Nasdaq is launching a regulation-free private stock market for the super-rich, offering those who can pony up at least $100 million access to the first-ever private investment exchange. Any private company can then sell stock to these elite shareholders, without having to worry about making their finances public—or being subject to federal regulation, the Washington Post reports.
The new market, called the Portal Market, is a sign of the increasing power of private money on Wall Street. In 2006, private investors had a record year, supplying over $162 billion to companies—compared to $154 million in public offerings on the three major exchanges. Now they can go one better. The Portal Market allows investors "to gain most of the advantages of being public while sidestepping the disadvantages," says one investment firm CEO.