Spotify and Crony Capitalism

Spotify AB wants to do an initial stock offering, an IPO, on the New York Stock Exchange, and the company wants to do it without benefit of bank underwriters.  Oddly, the NYSE has to ask the SEC for permission to amend its own rules to allow this.  Even more strange, the SEC is dithering over granting that permission—to allow the private enterprise, the NYSE, to conduct its own business as it sees fit, and more proximately, to allow the private enterprise, Spotify, to conduct its business as it sees fit.  The SEC is claiming, with a straight face, that it has until the middle of February to make up its mind.

That the Government agency even thinks it needs to think about this is shady.  Government mandating bank involvement in a private enterprise company’s public offering? That would be textbook crony capitalism.

The SEC had concerns that Spotify’s direct listing could open the door for other companies with potentially risky financial profiles to access the public markets without giving investors sufficient protection[.]

Caveat emptorGovernment-favored bankers Us investors don’t need the protection of Big Brother. I understand that personal responsibility is anathema to Government bureaucrats, but this is a shield too far.

The SEC needs to reject such…stuff…stop dithering, and grant the permissions out of hand.

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