In 1933, amid the darkest days of the Great Depression, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed a law called the Securities Act. With this law, he defined a pillar of the social structure we have known for over 80 years. The Securities Act dictated that all individuals were free to invest in the stock market. But it also said that only a selected group could invest in private offerings. Private offerings were exceptions available only to Accredited Investors, which is nothing but a legal way to refer to the rich. The fact that everyone could invest in the public market when only the wealthy ones had access to private offerings formalized the legal framework of individualism.
This system — one based on exclusion and separation — created the artificial antagonism that prevails today, while simultaneously influencing a culture of individualism. It consolidated an approach where experts were responsible for investing the money of the public, as the people could not understand the intricate web of derivatives that were created over the years. It was the genesis of Wall Street; a zero sum game where self-interest would be obtained at the expense of others.
We believe large-scale offerings can be made through crowdfunding for ideas and endeavors across all industries.
From Capitalism to Socialism
Dystopian communism ignores human dignity as it undermines the moral, spiritual and productive capacity of the people. But individual self-interest and self-preservation will always find a way. When a sacrifice is imposed on the individual in the name of the crowd, society will experience corruption, laziness and ultimately a lack of growth. We don’t realize that we are all the same people at opposite sides of the same table.
Access to technology is creating new opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses to grow their ideas and maximize financial performance and social impact.
In 2007, this opaque arrangement inevitably collapsed, triggered by a broken and misaligned system characterized by a complex interplay of questionable policies, trading practices, and compensation structures that prioritized short-term deal flows over long-term value creation, and a lack of adequate capital holdings from banks and insurance companies to back the commitments they were making.
In 2013, as a result of a subsequent ideological pushback, President Obama signed the JOBS Act, a law intended to encourage funding of US small businesses by easing various securities regulations and enabling access to private offerings to everyone. This was crowdfunding’s maturation for businesses beyond products, a government approved and endorsed method of raising money.
Society requires a new social architecture that nurtures the individual, but not at the expense of the crowd. It is the notion of thinking about others first — not in an altruistic way, but rather as a form of self-interest.
A New Social Architecture
Both socialism and capitalism have failed to take us to the next step of evolution, and we struggled to collectively create a new vision of the future as a result. Society requires a new social architecture that nurtures the individual, but not at the expense of the crowd. It is the notion of thinking about others first — not in an altruistic way, but rather as a form of self-interest. “Doing well by doing good” symbolizes this symbiotic relationship between the individual and the crowd. This utopian framework can now be achieved for the first time in modern history due to the recent revolution in law and technology.
From Wall Street to John Street
The JOBS Act changed the legal basis of our social architecture. It changed wealth concentration at its very core, aligning profit with capital and positive impact, creating communities around the offerings that matter most. Through crowdfunding, there are no complex financial derivatives. Instead, the crowd is able to directly and transparently invest their money in offerings that were previously inaccessible to them, generating returns that create an even playing field.
The term crowdfunding is often associated with reward-based financing of small-scale products like iPhone gadgets, documentaries and donations. However, Prodigy Network, the parent company of The Assemblage, has successfully executed equity crowdfunding of large-scale commercial real estate buildings in New York and emerging markets. Prodigy Network has facilitated access to investors from 34 countries and 27 states in the US, to participate with over $400 million in equity, for a total portfolio value of over $1 billion.
Beyond commercial real estate, we believe large-scale offerings can be made for ideas and endeavors across all industries. Crowdfunding allows members of The Assemblage to cooperate with like-minded individuals, aligning their capital with impact in the initiatives that matter most. It is through carefully curated and collaborative efforts that individuals have the power to create new markets, which will in turn shape a society based on the pillars of collective well-being and interconnectedness.
At The Assemblage, we seek out the best of what is, to help ignite the collective imagination of what might be. Our aim is to generate knowledge that expands the realm of the possible, helping our community to envision a collectively desired future and carry that vision forth into reality.