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Entrepreneurs Watch As Crowdvesting Bill Stalls In Senate 182

Posted by timothy
from the please-fill-out-form-1099-qed dept.
cayenne8 writes "The JOBS Act bill, passed in the house, has stalled in the senate. One section of this bill, which would legalize 'Crowdsourcing' in the U.S., as it is in other countries, allowing companies and startups (like indie film makers) to solicit investments for profit over the internet. This differs from sites like Kickstarter, which allow you to only donate money, in that this bill will allow the common citizen to invest for potential profit ($10K or 10% of income for investor limits) in new ideas and companies."
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Entrepreneurs Watch As Crowdvesting Bill Stalls In Senate

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    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The House bill would allow individual investors to invest up to $10,000, or 10 percent of their annual income a year, whichever is less. The Senate bill would limit those investments to the greater of $2,000, or 5 percent of either annual income or net worth, if either figure is less than $100,000.

      So for those of us in the $50k-$100k category that limits the investment to $2,500-$5000 instead of $5,000-$10000.

      Doubles the number of investors needed.

      A bit odd, that, since 10% of yearly income, while signific

      • by sexconker (1179573) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @03:52PM (#39444131)

        The House bill would allow individual investors to invest up to $10,000, or 10 percent of their annual income a year, whichever is less. The Senate bill would limit those investments to the greater of $2,000, or 5 percent of either annual income or net worth, if either figure is less than $100,000.

        So for those of us in the $50k-$100k category that limits the investment to $2,500-$5000 instead of $5,000-$10000.

        Doubles the number of investors needed.

        A bit odd, that, since 10% of yearly income, while significant, isn't exactly something that should break you financially. Seems a bit overcautious.

        It's not cautious, it's designed to prevent you from profiting off of investments or funding your business outside of a major stock exchange.
        Any American investments greater than 1 pittance must first be taxed by banks and stock brokers, then left in their control to fuck up.

        You're not unamerican, are you?

        • I wish I could mod this up.

          Every action that Congress makes, especially THIS particular election cycle, is what their lobbyist buddies want first and what is good for the overall country second. The common good motive has totally gone out the window and it's totally corrupt. There was doubt before but there isn't now.

      • by dgatwood (11270)

        10% of your annual income shouldn't break you financially unless you are only making $20,000 per year. Then that's three months' rent.

        It should probably be more like:

        • For individuals making over $100,000 annually (automatically adjusted for inflation), no maximum.
        • For individuals making between $50,000 (adjusted) and $100,000 (adjusted), a maximum of 10%.
        • For individuals making between the poverty line and $50,000 (adjusted), a maximum of 5%.
        • For individuals making below the poverty line, a maximum of $100 (o
        • by tidepool (137349)

          10% of your annual income shouldn't break you financially unless you are only making $20,000 per year. Then that's three months' rent.

          It should probably be more like:

          • For individuals making over $100,000 annually (automatically adjusted for inflation), no maximum.
          • For individuals making between $50,000 (adjusted) and $100,000 (adjusted), a maximum of 10%.
          • For individuals making between the poverty line and $50,000 (adjusted), a maximum of 5%.
          • For individuals making below the poverty line, a maximum of $100 (or possibly zero).

          Or you might merge the two middle categories into a single category at 5% or 10%. Either way, such a scheme would prevent unscrupulous businesspeople from taking advantage of people who cannot afford to be taken advantage of. And that should be a cap on total spending for any given year, not a maximum per investment.

          Two points:

          Just curious your thoughts on all the state lotteries, both 'instant win scratch tickets' and those drawn via numbers. There is NO cap on how many tickets people buy, and we've all seen people in the gas stations dropping $60 on tickets and $10 of gas for their truck. If you talk to the workers, some of them are regulars on intervals as frequent as every morning, some just once a week, and some, well, just once. To me, having someone invest in (this company, whatever it is) in order to hopefully create a profit for themselves is a) more rewarding for society as a whole (perhaps not the state budgets...) b) More rewarding to the person doing the 'investing' (the prior scratch ticket winner), as it requires thought and far more interest than pure monetarily expectations.

