The SEC and Financial Reporting
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is a federal agency established by the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. That act is a keystone in the regulation of securities markets and outlines the powers of the SEC to interpret, supervise, and enforce federal securities laws, principally those prohibiting fraud. The SEC has the authority to bring administrative proceedings against firms and persons the agency believes are violating securities laws; however, allegations of criminal violations of these laws are prosecuted by the Justice Department. The functions of the SEC should be considered quasi-judicial in nature because appeals from its decisions can be taken to federal courts. Figure 12.1 is an organizational chart of the SEC.
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