SEC Considers Securities Law Deregulation
HOST: Officials from the Securities and Exchange Commission are in San Francisco on Friday, to meet with entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. KQED’s Aarti Shahani reports that Silicon Valley is asking federal regulators to make it easier for private companies to raise cash.
AARTI SHAHANI: Federal regulators are proposing to deregulate securities law. While in the Bay Area, they'll be getting feedback on a proposal to let private companies advertise their shares on TV and the internet, much like a prescription drug.
ROBERT BARTLETT: So they could solicit venture capitalists they never met, but also solicit investors like you and me.
SHAHANI: Robert Bartlett, a law professor at UC Berkeley, is speaking at the meeting. Bartlett says the SEC proposal makes it tricky for companies to actually ensure that potential investors have enough money and sophistication to be qualified.
BARTLETT: The SEC did not provide any clear standard that a company can follow to assure itself that it is in fact taking reasonable steps. Instead, what the SEC provided is this murky 'facts and circumstances' set of guidelines that a company should employ.
SHAHANI: Bartlett says before federal regulators enact the rules, they have an opportunity to make protections clearer for both investors and businesses.
I'm Aarti Shahani, KQED News.