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The SEC and Crowdfunding: A Reader's Guide

The SEC and Crowdfunding: A Reader's Guide

It's been a big few weeks for crowdfunding. Last week President Obama went on national TV to push for his job's bill, and said that federal agencies need to cut the red tape that prevents start-ups from raising capital and going public. This was followed the next day by a White House blog post which pushed for allowing startups "to raise money through “crowdfunding” – gathering many small-dollar investments that add up to as much as $1 million." Then yesterday a top SEC official told a US House of Representatives subcommittee that she sees benefits to easing restrictions surrounding crowdfunding.


Want to catch up on what's happened? Here's a primer, in rough chronological order, on how this fast-moving story is playing out:


  • Start with Kevin Lawton's March 2011 post on the status quo. You won't find a more pithy explanation of the SECs current attitude toward crowdfunding, or a better argument for why the policy needs to be overhauled.
  • Carefully read the White House blog post on the relevant portion of the Jobs Bill.
  • The Wall Street Journal (subscription required), has been all over this story. Here's a great rundown of the "Pabst Brouhaha," which is widely believed to have triggered the Congressional scrutiny of crowdfunding.
  • Paul Spinrad, who keeps the blog and is a major proponent of deregulation, reads between the lines of the various propsals here.
  • Bloomberg News has a solid, straightforward account of yesterday's hearing.
  • And if you're a glutton for droning bureaucrats, or perhaps simply have serious skin in the game, watch the entire video transcript of yesterday's hearing at, where else, but here at
  • Finally, it isn't just the US government that would like to free up all that latent capital that could flow to small companies. Here's an essay from the UK publication The Lawyer about how deregulation could play out across the pond.


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