The US Senate voted today to limit debate on the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act). The motion cleared the 60 vote hurdle, scoring some 76 votes. That ample victory gives the bill momentum as it moves towards formal adoption. According to Portfolio: “The successful cloture vote means final passage of the bill is likely, possibly as early as tonight.”
President Obama has promised to sign the bill, if it reaches his desk.
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The Act is controversial. The investment and entrepreneurial communities have come out in favor of it, along with the vast majority of the House of Representatives and now the Senate. Foes of the legislation say that it lacks controls that are needed to prevent abuse, and keep investors safe. Some point to advances made in regulatory acts that have been recently passed as being in danger, if the JOBS Act itself passes.
From the other side, limiting the regulatory rules that are pressed onto younger companies could allow them to be more nimble. Bloomberg has an excellent editoral on the bill that provides the most cohesive, and cogent criticism of the Act, which I recommend reading. However, while it is the fairest, and therefore strongest, condemnation of the JOBS Act, I find it lacking.
The caps that are in place in regards to what individuals can invest will limit exposure. The caps that change what sort of business need report what, and the number of investors a firm can attract before going public, are generous. Which is to be expected, as the bill is aiming for leeway.
The question then becomes, are the investor protections sufficient to make the newly loosened regulations safe? The answer, in TNW’s estimation, is a resounding ‘usually.’ Investing is a dangerous, expensive, and risk-fuled business. Those who partake in its activities incur its potentials, both good and bad.
A close reading of the bill, and the argument for and against its passage, has led me to, despite reservations, check the box labeled yes. PandoDaily, among others, has come to the same conclusion. Better to take the risk, we feel, within reason, than to stifle the process and prevent growth.
As always, the comments are for you. Have at it.