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Copyright (c) 2014 University of Iowa (Journal of Corporation Law)
The Journal of Corporation Law

ARTICLE: The Law and Economics of Scaled Equity Market Regulation

Winter, 2014

Journal of Corporation Law

39 Iowa J. Corp. L. 347


Jeff Schwartz*


I. Introduction

The expanding scale and scope of securities regulation has been much praised and much condemned. 1 An accelerating countercurrent, however, has attracted far less attention. As the regulatory apparatus has grown, so too has fear that its requirements have become overly burdensome for younger and smaller firms. The policy offspring of this concern is the prescription that regulation should be scaled back for these entities to more appropriately reflect their age and size.

This concept, in various incarnations, has been proposed by governmental advisory committees in recent years 2 and has won Congressional backing. The recently enacted Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (the JOBS Act) was an effort at regulatory relief; 3 even the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Dodd-Frank Act), a statute otherwise noteworthy for its breadth, made special accommodations for smaller firms. 4 With a "JOBS Act 2.0" reportedly in the works, this trend shows no signs of abatement and foretells a significant shift in the regulatory structure of securities markets. 5

These efforts have been driven largely by a legitimate dissatisfaction with the current configuration of securities regulation, which has been called into doubt by a steep decline in initial public offerings (IPOs) and an accompanying contraction of the public markets. 6 But discontent with the status quo is an insufficient basis for such reforms; there must also be a case for why smaller and younger firms should be treated differently. Without this, there is no reason ...
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