The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is an independent agency of the United States government. The mission of the SEC is to enforce securities laws passed by congress. These laws aim to promote fair, orderly and efficient securities markets, protect investors from abuses, and help maintain a well-functioning economy.The SEC was created by congress in the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. By promoting fair and well-functioning markets, the SEC supports the formation of capital, which in turn supports a well-functioning economy. As part of its mission to foster fair and orderly markets, the SEC requires security sellers to provide full disclosure of information about securities to all investors. It also monitors corporate takeovers. So, when one company buys another company, it must first register its intention with the SEC. A key part of the SEC is its enforcement activities. Each year it brings hundreds of lawsuits against people for violating securities laws such as insider trading, accounting fraud, and providing false or misleading information about securities and companies. The SEC is composed of five commissioners appointed by the U.S. President and approved by the senate. To ensure that the commission remains non-partisan, no more than three commissioners can be from one political party. Commissioners serve 5-year terms, which are staggered so that each year a new commissioner is appointed.