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Congress’s Genius Jobs Plan—for Fraudsters, Shills, and Wall St. Analysts

Note: The Trade is not subject to our Creative Commons license.

Update (3/28): Yesterday, the House approved the JOBS Act. It has now been sent to the White House for the president's signature.

Finally, the House passed a jobs bill last week. And what a bill it is!

Officially called the Jump-Start Our Business Start-Ups Act, it calls for reopening our capital markets to exciting new start-ups by ridding protections for investors and stripping away disclosure requirements for smaller companies.

JOBS has been repeatedly assailed, but it will bring much-needed help to some of the harder hit sectors of the economy.

John Coffee, a Columbia Law professor, has hailed the bill as "the boiler room legalization act." And rightly so. Boiler room operations were one of the unsung job creators of the 1990s, producing some of America's greatest penny stocks and boom times for yacht makers and coke dealers.

But these small, hard-working firms have run into hard times. Areas of Long Island and Boca Raton, Fla., have still not recovered since the heyday of the Nasdaq. How long must a lost generation of Lamborghini-loving twenty-somethings suffer while their talents for talking quickly go to waste?

Congress is on the case, with Democrats and Republicans working together at last. It's not just the House. The Senate is expected to pass a similar bill this week.

Since the technology stock blowup, the accounting scandals at Enron and WorldCom and the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, investors have been needlessly wary of putting their savings into fledgling companies offered by Wall Street banks.

The JOBS bill fixes that. Taking advantage of the revolutionary possibilities of the Internet, the bill loosens decades-old investor protections so that companies can directly advertise to those who would like to be separated from their money. It does that by giving broad exemptions for start-ups that want to "crowdfund" by raising small amounts of money over the Internet. I.P.O. pitches next to "Lose Your Belly!" ads. Sounds like a great idea!

Nigeria shouldn't be the only country to benefit from the web. Right here in America, the elderly are increasingly attractive to a variety of entrepreneurial spirits. If JOBS becomes the law, such innovators could flourish.

Let's not forget Wall Street analysts. Once, men and women could make a good living by stamping glowing ratings on companies offering stock to the public for the first time, even if they secretly believed those companies were dogs. You could even become famous, like Jack Grubman or Henry Blodget.

Ever since the cleanup back then by the New York State attorney general, Eliot Spitzer, analysts have lost some luster. With JOBS enacted, Wall Street analysts will once again be able to shill for the companies that their own investment banks are shepherding through the initial public offering process.

And then there are the short-sellers, the type of investor who ferrets out the overvalued companies, the hype stories and stock frauds.

It's been about a year now since Chinese reverse-merger companies collapsed. In that scandal, dozens of those small Chinese companies went public in the United States without having to run the gantlet of the Securities and Exchange Commission's registration rules.

After they blew up by the boatload, the S.E.C. cracked down and tightened its rules.

Since then, short-sellers' pickings have been slim. By allowing newly public small companies to not disclose financial information for years, the bill will provide new targets for short-selling hedge funds.

Clearly, the many critics of the law underestimate what a boon this will be. Sure, it would be better not to have the scams in the first place. But now short-sellers will now be able to use their talents to uncover fraud that might not have occurred without JOBS. Capital will pour into this sector of the economy.

Finally, one shouldn't underestimate how tough things have been for lobbyists promoting financial deregulation. Not in finding work, of course. Legions of civic-minded lawyers have found gainful employment helping banks desperately fight the Dodd-Frank regulatory overhaul.

But these people have suffered no end of social embarrassment. When they go to cocktail parties and say their job is to protect banks from regulations that hurt America, people have been known to laugh.

Now, the lobbyists can point out that even the White House agrees. The Obama administration has backed JOBS and is on the same page as the banks when it comes to the message: Safe, tightly regulated capital markets don't instill confidence in investors, but rather stifle ingenuity and creativity. Expect these same arguments to come up again in the push to revise Dodd-Frank. That's change we can believe in.

And, anyway, trust and confidence are overrated. Wild West markets are more thrilling. If Americans thought otherwise, Las Vegas casinos would have the buy-and-hold room next to the roulette wheels.

Then again, for entertainment, our capital markets just cannot compete with Congress.

To be fair, while I don’t like the form this bill takes, I am a big fan of crowdfunding of projects (not necessarily companies).

I strongly suspect, though, that the biggest gain to the economy would be in revamping (and restricting) Intellectual Property law.  Innovation happens “on the shoulders of giants” and in combination, not in isolation and by asking permission.  And the process is far too expensive for a lone inventor to take care of.

