The gloves are really off in the Silicon Valley vs. Wall Street war. As I suspected a few weeks ago this battle will be epic. The social web has guaranteed it.
The battle is digsuised as an issue of ‘conflict’ and ‘ethics’ , but it’s about money. Ebay is just in the middle of it.
Icahn is playing a game. He is a serious financial bully. The bigger he gets, the easier it seems to get (lawyers and media are paid, not earned). This bull market has made him a legend.
Carl is bullying $EBAY at the moment. It’s working so far, because the price of the stock is up. That’s the game.
Carl has also called out Marc Andreessen. Marc has lawyers and the web at his disposal as well. His latest response is a beauty:
— Marc Andreessen (@pmarca) March 5, 2014
Let’s be honest…Goldman Sachs and every banker in the world has thought about, asked nicely and likely threatened $EBAY to break up Paypal the last 6 years. Carl just came over the top.
Ebay says it won’t happen.
With respect to conflicts, the timing is right to shine some light on the Valley. The Valley really does think long-term (some nice digs on Wall Street from Reid Hoffman). Wall Street does not. It has been an odd balance for the most part until this bull market/boom.
But, the combination of technology, liquidity and mobility has created what I think is a ‘conflict crunch’.
Everybody is invested in everything.
At some point we will all have a reason not to fund the next ‘big thing’ because the next big thing starts out as an idea that competes with something you or the vc, or syndicate you are looking at or already funded 6 months or 6 years ago.
An ‘achilles heel’ of the technology and liquidity boom might be upon us.