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Laws and stocks: bringing transparency to the economy

31st January 2011
By Jorjina in Law
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Every business has an original capital invested at the time of business launch. It is different from property and assets. The value fluctuates from time to time. This stock of a business is divided into shares. Based on the total amount of stock, every share is assigned a particular value.

Shares represent a fraction of ownership to the business. The ownership of this asset is determined by issuing of a stock certificate. Itís a legal document that authenticates the number of share owned by a shareholder. A private as well as a public company can have shareholders.

Shareholders are people or another organization owning shares of a company. The largest shareholders arenít retail buyers. They are rather corporate entities or other large mutual funds. Owning even fifty percent or more shares doesnít entitle them to use property, equipment, etc of that company. This is because the company is considered as a legal entity.

In this regard a stock exchange holds an importance place. It is a marketplace where a company with shares has to get enlisted in order to sell shares to several prospective buyers. Famous stock exchanges are BSE, NSE, NASDAQ, etc which can be cited as examples.

There are big and small companies whose shares are traded every day in several stock exchanges across the world. The market value of several large international corporations like Oracle, Microsoft, Siemens, etc. runs into millions of dollars. As a result there is a scope of stock related frauds too.

This frauds run into millions or even billions of dollars worth. Crimes related to stocks are labeled under white collar crimes. This is because of the financial knowledge required to commit this crimes. Since, these types of frauds affect not only large scale stock holders but also retail share traders. Class action lawsuit is the obvious option to get relief legally.

The securities market is supervised by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. There are several laws that are used to enforce regularity and transparency in trading in securities market:

  • Securities Act of 1933
  • Trust Indenture Act of 1939
  • Investment Company Act of 1940
  • Investment Advisers Act of 1940

  • Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002

As the laws evolve to plug one loophole lawbreakers often find out another. In case you are a victim of stock related fraud it is prudent to contact a Stock Fraud Lawyer. There are several forums which operate as support groups for stock related fraud victims.

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