          Secondly, Why should one exclude 'the poor' (you're pretty-much referring to myself, but I am NOT calling myself poor... ) from taking action into a company or companies that they feel have great/good/marketable ideas? My of my friends are in the same financial 'boat' as I am, give / take, and they often have smart ideas that could be worth investing in....

          Cheers,

          • by tidepool (137349)

            Shit, left the quote on:

            Two points:

            Just curious your thoughts on all the state lotteries, both 'instant win scratch tickets' and those drawn via numbers. There is NO cap on how many tickets people buy, and we've all seen people in the gas stations dropping $60 on tickets and $10 of gas for their truck. If you talk to the workers, some of them are regulars on intervals as frequent as every morning, some just once a week, and some, well, just once. To me, having someone invest in (this company, whatever it is

      • What do they care about MY finances?

    • LendingClub, a peer 2 peer investment firm, was a Forbes 2011 most promising company. For people who have invested about 20K, 100% have not lost any money. Basically it allows people to get loans that are graded A-F, better grade, lower interest. Then you can buy into a loan from $25 - $5k. Once enough people fund the loan it goes active. Average loan is 11K for debt consolidation, average return is 6%. Not bad. They also have done over 1/2 a billion in loans.

      I'm not part of the company, I was just investig

  • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @02:38PM (#39443389)

    Why was Profiting from Crowdsourcing a movie, song, or book made illegal? And when did it happen.

    • by blakelarson (1486631) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @02:47PM (#39443479)
      Crowdsourcing in general is illegal because of hucksters tricking people out of their investment dollars. Only when you have a detailed, SEC-approved prospectus can you sell shares publicly as a C-corp. This is an expensive endeavor for small operations. So they raise "private" money, but mostly from accredited investors, who are supposedly rich enough to not do stupid things with their money. Or at least have the resources to sue the people running the company. Kinda arbitrary. But the key is that a company cannot publicly solicit investors. I think that crowdsourcing is a great idea, but we need to be sure to cover the potential for abuse. There's a reason the laws are in place. I'd love to be able to raise some cash this way.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 22, 2012 @03:02PM (#39443651)

        That is exactly what the Senate amendments to the bill address: http://www.crowdsourcing.org/editorial/a-look-at-the-proposed-amendments-to-the-crowdfunding-bill/12669

        The gist of the amendments (which I believe just passed) tighten up the certification and disclosure rules, the requirements for investors (based on annual income), and some important arcana on who is allowed to advertise these things (e.g., no pump-and-dump schemes.) The amendments strike me as a fairly good idea-- if you're asking for a half a million dollars from random people you don't know, then, yes, you're gonna get a CPA to certify and publicize your finances.

        With those amendments, the overall idea also strikes me as a good idea. Sanity seems to have prevailed, assuming the House approves the amendments.

      • by cpu6502 (1960974)

        >>> I'd love to be able to raise some cash this way.

        You can. See this link - http://piratemyfilm.com/ [piratemyfilm.com] (And Max Keiser's pitch: http://maxkeiser.com/2009/04/07/max-keiser-radio-pitches-piratemyfilmcom/ [maxkeiser.com] )

      • by Animats (122034) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @03:12PM (#39443761) Homepage

        Crowdsourcing in general is illegal because of hucksters tricking people out of their investment dollars.

        Right. There is a long, long history of investment scams, from John Law's bank to Florida real estate to "High Yield Investment Plans. The current big scam thing is "distressed real estate". That's why we have SEC registration and mandatory disclosures. Here are some recent scams of that type. [securities...d-blog.com]

        "Crowdfunding" is about selling unregistered securities to individuals. This usually ends badly.

