Securities Industry Rules and Regulations
Federal and state securities laws, as well as industry regulations, have been enacted to ensure that all industry participants adhere to a high standard of just and equitable trade practices. In this chapter, we will review the rules and regulations that create the framework for securities industry regulation.
THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933
The Securities Act of 1933 was the first major piece of securities industry regulation, which was brought about largely as a result of the stock market crash of 1929. Other laws were also enacted to help prevent another meltdown of the nation's financial system, such as the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, which will be discussed next.
The Securities Act of 1933 regulates the primary market. The primary market consists exclusively of transactions between issuers of securities and investors. In a primary market transaction, the issuer of the securities receives the proceeds from the sale of the securities. The Securities Act of 1933 requires nonexempt issuers, typically corporate issuers, to file a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC will review the registration statement for a minimum of 20 days. During this time, known as the cooling-off period, no sales of securities may take place. If the SEC requires additional information regarding the offering, the SEC may issue a deficiency letter or a stop order that will extend the cooling-off period beyond the original 20 days. The cooling-off period will continue until the SEC has received all of the information it has requested. The registration statement, formally known as an SI, is the issuer's full-disclosure document for the registration of the securities with the SEC.