Explaining Southern California's economy

Big Bird doesn't need PBS — he has Kickstarter!

Waves of support and concern for the large iconic yellow Muppet have washed toward Sesame Street since Wednesday night's first Presidential debate, when Mitt Romney told moderator Jim Lehrer that although he loves both him and Big Bird, if he were in the Oval Office, they'd be...

Fired!

So let's say Romney wins and gets his way. Big Bird is out of a job, along with the rest of the Muppets. They might do okay, because as we learned earlier this year, the Muppets are clients of Goldman Sachs, the very investment bank that has been accused of using the term "muppets" to refer derisively to clients.

Meanwhile, Big Bird might not really have anything to worry about. 

Why?

Crowdfunding.

As it turns out, "I Am Big Bird," a proposed feature-length documentary about the life and times of Carroll Spinney, the man behind the feathers — actually, inside the feathers — since 1969 successfully raised $124,114 on Kickstarter. An outfit called Copper Pot Pictures is behind the project.

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3 completely different views on the JOBS act

Senate Democrats Announce New Legislation To Counter "Citizens United" Decision

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U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has been a proponent of the JOBS act.

The Jump-start Our Business Start-ups (JOBS) act just passed the Senate. The House passed a measure with the same objectives, so now it's up to the that body to revise the legislation and move a bill closer to becoming law. You can read a summary here.

This is not legislation that has failed to inspire both support and dismay. 

Venture capitalist Fred Wilson loves it:

I'd like to thank our elected officials for coming together in a non-partisan way to address an important set of issues and deal with them sensibly and correctly. This doesn't happen enough in Washington and we need more of this. I know that the majority leadership in the Senate, particularly Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer, fought back a mini revolt among the left wing of its party to get this bill passed. I applaud them for doing that and standing up for something that was not popular in their caucus. That is leadership and I appreciate it and I am sure the readers of this blog do too.

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Do venture capitalists care about more than money?

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I don't really want to do this $10 billion IPO. Really, I don't.

I'm officially arguing with Felix Salmon about venture capitalists. You can read the previous installments here and here. We've got even more fodder for debate now, based on Felix's excellent piece in the latest issue of Wired.

First off, I think he's talking about two things at the same time: 

1. Why IPOs suck for tech companies (Duh, it's the title of the piece!) — and why the IPO model, once so useful, is now broken

2. Why venture capitalists are doing all kinds of things that are borderline despicable when it comes to funding companies and maximizing their greed

I don't entirely disagree with point number one. It's taking companies longer to get to the IPO stage, and it's debatable whether companies that are already quite successful really need to go public. Also, as William Cohan has argued, investment banking has become a Wall Street cartel, with the same big firms — Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan et al. — getting to run all the IPOs. The model that Bill Hambrecht developed — the so-called "OpenIPO" model — and used to take Google public in 2004 has fallen by the wayside.

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