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.