        If anything, the rules on who is a "qualified investor" and can invest in private placements should be tightened up. At present, pension funds are considered "qualified investors", which means they can invest in hedge funds. That didn't work out too well around 2008.

        • by cpu6502 (1960974)

          Yeah it's sad when uneducated persons make unwise investments, and then lose everything. I knew a guy who thought he'd won the lottery, and stupidly mailed-off the money.

          Then he lost his job, which was no big deal but the unemployment eventually ran-out (2 years). NOW he's dead, because he had ~30,000 racked-up on credit cards with no incoming money, and unable to pay his bills, so he ended his life.

          • by pclminion (145572)

            Then he lost his job, which was no big deal but the unemployment eventually ran-out (2 years). NOW he's dead, because he had ~30,000 racked-up on credit cards with no incoming money, and unable to pay his bills, so he ended his life.

            Guess it didn't occur to him to maybe sell some of the shit he bought on credit, to pay that balance (partially) down? He thought ending his life was preferable to giving up whatever junk he bought. That's not stupid, that's crazy.

            • You may be right, but you need to remember it's a pretty god damn easy thing to do to second guess someone.

            • by cpu6502 (1960974)

              The creditors took his storage shed. That left him with nothing but his house (mostly empty). Of course he could have sold his house, paid off his cards, and then lived in an apartment. But some people don't want to give-up the house. (We're seeing that right now with people unable to pay their mortgages but refusing to leave.)

              • by s73v3r (963317)

                But some people don't want to give-up the house. (We're seeing that right now with people unable to pay their mortgages but refusing to leave.)

                Much of that is probably because they feel the banks have cheated them, or are yanking them around with respect to refinancing and such.

                I really can't say I blame them.

          • Uh....a measly 30k in debt? Not enough to end your life, he obviously had other issues. Next to my life and happiness I do not care one iota about my credit card bills.

          • by cayenne8 (626475)

            Yeah it's sad when uneducated persons make unwise investments, and then lose everything. I knew a guy who thought he'd won the lottery, and stupidly mailed-off the money.

            First, I'm not making light whatsoever to the tragic events that your friend experienced.

            However, I must comment, that I don't believe it the the government's constitutional mandate to protect any individual from their own ignorance or stupidity, or just bad decisions.

            I fear too much regulation over what a person does, is basically forci

        • by cdrguru (88047)

          A huge problem today is pension funds investing, period.

          What a pension fund wants is some growth but stable growth and a solid indication that they aren't going to lose anything, ever. That is perfect for AAA bonds but really awful for investing in company stock in any form. Since these funds have so much money to invest - usually in big blocks - they have a great deal of influence. Which means once your company is deeply in with a pension fund or two as major stockholders the company must be run in a ma

          • by bolthole (122186)

            By letting the pension funds in the door ... we have made sure that high-risk projects and products are just never approved.

            Theres nothing wrong with "high risk projects",even in that culture.. you just have to make sure that the amount of capital invested in the "high risk project", is an amount you can afford to lose.

            aka, "Never gamble with money you cant afford to lose".

            This is just GOOD BUSINESS PRACTICE. So if people arent doing high risk stuff, it isnt because of what you said. It's more likely because the people in control are looking for short-term gain, over larger but longer-term gain.

            This is not a new phenomenon

      • by petsounds (593538)

        Crowdsourcing in general is illegal because of hucksters tricking people out of their investment dollars.

        And how exactly is this different from every election campaign? You could consider every campaign contribution an "investment" (corporations certainly do), and your "return" is the policies you want enacted. And the individual investors in these political candidates almost invariably get tricked.

    • by LehiNephi (695428)
      Crowdsourcing is not specifically illegal, but there are many regulations and laws which apply to companies that allow investments. For a small business, these regulations can be enormously onerous--rules for how finances are tracked, requirements for independent auditors, etc. Mostly, this bill waives the requirements for such a small business for the first few years. I think there's an assumption that the company will either die out in that period or become large enough that it can afford those regulat
    • by jfengel (409917)

      The laws were put into place to discourage fraud. If you want to get people to invest in your project, you need to go through a formal prospectus. Otherwise, it's easy to promise people the moon and return nothing. It goes back to the founding of the SEC in the 1930s, and additional legislation passed since then.

