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Facebook IPO, Private Equity, and Milken

Friday, 27 Apr 2012 | 3:30 PM ET

One of the hottest topics at this year's Milken Institute Global Conference is bound to be the Facebook IPO.

Facebook
Facebook

Last year, Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein told the conference that he "blew it" when given the chance to be one of Facebook's first investors.

His son-in-law, a classmate of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, tried to set up a meeting between the two men.

Rubenstein didn't take the meeting.

"I asked myself, what are the chances of this guy becoming the next Bill Gates?" Rubenstein said. "So now I have to work for a living."

I'm sure many folks at Milken will be talking about Facebook. Is it the new Google ? Or is it Pets.com, the disgraced icon of the Internet bubble?

Last year, the "smart money" folks were already worried about Internet stock prices. Many openly mocked Groupon , for example. But with Internet stocks still running hot, will the skepticism remain? Or will the big money guys jump on board the good ship Social Media?

Follow John Carney on Twitter: @carney

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