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How the Government Let Us Down on Crowdfunding -- Today's Outrage

The crowdfunding investment intermediaries will also be responsible in providing disclosures to investors "related to risks and other investor education materials," according to rules that will be developed by the SEC. The portals will be required to make sure investors don't violate investment limits or hand money over to businesses raising funds until the aggregate target amount has been raised. Otherwise, investors' money must be returned.

Title III goes further in an effort to keep crowdfunding from becoming a free-for-all, by requiring that portals "not compensate promoters, finders, or lead generators for providing the broker or funding portal with the personal identifying information of any potential investor," and also by prohibiting "directors, officers or partners" of the portals from having financial interests in the businesses raising money.

"Democratization of Capitalism"

Barkats says the JOBS Act is a "game changer," as even the president and members of Congress "realize that creation of jobs and formation of capital cannot come from bureaucrats but from the bottom up." He calls the legalization of crowdfunding for equity and debt investments in the U.S. the "democratization of capitalism."

"It's insane that institutional investors have the right to participate in the growth of companies, while ordinary people are excluded. The JOBS Act creates a disintermediation between the so-called experts who brought us to a credit crunch and ordinary investors, allowing each and every of us to make a direct decision."

Barkats says medical-research companies provide a good example of how a revolutionary "combination of social media and investors" can benefit entrepreneurs, investors and the entire economy: "If you believe you are on the cusp of an innovative cure, you can solicit from anybody online, and not be held hostage by venture capital firms or Big Pharma, and not be held hostage by so-called non-profit organizations."

"The JOBS Act is a great step in the right direction," says Barkats, "but we need more 'doers' at the SEC than regulators. They are sitting on a great project that will allow our companies to compete with the rest of the world. Let the market be free and let people make their own decisions."

-- Written by Philip van Doorn in Jupiter, Fla.

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>Contact by Email.

Philip W. van Doorn is a member of TheStreet's banking and finance team, commenting on industry and regulatory trends. He previously served as the senior analyst for TheStreet.com Ratings, responsible for assigning financial strength ratings to banks and savings and loan institutions. Mr. van Doorn previously served as a loan operations officer at Riverside National Bank in Fort Pierce, Fla., and as a credit analyst at the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, where he monitored banks in New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico. Mr. van Doorn has additional experience in the mutual fund and computer software industries. He holds a bachelor of science in business administration from Long Island University.
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