Today, more capital is raised annually in private markets than in the public markets. Hundreds of multibillion-dollar companies can raise all the capital they need from an unlimited number of unaffiliated investors, while selling products and services to tens of thousands of customers and employing thousands of people. Many are unicorns—companies that started in private markets and never left.
But companies that offer their shares for sale in private markets generally are not required to provide investors and the public with the type of information that public companies must provide when offering their shares for sale, such as reliable information about their operations, financials, business prospects, or governance, much less the financial risks they may face from climate disasters, workforce lawsuits, human rights violations, and more.
The astounding growth of private markets affects us all. Large opaque companies create risks not just for their investors and customers, but also for their workers and for the economy overall. Addressing these risks will help protect retirement savings from fraud and waste and ensure that our economy works for everyone.
Please join the Center for American Progress to discuss the origin and potential risks of opaque private markets and what can be done to avoid a future crisis.
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