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Friday, April 2, 2010

One step forward and two steps back, Senator Dodd's Reform Bill does not attract

With all due respect to Paula Abdul and Cool Cat, I am not a fan of progress by way of "one step forward and two steps back."

The last couple of years we have seen unprecedented amounts spent to try and stabilize, then invigorate the national economy. TARP added $700 billion into our financial system and the Recovery Act added another $787 billion into tax benefits; contracts, grants and loans; and entitlements.

These measures may have had varying or arguable results, but they were extraordinary measures by any standard and we have started to see signs of a recovery.

It would seem that right now would be the time to nurture our fledgling recovery and make every attempt to ensure that it takes hold. In fact, I have written about and applauded some states' attempts to continue to foster new businesses by creating angel investment tax credit bills and we all probably hear many other programs to create jobs, etc. all the time.

Unfortunately, like a weed in the garden comes Senators Dodd's bill making it even harder to start a new company and specifically taking aim at the ones best positioned to grow into big companies. Provisions such as:

1. one that would require startups raising funding to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and then wait 120 days for the SEC to review their filing.
2. a second provision raises the wealth requirements for an “accredited investor” who can invest in startups — if the bill passes, investors would need assets of more than $2.3 million (up from $1 million) or income of more than $450,000 (up from $200,000), and
3. the third restriction removes the federal pre-emption allowing angel and venture financing in the United States to follow federal regulations, rather than face different rules between states.

And despite an outcry heard all over the nation, from both liberals and conservatives, there has as of yet been no movement on the language or provisions and only a minor acknowledgment of the criticism.

This is a big deal...and Senator Dodd needs to hear about it until it gets fixed.

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