The Political Economy of the Securities Act of 1933

Posted: 20 Mar 2001

See all articles by Paul G. Mahoney

Paul G. Mahoney

University of Virginia School of Law

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The Securities Act of 1933 is typically described as a "full disclosure" statute, yet many of its detailed provisions forbid disclosure about pending offerings during specified periods or using specified media. These features provided governmental enforcement of retail selling restrictions that were widely used by managing underwriters but that became difficult to enforce contractually during the late 1920s. The net effect was to reduce competition among investment banks. In particular, the act protected separate wholesale and retail investment banks from competition by integrated firms.

JEL Classification: K22, G24

Suggested Citation

Mahoney, Paul G., The Political Economy of the Securities Act of 1933. Journal of Legal Studies, Vol. 30, No. 1, January 2001, Available at SSRN:

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