The Securities and Exchange Commission is a government regulatory agency created to protect investors through monitoring the stock markets and other securities industries such as options trading . The SEC helps protect investors through requiring public companies to adhere to transparency and public disclosure standards, and designed to prevent fraudulent investment practices such as insider trading and providing false financial information. The Security and Exchange Commission has the role of interpreting and enforcing securities laws, as well as issuing new rules. The SEC meets regularly to discuss issues. Unless SEC meetings are related to opening an investigation, the general public and the media are allowed to attend the meetings.
History of the Securities and Exchange Commission
The SEC was created as a result of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 by Congress. Congressional hearings were held to assess the causes of the stock market crash of 1929. The organization was created to restore investors’ confidence in the market after the crash and beginning of the Great Depression. Prior to the formation of the SEC, investors had no protection against unscrupulous companies or individuals who peddled worthless stocks. The creation of the Securities and Exchange Commission is designed to increase corporate transparency and reduce the risk of investors losing their assets due to fraudulent practices.
SEC Organizational Structure
Based in Washington D.C., the Securities and Exchange Commission has five commissioners appointed by the President. The five divisions of the SEC are Corporation Finance, Trading and Markets, Investment Management, Enforcement, and Risk, Strategy, and Financial Innovation. The Securities and Exchange Commission is bipartisan with no more than three members being of the same political party. The Securities and Exchange Commission has about 3500 employees in Washington D.C. and eighteen regional offices. SEC Regional offices are located in New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Miami, Chicago, Fort Worth, Denver, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.