As you may have heard, Mary Schapiro intentionally held up the rulemaking for key crowdfunding and Reg D. general solicitation provisions of the JOBS Act.
The perception is that lobbyists urging Shapiro for further public comment got their way. While public comment is normal, in the case of that stage of the Reg. D general solicitation rulemaking, more comment likely wasn’t necessary. Spicy emails uncovered by House Republican sponsors of the JOBS Act don’t help make Shapiro look any better on this matter. As an industry advocate that has given the SEC the benefit of the doubt for a while, it is frustrating to hear that perhaps the leadership there was not dealing with us in good faith. While I haven’t seen that from the staff I’ve talked with directly, it is frustrating to hear that there was obstruction in place at the highest level.
That said, the most recent CFIRA/SEC talks I was part of with two commissioners at the SEC on Friday December 14th point towards the remaining leadership there reinvigorating the rulemaking process. That is promising. Still, even with a reinvigorated process, I still see it roughly the way I saw it back in July of this year.
One thing that could change all that is a recent announcement from FINRA’s Board of Governors authorizing FINRA to provide portals with an interim form that could be submitted to FINRA and passed to the SEC before the rules get finalized. Neither I nor my executive colleagues at CFIRA.org have more information on this yet. We are all working hard to figure out what it means and what the SEC’s reaction to it will be. Expect more news on this before long and stay tuned to the keyword(s) “FINRA Interim Crowdfunding Form”. I expect a lot of conjecture and news on this topic in the coming week.