      The success stories for Kickstarter are inspiring, but the potential for ripoffs is enormous. You need to know just what it is you're buying into. The amount of money that can be lost to fraud is c

      • by Bengie (1121981)

        When you give money into a KickStarter project, you are in the exact same boat, except you aren't allowed to treat your donated money as an investment, outside of the good generated.

        If they pass this, then at least I would have a *chance* at getting a return on my money. When given the choice between a $100 "donation" and a $100 "investment", but both ways I get a video-game out of it, I'll take the investment.

        • by jfengel (409917)

          The goal is to ensure that the "chance" you're taking is on the success or failure of the project, not whether the person pushing it is a fraud.

          Because you don't always get a video game out of it: some Kickstarter projects just plain fail. That's to be expected; it's the joys of entrepreneurship, as long as they fail honestly.

          • by cayenne8 (626475)
            But, there are already laws on the books against fraud.....
            • by jfengel (409917)

              And they're generally not going to be enforced over amounts on the order of a few thousand dollars. It costs the FBI more than a few thousand dollars to investigate.

      • by TheSync (5291)

        The laws were put into place to discourage fraud. If you want to get people to invest in your project, you need to go through a formal prospectus.

        In most start-ups, the risk of business failure is thousands of times greater than the risk of fraud!

        I would love to know whether the rules in place provide enough fraud reduction benefit to make up for the costs of the registration. You should be required to say "YOU ARE LIKELY TO LOSE ALL YOUR MONEY" to investors, anything else is unlikely to be of much benefi

        • by jdgeorge (18767)

          The laws were put into place to discourage fraud. If you want to get people to invest in your project, you need to go through a formal prospectus.

          In most start-ups, the risk of business failure is thousands of times greater than the risk of fraud!

          The most gloomy projections [newventurelab.com] for new business survival are around 10%, and then it's a matter of semantics (in other words, business not making as much money as projected constitutes "failure"). Analysis of the 10-year survival rate of businesses [smallbiztrends.com] shows about 30%.

          On the other hand, I personally receive 1 or more NEW fraudulent investment "opportunities" every day. Whoopee!

          The point is that the regulations are there to keep the legitimate investments from looking like the fraudulent ones. You can still lose e

      • Fraud? Invest? Prospectus? Returns? Money? I thought we were talking about crowdsourcing: Getting a crowd of people to perform a task. Wikipedia is crowdsourced. Asking Slashdot is crowdsourcing. Even the Ansari X-prize competitions and the DARPA challenges are crowdsourcing. No money changes hands (mostly). No investment takes place.
        • by jfengel (409917)

          We're talking more about "crowdvesting" than crowdsourcing. The bill is about when there's money involved.

          Right now, it's possible to accept donations, but not to return profits. That seems counterintuitive, but people are more likely to give when they think there's a chance of getting money back, and that leads to opportunities for fraud.

      • by cayenne8 (626475)

        The success stories for Kickstarter are inspiring, but the potential for ripoffs is enormous. You need to know just what it is you're buying into. The amount of money that can be lost to fraud is comparatively small, but it's still as much as $10,000, and a lot of people can't afford to lose that. Especially the ones most likely to make desperate, ill-informed choices when somebody promises them enormous returns.

        So, we should force everyone be limited in what they want to do with their money based on the l

    • by mcmonkey (96054)

      Why was Profiting from Crowdsourcing a movie, song, or book made illegal? And when did it happen.

      My question as well. Follow the crowd sourcing link in TFS. It's actually not just a link to a wikipedia entry defining crowd sourcing.

