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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/ Axios

America is about to get a new stock exchange, designed to encourage long-term investments and create greater transparency.

Why it matters: This could change how founder-led startups go public.

Details: It's called the LTSE, and last Friday received SEC approval to become the country's 14th national stock exchange. This means that it now falls under the same regulatory framework as the NYSE and NASDAQ, including the ability to participate in their data-sharing agreements.

  • The approval comes 10 months after the SEC first stayed a decision. Had it given the okay last June, then LTSE could have possibly played in the recent unicorn IPO rush. There is no current launch date, although expectations are that the exchange will be operational later in 2019.
  • "We think of this as an accreditation with many steps to go," says LTSE founder Eric Ries, best-known for writing The Lean Startup.

Companies listing on the LTSE will get several benefits that are currently unavailable on other exchanges. For example:

  • The ability to implement tenured share voting, which we discussed earlier this month as a way to maintain founder control for several years without dual-class shares.
    • Ries says that passive long-term investors, such as index funds, could opt in or out of the tenure process — perhaps offering financial incentives that would offset the loss of share repo revenue, for those who want to at least maintain optionality.
  • Base transparency. Companies would know who holds their stock, not needing to wait until quarterly filings from hedge funds and the like. It's unclear if shareholders would get the same benefit, such as knowing in real-time if a company buys back its stock.
  • Such processes would be enabled by LTSE technology.

Ries says that he expects many companies to co-list on both the LTSE and more established exchanges. "It's a perception of liquidity issue. Because of the national market system you get the same liquidity, but a lot of people don't realize that. They still think of an exchange as a big building with marble and concrete, when they're really computers in New Jersey."

The bottom line: LTSE wants to provide companies with the benefits of publicly-traded life (e.g., early shareholder liquidity, great capital markets access) without some of the traditional drawbacks (activist investors, pressure to maximize short-term earnings for the sake of long-term strategy). And, in so doing, perhaps become Silicon Valley's most important startup for other startups.

Go deeper

UN assembly condemns Myanmar military coup

Protesters make the three-finger salute as they take part in a flash mob demonstration against the military coup. Photo: AFP via Getty Images.

The United Nations General Assembly on Friday condemned Myanmar's military coup and called for an arms embargo against the country, AP reports.

Why it matters: The rare move demonstrates widespread global opposition to Myanmar's military junta, which overthrew the country's democratically elected government and seized power on Feb. 1.

The next worker fight: Time off for Juneteenth

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Who gets paid time off to celebrate Juneteenth in the years to come will be uneven and complicated, if history is any guide.

Why it matters: Corporate America hasn't grappled with a new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was authorized almost 40 years ago. How they responded took years to evolve.

Pakistan PM will "absolutely not" allow CIA to use bases for Afghanistan operations

Pakistan will "absolutely not" allow the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency to use bases on its soil for cross-border counterterrorism missions after American forces withdraw from Afghanistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan tells "Axios on HBO" in a wide-ranging interview airing Sunday at 6 pm ET.

Why it matters: The quality of counterterrorism and intelligence capabilities in Afghanistan is a critical question facing the Biden administration as U.S. forces move closer to total withdrawal by Sept. 11.