attached…simple and personal. You don’t need the “likes”…how childish!! Here is some advice (whether you want it or not):
    1. In your 20’s many worry what others think.
    2. In your 40’s many don’t care what others think.
    3. In your sixties many figure out that people were never thinking of them to begin with.
    SO JUST DELETE FACEBOOK….Just get your friends’ email addresses if you don’t have it, stay in touch in a personal manner – and go ahead a delete Facebook. No muss, no fuss. You can live without Facebook…in fact having Facebook is only a negative in your life and it lowers you IQ.

    • Gandalf says:

      Facebook got really, really depressing after the 2016 election. A lot of people I knew for decades since high school who I had previously only had great respect for revealed their true inner selves as truly abhorrent narrow minded bigots and outright racists.
      I ended up unfriending and blocking them all, and have mostly stopped posting on Facebook. I mostly just check in on it occasionally to see what my kids are up to.
      Among the youngest generations, Facebook apparently has gotten to be out of fashion, and is rapidly being replaced by newer platforms.
      China also just blocked Facebook again from making a comeback, probably due to Trump’s recent Global War on Trade (GWOT, Part Deux).

  29. Trinacria says:

    No excuses…just delete Facebook (or Fakebook)….I promise, if you try it, you will be happier. Facebook is based on a very unhealthy feedback loop that just keeps you anxious and takes away precious time. Checking on kids…just another excuse as far as I’m concerned. First line in the Book of Ecclesiastes: “It’s all vanity”…says it all.

  30. John says:

    Facebook is certainly not perfect and are not alone in their design, but when you leave the USA, Facebook seems to be “the internet.” At this time, I have not seen the numbers, but I would think most of the profits and revenue is only coming from the USA and perhaps Europe at this time. But, they are so entrenched into the social fabric, they should be able to adjust their model for the future as there is so much communication that flows through FB, i.e. towns have web pages, places to sell products. Perhaps they have a slow quarter or 2, but I would be surprised if revenues and EPS do not return perhaps even stronger.

  31. Gershon says:

    The special snowflakes at Facebook don’t feel bad about being part of this creepy Orwellian company, but they sure don’t like it when the Facebook stock bubble starts to deflate.


    • Ambrose Bierce says:

      I am getting two views of FB, one is dominated by the perception of nouveau redneck demagogues, the people who read the fake news and stampeded on Clinton, and the other its a sort of globalist liberal candy land. I do think it is useful to have you views and your politics exposed. I propose ending the secret ballot because decisions have consequences. We tried that at Nuremberg and it didn’t really work. If you vote the wrong way, and you sell your vote (and later withdraw your loyalty), or prostitute yourself to a feckless international media company, you deserve your share of the consequences, whatever they may be.

  32. Unamused says:

    To err is human. To really screw things up you need a gigantic IT infrastructure to implement desperate greed, celestial egos, and utter shamelessness.

  33. ML says:

    “internet media runs on outrage, because outrage is what is best for generating many page-views and lengthy interactions. “

    Inspiring comment that has helped dawn on me.

    Here in UK, a local spat that resulted in high profile legal proceedings is fuelling update reports in our local newspaper. The comments section is active. One commenter – who pens in his real name and bears down on anyone that does not do the same, despite posting guidelines recommending not – with a reputation for picking a fight is adept at ridiculing anyone he doesn’t agree with. Yours truly seems to have become a favourite soft target.

    The latest news report which really ought to have sparked a tirade in the comments section has I note been muted. Probably I now realise because nobody has commented in a provocative way.

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