IT Compliance Advisor

Apr 11 2012   7:39PM GMT

Is the JOBS Act’s deregulation good or bad? Depends on whom you ask

Ben Cole Ben Cole Profile: Ben Cole

So now that President Obama has signed the JOBS Act into law, will deregulating the emerging businesses increase jobs and jumpstart the economy as intended? Or will the financial deregulation simply increase the likelihood for fraud that caused the current economic malaise in the first place?

It depends on who you ask.

For example, you could read a recent opinion article on CNN.com by Amy M. Wilkinson, a senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Wilkinson praises the JOBS Act’s passage, noting that it will promote entrepreneurship and job creation.

“Sarbanes-Oxley compliance is much more onerous for smaller companies than it is for larger entities such as General Electric, Johnson & Johnson or IBM,” Wilkinson writes. “The JOBS Act helps smaller companies conserve resources.”

On the other side of the coin, you could read Matt Taibbi’s Rolling Stone blog post with the not-too-subtle headline “Why Obama’s JOBS Act Couldn’t Suck Worse.” And Taibbi’s criticism does get worse from there.

“In fact, one could say this law is not just a sweeping piece of deregulation that will have an increase in securities fraud as an accidental, ancillary consequence,” Taibbi writes. “No, this law actually appears to have been specifically written to encourage fraud in the stock markets.”

These are just two examples of the wide range of opinions on the matter. You also have the Washington Post’s article titled “JOBS Act could give some banks a boost.” The Post article points out that small banks will be allowed to raise additional capital without having to register with the SEC, a requirement that can cost “tens of thousands of dollars a year in compliance costs” each year. Then there are opinions like that of former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, who suggested renaming the JOBS Act the “Return Fraud to Wall Street in One Easy Step Act.”

So what do you think of the JOBS Act passage? Is it a business boost that the United States has been clamoring for since the economic collapse? Or is it an invitation to create more fraud like the kind that got us in this mess in the first place? Or is it somewhere in between? Let SearchCompliance.com know in our comments section below, or hit us up on Twitter @ITCompliance to provide your opinion. We’d love to hear our readers’ thoughts on such a divisive issue.

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