Before the creation of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), sales of stock and bonds were dominated by private investment banks such as J.P. Morgan and Co.
Bear raids and stock market pools were often reported in the press. Shortly later, the New York Stock Exchange was characterized as a private club.
After the stock market crash of 1929-1932, congressional hearings unearthed evidence of fraudulent bond sales, preferred stockholder lists, stock pool operations, corporate officials who used inside information for their own benefit, and journalists who touted securities to manipulate prices.
In response, the SEC was created in 1934.
Since then, the investment community has witnessed the abolition of fixed commission rates, the establishment of a national electronic securities market system and the enactment of important legislation — most recently, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.
In the third edition of The Transformation of Wall Street, Joel Seligman once again draws on extensive personal interviews to provide a comprehensive examination of the origins, accomplishments, successes and failings of the SEC, from its creation to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
— From the book jacket
The third edition of The Transformation of Wall Street is available at the Campus Store in Mallinckrodt Student Center (935-5500) and the Washington University Medical Bookstore (362-3240) in the McDonnell Pediatric Research Building.