The upshot is that there are thousands of businesses that nobody is stupid enough to start in the United States, because Yahoo will sue you for allowing users to have profiles that serve as a public face to other users and advertisers.  That’s an actual lawsuit against Facebook, who can at least afford to defend against it.  But imagine your neighborhood work-at-home entrepreneur parent getting served with those papers.

(And the patents are horrible, to boot.  The entire point of the process isn’t to “protect the innovator,” it’s to offer them a monopoly so they’ll divulge their secrets for people to adapt later.  But look through a few patents, and you’ll see that there’s little to no relevant information to be found.)

And when copyright began to apply to the average person rather than large companies, we blew away entire classes of industries.  Under today’s laws, cable television could never exist, video tapes (“the Boston Strangler” of Hollywood) certainly wouldn’t, and even music on the radio wouldn’t have happened, because the potential legal liability is too high to bother trying.

Intellectual Property is important—don’t get me wrong on that point—but the way it’s handled in this country is dragging down almost every industry unless you’re already a multibillion dollar conglomerate…in which case, how much protection do you really need at the expense of everybody else?

“Safe, tightly regulated capital markets don’t instill confidence in investors, but rather stifle ingenuity and creativity.”

How can we NOT STIFLE ingenuity and creativity?  Who are the creative, ingenious people and how do those people fare in our society?  Is finance a legitimate vehicle for ingenuity and creativity?  Beethoven was ingenious and creative but he didn’t use finance as the vehicle for his genius.  In fact Beethoven was quite concerned about making ends meet and not upsetting his benefactors.

There is no point in writing a symphony if you can’t hear it.
There is no point is making a bunch of money if you can’t spend it.

Paying back a bunch of student loans certainly will stifle creativity.  It makes lots of people not even go to college or join the military.  This actively stifles ingenuity and creativity.  When the debt crisis hit,  the first thing the American terrorists did was cut off the heads of all the graduate students.  We lost our jobs while bankers got a big bonus. 

What makes an investor confident?  Perhaps not being attacked by a grifter army would be a start.  A “confidence man”  is something like Bernie Madoff.  “Weekend with Bernie.”  You can only disguise a corpse in a boat for a short time.  Eventually the corps smells putrid and investors don’t have any confidence in the grifter. 

Always be honest and only invest noble efforts that promote happiness.  Never provide financial or emotional support for a con man.

HILARIOUS! Should I be laughing or stuffing gold,swiss francs and canned goods under my mattress?

(and I am not so sure that sarcasm and ‘tongue-in-cheek’ translates well in print vs. audio-visual/slapstick delivery)

Jesse Eisinger’s bio points out that he is a senior reporter at ProPublica, covering “Wall Street” and finance. It is clear that his Wall Street focus has informed this article. The world of Wall Street is loaded with corruption and it is no wonder that he sees a criminal under every rock.

Unfortunately it does not reflect the world of Main Street, where the vast majority of entrepreneurs and small businesses are basically honest, hard working and are making good faith efforts to succeed.

At the national level, Main Street small businesses account for over 50% of all jobs in the country and the vast majority of them have 20 or fewer employees. Small business is the life blood of the economy. And according to a recent study, over the last 30 years, small businesses less than 5 years old have been the only segment of our society that have created more jobs than destroyed them.

Yet at no time in recent history has it been harder to start and build such a company, and the lack of capital is one of the chief reasons. As a 30 plus year entrepreneur out of Silicon Valley, I can tell you that I saw more good businesses die for lack of funding than for any other reason.

I also can tell you that as an attendee to one of 8 roundtables held last year by the White House and Small Business Administration (to get input from the entrepreneurial community), the number one complaint raised all across the country was the barriers created by securities regulations that were created 80 years ago, and the number one request from the entrepreneurial community (of honest entrepreneurs!) was a request to approve crowdfunding.

Perhaps if Mr. Eisinger were to get out of New York and into communities all across the nation he would see that this concept is very much needed. Also, I would observe that he, like some many in the SEC and other Chicken Little dooms-dayer regulators, he is focused on a problem that, even in its worst case scenario, represents only a tiny fraction of all possible investments.

He, like them, is focused a “dead mouse” in the corner (percentage of small companies that are fake and fraudulent) rather than the “dead elephant” on the table - which is the high failure rate of honest small businesses, many of whom could survive and thrive with a little bit of help (funding and mentoring - see incubators for example).

