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Overview of Major Federal Securities Laws

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Publication Date: January 2007

Publisher(s): Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service

Series: RS22581

Topic: Law and ethics (Corporations and securities law)


The major federal securities laws may be grouped into two categories according to the time of their passage: the acts passed in the wake of the stock market crash of 1929 and the acts passed later in the twentieth century and in 2002. The acts in the first group include the most important of the federal securities acts: the Securities Act of 1933, which concerns the initial registration of securities, and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, which requires ongoing disclosure reports. The acts in the second group include laws which specifically prohibit insider trading, restrict the bringing of shareholder derivative suits, and require additional reporting by officers and directors. This report will be updated as warranted.