Friday, April 10, 2009

They can't be serious...

...about wanting to regulate venture capital
Timothy Geithner recently told Congress that large venture capital (VC) firms should be forced to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and submit regular reports on their investors and portfolios. Data collected by the SEC would then be shared with a new risk regulator to ensure that VCs aren't "a threat to financial stability."

Since then, venture investors have been trying to solve the mystery of how they could possibly threaten the financial system. Their work involves very little banking. Venture firms raise equity from wealthy investors to buy ownership stakes in small companies. The VCs and the companies in which they invest use little or no debt.

....What Washington needs to understand is that bank-style regulation could destroy the culture that created the microprocessor.

In justifying new SEC registration requirements, Mr. Geithner said that Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme demonstrated that investors need more protection. He didn't mention that Madoff's firm was registered with the SEC as an investment adviser and had also been regulated by the SEC for decades as a broker-dealer. Also, Madoff was not running a venture firm.

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