Friday, January 04, 2008

Securities Exchange Commission

Investments & Trading

Securities Exchange Commission By J. Foley

The United States Securites and Exchange Commission was founded in 1934 in response to the great stock market crash of 1929. Congress created the SEC in the hopes that it would serve as an independent and non-partisan agency that would help regulate the dealing of securities in the USA. Thanks to the crash of 1929, Congress also enacted many new securities laws that the SEC was created to enforce.

The main job of the SEC is to enforce a series of laws, most of them enacted from 1933-1940 that help protect investors of securities and the economy as a whole. Congress has given the SEC the right to bring civil cases against companies that they feel have committed a series of crimes, such as insider trading, fraud, or companies that have given false information. The SEC also works hand-in-hand with local police, the FBI or the CIA in pursuing criminal charges when the proper laws have been broken.

One of the ways that the SEC gathers information about various companies so that it can see if any of them have broken the law is be requiring that publicly held companies submit reports four times a year and then an annual report, as well, showing their financial numbers. The companies also file reports with the SEC that outline how the business did that year and how it expects to do in the future.

These reports are absolutely vital to investors when trying to figure out which company to invest in. The capital markets are notorious for upheaval and these reports are essential for investors who are trying to figure out which companies are safe to invest in and which ones aren’t.

The SEC allows anyone to read these reports and they are available via an online system to read at any time. The SEX also uses this same system so that individual investors may file complaints against a company that they feel might be breaking the law. This allows every day citizens the chance to call attention to a possibly crooked company.

A recent pop culture reference to the SEC came from the now-defunct television show Arrested Development, when the pilot episode featured the SEC boarding a yacht to confiscate documents related to the Bluth family business.

The SEC is a vital government agency that helps companies walk the straight and narrow and helps individual investors make educated decisions about the right companies to invest in. If you’re thinking about investing in the capitals market, a visit to the SEC online system is an absolute must.

Article Written By J. Foley