A:

Sunshine laws are U.S. federal and state laws that require regulatory authorities' meetings, decisions and records to be made available to the public. Sunshine laws were first created in the mid-1970s in a bid to increase public disclosure of governmental agencies. Sunshine laws do not allow all citizens to attend meetings, but they do ensure that media and representatives of the public can attend. In addition, the Freedom of Information Act requires agencies to share information they have obtained with the public, allowing their decisions and records to be disclosed.

The disclosure of information due to implementation of sunshine laws gives investors a fair opportunity to review public documents prior to investing in government- or agency-related securities. Investors can review financial statements and other meeting decisions that might affect the performance or underperformance of a particular investment prior to purchase. These essential laws also afford citizens the ability to see behind the curtain of government and remain involved in the processes that affect their lives and any investments they might have made in relation to the government entity. Sunshine laws force governments to maintain accountability, which is critical to keeping the government on sound footing.

For more on this topic, read The Federal Reserve: Introduction.

This question was answered by Steven Merkel.

RELATED FAQS
  1. What is the Writ of Mandamus?

    A writ of mandamus is a court order issued by a judge at a petitioner’s request compelling someone to execute a duty he is ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Are UTMA accounts escheatable?

    Like most financial assets held by institutions such as banks and investment firms, UTMA accounts can be escheated by state ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Can the IRS audit you after a refund?

    The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can audit tax returns even after it has issued a tax refund to a taxpayer. According ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How does escheatment impact a company?

    In recent years, state governments have become increasingly aggressive in enforcing escheatment laws. As a result, many businesses ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What happens if property is wrongfully escheated?

    If your financial accounts, such as bank, investment or savings accounts, are declared dormant and the managing financial ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How do financial advisors help you avoid escheatment?

    Financial advisors can help you avoid the escheatment of your financial assets by regularly reviewing all of your accounts, ... Read Full Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Personal Finance

    How the Green Card Lottery Really Works

    Here's how the popular green card lottery, run by the U.S. State Department, operates, including some tips on improving your odds of winning.
  2. Investing Basics

    Inside IPO Roadshows

    Understand more about IPO road shows. Learn the reasons why an IPO road show is important for the success of a company's public offering.
  3. Taxes

    Why People Renounce Their U.S Citizenship

    This year, the highest number of Americans ever took the irrevocable step of giving up their citizenship. Here's why.
  4. Personal Finance

    What it Takes to Get a Green Card

    Grounds for getting a green card include having family members in the U.S., being a certain type of refugee or specialized worker, or winning a lottery.
  5. Career Education & Resources

    Laws & Regulations To Know Before Changing the Name of Your Business

    Discover some of the most important steps you need to take after making a decision to change your legally established business name.
  6. Personal Finance

    Passport Procrastinators: This Year, Renew Early!

    Millions of passports issued nearly 10 years ago when the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative became law are expiring. Expect backlogs; leave extra time.
  7. Term

    Understanding Rule 144A

    Rule 144A is an SEC rule that changes the two-year holding period requirement on privately placed securities.
  8. Term

    The Pros and Cons of Sell-Offs

    A sell-off is the rapid sale of a security that’s followed by a drastic decline in its value.
  9. Retirement

    Power of Attorney: When It's Critical to Get One

    "The sooner the better" is the usual answer.
  10. Markets

    Privateer Holdings Revolutionizes the Cannabis Industry

    Watch Privateer Holdings succeed by bringing more respectability to the legalized medical and recreational marijuana and industries.
RELATED TERMS
  1. Board Of Directors - B Of D

    A group of individuals that are elected as, or elected to act ...
  2. Series EE Bond

    A non-marketable, interest-bearing U.S. government savings bond ...
  3. Brand

    A distinguishing symbol, mark, logo, name, word, sentence or ...
  4. Catalyst

    A catalyst in equity markets is a revelation or event that propels ...
  5. Novation

    1.The act of replacing one participating member of a contract ...
  6. Maintenance Margin

    The minimum amount of equity that must be maintained in a margin ...
Hot Definitions
  1. Short Selling

    Short selling is the sale of a security that is not owned by the seller, or that the seller has borrowed. Short selling is ...
  2. Harry Potter Stock Index

    A collection of stocks from companies related to the "Harry Potter" series franchise. Created by StockPickr, this index seeks ...
  3. Liquidation Margin

    Liquidation margin refers to the value of all of the equity positions in a margin account. If an investor or trader holds ...
  4. Black Swan

    An event or occurrence that deviates beyond what is normally expected of a situation and that would be extremely difficult ...
  5. Inverted Yield Curve

    An interest rate environment in which long-term debt instruments have a lower yield than short-term debt instruments of the ...
  6. Socially Responsible Investment - SRI

    An investment that is considered socially responsible because of the nature of the business the company conducts. Common ...
Trading Center