The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is a federal agency that aims to safeguard the interests of investors and maintain the integrity of US securities markets. Born out of the financial actions that led to the Great Depression, the SEC plays a dual role in overseeing the financial landscape.
Firstly, it regulates securities markets, ensuring they operate transparently and efficiently. Secondly, it enforces federal securities laws by investigating and prosecuting what is perceived to be fraudulent or illegal securities activities. We have seen the latter most prevalently enforced with the SEC’s attacks on Coinbase, Binance and ETF applications. In addition to its regulatory functions, the SEC extends its oversight to investment advisers and mutual funds, ensuring they act in the best interests of their clients and investors.
The agency also plays a pivotal role in rulemaking, formulating and enforcing regulations that cover various aspects of the securities industry, from corporate governance to trading practices. The SEC is also committed to educating investors about their rights and helping them understand the potential risks and rewards of investing in securities, reinforcing its mission to protect and empower investors in the ever-evolving financial markets.