Learn what happened in business in today’s past


March 02:

2000: Wall Street creates what may be the most worthless company of all time. 3Com Corp. spins off 23 million shares of Palm, Inc. on NASDAQ at an initial price of $38. But 3Com retains 532 million shares in Palm, or 1.5 shares for each 3Com share. Palm closes at $95.06, so each 3Com share should now be worth at least $142.59 (1.5 times $95.06). Instead, 3Com plunges to $81.81. Thus, the "efficient market" is pricing 3Com's non-Palm assets (including $10 per share in cash!) at negative $60.78 per share, or a total capitalization of minus $23 billion -- probably the lowest corporate valuation in history.

http://www.3com.com/corpinfo/en_US/pressbox/press_release.jsp?INFO_ID=7235http://www.palmone.com/us/company/corporate/timeline.htmlhttp://www.palmone.com/us/company/pr/2000/030100.htmlhttp://www.palmone.com/us/company/pr/2000/030200.htmlOwen A. Lamont and Richard H. Thaler, "Can the Market Add and Subtract? Mispricing in Tech Stock Carve-Outs," National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper 8302, at: http://www.nber.org/papers/w8302http://gsb-www.uchicago.edu/fac/owen.lamont/research/can.pdf

1844: The New York Stock Exchange raises the initiation fee for new members to $400 (or more than $9,400 in modern money).

"Today in NYSE History," at www.nyse.com/about/TodayInNYSE.html href="http://eh.net/ehresources/howmuch/dollarq.php" target="_blank">http://eh.net/ehresources/howmuch/dollarq.php