Home Capital Markets Maybe Zuck can give Canada a National Securities Regulator

Maybe Zuck can give Canada a National Securities Regulator

The Surpreme Court may have told Finance Minister Jim Flaherty that it’s still 1867 as far as they are concerned, but that doesn’t mean that the National Securities Regulator is as dead as a Monty Python parrot. It’s just sleeping, provided that Facebook Canada’s Jordan Banks swings into action. I wish I’d thought of this yesterday when Andy Bell, Andrew McCreath and I were discussing the topic at 3pm on BNN. TV has a far broader reach than a backwater blog.

With the initial public offering of Facebook invariably coming in 2012, as what’s expected to be the most popular IPO in history, it seems such an obvious opportunity for Mr. Banks to modernize Canada’s ancient regulatory system. One of the values that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg promotes is the ability of Facebook to “bring people together” and create positive change. What better way to do that than to help create a single stock regulator in your most avid Facebook market? Mr. Zuckerberg, after all, believes that this is one of Facebook’s reasons for being:

Creating channels between people who want to work together toward change has always been one of the ways that social movements push the world forward and make it better.

So, Mr. Zuckerberg, advise your Canadian Securities lawyers that Facebook won’t be filing any IPO offering documents in any Canadian Provinces that oppose a National Securities Regulator. Ontario? Sure. Its retail investors can get access to the $100 billion IPO, but Facebook won’t be offered in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec…. And that Facebook never intends to register itself with any Province that doesn’t enter the modern age. Ever. To do so would be so anti-Facebook.

When the email inboxes and telephone voicemails of the various Provincial Finance Ministers get filled to the brim with venom from angry local retail investors, perhaps that might just bring the politicians around. All we need is Mr. Banks to make it happen, and, if he pulls it off, I’m sure Goldcorp’s Ian Telfer will be pleased to nominate him for the Order of Canada on all of Bay Street’s behalf.


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2 Comments  comments 

2 Responses

  1. Andy R

    Yeah, and to heck with that pesky constitution and its troublesome enumeration of respective provincial and federal responsibilities.

    I am with you…just go with rule of Facebook…rule of law is so old-fashioned.

    Running for cover now…

  2. Thanks for stopping by Andy

    What does the 1867 concept of “property” rights have to do with a Vancouver-based public company looking for gold in Africa? I will offer that had Sir John A. been asked his view on that, he might have said: business in Africa? That sounds like a foreign enterprise, and therefore Ottawa’s proper domain.

    My guess is that my Ontario-based ancestors of that vintage, and those of my wife’s, may have advocated for local authority over their farm property, apple trees and cattle. But I’m going to take a leap and say that buying shares in an African gold exploration company didn’t likely come up at the dinner table in 1867.


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