• Why Progressive/Marxist/socialist/Leftist governments cause greater income inequality

    Many seem puzzled that income inequality in the USA is growing, after 8 years of a Democratic-controlled Congress including 6 years of the most progressive administration in 100 years. After all, Barack Obama, a committed Leninist while at Occidental College, son of Marxist parents, protégé of radicals, is supposed to look out for the poor and oppressed.
    One should keep in mind that there are two large groups of people who are in the camp of the Left. You have the true believers, who believe in the concept of doing good and making the world better. They believe this way out of genuineness or out of guilt. But they ignore the empirical evidence that adherence to the economic policies of the Left lead to misery. The second main group are people who just want power and money. In a modern state, those who make the rules have the gold. The totalitarian states have the greatest income inequality. Cuba, North Korea, Russia. You may disagree to the extent that Raul Castro owns no shares of any company, does not appear to own any real estate and has no huge salary nor where to spend it. Vova Putin’s salary is only $187,000 per year. But they, like all other dictators, have free use of their country’s assets. You do not need to own something if you can use it as you wish.
    Someone who is crazy for power will use whatever political philosophy is available to dupe others, as a window dressing for his or her ambition. Those who want to be on the winning team will profess the political philosophy of those in power.
    The US is not a totalitarian society. But let’s start with the premise that the Left favors regulation, including regulation of business activity. I do not think anyone can dispute this premise. After the 2008 financial crisis (brought on, in my opinion, by the government’s pushing banks to loan money to people who could not pay it back, but that subject is for another day) the remedy fashioned was the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The premise of Dodd-Frank, like the financial regulation in place prior to the crash, is that the regulators are there to watch over the industry so that it does not fail. Did Dodd-Frank make regulators more intelligent? No. But what Dodd-Frank does, is impose additional regulations on an industry that was already highly regulated. Just a few days before Bear Stearns collapsed, then-Chairman of the SEC, Christopher Cox, said that it was “well capitalized and apparently fully liquid.” Christopher Cox is a highly intelligent person. Like Obama, he was a Harvard law grad and editor of the law review. Only nine years after graduation, he was a partner at Latham & Watkins (one of the US’ premier law firms), and part of its national management. What happened? Whatever happened, is going to happen again.
    The result of Dodd-Frank has been to make the big banks bigger and the community banks to close branches and downsize. The big banks have the resources to comply with the new regulations and spread out the costs. You do not imagine that their lobbyists had no input on the legislation? As a result, the big banks are worth more. The big banks are owned by stockholders, and public company stockholders are owned disproportionately by the “1%.” The number of banks in the US, however, has fallen to a level not seen since the Great Depression.
    Meanwhile, the small and medium-sized business is called into their bank and told their credit line will not be renewed. The decision has nothing to do with the financial performance of the borrower. It happened because a regulator did not like the company. Maybe the business can get a credit line somewhere else, maybe not. But the effect is to depress economic growth and more importantly for income inequality, keep the small business owner from making more money and paying salaries.
    Another example from early in Obama’s watch was the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009. Don’t peg me as a supporter of tobacco. This law imposes more regulations on tobacco companies. A lot more. But it is common knowledge that this law was basically written by Big Tobacco with the purpose of shutting down small competitors.
    The Founding Fathers recognized that self-interest will always be present in human affairs. It does not matter how idealistic our politicians profess to be. There is no way that legislation and regulation will not be framed to cater to those who are already wealthy and powerful. Thus, regulation = entrenchment of the extremely wealthy.

  • Law School in the West Indies

    When I decided I wanted to work in the British Caribbean, either as a lawyer or in the financial services industry, I realized I had to go back to school. In order to be “called to the bar” in the region, a graduate of a US law school has to complete a six month course in British Caribbean law at one of the three schools accredited by the Council of Legal Education. I chose to attend Eugene Dupuch Law School, in Nassau, Bahamas, the newest and smallest of the three schools. My decision was based on the fact that I love the Bahamas and its people–among the warmest and happiest in the world—and it gave me the opportunity to make weekend visits to the Exumas.
    After almost 30 years after getting my J.D., it took some adjusting to be back in school. And it was quite different from NYU, a private law school in New York’s Greenwich Village. Students at Eugene Dupuch are required to dress professionally every day for class. That means suit and tie for men—even in the 90+ degree weather. Class attendance is mandatory. Attendance is taken. Bahamians are a believing people. I was pleasantly stunned when at the opening ceremony for the school year, Deputy Prime Minister “Brave” Davis quoted extensively from the Bible, and our opening luncheon was preceded by an invocation.
    I definitely stood out. I was the only white student and the only person not from the Bahamas or other areas of the West Indies. The Bahamas is a small country. Everyone knows everyone else. I did not know anyone prior to my arrival, but I was warmly welcomed and I have good memories of the interactions with fellow students and faculty. I met many ambitious and highly intelligent people.
    Last week I received official confirmation that I had successfully completed the programme and presently would receive my Legal Education Certificate. I want to publicly thank the administration, faculty and students at Eugene Dupuch for an unforgettable experience.

  • Jehu Hand – Public Offerings Expert

    As counsel to the issuer and/or underwriter in over 100 public offerings Jehu Hand has a plethora of experience. He was the counsel on the initial public offering or 1934 Act registration of the following notable public companies, among others: Compressco, Inc., Tech Team Global, Inc., AlCis Health, Inc., IGIA, Inc., Arkona, Inc., Winner Medical Group, Inc., Smith & Wesson Holding Corp., Flexpoint Sensor Systems, Inc., Alpine Air Express, Inc., Aradyme Corporation, and Rockport Healthcare Group, Inc.

    A public offering is the offering of securities for sale to the general public. This is the route that most successful startups take. An IPO is the first time that a securities offer is made to the general public. The 1934 Securities Exchange Act which in part required that any securities listed on a stock exchanges be registered.

    Jehu Hand has extensive experience in both of these vital pieces to becoming an independently traded company. With Jehu Hands additional experience in foreign securities training along with his additional training outside the United States focusing on international securities, you cannot find someone with more experience than Jehu Hand.

    Please be sure to contact Jehu Hand with any needs you have when taking your company public.

  • Ownership of Securities and You

    Jehu Hand has become an expert in Article 8 of The United States Uniform Commercial Code (U.C.C). The U.C.C. provides the legal framework for sales, secured lending, letters of credit, banking, and other commercial transactions throughout the United States since its adoption in 1952. Some provisions of the U.C.C. are known to nearly all business lawyers; other sections are esoteric. One of the least understood provisions of the U.C.C is Article 8. Article 8 is specifically written and used in regards to securities and the ownership of securities. Jehu Hand has been an expert in Article 8 for many years. A key provision of Article 8 is that a security once issued cannot be cancelled execpt by the owner of record. The company cannot cancel the certificate nor impose a stop transfer without legal liability. Just as the government cannot “cancel” that $20 bill in your pocket, just because it has an issue with you, share certificates are fully negotiable and non-cancelable once issued. If you are a shareholder and a company has placed a stop transfer on your shares or tried to “cancel” your shares, contact Jehu Hand right away to know your rights under the law.

    Jehu Hand has been counsel on a number of cases dealing with Article 8 including: Duluth Venture Capital Partners, LLC c. CleanTech Biofuels, et. Al and Filiatreaux v. Duoyuan Printing Inc. Through the and other litigation, Jehu Hand has developed an expertise in this little known, but critical, area of law.

    One of the interesting ways to think of Article 8 is to think of it in the current context regarding Bitcoins. Some are arguing that Bitcoins may be recognized by the U.C.C as a form of securities. If they are then Article 8 may be able to save the Bitcoin.