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正确监管众筹有助缩小财富差距

2008年的那场危机让我们见识了金融领域的剧烈动荡,害怕和恐惧驱动着经济行为。所以说,强化美国小企业金融市场和缩小贫富差距变得刻不容缓。

现在不是表达JOBS法案理念蕴含的良好意图的时候,改革资本筹集方式才是最要紧的。近五年来,低层阶级和中上阶级的贫富差距日益扩大,达到了近几十年来的峰值。这不仅仅在美国和欧洲国家颇为重要,我们必须认识到资本筹集已经走上了全球化的趋势。

世界范围内来看,社会和福利支出不均等趋势日益明显。前百分之一的收入增长大部分是由于某些薪酬的增长带来的,比如资产经理和首席官的工资,与股票价格密切相关。近十年来,具有挑战性的经济和市场背景导致很多资产的低回报以及高波动率,尤其是在增长中的股票。对很多人来说,投资的目的是在可接受的风险水平下获得资产长期增值。而同时,小企业也在不断寻求融资机会来生产或提供服务,其实它们的发展也在创造工作机会。

创业企业融资法案,众筹监管

条例三(对众筹的监管)的主要目的在于促进在线资本筹集,帮助小型新兴企业,同时促进就业。小型企业创造的职位数量占就业市场的64%。不幸地是,随着目前一系列试行规则的出台,小企业运用股权众筹融资的动力被大大削弱了。

究其原因,有些条款加重了企业家的财政负担,扩大了大型企业的责任范围,同时也提升了注册融资门户的风险。比如说以下这些条款:

  1. 融资50万美元以上需财务披露和持续报告;
  2. 资本筹集限制;
  3. 融资门户网站的法定义务。

第一系列众筹法规审查已经开始,也许这也正是委员会创建平衡经济生态系统的最佳时机,以便让这个系统更好得为企业家、融资平台和投资者服务。

一个被剥夺权力的市场:女性

全世界人口中女性占据了51%,但在财富500强企业CEO中只有4.2%是女性,这相当于这500个企业的CEO中只有22位女性。

然而,在如今的美国,女性具有惊人的消费和购买力——而且这一趋势还在不断增长。市场估算其总购买力每年可达5万亿美元到15万亿美元,而且消费的范围尤其巨大。福莱国际估算,女性在接下来的几十年将会控制美国三分之二的消费者财富,而且会成为美国历史上最大规模的财富转移受益者——这样的结果应该算是给了那些对目前谁来维持美国经济发展的好奇者一个说法。

除了处理美国大量生活消费品的购买决策之外,他们可能还会影响其他高价的购买交易——房屋、汽车、电器、家具等——更不要说大部分的日常消费,如服装、杂物和其他日用消费。

根据波士顿咨询公司2013年全球调查显示,在每年的消费者开支中,女性控制了20万亿美元。在接下来的五年里,该数值有望增长到28万亿美元。这项数据变相的说明了一个问题,即如果1%的消费者支出能够进入股权众筹领域,那么众筹的市场份额将达到3000亿美元。

如果有切实可行的指导规则,女性将有望成为一个重要的新投资者阶层。女性也将成为她们自己企业的CEO,这反过来也会创造就业机会,促进创新发展——但是首先要有相关众筹监管措施并落实到位。

千禧年的“Y一代”

人口学家将“Y一代”定义为年龄在18到37岁的人群———有史以来人口最多的一群人。该人群仅在美国就有8600万之多,比“婴儿潮”那一代要多7%。Y一代占美国人口比例高达27%。

股权众筹会成为初创企业融资和创造就业机会的重要来源。

对于下一代来说,就业前景并不好,高额的学生贷款使他们前途暗淡。“鉴于移民的存在,到2020年,Y一代会持续增长到8850万人,”大都会人寿成熟市场研究所研究员、人口学家Peter Francese说道。

在接下来的几年,世界经济需要依赖于Y一代的经济实力和消费能力。但是目前,Y一代在经济上还处于被剥夺权力或受到抑制的状态。

比如,在整个欧洲范围内,大约20%年龄在25岁以下的人们没有工作,而在受经济危机影响更大的国家,这个比率达到了40%以上。而他们的需求将改变多个行业,比如房产业、汽车行业、零售业和金融服务业。

