How would a President Trump affect small business finance?

How would a President Trump affect small business finance?

One thing is certain.  Trump has an awkward relationship with the chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mary Jo White.

According to this fascinating article in the Washington Post, Mary Jo White, when in private practice, deposed the Donald on behalf of her client, a New York Times reporter that Trump had sued for writing that his net worth was far less than what he claimed.

Apparently the deposition was quite challenging for Trump – he was caught in about 30 lies.

So, Mary Joe White is not likely to be our SEC chair for much longer.

What else might happen?

At a recent crowdfunding conference, some of the speakers expressed optimism that deregulation will make capital raising and secondary trading easier for small business.  It is certainly true that it has become so expensive to be a public company that very few companies are choosing to go public these days and some are choosing to go private.

It’s hard to know what might change under a Trump presidency, but one possibility is that the restrictions on who can invest in a small business could be loosened.

As the Republican member of the SEC says, “I want to move beyond the artificial distinction between so-called “accredited” and “non-accredited” investors and challenge the notion that non-accredited investors are “being protected” when the government prohibits them from investing in high-risk securities. . . .  Because most investors are risk averse, riskier securities must offer investors higher returns. This means that prohibiting non-accredited investors from investing in high-risk securities is the same thing as prohibiting them from investing in high-return securities. . . .  [E]ven a well-intentioned investor protection policy can ultimately harm the very investors the policy is intended to protect. . . .  Remarkably, if you think about it, by allowing only high-income and high-net-worth individuals to reap the risk and return benefits from investing in certain securities, the government may actually exacerbate wealth inequality.”

What do you think?  How do we balance the need to protect “un-sophisticated” investors with the need to make it possible for small businesses to raise capital from their communities, customers, and fans?

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The Party is Over – Time to Invest Local

The Party is Over – Time to Invest Local

I was lucky enough to participate in the “Battle in Seattle” – a giant protest again globalization at the meeting of the World Trade Organization.  The protesters were worried that trade agreements would massively shift wealth to giant multinational corporations and away from workers and communities and we were right.

Well, now those who partied for the last 25 years are starting to worry.  Finally, governments are listening to the cries of citizens about the redistribution of wealth to the richest 0.1%.  “Some big global investors worry that the broad slowdown in world trade and growing populist opposition to new trade agreements are undermining corporate profits and could be the next big drag on the stock market,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

“U.S. equity prices have been supported for the past three decades by an acceleration of global trade and a freer flow of capital. . . .  But now there is worry that the party is ending. “We believe globalization has probably reached its peak,” said Marino Valensise, head of the multiasset team at Barings, a member of the MassMutual Financial Group with $275 billion in assets under management.

One expert expects that if the trend continues, stocks traded on Wall Street could fall by 17%.

It might be a good time to start shifting your money to the parts of the economy that do not depend on liberal global trade deals!  How about your local camp, restaurant, or newspaper?

Let’s start investing in the real economy, rather than the opaque, complex, financialized Wall Street economy.

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