Securities and Exchange Commission

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is the United States governing body which has primary responsibility for overseeing the regulation of the securities industry. It enforces, among other acts, the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Trust Indenture Act of 1939, the Investment Company Act of 1940 and the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. It removed regulatory authority from the Federal Trade Commission.

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Background

The SEC has five Commissioners who are appointed by the President of the United States with the advice and consent of the Senate. Their terms last five years and are staggered so that one Commissioner's term ends on June 5 of each year. To ensure that the SEC remains non-partisan, no more than three Commissioners may belong to the same political party. The President also designates one of the Commissioners as Chairman, the SEC's top executive.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr, father of future President John F. Kennedy, to serve as the first Chairman of the SEC. For a list of other appointees, see: Securities and Exchange Commission appointees.


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