Monday, May 27, 2013

Web Exhibit: “Financial Scandals and the Legislation They Inspired”

Herblock cartoon, September 8, 1972, from SEC Historical Society
The Securities and Exchange Commission Historical Society has launched another of its on-line galleries, this one entitled "Wrestling with Reform: Financial Scandals and the Legislation They Inspired." Curated by Robert Colby, the site provides this overview in its introduction:
The Gallery will focus on five scandals and their legislative reactions, ranging from 1910 to 2002. Wildcat securities sales in Kansas alerted a leader in the waxing Progressive movement of the need for consumer protection. Forty years later, a lone swindler exposed gaping holes in Arizona law, leading the state to bolster its securities regime with help from national regulators. The foreign payments scandals of the mid-1970s, the insider trading scandals of the late 1980s, and the accounting scandals of the early 2000s each demonstrated how, in the presence of powerful momentum provided by scandal, legislative, regulatory and executive forces may conflict, cancel each other out, or even cooperate to produce legislation, either predictable or surprising.
The Gallery was prepared and built by Carla Rosati. It includes full-text copies of legal, government, and corporate documents, correspondence, oral history interviews and transcripts, and references to scholarly analyses of each of the cases considered.