Who in their right mind could vote against a bill in Congress entitled the "JOBS Act"? The answer obviously is very few members of either house.
How many of those who voted for it knew what was in it? And how many of those who read it connected its provisions to the lessons of the last decade? The answer must be very few.
Critical provisions in the law remove SEC oversight and other obstacles to raising up to $50 million for small businesses. That is tantamount to putting up a sign saying "Swindlers Welcome."
Everyone is properly in favor of more jobs. Apparently there are some, however, who think that more capital in the hands of smaller businesses automatically translates into more jobs. How many such jobs are likely to result and how likely are they to be good, long-term jobs?
How soon and fast we forget! Madoff raked in somewhere between $20 and $60 billion and perhaps created 20 jobs.
The core of this new cynically and cleverly named Jobs Act is to remove obstacles to securing capital for smaller business. The idea is shameless.
The result will be like the last decade and the abuses in the housing finance markets.
In addition to a few legitimate practitioners, there will be open hunting season for every clever peddler of phony securities. The absolutely predictable result will be, a few years out, a major rash of fraud. Only this time it won't be the big banks -- it will be down-market bucket shops.
The president is being sold the Brooklyn Bridge to Hell. If that bill becomes law, it will be Obama's biggest mistake of his presidency.
If Congress wants to pass it over his veto, it will be entirely their fault. The only good that could come of that would be a crisis that could be big enough to really address the basic problems in our political system.
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