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Ellen Terrell, Business Reference Specialist, Science, Technology & Business Division
Created: March 2021
Updated: July 2021
Prior to the signing of the Securities Exchange Act by President Roosevelt on June 6, 1934, there was not much oversight of the United States securities market. The act created the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) and some regulation of large public companies really began.
In 1932 in the aftermath of the October 29, 1929 crash, the U.S. Senate Banking Committee began a series of hearings looking into the causes of the crash. These hearings, known as the Pecora Commission (or Pecora Investigation) went on until May 1934. Once the Securities Exchange Act was passed, Joseph P. Kennedy became the first chairman with Ferdinand Pecora who led the investigation, George C. Mathews, James M. Landis, and Robert E. Healy appointed commissioners.
The Securities Exchange Act of 1934 was not the only law passed to bring confidence back and establish some regulatory framework, Congress actually passed a series of laws. In 1933 Congress also passed the Securities Act of 1933 that required registration of most securities sales and Glass-Steagall Act, which separated investment banking from commercial banking and created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935.
Today when many people think of the SEC they think of the filings corporations are required to file like the annual 10K and the quarterly 10Q, but the SEC is more than just that. It is an independent federal regulatory agency whose mission is protect investors; maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets; and facilitate capital formation.
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At the end of each session of Congress, all of the daily editions are collected, re-paginated, and re-indexed into a permanent, bound edition. This permanent edition, referred to as the Congressional Record (Bound Edition), is made up of one volume per session of Congress, with each volume published in multiple parts, each part containing approximately 10 to 20 days of Congressional proceedings. The primary ways in which the bound edition differs from the daily edition are continuous pagination somewhat edited, revised, and rearranged text and the dropping of the prefixes H, S, and E before page numbers.
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Volumes 144 (1998) and prior are made available as digitized versions of the Congressional Record (Bound Edition) created as a result of a partnership between GPO and the Library of Congress. These volumes include all parts of the official printed edition.
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