Securities Industry Regulations - Introduction
After the stock market crash of 1929, and following the subsequent Great Depression of the early 1930s, it was readily apparent to the federal government, albeit ipso post facto, that securities regulations had been much too lax up to that point, and the prevailing laissez faire regulatory environment was in large part responsible for the lost fortunes of hundreds of thousands of individual investors. Members of the investing public, many of whom had speculated and lost their life savings on Black Friday, had been kept in the dark concerning the workings of Wall Street. These activities included stock price manipulation, lack of information about the companies and issuers introducing new securities to the market, and the regulation of the stock exchanges themselves. As a result, the federal government passed a series of securities acts that were meant to fix the "wild west" nature of Wall Street through the legislation of new issue registration, the regulation of the way stock exchanges operated, and specific definitions of these rules based on specific criteria.
What followed from these early missteps were a series of securities acts introduced starting in 1933 through the present day, with the intent of providing a fair playing field for better informed investors and with the goal of restoring confidence in the operation of the securities exchanges. Today, these securities acts directly or indirectly govern the code of business by which Series 6 representatives must abide in their day to day interactions with investors.