It is estimated by various pundits that 4 out of every 5 start-up companies will die for various (but non-fraudulant) reasons in their first 2-5 years. That prediction death rate of approximately 80% is pretty widely accepted. The only dispute seems to be how long it takes to reach that number.

That death rate and the loss of investment it represents quite frankly dwarfs the potential worst case scenario of any kind of all out back room boiler-room efforts and charlatans galore. Every genuine entrepreneur and participant in the small business community that I know would say that if that problem were found in more than1 out of every 20 companies, it would be viewed as extraordinarily high.

Yet we almost yawn at the fact that 16 out of 20! small businesses will die for natural and legitimate reasons. Where is the focus on that problem? I for one welcome whole-heartedly the JOBS bill and what it will hopefully do to help small businesses on Main Street. I don’t give a crap about Wall Street and the crooks there.

Anyone who genuinely wants to know the scale and scope of the problem created by the current securities regulations and how they crush small businesses, go to http://www.commonwealthgroup.net/securities and learn about it from the entrepreneurs who are out in the trenches trying to create legitimate businesses and jobs, and not from those who don’t have a clue about the real small business world.

Scam legislation -  brought to you by the same folks who sold the, “Gee, EVERYONE should own their own home"plan.

It is easier to talk someone out of their money than to actually produce a product that may be useful.  Washington always goes into “short term solution” mode when trying to stack the deck for upcoming elections.

Your sarcasm is sounding dangerously cynical - for a very good reason.

@ Michael above - Last time I looked, business success is contingent upon income exceeding cost - that maybe you have a better mouse trap out there than the other guy.

Having had family manufacturing & food production industries for over 100 years combined,I can tell you that there was a time when a man’s word meant something.  Only an idealist(or an incredibly naive person) would imagine today’s world without regulation.

Stop suggesting that failure of an honest business has anything to do with Washington. Every day in this country people makes choices about spending their money.  Truth is that they buy what they consider to be the best deal. -  That typically means that they support some other labor market - not even supporting their compensation expectations.

A Jobs bill is a joke.  Washington cannot save the day.  Consumers can have a huge effect on the success of American business. It’s time they use their power and put their money where it can secure employment for all Americans.

@SS above. First of all, I have founded and run over a half dozen companies that I built from the ground up. I did not inherit any family business or had it handed to me. I have raised millions of dollars the hard way, one investor at a time.

I have also written extensively on sustainability, triple bottom line, corporate ethics and corporate responsibility and am widely known for my thoughts and values on those topics. I think I have earned the right to speak for myself and other entrepreneurs about the environment for creating and growing a business and how the government hurts that effort, not helps it.

Also, I am not against regulation, but rather for sound, reasonable regulation based on the real world of entrepreneurs, their investors, employees, customers and the communities we live in.  If you would have taken the time to look at the link I provided, the first section you will see on that page calls for a new “regulatory structure” to better serve the needs of the small business community- not a removal of all regulations.

I agree with you that getting the American public to buy from local businesses would be very beneficial for the country. I also agree that the government is not the solution for our problems, but it can and does interfere with that process. I would point out that the government is currently one of the key sources of the problem that stands in the way of small businesses and entrepreneurs and this bill goes a long way to removing those impediments.

If you have ever tried to build a business from scratch, that required outside capital, you would have a clear sense of what I and my fellow entrepreneurs experience all the time about the problems created by the government with respect to small business capital markets. Given your comments, I would be willing to bet you have never tried to walk a mile in those shoes to know what I and they mean.

We don’t want to have the government solve our problems for us, but we do want the government to get out of the way. And you may call this bill a joke, but you probably don’t know that it came from the small business entrepreneurial community - people I know, respect and trust, - who are the inspiration behind it.

It was not born in Congress by Congressional people, but rather their response to the legitimate needs and concerns of small business people who brought it to them. What a thought! Congress actually listening to and helping the little guy instead of the big corporations and their lobbyists.

Perhaps you are a bit to jaded to trust that sometimes Congress can actually do something right.

Good job, Jesse. Keep tracking this monster. I’m deeply skeptical of Washington. As SS noted, “Washington cannot save the day.” Was it Thomas Paine who said, “That government is best which governs least.”

Take a hundred million dollars from taxpayers and give it to the government. The government will spend it, and in the process, sustain and create jobs. How many? Let’s say, [A].

Allow taxpayers to retain the one hundred million dollars. They will invest and spend it, and in the process, sustain and create jobs. How many? Let’s say, [B].