因此,我们必须要让这一代人可以在社会站稳脚跟,创造价值和财富。股权众筹投资将会成为初创企业融资和创造就业机会的重要支撑。这可能会使Y一代和其他参与者掌握提高就业能力的一系列技能,同时激发创新热情,为我们的年轻人创造机会。

也就是说,这样会促进经济快速发展,为Y一代在社会上提供一席之地。年轻人对未来政府福利项目充满质疑,而众筹正好可以开辟一个新储蓄时代,同时创造一个充满投资机会和财富的社会投资市场。

在经济不稳定时期,为什么你需要考虑投资小一点的企业?大企业具有较高的知名度,无论金融环境是否稳定,常常是令人安心的防守型投资选择。“蓝筹股”可能会带来安全感,但即使在动荡的市场环境下,小型股票也可以提供良好的长期投资机会。

集资激发财富创造

众筹监管条例应该服务于人,同时由人创造。证券交易委员会起草的一系列规则应该可以被大众所理解和接受。这就需要开展相关法规教育,对中介、发行者、投资者进行监管和激励。对于目前这个多层次的资本市场,我们必须要建立一个生态系统,鼓励和支持竞争和相关利益。能够成功地平衡这些利益的市场才可以在资本筹集方面走的更远。有效率的市场需要改善资本配置,促进长期经济增长。JOBS法案就为这带来了可能。

但是,目前的条例很像是一系列针对那些被剥夺权力的人们的惩罚条例,比如小型企业(发行者),融资平台(大部分是初创企业),和投资者。

众筹是为企业、项目或想法融资的另一个途径,因为在美国和国外以“捐款”和“回报”为基础的活动而被众人知晓。众筹在过去十年一直在发展,起先在电影和音乐界,之后在新闻业,如今在风投和债务融资方面。

若投资于小公司,传统投资更依赖于一两个大型机构的评估,众筹则和传统投资不同,原因如下:(1)众筹使得企业家可以吸引“一大群”,比如社会网络相关人或希望共享利益的人来投资;(2)致力于通过已注册的中介(融资网络平台或经纪人)实现在线融资目标(活动);(3)每12个月,至多融资100万美元。

一个具有活力的资本市场是一个可以给大众创造就业机会的健康经济体制的基础。

人们认为,在很多情况下,众筹模式会比试图让一个人或一个团体投资一整个项目更成功。

此外,有时候一些投资者可能会由于是否投资一个未被证实的想法,众筹则可以通过许多赞助者(授信和非授信),连同朋友和家人一同提供种子资金。

投资者正在转向类似于众筹的新市场,而这些市场常常历史记录信息并不丰富,而股票发行者往往愿意支付股利,并认为这是建立集资和股东信心最好的路径之一 ,因为支付股利常常流露出管理层对公司未来的信心。

结论

结论

2012年4月5日,JOBS法案签署,现已大约两年过去了,大多数人都想知道众筹监管最终条例何时颁布?

国会已经提供了规定的框架;现在证券交易委员拥有细化的实施相关规定的权力,来管理一个需要全面改革的资本市场。

通过将大众媒体与债权或股权融资相结合,众筹将彻底改革金融资本市场。众筹建立的新资本类别将会使早期交易业务更加完美。此外,它还会创造出一个新的投资阶层,开启下一个财富创造时代。

众筹将会成为进驻资本市场的热门渠道。如今这已经实现了,并且正在迅速发展。透明性成为企业家和投资者共同的关键要求,现在众筹提供了这样一个平台,可以创造就业机会,可以使大众资本可以投资小型或上升期的公司。

如果监管条件太过繁重,或对任何参与方的激励政策不如从前,这个生态系统的工作潜力将无法充分体现。。公司们将在获取投资者方面遇到困难,创新和创造就业机会方面也会受到负面影响,经济也会受到影响。

一个具有活力的资本市场是一个可以给每个人创造就业机会的健康经济体制的基础。

Now that we have seen what real turbulence is with the financial crisis of 2008, fear and panic are drivers of economic behavior. Strengthening the financial markets for America’s small businesses and closing the wealth gap amongst the crowd is a must.

