Treasury Department Meddling In Venture Capital For No Good Reason

from the not-all-private-equity-is-the-same dept

The Wall Street Journal has an important editorial pointing out why it's a mistake for Treasury Secretary Timothy Geither to include venture capital funds in his new regulatory plan to deal with "systemic risk." There's no doubt that highly leveraged hedge funds contributed greatly to the current economic situation creating a level of systemic risk that we're only just coming to terms with. However, it's not at all clear what venture capital has to do with that. Yes, both are unregulated funds of private equity, but that's about where the similarities end. Venture capital relies very little on debt, and is usually a way for wealthy investors to bet money more long term on new innovations, rather than the sort of short-term speculation that is more common with hedge funds.

Yet, for some reason, they're being lumped together and will have the same regulatory burdens. This could significantly hinder venture capitalists, similar to some other recent regulatory changes, creating unnecessary and wasteful burdens that are more for show than any actual effort to protect the economy. As the editorial points out: we've already stress tested the venture capital world, when the dot com bubble burst, it didn't cause any systemic risk. No banks failed because of the bubble bursting. So why is the government suddenly acting like VCs are a threat to the widespread economy now?
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: economy, systemic risk, timothy geithner, treasury, venture capital


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Thread


  1. identicon
    SilverSliver99, 10 Apr 2009 @ 9:00am

    Heres the problem. While theoretically there is a difference between Venture Capital and Hedge Funds (As the former invests money in startups and the latter uses leverage on stocks and bonds) The fact is the line has blurred. It doesn't take much for a hedge fund to say they are a venture capital. In fact many do invest in startups. So rather then just watch every hedgie change to a venture capital while still dong the same thing, they just blanketed the group. A better solution may have been to make guidelines on what is what.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories
.

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.