      As Amy Cortese writes in the NYTimes:

      Under those laws, crafted largely in the 1930s, the sites would have to either limit the fund-raising to wealthy investors, who the S.E.C. deems sophisticated, or go through a registration process that would prove too costly given the small sums being sought

      • by cpu6502 (1960974)

        "SEC registration... too costly". Yeah okay. That figures. I won't be surprised if RIAA and the other megacorp content types try to kill the amendment to this bill. (Gotta protect their outdated model and money.)

    • Not crowdsourcing, Because many startups and private companies do not publish full annual financial reports, the SEC figures you could get screwed by lack of information.
  • This bill is about a *lot* more than crowdsourcing, and not everyone thinks most of it is a good idea.

    • by cayenne8 (626475)
      Just curious, what parts do others, or well...YOU find objectionable.

      I've not read the rest of the bill...this one section caught my eye and I liked it...but what other parts are in there that are objectionable that you've seen?

  • Scam? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by koan (80826) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @02:47PM (#39443475)

    "Of course, supporters don’t describe it that way. They say the JOBS Act — for Jumpstart our Business Startups — would remove burdensome regulations that they claim have made it too difficult for companies to raise money from investors, impeding their ability to grow and hire.

    Never mind that reams of Congressional testimony, market analysis and academic research have shown that regulation has not been an impediment to raising capital. In fact, too little regulation has been at the root of all recent bubbles and bursts — the dot-com crash, Enron, the mortgage meltdown. Those free-for-alls created jobs and then imploded, causing mass joblessness. "
    https://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/11/opinion/sunday/washington-has-a-very-short-memory.html?_r=3&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss [nytimes.com]

    • Re:Scam? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by cpu6502 (1960974) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @03:18PM (#39443807)

      During George "duh" Bush's administration the number of regulations increased from 110,000 to 150,000 pages. The New York Times must be using a definition of the word "deregulation" that I am not familiar with, because I would call a ~50% increase in regulations the Exact Opposite of deregulation.

      I cannot comment of the dot-com or enron debacles, but it is very clear to me the mortgage bubble was created by the Government, its Fannie/Freddie organizations, and the private bank monopoly known as the Fed. They colluded with one another to provide tons of cheap low-interest loans, and that fueled the rapid rise in demand for limited housing, and eventual burst of the bubble in 2007-8. If anything it was TOO MUCH regulation (Congress insisting everyone should get a mortgage, even if they were too poor to pay it back).

      • by timeOday (582209)
        I disagree with you on the causes of the crisis. But that aside, how would crowdsourcing actually work? It is different than micro-loans, because you agree ahead of time exactly what your return will be. Hollywood is driven largely by royalty and profit-sharing agreements, and has become famous [wikipedia.org] for legally screwing people out of what they thought they were entitled to. If I send somebody $5000 for a share in some new website, but they're the only ones who know how many shares they're selling and they a
      • No, it was mandated loans AND the fruits of deregulation.

        • For what I read, very few of the loans were "mandated". Instead, there was a massive impulse to loan to anyone without proper checks, because in the end the banks were just going to sell the junk to other investors (assured by the AAA+ from rating companies that are still out there).

          This article [csmonitor.com] explain why people with no ability to repay the mortgage where granted one, not because mandated loans but because the mortgaging company got its benefit from firming and selling the loan (doing a risk analysis mig

      • During George "duh" Bush's administration the number of regulations increased from 110,000 to 150,000 pages. The New York Times must be using a definition of the word "deregulation" that I am not familiar with, because I would call a ~50% increase in regulations the Exact Opposite of deregulation.

        Without context, the figure is pointless. It is like claiming that my software is better than yours, because mine has 150000 LOC while yours only has 110000 LOC(*). Likewise, they could have heavily regulated certains practices that affected only to marginal parts of the economy and deregulated critical ones.

