What is the SEC and why was it created?

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is a federal agency responsible for regulating the U.S. securities markets. Since its creation following the stock market crash in 1929, the SEC’s mission is to facilitate capital formation, maintain a fair, orderly, and efficient securities market, and to protect investors. The SEC was created to regulate securities brokers and dealers, as well as public companies that issue securities, and ensure that those parties are disseminating accurate and fulsome information about their businesses.

What are SEC enforcement actions?

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) can bring an enforcement action either in a federal district court or in an administrative proceeding to enjoin (prohibit) a person or company from engaging in further violations of US securities laws or regulations. In these actions, the SEC often seeks to have a person or company pay a civil penalty or to disgorge (forfeit) unlawfully obtained profits as a result of a securities law violation.

Who does the SEC regulate?

The Securities and Exchange Commission regulates all publicly traded companies that sell securities in the United States, as well as securities dealers and brokers that operate in the US.