A Stimulus Plan For Venture Capital? No Thanks.

Tom Friedman, who I admire in many ways, has an op-ed piece in today’s NY Times where he suggests that the US government take the bailout money they are thinking of giving to the auto industry and instead give it to the top venture capital firms.

You want to spend $20 billion of taxpayer money creating jobs? Fine.
Call up the top 20 venture capital firms in America, which are short of
cash today because their partners — university endowments and pension
funds — are tapped out, and make them this offer: The U.S. Treasury
will give you each up to $1 billion to fund the best venture capital
ideas that have come your way. If they go bust, we all lose. If any of
them turns out to be the next Microsoft or Intel, taxpayers will give
you 20 percent of the investors’ upside and keep 80 percent for
themselves.

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