        For what I read here [csmonitor.com] and in other articles, private companies were pretty much happy with signing away untenable mortgages because they were just selling them away, without sharing the risk. This lead t

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by TubeSteak (669689)

        but it is very clear to me the mortgage bubble was created by the Government, its Fannie/Freddie organizations, and the private bank monopoly known as the Fed. They colluded with one another to provide tons of cheap low-interest loans, and that fueled the rapid rise in demand for limited housing, and eventual burst of the bubble in 2007-8. If anything it was TOO MUCH regulation

        Right. None of it had anything to do with the massive fraud the loan originators and derivatives bundlers were perpetuating.
        Those fucks are so dishonest, they couldn't even forclose on the clusterfuck they created without robosigning their way to another massive fraud upon the people.

        You have to be blind, deaf, and dumb to think "TOO MUCH regulation" is the reason those assholes lied their way to massive profits.
        Seriously, how could you have ignored the endless reporting on what the banks and lenders were d

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by s73v3r (963317)

        And I would say that someone who merely counts the number of pages has no idea what they're talking about.

        I cannot comment of the dot-com or enron debacles, but it is very clear to me the mortgage bubble was created by the Government, its Fannie/Freddie organizations, and the private bank monopoly known as the Fed. They colluded with one another to provide tons of cheap low-interest loans, and that fueled the rapid rise in demand for limited housing, and eventual burst of the bubble in 2007-8. If anything it was TOO MUCH regulation (Congress insisting everyone should get a mortgage, even if they were too poor to pay it back).

        False. The biggest factor was the repeal of Glass-Stegall(sp?), which made it far more possible for banks to be risky with money, including loans. And that IS deregulation.

      • Obviously, you learned nothing about the economics of credit default swaps and why they were behind the financial meltdown. You just swallowed Wall Street's line that it was all those poor people conspiring against all those honest businessmen on Wall Street. Get ready to get fleeced, AGAIN.

  • Outdated information (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TubeSteak (669689) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @02:49PM (#39443513) Journal

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-57402589-92/jobs-act-clears-senate-one-step-from-becoming-law/ [cnet.com]

    The JOBS Act has passed the Senate. In a 73 to 26 vote today, an amended version of H.R. 3606, which opens startup investing to individuals ("crowdfunding") and gives young companies more flexibility in filing to enter the public stock markets, cleared what is probably its last major hurdle before becoming law.

    I'm really surprised that it passed the Senate as the JOBS act is chock full of poorly thought out deregulation.
    It's so bad that the head of the SEC has come out against it [washingtonpost.com] and State securities regulators are against the bill [reuters.com]

    If this bill becomes law, it'll directly lead to the next wave of investor fraud.

    • by Tanktalus (794810)

      To be fair, you may be talking about some of the people who best know the world of investment finance, but they also have a vested interest in opposing deregulation: it removes some of their power. They no longer have oversight over something, and that is generally a scary proposition for people in power.

      This doesn't mean they're wrong, merely that you have to evaluate their statements in the context of their positions. As you should do for investment bankers who might be in favour of the change.

    • by fishybell (516991)
      While I 100% agree that this is a formula for investor fraud, it does have some significant safe guards to prevent a people wiping out someone else's savings with a scam. From the NYTimes link provided in a previous post:

      The House bill would allow individual investors to invest up to $10,000, or 10 percent of their annual income a year, whichever is less. The Senate bill would limit those investments to the greater of $2,000, or 5 percent of either annual income or net worth, if either figure is less than $

      • by cayenne8 (626475)
        Well, kinda like people that bought houses they couldn't afford with variable rates they didn't bother to read or learn about...or even ASK about...

        Caveat Emptor......

  • by AcidPenguin9873 (911493) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @02:52PM (#39443541)

    This bill reduces oversight, regulation, and investor protection measures when companies want to raise investment capital. Please read the following:

    http://baselinescenario.com/2012/03/20/cfa-institute-against-the-jobs-bill/ [baselinescenario.com]
    http://baselinescenario.com/2012/03/21/jobs-disaster-looms/ [baselinescenario.com]
    http://baselinescenario.com/2012/03/22/last-ditch-attempt-to-save-a-little-bit-of-investor-protection-in-the-united-states/ [baselinescenario.com]

    One of the biggest cause of the recent financial crisis was too little regulation of the financial industry. I do *not* want to do it again in 5 years.

