Securities Acts


Legal Definition of Securities Acts

two laws concerning the issuance and exchange of financial securities. The first act, known simply as the Securities Act, 15 U.S.C. § 77a et seq. (1933), stipulated that a company offering securities must register them with the Federal Trade Commission (or, after 1933, the Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC]) and make full public disclosure of all relevant information. Certain private, in-state, governmental, and small-business offerings were exempt. The second act, the Securities Exchange Act, 15 U.S.C. § 78a et seq. (1934), prohibited the buying of stock without adequate funds to pay for it, provided for the registration and supervision of securities markets and stockbrokers, established rules for solicitation of proxies, and prevented unfair use of private information in stock trading. The administration of both acts was assigned to the SEC, which also served as adviser to the court in corporate bankruptcy cases.

Learn More about Securities Acts

Cite this Entry

“Securities Acts.” Legal Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Nov. 2020.

Comments on Securities Acts

What made you want to look up Securities Acts? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a traditional thanksgiving dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!