Securities and Exchange Commission

Founded in 1934

SEC Facts

It holds primary responsibility for enforcing the federal securities laws and regulating the securities industry, the nation's stock and options exchanges, and other things, including the electronic securities markets in the United States. The regulatory agency was created during the Great Depression that followed the Stock Market Crash of 1929. The main reason for the creation of the SEC was to regulate the stock market of 1940. It keeps business from lying about their companies worth. The enforcement authority given by Congress allows the SEC to bring civil enforcement actions against individuals or companies alleged to have committed accounting fraud, provided false information, or engaged in insider trading or other violations of the securities law. The SEC also works with criminal law enforcement agencies to prosecute individuals and companies alike for offenses which include a criminal violation.