If [A]>[B], then we should give government virtually all of our hard earned wages. The Soviet Union was run on the basis that [A]>[B]. Case closed.

As [B]>[A], as is always the case, we must only give so much of our hard-earned wages to government as are needed to support essential services, both at Federal and State level. (Shrinking the size of government at Federal level, only to expand it at State level accomplishes nothing.)

Side note: When the government borrows money, it might create jobs, but the impact is temporary and illusionary, because future tax revenues applied to interest payments and debt redemption will hamper job growth. Deficit spending, especially on a sustained basis, is highly immoral, but by the time our children and grandchildren come to recognize the immorality of the debt burden that they have inherited, it will be too late. The culprits will be dead and buried. Their only legacy: mountains of debt.

Now for an example, to illustrate the point, but I am not going to mention the name of this country. In the past, when I have mentioned the name, people without any proper rebuttals, always drag up some irrelevant fact about the country’s social policies or whatnot.

This country became independent about 45 years ago, at which time it had per capita income of $600, below that of Guatemala. The country’s economy grew on average at 9% p.a. since then. Today, it is the 4th wealthiest country in the world on a per capita basis, with GDP per capita of approximately $50,000 – no need to debate welfare or entitlement programs in such an economic environment. The country has no natural resources. Government spending is equal to about 12.5% of GDP. The highest individual tax rate is 20% and the corporate tax rate is 18%, but many US corporations have relocated their manufacturing facilities to this country and, consequently, enjoy a tax holiday. The unemployment rate is 2.1%. The government runs a budget surplus. Its leaders are the highest paid politicians in the world – now that’s an incentive for the likes of Gingrich and Santorum.

Job Creation 101: Limited government and low taxes.

Awareness is the key for starting a drastic change in the ways we have observed applications of, out-comes their of and accepted the traditional norms of the old world. USA is the biggest changing role player for the world, as well as for itself and for it’s own mighty existance.

I feel sad that this is all that we have gotten from congress.

So let me guess, Women need kneepads and men need to nod approval of GOP Nonsense.
Anyone really read this bill, I swear it sounds like its a piece of work from ALEC

Boiler room operations are not open and transparent, and do not host discussion forums where people can freely share information and verify (or rebut) an offeror’s claims.

H.R.2930 (Rep. McHenry crowdfunding bill):

  “(10) makes available on the issuer’s website a method of communication that permits the issuer and investors to communicate with one another;”

S.1791 (Sen. Brown crowdfunding bill), in its definition of “crowdfunding intermediary”:

  “(II) provides public communication portals for investors and potential investors;”

P.S. I’m automatically suspicious of deregulation as well.

Next time someone flies an airliner into a finance building, we can skip the tears and go straight for the cheers and the 3-day weekend.

Weapons not food, not homes, not shoes
Not need, just feed the war cannibal animal
I walk tha corner to tha rubble that used to be a library
Line up to tha mind cemetary now
What we don’t know keeps tha contracts alive an movin’
They don’t gotta burn tha books they just remove ‘em
While arms warehouses fill as quick as tha cells
Rally round tha family, pockets full of shells

Brilliant comments here!  I’ll have to come back again often. Still, I’m left wondering who’s right. “Naturally” I want to side with the author, but I’ve made my fair share of money by investing in the previous decade and a half. I just want to add that there will be nothing new about scammers and grifters targeting relatively feeble minded “old folks.” It should be a national disgrace (it is so incredibly common, and often is done by one’s own relations), but then there are so many things in the US that are such disgraces. From my casual reading of American history, I surmise that there is certainly nothing new about this situation either (this is in fact the impetus for many many well intentioned regulations). Still, it shocks, given the things we are raised to believe about our country. (see the story of George Washington and his father’s cherry tree.)

I tried this link from one of “Michael”‘s posts: http://www.commonwealthgroup.net/securities, but it’s “unavailable”.

I’m a Southerner, and I already fought my war. I’m a subject to the establishment by law now. Slavery was wrong, I had 100’s of slaves but you know it was just cool back then. Sorry Black People. This is what the US will say in 100 years but they’ll be saying it to the rest of the world.

What has Nigeria got to do with American Greed? Ponzi Scam and so many other scams are purely American creations.

The last time I checked, it was not Nigerians that promoted outsourcing or opening bank accounts in Cayman Island. Nigeria did not rule on Corporate Personhood and all other issues that promote the 1%s to the detriment of 99%s.

