Securities and Exchange Commission
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), independent agency of the U.S. government set up in 1934 to protect investors in securities (stocks and bonds). It requires disclosures of the structure of all public companies and registration of all securities exchanged. Its 5-member panel, appointed by the U.S. president, hears complaints, initiates investigations, issues brokerage licenses, and has broad powers to penalize fraud.
See also: Stock exchange.