Along with the democratization of information and technology, one of the key drivers of post scarcity is the democratization of capital. While the financial world has been in a constant state of restructuring because of the advent of information technology, financial regulations still favor incumbent institutions. The system is rigged to favor Goldman Sachs. The SEC creates securities rules that are so complex, that it takes armies of lawyers to make any sense of them. The Dodd-Frank financial reform bill hasn’t helped this situation. We became so concerned about our big banks failing that we have neglected to consider the radical new ways that information technology enable the efficient allocation capital.
Those who are paying attention to the world of micro-investing are fully aware of the success of platforms like Kickstarter. It doesn’t take much stretch of the imagination to take a platform like Kickstarter that allows contributors of an idea to own shares in its success.
Enter Fundrise. Two real estate developers from Washington, DC took the time and paid the expense to learn how to enable micro-investing in real estate. The online public offering is their innovation that allows small investors to buy shares in local real estate properties and make a return on their investment. After the financial collapse, many Americans simply don’t have the credit to become real estate moguls, nor do they have excessive amounts of capital laying around. However, they might be able to come up with a few hundred dollars to buy shares in a local restaurant down the street. They will then have the incentive to patronize the restaurant and tell their friends about it and monitor its performance.
Financial markets naturally go through business cycles. It is encouraging to be getting to a point where innovative financial instruments are paving the way for the next boom. Let’s focus on this instead of propping the failed institutions of the past.