Unlike Wall Street, gold and silver investments are still open to the common man.

January 13, 2011 – Unlike Wall Street, gold and silver investments are still open to the common man. The days of a stock market where freely flowing information was as available to individuals as it was to insiders is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. Initial public offerings (IPO) once gave everyone the opportunity to invest in promising new ventures and reap immense rewards if they flourished, but government regulations have rendered them virtually extinct. Writing for the Wall Street Journal, Europe, E. Gordon Crovitz uses the recent Facebook offering to illustrate the point.

Rather than issue an IPO, Facebook elected to sell all $500 million in shares to Goldman Sachs. The did so because private equity offerings are not regulated by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which requires companies to slog through a quagmire of 11 titles of complex and costly auditing and accounting procedures before they can proceed with an IPO. It was a logical decision to make, but in doing so only Goldman Sachs’ elite clients were given the opportunity for what could be a very lucrative capital investment.

IPOs are vital in other ways as well. The requirement for full disclosure in the public market provides investors with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions. That information is not available from private equity, which, when the companies finally do go public, increases the possibility of misinformation and the potential for creating bubbles.

The ultimate effect of Sarbanes-Oxley will be restricting the individual’s investment options to established companies that offer little more than a piece of the profits, profits that are apt to be siphoned off by other insider schemes.

It is comforting to know that Washington/Wall Street chicanery has not undermined the equal opportunity for all found in gold and silver investment.

Shannon King

Senior Staff Writer –

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