Hacker at computer.

Financement participatif ou escroquerie de masse ?

NEW HAVEN – Si l'on cherche un parfait exemple de la raison pour laquelle il est si difficile de bien faire fonctionner les marchés financiers, il se trouve peut-être tout simplement dans les difficultés et les controverses autour du financement participatif (crowdfunding) aux États-Unis. Après avoir délibéré pendant plus de trois ans, la Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) des États-Unis a publié le mois dernier un règlement définitif qui autorisera le véritable crowdfunding. Mais le nouveau cadre de normalisation est bien en deçà de ce qui est nécessaire pour stimuler le crowdfunding dans le monde entier.

Le véritable crowdfunding, ou financement participatif par actions, se réfère à des activités de plates-formes en ligne qui vendent des actions des start-ups directement à un grand nombre de petits investisseurs, en contournant les entreprises traditionnelles de capital-risque ou les banques d'investissement. Le concept est analogue à celui des enchères en ligne. Mais plutôt que de permettre à des individus de proposer leurs meubles au monde entier, le crowdfunding est censé recueillir de l'argent rapidement, chez des initiés qui sont dans la confidence, pour des entreprises que les banquiers pourraient bien ne pas comprendre. Cela est sans aucun doute passionnant.

Les organismes de régulation hors des États-Unis sont souvent plus conciliants et certaines plates-formes de crowdfunding sont déjà opérationnelles. Par exemple, Symbid aux Pays-Bas et Crowdcube au Royaume-Uni ont été fondées en 2011. Mais le crowdfunding n'est toujours pas un facteur important sur les marchés mondiaux. Et cela ne changera pas sans une règlementation financière adéquate et innovante.

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