Stories of people making fortunes from the securities market have enticed many others into risky investments. Congress created the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) to protect investors. Many corporation managers became greedy and made self-serving decisions that created the principle-agent problems. The solutions for these problems lead to more unethical behavior from management. The creative use of financial statements even tricked analysts and brokers. Public trust began to erode with unethical corporation behavior. Analyst's suspicions of some corporations cooking the books were confirmed with an announcement from WorldCom. The public's distrust started to mount while accusing brokers of hyping stocks. People began to invest without brokers' advice. With numerous risks rising for individual investors, Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the SEC responded by passing the Reg AC act. Ordinary Investors Enter the Market:
Golden opportunities lie ahead for those who invest well in stock market securities. "The stock market, which was once the province of the very rich, is now easily accessible to millions of ordinary investors." (Ethical Issues in Financial Services). Ordinary investors have flooded stock market securities with money in hopes of striking it rich. Many people were told by investment brokers the stock market securities are safer than it used to be. They were informed the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) are the watchdog for the small investor. Congress Acts to Protect Investors:
Congress created the SEC shortly after the 1929 stock market crash in order to protect investors. Their goal was to restore investor confidence and faith in the financial sector, which was notorious for fraudulent activities, easy credit, and hazardous investments. (Investopedia). The NASD is the largest self-regulatory organization...