    • One of the biggest cause of the recent financial crisis was too little regulation of the financial industry. I do *not* want to do it again in 5 years.

      Don't worry... in 5 years we still won't be recovered enough for another crisis.

    • by jeffmeden (135043)

      This bill reduces oversight, regulation, and investor protection measures when companies want to raise investment capital. Please read the following:

      http://baselinescenario.com/2012/03/20/cfa-institute-against-the-jobs-bill/ [baselinescenario.com]

      http://baselinescenario.com/2012/03/21/jobs-disaster-looms/ [baselinescenario.com]

      http://baselinescenario.com/2012/03/22/last-ditch-attempt-to-save-a-little-bit-of-investor-protection-in-the-united-states/ [baselinescenario.com]

      One of the biggest cause of the recent financial crisis was too little regulation of the financial industry. I do *not* want to do it again in 5 years.

      The only crisis you don't want to have happen is the one you don't see coming... If this is as plain-faced as many out there think it is, what is the worry? Wait for the momentum to pick up, then bet big against crowd-vesting. Then, sit back and watch your millions roll in!

      • by s73v3r (963317)

        That's an awful fucking answer. For one, you don't know if this guy is rich enough to do so. Odds are he isn't. Second, if he's not, even if he can see it coming a mile away, that doesn't mean he isn't going to be fucked over by it just the same.

    • I happen to believe that the deregulation of the banks was A if not THE major cause of the collapse we saw in 2008, however the question isn't whether all regulation is bad or all regulation is good. That's the way the debate is framed in our rock-stupid political discourse and our current dumbass presidential campaign.

      The *real* debate should be what regulation is appropriate in what situation. When you talk about over-regulation of small business most people have a good point. Small business can't brin

      • by s73v3r (963317)

        Small business might not be able to bring down the economy, however, many small businesses together might be able to. Remember the dot-com bubble?

  • The idea that someone can become an investor - and start thinking they are going to have input into the operation of their investment - without having any knowledge of what they are investing in is a sure road to disaster.

    Unfortunately, the disaster isn't just for stupid investor that puts some money into something relatively blindly and then regrets it. Oh no, if it was just that the limits on how much money might be OK. No, the trouble starts when J.B. Moneybags shows up on the doorstep of what he inves

  • Until Americans get much, much better at basic mathematics and risk management in general, it is foolish to allow the average person to invest in a venture capital manner -- and history is a guide as too why.

    During the years 2000 - 2007 millions upon millions of Americans took out first, second, and third mortgages to invest in real estate -- a tangible product that historically is a good investment. They all signed loan documents containing something called "The Truth in Lending Act" disclosure that says i

  • Plenty of small investors were angry they cant invest in Facebook until it is fully public. This bill is a way around that.
  • It smells sweet, looks beautiful, and floats effortlessly, too. Bounteously round and enticingly transparent, it seems to be the perfect investment vehicle. That means many people will follow it mindlessly and pour billions in until the bubble bursts into flames and crashes. God Bless America!
  • If they want to make it pass, add the provisions from the bill that made long-term unemployed a protected class - like the identically named but worker-individual friendly predecessor.

    Adding the crowdsourcing provision is only a distraction when the problem rests with businesses throwing every roadblock to hiring.

  • by Shavano (2541114) on Friday March 23, 2012 @12:29AM (#39447859)

    I'm just thrilled at the possibility that I could get in on the ground floor with somebody's great investment opportunity. I'll wire all my money to Nigeria right away.

"The pyramid is opening!" "Which one?" "The one with the ever-widening hole in it!" -- The Firesign Theatre

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