Thursday, April 22, 2010

Mother of all Thursday morning tab dumps 

My Facebook friends and other contributors (thank you Bomber Girl!) have been sending me tons of interesting links. I would be betraying you, my loyal readers, if I did not pass them along with pithy accompaniment.

Charts, graphs, and 8 x 10 color glossy photographs with circles and arrows that show that countries get more liberal -- meaning, in this case, left wing -- after financial crises.

Photographing the police is not a crime, however much they would wish that it were.

The financial reform legislation now before Congress proposes to raise the financial threshold for determining whether an investor is sufficiently wealthy for our government to allow them to purchase securities in a private placement. The result, no doubt intended, will be to dry up "angel" (as opposed to venture fund) capital for start-ups. Why do I say intentional? Because the partners in the big venture capital firms are big contributors to political campaigns. Read the whole thing, and then ask yourself whether the Obama administration actually gives a rat's ass about private sector (as opposed to public) employment growth. Much more along the same lines here, including the point that the financial reform bill is yet another huge piece of legislation that even experts do not understand.

This would seem to be bad news for the government's case against Goldman Sachs, which is itself a huge political bet by the SEC. Meanwhile, Goldman has recruited a player from the opposing team to its defense.

I am nothing if not fair and balanced: Letterman's Goldman Sachs "top ten excuses."

George Will's column on the Trenton Thunder -- New Jersey's tough new Republican governor -- is tremendously good. He is certainly winning fans, even on the right; Christie had to win a primary over a more conservative Republican, but last week I heard Ann Coulter tell the students of Ramapo College in Mahwah that she hoped Christie runs for president some day. To huge cheers, I might add.

Two long articles, neither of which I have finished, that fall in the category of essential reading: "The false religion of Mideast peace: And why I'm no longer a believer" and "The Jihadist Laws of War" (by my friend, military historian Mary Habeck).

Is General Motors actually repaying government money, as it claims? Er, no.

The video Michael "hide the decline" Mann does not want you to see.

All about biking in the Adirondacks, a subject close to my heart.



By Blogger JC, at Thu Apr 22, 01:38:00 PM:

Loved the GM repayment story.

Reminds me of the lyrics of "There's a hole in the bucket".


By Anonymous Brian Schmidt, at Thu Apr 22, 06:34:00 PM:

Well I made it all of 24 seconds into the "spoof" video when I saw the temperature graph. Funny how they don't show it long enough to read the data, isn't it?

But if you freeze the video, which apparently is a recent production, you see it stops looking at temperatures in June 2009. Current data, from the same source, is here:


Hide the decline? Who's hiding what?  

By Blogger randian, at Thu Apr 22, 09:01:00 PM:

I assume the purpose of raising the accredited investor threshold is to eliminate private competition to the investments offered by licensed stock brockerages. They represent billions of dollars in fees not going to the major Wall Street houses. The VC firms, on the other hand, don't want this unless they're idiots, because it guarantees they can't start follow funds to their current ones because none of their investors qualify.

This affects me because I'm looking into raising funds right now, and if it passes I won't be able to. Even if by some miracle I could raise sufficient funds under Dodd's rules, stripping Reg D Rule 506 of its preemption of state securities regulation means my company is dead anyway, as the capital structure I prefer wouldn't pass muster with my state's regulators. They, naturally, know better than my investors what capital structure is good for them.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Apr 22, 09:02:00 PM:

students of Ramapo College in Mahwah

bwhaa ha ha!

No wonder PA, MD, and CT colleges are full of Jerseyites  

By Blogger Escort81, at Thu Apr 22, 10:58:00 PM:

Well, Randian, they are trying to protect you from your investors, or maybe it's that they are trying to protect your investors from you, or maybe they are trying to protect the state from you and your investors.

I agree that most VC firms of any size do not wish the angel community ill.  

By Blogger randian, at Fri Apr 23, 02:23:00 AM:

Well, Randian, they are trying to protect you from your investors, or maybe it's that they are trying to protect your investors from you, or maybe they are trying to protect the state from you and your investors.

I have no doubt they will claim they're just protecting consumers, even though it's patently not true. Note too that limiting private equity to the rich is a "rich get richer" rule, which the average consumer activist claims to abhor. Naturally their response to that is to virtually shut down private equity, rather than open it up to everybody. What's the point of making a special "accredited" category of investors if you still won't allow them to use their own judgment? Another reminder of why I hate the nanny state.  

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