Research Handbooks in Financial Law series
Edited by Jerry Markham and Rigers Gjyshi
The secondary market for U.S. securities serves as the centerpiece of the U.S. capital markets. The essence of the “secondary market” was aptly captured in 1974 by Philip A. Loomis, Jr., then Commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), who described it as “… a mechanism by which investors everywhere may have their orders executed in a more efficient way, and hopefully at lower cost and with better prices, and where all the resources of the securities community may be brought to bear to provide fair and orderly markets with depth and liquidity, as well as the benefits of competition.” Central to understanding the notion of a secondary market in the United States is that the term defines the process for trading stock after the initial issuance, and does not describe an institution. As former Commissioner Loomis stated, “That, presumably, is why we refer to a central market system, not simply to a central market. It is not to be a building located somewhere, nor will it, at least initially, be an organization springing full-blown from the brow of its creators … .” This chapter focuses on the applicable federal regulation of the secondary market for securities in the United States. The system for trading securities after the initial issuance by a company (the secondary market) has evolved considerably in response to periods of stress on the markets and private sector advances.
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