Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

U.S. regulatory commission established by Congress in 1934.

Its purpose was to restore investor confidence by ending the misleading sales practices and stock manipulations that had led to the stock market's 1929 collapse (see Stock Market Crash of 1929). It also prohibited the purchase of stock shares without adequate funds to pay for them, initiated registration and supervision of securities markets and stockbrokers, established rules regarding proxies, and prohibited unfair use of nonpublic information in stock trading (see insider trading). It also required that companies offering securities make full public disclosure of all relevant information. The discovery of fraudulent accounting practices among several large U.S. corporations brought demands for greater SEC oversight in the early 21st century.

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Universalium. 2010.

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