Securities Act

United States Congress enacted the Securities Act of 1933, in the aftermath of the stock market crash of 1929 and during the ensuing Great Depression. Legislated pursuant to the interstate commerce clause of the Constitution, it requires that any offer or sale of securities using the means and instrumentalities of interstate commerce be registered with the SEC pursuant to the 1933 Act, unless an exemption from registration exists under the law. „Means and instrumentalities of interstate commerce“ is extremely broad, and it is virtually impossible to avoid the operation of this statute by attempting to offer or sell a security without using an „instrumentality“ of interstate commerce. Any use of a telephone, for example, or the mails, would probably be enough to subject the transaction to the statute.
The 1933 Act was the first major federal legislation to regulate the offer and sale of securities. Prior to the Act, regulation of securities was chiefly governed by state laws, commonly referred to as blue sky laws. When Congress enacted the 1933 Act, it left existing state securities laws in place.

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