Please if you have issues with American society, address it. Do not tar Nigeria to appear smart. We have enough issues at our hands as it were.

Actually Nigeria as a Nation demand your apology for this insensitivity and slander.

That’s an interesting rant, but the fact is the laws regarding raising money have pretty much been the same for several decades.  I did several Reg D offerings in the late 1980s and early 1990s.  Most of my investors did well.  But the offerings were onerous and the biggest beneficiaries were the lawyers who prepared them. 
These new regulations allow more flexibility and creativity and allow more people to get in the game. 

  It’s very likely the next Facebook or Google will come out of one of these programs.  Why should some VCs in California be the only ones who can gamble on someone’s intellect, drive, talent and experience?  Why not the rest of us?

There is no gain without risk.  THERE IS NO GAIN WITHOUT RISK. 
But I wouldn’t expect a journalist to understand that.

Robert Henry Eller

March 15, 2012, 4:44 a.m.

Mr. Eisinger is correct, if regulation, enforcement and consequence for wrongdoers remain at the current pathetic or even non-existent levels that helped us get into our current mess.

Mr. Eisinger is not correct only if regulation, enforcement and non-negotiable consequences for wrongdoers actually exist.  Further, investors allowed to participate should have to be screened for adequate knowledge and financial ability, as they are supposed to be now by any legitimate legal broker of financial products.

Lastly, and most importantly, it has to be written in the blood of politicians and government officials that absolution NO bailouts of any financial sponsors, investors, or funded enterprises will take place under any circumstances.  Any such entity which fails should be put right through our existing legal bankruptcy process, period.

Let capitalists in fact be capitalists, and shoulder all the risks as well as enjoying any rewards, as they should.

No more Larry Summers, Tim Geithner, Henry Paulson, Robert Rubin “capitalism.”

Sounds like an attempt to wrestle cash from those who have it and get them to jump back into the stock market. They want another dot.com boom and they will make it happen.

Yeah, this could result in a thousand-points-of-fraud, or it could actually remove the barriers of entry for small startups with good ideas, even though they may not be Googles or Facebooks.  The banks aren’t going to fund a recovery.  The government isn’t going to reinstate the Glass–Steagall Act.  The banker have are an effective oligopoly, and the vast majority of emerging businesses will never have access to the kinds of investors that they need to get started, unless the principals agree to indentured servitude.  This is the first I’ve heard of this reduction of regulatory hurdles, but I must say, as a small business owner too successful to quit, but to insolvent to grow, I wouldn’t mind the opportunity to pitch our success to investors directly.  Can you honestly say that investors are getting a square deal from the likes of Goldman Sachs, et. al.?  Please.  Those willing to invest should do their due diligence for themselves, because if the past decade has proven anything, its that auditors and rating companies, who are paid by the companies they are auditing and rating, have NO incentive to look after investor’s interests.  After the fall, their complicity isn’t even punished.

The public sector can’t create jobs and either can the private sector. Nobody “creates” jobs. Employers HATE to hire people because it costs them money. The only thing that creates jobs is an enterprise so thriving, that an employer is forced to hire somebody to manage and attend to the incoming money. Then, when the money dries up a little, the employer tortures the employee and fires people with glee. That’s pretty much it.

if you are stupid enough to give these clowns your money, then so be it.

On the crowdfunding component of JOBS: Boiler room operations are not open and transparent, and do not host discussion forums where people can freely share information and verify (or rebut) an offeror’s claims. But these crowdfunding proposals require this:

H.R.2930 (Rep. McHenry crowdfunding bill):

“(10) makes available on the issuer’s website a method of communication that permits the issuer and investors to communicate with one another;”

S.1791 (Sen. Brown crowdfunding bill), in its definition of “crowdfunding intermediary”:

“(II) provides public communication portals for investors and potential investors;”

I’m automatically suspicious of deregulation as well, so I can see how the CF component of JOBS pressed the author’s buttons. But it is for small business and independent makers, with caps designed to make any CF-exempt offering uninteresting to Wall Street and way too much trouble for scammers.

Short sellers collude, conspire and foment.

They destroy value; they’re not white hats.

It seems they are insuring jobs for themselves… in the future. Considerin all things done by congress for many years are continues acts against the people here. And they are so good at it, they are not putting people who are punishable back to work. Why dont they undersand we get it and we know what they arent doing for this country and that what they are doing doesnt apply to the average citizen.
Why do they still think we are pre-able to read, be apart of and instant information.
We understand it, get it, see it, know your not able to do your jobs. These stands and stances are laugable. and as Jim Hall said, They destroy value; they’re not wearing white hats.

