There were many disconnects between last week’s World Economic Forum (WEF) and the real world. One of the most notable was the techno-optimism displayed by many participants, which was in sharp contrast to what the markets themselves are expecting from the technology sector in 2019. The coming spate of initial public offerings (IPOs) in particular looks shaky. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi was all over Davos, talking up the company’s forthcoming IPO. But the talk had a whiff of desperation. Uber, along with Lyft and a host of other large, still-private tech companies such as Slack and Airbnb, are likely to try to go public sooner rather than later — not only because of worries about a coming recession and volatile markets, but because they have grown so fat on private funding, it is unclear whether the market will be able to sustain their valuations. (Uber’s, for example, is pegged at $100bn.) They want to get their money while the getting is good. It is a situation that is both simila...

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