Private stock markets? Not so fast.

"Private" stock markets, a trading trend primarily among venture capitalists based on the West coast, may soon be coming to an end.

Richard Drew/AP/File
Trader Peter Mancuso, left, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday, March 13, 2012. The Securities and Exchange Commission may soon put a stop to "private" stock markets that have proliferated along the West Coast.

It was reported last night that the SEC is close to bringing some kind of action against several players in the Private Stock Markets that have proliferated over the last few years. You knew this whole concept was too good to too few people to last...

I address this in my latest piece for the Wall Street Journal today:

Ya gotta admire the spirit of this whole thing – “The rules of the regular stock market and going public are too restrictive and annoying.  So let’s just make our own stock market based on the West Coast where only us venture guys and founders and our employees can trade amongst each other.”

It could’ve been blissful, Utopian even.

Imagine a private market where tech-savvy people and the Digerati could buy and sell within their own little bubble stretching from San Francisco to the off-campus housing around Stamford to the Diablo Mountain range bordering the eastern fringe of San Jose.  There would be no need for all that physical “dead tree” paperwork or the prying eyes of CNBC and the Wall Street Journal.  There could be less rules because, frankly, these would be negotiated transactions between millionaires and billionaires – a brotherhood of enlightened self-interest, in it for the challenge and intellectual self-satisfaction with the money being a mere afterthought.

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