Why dont they undersand we get it and we know what they arent doing for this country and that what they are doing doesnt apply to the average citizen.
Why do they still think we are pre-able to read, be apart of and instant information. Understand and dislike what they do? They are like kids, if mom isnt looking directly at them, she cant hear.
We understand it, get it, see it, know your not able to do your jobs. These stands and stances are laugable. and as Jim Hall said, They destroy value; they’re not wearing white hats.

Michael:  “If you have ever tried to build a business from scratch, that required outside capital, you would have a clear sense of what I and my fellow entrepreneurs experience all the time about the problems created by the government with respect to small business capital markets.”


We hear this all the time, but no one is ever specific or concrete about which regulations they want to do away with, nor do they explain how it is that any specific regulation keeps them from succeeding.  It ends up sounding like ideological claptrap.  Maybe it isn’t claptrap, but that’s what it sounds like.

Jesse Eisinger, the author of this garbage and others like him have absolutely no clue what they are talking about.
There are already a millions laws on the books that protect investors. The JOBS bill does not need to address those once again.

It was approved by a bi-partisan congress and Obama administration agrees with it.

These articles and comments are desperate attempt by the gate keepers to keep Their jobs and inhibit new ideas from taking shape.

Corwdfunding is happening, so wake up!
The only thing that is not happening is for people to get a piece of the action when they crowdfund a project.

Time after time, Democrats stepped up to take the tough actions needed to prevent economic collapse while Republican­­s buried their heads in the sand.
I have a simple fix, vote out the Republicans.

here is who is ‘regulating’ (aka, blocking the so called ‘free market’) small business:
the sec, finra, every single broker out there, transfer agents, securities lawyers..
all these are not enough for ignorants such as Jesse Eisinger.
If Jesse Eisinger knew anything about anything or if he was willing to tell the truth, he would be thrashing this garbage he publishes..
Who is paying you to publish this c rap Jesse Eisinger?

Investigate Shapiro for lying to Congress!!
Shapiro put in place so much red tape that it can cost thousands of dollars to clear as stock certificate worth a few hundred bucks.
Demand Shapiro tells the truth!! Why is she hiding material information from Congress?
Why is she not doing what she is forcing thousands of small businesses to do: disclose material information that could affect the market?

Investigate Shapiro for lying to Congress now!!

This is who Shapiro and Jesse Eisinger should be worried about. Yet, they are protecting them through their silence and actions against small business - small business that is clearly affected by the actions of these crooks!

Bank of America: Too Crooked to Fail
The bank has defrauded everyone from investors and insurers to homeowners and the unemployed. So why does the government keep bailing it out?


Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/bank-of-america-too-crooked-to-fail-20120314#ixzz1pCucENuC

oof…Chinese companies that went public in the US blew up by the “boatload”? Wanna rethink that wording?

As any commercial fisherman will tell you, when you drop that big net to go trawling, you get a wide assortment of things that co-exist in the same patch of ocean, ranging from wonderful and delicious to Aa-acc-kkk!-How can THAT be a living creature?

So, your open the doors so more small businesses can start, ramp up, and maintain life long enough to be viable-will you get some “Boiler Rooms and Scams”? Absolutely-without a doubt. However, there ARE some differences between the 80’s and 90’s and now. (1) We have the means to easily verify what or who we’re dealing with in business, whether on the net, phone or in a “brick and mortar” establishment. (2) Having lived through the times you speak of, we’re just a tad bit savvier. (3) With the creation of so many ways to gather moss if you happen to be a “rolling stone”, like Manta, Emily’s List, Linked In, and the good old BBB, it’s getting harder to scam and remain obscure-unless you’re a Big Bank, Industry, or Investment Firm. So..if this program gets even a few hundred thousand (and a similar USDA Program is shooting for starting 100,000 New Small Farms this year alone) Prospering businesses, and 5-10% end up going down in the flames they deserve, I think we’re big enough, as a Nation, to deal with it. Leaving the way new Small Business is currently hobbled by Finances, Regulations, and Bureaucratic “oversight” isn’t really an option.

anel Morman|Asa Di

Dec. 18, 2013, 5:41 a.m.

I have been absent for some time

Jesse Eisinger

About The Trade

In this column, co-published with New York Times' DealBook, I monitor the financial markets to hold companies, executives and government officials accountable for their actions. Tips? Praise? Contact me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)