The Federal Bar Association - Securities Law Section is a proud sponsor of the virtual museum and archive of the history of financial regulation at www.sechistorical.org this year.
While the museum is free and accessible to everyone at all times, the Section will highlight specific material and information within the museum on securities law issues in the coming months, providing current and prospective Section members with unique content and context for use at any time.
In late 1936, the Saturday Evening Post tapped brash and celebrated businessman-turned-public servant Joseph P. Kennedy to pen an appeal to big business in the wake of the re-election of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The former SEC Chairman asked the question that was on the minds of all businessmen, “What will the President do with the tremendous new power at his command?” But rather than speculate about what Roosevelt would do in his second term, Kennedy countered: “What will the leaders of finance and industry do, in the light of the recent election?”
Kennedy extended an olive branch to industry in the form of “An Eight-Point Treaty of Peace,” a prescription for a more productive relationship between big business and the federal government. Among the ways business could do its part, he wrote, would be extend shareholders rights, support investment trust regulation, and reform protective committees‒initiatives that would occupy members of the federal bar for decades to come.
Kennedy proclaimed that “Participation in the fruits of economic progress has been established as a fixed reality. The United States has come of age. Business and finance henceforth must deal with it and its people as partners.” As the nation emerged from the dark sea of the Great Depression, Kennedy saw cooperation and accommodation between business and government as the best way to gain solid economic ground.
Eighty years later, we may find ourselves asking the same question Kennedy once did. As business and government again work toward “participation in the fruits of economic progress,” the federal bar will be as critical to success as ever.