September 17, 2012
Having failed to protect the public from such major frauds in highly regulated markets as the Madoff and Sanford scandals, the SEC should concentrate on regulating these types of investments, as opposed to surppressing such innovative concepts as crowd funding. The public trusted the SEC to protect the markets from such criminals as Maddoff and Sanford, by assuming that the agency, at the very least, would do its job in the face of the numerous complaints and warnings it received prior to the exposure of these massive scam operations. Now the SEC proposes to promulgate restrictive rules which will preclude most small entrepreneurs from raising capital directly from the public via the internet or other public media.
I could certainly support strong disclosure warnings to alert the public that crowd funding similar to the kickstarter.com model carries the risk of losing one's entire investment. However, I firmly believe that small companies and start-up ventures should be allowed to present investment opportunities to anyone, regardless of the individual's financial status, without requiring the entrepreneur to expend whatever meager resources he or she may have on the often ridiculous fees charged by security lawyers.
Furthermore, why should the government be allowed to dictate what a "non-qualified" investor can or cannot invest in ? It appears that, after years of failing to protect the public from major frauds, the agency, in spite of the clear intent of Congress, is still intent upon protecting the earnings of the securities bar over the chance for any American to either fund nascent projects or make investments in same based upon the individual's own assessment of the risk involved, as "qualified investors" are allowed to do. Today the general public is denied the same opportunities afforded the Mitt Romneys of this world to freely invest in any venture we may deem fit. This creates an often insurmountable barrier to the entry of capital markets for most small businesses or start-ups, so that only the wealthy can enjoy the chance to participate in new or innovative ventures that may turn out to be the next Apple Computer, Inc.
In this instance, to paraphrase Ronald Reagan, the government is not the answer to our problems. Government is the problem. Let the people decide what to do with our money. The SEC's track record hardly qualifies it to tell us who we can or cannot do business with, nor should it have the ability to distort the intent of the elected representatives of Congress for the benefit of those many corrupt SEC staff members who will leave the agency after a few years to themselves gouge the public with outrageous fees for offering memoranda which rarely protect anyone but the lawyers. Shakespeare was right, first we need to kill all the lawyers...