Securities and Exchange Commission: "The primary mission of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is to protect investors and maintain the integrity of the securities markets. The SEC requires public companies to disclose meaningful financial and other information to the public, which provides a common pool of knowledge for all investors to use to judge for themselves if a company's securities are a good investment. The SEC also oversees other key participants in the securities world, including stock exchanges, broker-dealers, investment advisors, mutual funds, and public utility holding companies. Crucial to the SEC's effectiveness is its enforcement authority. Each year the SEC brings between 400-500 civil enforcement actions against individuals and companies that break securities laws. Typical infractions include insider trading, accounting fraud, and providing false or misleading information about securities and the companies that issue them."