Now is not the time to gesticulate the good intentions embedded in the idea of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act) but now is the time to reform capital formation. The wealth disparity gap globally has expanded wider for the lower to upper middle classes more in the last five years then it has in the past decade. This is not just important in the United States or the European Union, it is also important to recognize that capital formation is a global process.

The tendency towards ever-increasing social and entitlement spending has occurred disproportionately globally. Much of the rise in the income share of the top one per cent is explainable by a tendency for some wages, such as those of asset managers and chief executives, to track stock prices closely. Over the last decade the challenging economic and market background has led to lower returns across many asset classes, as well as higher than normal volatility especially for shares exposed to growth markets. For many people, the objective of investing is to achieve long-term capital growth with an acceptable risk level. While at the same time small businesses are seeking financing to build products and services, operate and grow their businesses that yield job creation.

JOBS Act, Regulation Crowdfunding

Title III (Regulation Crowdfunding), was created to spur capital formation online for small emerging businesses while fostering job creation. Small enterprising companies create 64 percent of all jobs. Unfortunately, with the current set of final proposed rules, incentives for small businesses to use securities based crowdfunding to raise money has been dramatically lessened.

The reasons behind this challenge is that several of the provisions saddle the entrepreneurs with financial burdens and responsibilities of larger more established businesses while also increasing the risk for Registered Funding Portals. A few examples of the proposed rules which include these issues are;

  1. Financial Disclosures for raises of $500K or more and the on-going reporting obligation;
  2. Limitation on Capital Raised; and
  3. Statutory of Liability for Funding Portals.

With the first set of crowdfunding rules under review and pending, this is the best time for the Commission to create a foundation that will foster a balanced ecosystem that will serve entrepreneurs, funding platforms and investors collectively.

A Disenfranchised Market Place: Women

Women make up 51% of the world’s population but only 4.2% hold CEO roles at Fortune 500 companies; this equals only 22 women out of 500 companies.

However, women have tremendous spending and buying power in America today—and it’s growing. Market estimates about their total purchasing prowess varies, ranging anywhere from $5 trillion to $15 trillion annually. And the scope of that spending is notably vast. Fleishman-Hillard Inc. estimates that women will control two-thirds of the consumer wealth in the United States over the next decade and be the beneficiaries of the largest transference of wealth in our country’s history—compelling insight for anyone curious about who’s keeping the U.S. economy going these days.

In addition to handling the bulk of the purchasing decisions for consumer goods in the U.S., they’re also likely to influence or manage many other big ticket purchases—homes, autos, appliances, furniture, etc.—not to mention a large portion of the apparel, groceries and everyday purchases.

According to a survey conducted by the Boston Consulting group in 2013, globally, women control $20 trillion in annual consumer spending (U.S. dollars). In the next five years, it is expected that this number will rise to $28 trillion. This data supports the notion that crowdfund investments could become a $300 billion market if only 1% of consumer spending would get redirected to securities based crowdfunding.

If given a workable set of rules, women are positioned to become a strong segment of the new investor class. Women are also poised to become CEOs of their own businesses; which in turn will create jobs and spur future innovation – but Regulation Crowdfunding must become available and work.

Millennial “ Generation Y”

Generation Y, which is defined by demographers as ranging from ages 18 up to as old as 37 – make up the largest population demographic we have ever seen. Eighty six million strong in the U.S. alone, it is 7 % larger than the baby boom generation. Generation Y makes up 27% of the U.S. population.

Security based on crowdfunding can be a significant source of resources to fund new businesses and drive job creation.

There are few job prospects for the next generation, towering student loans, and what appears to be a bleak future, “Generation Y could keep growing to 88.5 million people by 2020, owing to immigration,” says demographer Peter Francese, an analyst at MetLife Mature Market Institute.

In the coming years, the world economy will need to depend on their economic might and spending power. But for now, Generation Y is financially disenfranchised and discouraged.

