Over the next few weeks, there will be a couple of birthdays which will resonate in California, big time. Harvey Weinstein will celebrate his 62nd birthday on March 19, and the "Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act" (JOBS Act) will mark its second year the first day of April.
Weinstein is a Hollywood legend known to everyone; the 'JOBS Act' is a gift known to many political donors, particularly in Silicon Valley.
While there probably will be typical birthday-related enthusiasm, the man many consider a kingmaker (and breaker...just ask Stallone) might be brooding over the fact his industry is not getting enough free stuff in California, of all places. On the one hand, I find it amazing that everyone has missed the bald-faced fact that the 'JOBS Act' has created a slew of instant millionaires, while pumping billions into President Obama's favorite industries of high technology and biotechnology. Engineering geeks and scientists are receiving huge economic windfalls from loopholes designed to circumvent the rules.
Going Public with Closed Kimono
When businesses sell shares to the public it is a big deal. It says we have arrived and plan to impact the world. Because these companies have been vetted, and for the most part already successful, there is typically a hearty appetite on Main Street to become part owners. Who wouldn't want to be part owner of a hot new business blazing a path of riches? Of course, there was a time when the system was broken, those hot IPOs were just extensions of hot dreams and business plans written on a napkin just days before. One of the highlights of the great tech bubble was the conveyer-belt IPO machine pumping out "hot" deals each week - stocks that began trading out the gate were up 100%; never looking back...until they all got their wings clipped and they never stopped free falling. The rules changed and it was open kimono time...let it all hang out for the public to see. No more selling the sizzle, we had to see the steak too. The IPO market dried up and hot deals faded away like smiles on Manhattan streets.
That all changed with the 'JOBS Act,' which allowed companies to bypass a lot of things we used to call "due diligence" on Wall Street.