The Bright Image: The SEC, 1961-1973

A Greater Voice

Securities Acts Amendments of 1964

The Securities Acts Amendments of 1964, known as the Frear-Fulbright Bill after J. Allen Frear, Jr., a former Delaware Senator and SEC Commissioner, and Senate sponsor J. William Fulbright (D-AR), was the most significant securities legislation passed by Congress in the wake of the Special Study report.

The Senate sponsors were more enthusiastic about the bill than their House counterparts. Representative Oren Harris (D-AR), Chairman of the Committee on Interstate Commerce, resisted SEC calls for major reform. He expressed concern about how broad new powers sought by the SEC, including provisions that regulated over-the-counter trading of insurance company stock, might affect the securities markets. As Congress debated the new provisions, the SEC began to implement some of the less controversial recommendations of the Special Study through the use of its rule-making authority.

The tragic death of President Kennedy in November 1963 and the elevation of Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson to the Presidency fortuitously helped the SEC in its efforts. Johnson's early Congressional career had New Deal origins, and his attachment to his mentor, Congressman Sam Rayburn, who had sponsored much of the early New Deal securities regulation, made Johnson a strong proponent of SEC regulation.

President Johnson eventually called on Congress to pass Frear-Fulbright, couching it as part of a wider consumer protection effort. As the bill made its way through Congress, Cary announced he would return to teach at Columbia Law School, officially resigning as SEC Chairman the day President Johnson signed the Securities Acts Amendments of 1964.

While the SEC failed to get the broader reforms of the industry it had sought, the final bill did permit SEC regulation of over-the-counter stocks, implementing new rules for certain widely-held but unlisted stock, and extended the periodic disclosure requirements to many more companies.

<<Previous Next >>


Related Museum Resources

Papers

April 5, 1963
document pdf (Courtesy of Milton Cohen)
July 26, 1963
document pdf (Courtesy of Milton Cohen)
November 15, 1963
image pdf (All rights are owned exclusively by NYSE Euronext copyright 2007 NYSE Euronext, All Rights Reserved, Courtesy New York Stock Exchange Archives)
November 25, 1963
transcript pdf (Courtesy of the Lyndon B. Johnson Library and Museum)
November 26, 1963
transcript pdf (Courtesy of the Lyndon B. Johnson Library and Museum)
January 23, 1964
transcript pdf (Courtesy of the Lyndon B. Johnson Library and Museum)
March 20, 1964
transcript pdf (Courtesy of the Lyndon B. Johnson Library and Museum)
August 20, 1964
image pdf (Courtesy of the Library of Congress)
August 21, 1964
image pdf (Government Records)
December 17, 2003
document pdf (prepared for the museum by Mark Kessler)

Photos

1963

(standing) Jack M. Whitney III and Hugh F. Owens; (seated) Byron D. Woodside, William L. Cary and Manuel F. Cohen

Permission for Use

The virtual museum and archive is copyrighted by the SEC Historical Society. The Society reserves the right to restrict access to or use of the museum by any user at any time.

Users are prohibited from sharing or downloading any material for publication or commercial purposes without written permission from the Executive Director. Requests for permission must be submitted by email and specify the material requested and for what purpose.

Material used with the Society's permission should be credited to: www.sechistorical.org.

Download mp3 file

Close