Monday, December 2, 2013

Digital Resource: The SEC Historical Society Opens a New Gallery

The Securities and Exchange Commission Historical Society has opened a new gallery in its on-line museum: “The Mechanics of Legislation: Congress, the SEC and Financial Regulation.” It examines the Insider Trading and Securities Fraud Enforcement Act of 1988 (ITSFEA) and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999. The gallery includes links to almost 500 primary resources, including letters from legislators such as Speaker of the House Carl Albert and U.S. Representative Richard Armey to their constituents; papers from the William J. Clinton Library; and oral history interviews with former U.S. Senator Edward Kaufman and former U.S. Representative Michael Oxley. As noted by gallery curator Kurt Hohenstein,
Over the years, financial legislation has become increasingly more complicated because our system has grown more complex. From the public’s view, the passage of legislation often appears to have come out of the blue, rapid and responsive to a public outcry for reform. In reality, much of the hard work of drafting bills, conducting hearings, building public consensus and organizing needed votes remains hidden from the public. An examination of two significant financial laws enacted in the last half-century . . . can provide insight into the process of legislating on financial affairs, and illustrate the reactive and deliberative legislating models.