Course Description

601:757. Origins of Modern Financial Regulation (3, W)


Laby, Ryan


This course examines the history of modern financial regulation, with special emphasis on the US federal securities laws passed between 1933 and 1940, as well as the birth and early development of the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The course begins with a discussion of the passage of the Securities Act of 1933, enacted as part of FDR’s First Hundred Days, and will then cover passage of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, which created the SEC and established the regulation of stockbrokers. We will study the enactment of three other laws, the Public Utility Holding Company Act, the Investment Company Act, and the Investment Advisers Act. Broadly speaking, the readings will present rival views of financial legislation and government regulation, an investor protection view, holding that the laws were passed to protect investors from fraud, and an interest group view, stating that the laws were enacted in response to pressure by firms seeking protection from competition.