February 25, 2007
Sarbanes-Oxley was bad enough, strangling U.S. businesses and having the effect of sending overseas an increasing number of American and foreign IPOs, as well as companies opting out of the publicly traded markets to the private. But, now comes along another "brilliant" idea of inadvertently strangling the capital formation for small companies for the sake of informational "fairness" as determined by a select few.
I question the motives of those creating the regulations as well as their so-called insight into what is best for the financial world regarding capital formation and where to get financial information. What some group thinks is fair to them and everyone else just isn't their bailiwick and may not be fair to me and others. Thanks for caring, but no thanks. I don't need a regulating nanny who has no foresight about real or unintended consequences.
If it ain't broken, don't try to fix it. Whatever happened to "Caveat Emptor?" Yes, many people make financially stupid decisions; it has ever been so throughout history. Nothing will ever change this fact of life, that the financially stupid will be totally protected from themselves despite more agressive new regulations. The more you interfere with the free exchange of information, the more you become a party to sending the ones you try to help somewhere else to be fleeced.
Learn from history: What has been the effect of Sarbanes-Oxley? I've been working under its purview for 3 years and feel like I can compare the business freedoms remaining to what it must have been like in the USSR or Nazi Germany. Do we really need some ridiculous regulations to screw up something else and cause capital formation to go to Asia or London?
Second thoughts: Yes, do what you have to; help kill off more American businesses from seeing the light of day. At least we will be able to have the freedom to obtain uncensored information from whomever we want to listen to even if it is from somewhere else in the world (someone else will fill in the demand for such services, don't you know) and to act upon whatever advice we choose. Don't make it a slow death. Be agressive, nail down hard the new regs, do it quickly so those in the informational businesses can move operations overseas ASAP I want their information and, thanks to the Internet, I'll get it even if it is self-serving to some extent.