For example, across Europe some 20 percent of those under 25 years of age are without a job, in countries harder hit by the economic crisis the rate is above 40 percent. Industries from housing and autos to retailing and financial services could be transformed by this generation’s collective demands and desires.

It is therefore vital to enable this generation to establish themselves in society, to create value and wealth. Alternative securities based on crowdfunding can be a significant source of resources to fund new businesses and drive job creation. It may enable Generation Y, and others on the investing and receiving side, to gain skill sets that increase their employability, drive innovation and create opportunity for our youth.

This would result in much needed economic growth and provide Generation Y with a place in society. Coupled with young people’s doubts about the future of government entitlement programs, this could usher in a new era of saving and a bull market for investment opportunities and wealth across society.

In uncertain economic times why should you consider investing in smaller companies? Large companies offer familiar names and often a reassuringly defensive position to weather unsettled financial conditions. ‘Blue chip’ might convey a feeling of security but even in volatile markets small caps can offer great long-term investment opportunities.

Capital Formation spurs Wealth Creation

Regulation Crowdfunding was created for the people and by the people and it is imperative that the SEC crafts a set of rules that will be understood and adopted by the masses. This will require facilitating educational programs, regulations and incentives for Intermediaries, Issuers and Investors. The ecosystem to support a capital market that is multi-layered will need to be able to support competing and related interests. The markets that succeed in balancing these many interests are the markets that will go the furthest in facilitating capital formation. Efficient markets need to improve the allocation of capital and enhance long-term economic growth. This is an incredible opportunity with the JOBS Act.

However, the current rules resemble a set of rules that punishes the disenfranchised: small businesses (issuers), funding portals (mainly startups), and investors.

Crowdfunding is an alternative approach to raising finance for a business, project or idea, popularized by “donation” and “rewards” based campaigns in the United States and abroad. Crowdfunding has evolved over the last decade, first in the film and music industries, then in journalism and now in venture and debt finance.

Crowdfunding is unlike traditional investment, in where one relies on large commitments from one or two institutions in a small business in that; (a) crowdfunding enables an entrepreneur to attract a “crowd” of people, who may be linked by social networks or shared interests; (b) and contributes towards an online funding target (campaign) via a registered intermediary (Funding Portal or Broker Dealer); and c) raise up to $1 million per every 12 month calendar period.

A vibrant capital market is the foundation of a healthy economy that creates jobs – for everyone.

It is believed that, in many cases, the crowdfunding model will be more successful than attempting to source the full investment required from a single individual or organization.

Furthermore, while some investors may be hesitant to invest in an unproven idea, crowdfunding provides an alternative way to source seed capital from a number of backers, accredited and non-accredited, along with friends and family.

As investors move into new markets like crowdfund investments, where historical information may be hard to find, issuers willing to pay dividends might realize that this is one of the best roadmaps available to building capital formation and shareholder confidence, since paying dividends usually telegraph management’s confidence in the future of the company.

Conclusion
结论

Almost two years have passed since the signing of the JOBS Act, on April 5, 2012 and many of us are wondering when will the final rules for Regulation Crowdfunding go-live?

Congress provided the framework; now the SEC has the longitude and latitude to implement provisions that will govern a capital market in need of dyer change.

Crowdfunding is set to revolutionize the financial capital markets by combining social media and debt/equity-based financing. Crowdfunding is poised to usher in a new asset class that will change how early stage financing transactions are consummated. 

In addition, it will create a new investor class that could start the journey to wealth creation for the next generation.

Crowdfunding will become a prevalent way to gain access to capital; it is already happening today and has become big business. Transparency is the core requirement for both the entrepreneur and investors the opportunity to spur job creation and provide access to the public capital markets for small and emerging companies is now.

If the rules become too burdensome, or if incentives become diminished for any party, the ecosystem will operate far below its potential – if at all. Companies will have difficulty reaching new investors, innovation and job creation will remain hampered, and the economy will suffer.

A vibrant capital market is the foundation of a healthy economy that creates jobs – for everyone.


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