Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Interesting to See How This One Rides Out

Nasdaq Gives High Rollers A Market Free Of Regulation
By David Cho Washington Post Staff Writer Tuesday, August 14, 2007; A01
Nasdaq is set to launch tomorrow what its executives are calling one of the most significant developments on Wall Street in decades -- a private stock market for super-wealthy investors.
Minimum requirement for traders: $100 million in assets.
Any private firm can list on Nasdaq's new platform, which is called the Portal Market, and raise money by selling stock to an elite group of shareholders. These companies would remain private and not have to make public their financial statements or submit to federal regulation, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate accountability law.
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Presumably, this is not a Field of Dreams, where if you build it they will come. The federal laws such as Sarbanes-Oxley are not optional, they were enacted to protect the entire investment community. Opting out may not be an choice, just because the money is privately raised. It begs the question, just what is private money? I'm reminded of the time the Chicago Bears threatened to move to Rosemont, Illinois if Mayor Daley didn't build them a new (and free) stadium. Daley called their bluff and said he wished them success as they became the Rosemont Bears, because he would keep them from using Chicago in their name.
But then Dick Daley (the father) was a stand-up guy.

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