Did you enjoy the dot-com bubble? Well, expect a replay on an even bigger scale, because last week President Obama signed a bill that, according to Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone, "will very nearly legalize fraud in the stock market." The JOBS Act is ostensibly designed to make it easier for startups, particularly tech companies, to raise money, but it's actually a "sweeping piece of deregulation" that "appears to have been specifically written to encourage fraud."
Perhaps its most jaw-dropping provision exempts companies from independent accounting for five years. "This is like formally eliminating steroid testing for the first five years of a baseball player's career. … You'd better be ready to stick a lot asterisks in the record books." There's just no reason an honest company would want to do that, and would-be billion-dollar companies claiming they can't afford accountants "sounds like a comedy routine." This move should wipe out any Occupy cred Obama had, Taibbi says; "Boss Tweed himself couldn't have done worse." Click for Taibbi's full column.