Six months later, in October of 2013, I was pleased to post that at long last the SEC had promulgated rules by which to implement the various changes that Congress had legislated over a year earlier. Of course, those were preliminary rules subject to an opportunity for interested parties to object and suggest changes.
Finally, the objection period came to an end, the SEC made some changes, and at long last the rules have become final. Read all about it in the Washington Post here.
A couple of thoughts. First, credit should be given to the SEC for taking its time in crafting rules that, on the one hand, will allow business and others quickly to raise money for investment purposes and, on the other hand, to protect such potential investors from the fraudsters who inevitably will use the same rules for their purposes. As I argued here and here, compromise is not a dirty word and in the political (and economic) worlds there are regularly balances to be struck. Time will tell how well the SEC struck that balance but neither delay nor the certainty that fraud will occur means the final rules aren't the best that could have been made.
Second, the need for capital in our economic system is clear and increasing the ability of firms to raise capital and, more importantly, increasing the number of active investors, is important to the long-term health of that system. The rise of the phenomenon of "social enterprise," championed by former colleague Haskell Murray, is another leg in the chair of returning capitalism to its original ends.