Securities and Exchange Commission

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The Securities and Exchange Commission or SEC was formed during the Great Depression as a result of the public perception that Wall Street was unfair to the ordinary man and had contributed to the national economic disaster. The first pertinent law was the Securities Act of 1933, which required stocks and similar securities that involved any aspect of interstate commerce to be registered with the federal government. This legislation was part of Roosevelt`s first one hundred days.

Prior to the Securities Act of 1933, states had been regulating securities issued within their borders, starting with Kansas in 1911. By 1933, every state except Nevada had such a law on its books.

The Securities and Exchange Commission was created by the Securities and Exchange Commission Act of 1934. The SEC was given the task of enforcing the Securities Act of 1933 and also regulating all of the exchanges of such securities.

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