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Regulation

1817
Rules and a Constitution
A constitution with rules for the conduct of business is adopted.
1853
Complete Statements Required
The NYSE strengthens its listing standards, requiring companies to provide complete statements of shares outstanding and capital resources.
1866
NYSE Begins Supervising Listing Policies
The NYSE appoints the Committee on Stock List to take charge of admitting new securities. This begins the Exchange's effort to supervise and control listing policies.
1869
"Watering Stocks" Prohibited
The New York Stock Exchange and the Open Board, another exchange, crack down on the practice of issuing shares in secret, known as watering stock.
All Shares Must Be Registered
The Exchange requires that all shares of listed companies be registered at a bank or other appropriate agency.
NYSE Consolidation Plan Adopted
May 08
NYSE and Open Board of Brokers adopted a plan of consolidation.
1872
Specialists are Created
As part of the Exchange's new system of continuous trading to replace calls of stocks at set times, brokers dealing in a particular stock remain at one location on the trading floor, giving rise to the specialist.
1892
NYSE Establishes Clearing House
The New York Stock Exchange Clearing House is organized to centralize and expedite the transfer of securities from broker to broker.
1895
Annual Reports Suggested
The Exchange recommends that all listed companies send their shareholders annual reports with an income statement and balance sheet.
1911
"Blue Sky" Law
Kansas adopts the "Blue Sky" Law, which requires companies issuing securities to file a description of their operations and receive a permit before selling stocks. It also imposes registration requirements on brokers who sell securities. Within two years, 22 other states pass similar laws. An effort to pass a similar law at the federal level fails.
1913
Federal Reserve System
The Federal Reserve System is established to control credit and bring greater stability to the nation's banking structure.
1915
Market Price in Dollars
Basis of quoting and trading in stocks changed from percent of par value to market price in dollars.
1920
Centralized Clearing System Established
The Stock Clearing Corp. is established by the Exchange to develop a centralized system for delivering and clearing securities among members, banks and trust companies.
1923
Fraud Bureau Established
The NYSE establishes a Fraud Bureau and works closely with the Better Business Bureau to eliminate gamblers who bet on the rise and fall of the stock market quotations, and other fraudulent security sales.
1926
Listing Rules Tighten
The Exchange tightens its listing rules to encourage companies to give equal voting rights to shareholders.
1927
Proxy Solicitation
The NYSE's regulations governing proxy solicitation are first established, and in subsequent years are strengthened and refined.
1933
The Securities Act of 1933
Franklin Roosevelt is inaugurated as the 32nd President of the United States, promising a "New Deal." The Securities Act of 1933 mandates registering new issues and establishes federal disclosure requirements.
1934
SEC
The Securities Exchange Act of 1934 establishes the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Its two basic purposes: to provide full disclosure to investors and to prohibit fraud in connection with the sale of securities.
1953
First Member Corp.
The NYSE permits member firms to incorporate, improving their access to permanent capital. Woodcock, Hess & Co. becomes the first member corporation.
1954
Monthly Investment Plan
The Exchange inaugurates the Monthly Investment Plan (MIP), a program allowing individuals to invest as little as $40 per month in the stock market through special accounts at NYSE member firms.
1956
Outside Directors Recommend
The NYSE urges listed companies to include at least two outside directors on their boards to help ensure prompt and full disclosure of corporate information.
1959
NYSE Adopts New Policy
The Exchange adopts a policy that discourages securities transactions between a listed company and its officers and directors.
1966
Securities Investor Protection Corp.
Congress creates the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, to protect customers of brokerage firms that fail.
1970
Public Can Own Member Firms
March 26
Public ownership of member firms is approved for the first time.
1972
NYSE Board of Directors
The NYSE transfers policy-making power to a new 21-member board of directors, including 10 public directors.
1973
White Paper on Corporate Disclosure
The NYSE white paper on corporate disclosure recommends a minimum of three outside directors and an audit committee composed solely of public directors.
1975
Fixed Commissions Abolished
On May 1, the Securities and Exchange Commission bans fixed minimum commission rates, a cornerstone of the US. securities markets and all other organized exchanges throughout the world.
1977
New Listed Company Requirements
The NYSE requires listed companies to form independent audit committees composed of outside directors.
Foreign Brokers/ Dealers Welcomed
February 03
The NYSE begins permitting foreign broker/dealers to obtain membership on the floor.
1984
Committee on Voting Rights Appointed
The Exchange appoints a committee to review voting rights issues.
1986
New Voting Rights Policy Adopted
Common stocks with unequal classes of voting rights can list on the NYSE only if approved by two-thirds of all shares and a majority of independent directors.
1988
Circuit Breakers
The SEC approves a series of actions by the NYSE and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange to coordinate procedures between the equities and futures markets, including coordinated circuit breakers to control extreme price movements and the sharing of market surveillance data.
Protection of Shareholders Rights
The SEC prohibits disenfranchisement of existing common stockholders.
1991
Corporate Governance Symposium
The NYSE holds a symposium to gather perspective and data on improving aspects of corporate governance, such as director independence.
1994
"Market 2000"
The SEC issues its "Market 2000" study of the U.S. securities markets.

The SEC approves a uniform shareholder voting rights policy adopted by the NYSE, the American Stock Exchange and the National Associations of Securities Dealers.
1998
New "circuit breaker" rules
April 15
New "circuit breaker" rules went into effect to halt trading when the Dow Jones Industrial Average drops 10, 20 and 30 percent.
1999
Independent Director Requirement
The NYSE requires domestic listed companies to seat at least three independent directors on audit committees and set rules for their independence and financial expertise.
2002
Sarbanes Oxley Act
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act , which aims to protect investors by improving the accuracy and reliability of corporate disclosures, goes into effect.
2003
Rule 500 Eliminated
October 30
NYSE eliminates Rule 500, allowing a listed company’s board of directors to make the determination on the voluntary delisting of its securities.  
New Listed Company Governance Standard
On November 4, the SEC approves the NYSE’s new corporate governance standards for listed companies, requiring boards of NYSE-listed companies to have a majority of independent directors, and requiring that nomination, compensation and audit committee consist solely of independent directors.
NYSE Concludes Governance Changes
The NYSE concludes a far-reaching reorganization of its corporate governance, ensuring greater transparency and independence of NYSE board members. The Exchange’s new governance features a fully independent Board of Directors; a Board of Executives composed of constituent representatives to advise on NYSE marketplace issues; an autonomous Chief Regulatory Officer; and separation of the CEO and Chairman roles.
2005
Regulation National Market System (Reg NMS)
April
This Securities and Exchange Commission regulation is designed to modernize and strengthen the national market system for equity securities by fostering competition among individual markets and guaranteeing the best price to customers.
2007
FINRA Created through Consolidation of NYSE Regulation and NASD
July
NYSE member firm regulatory functions, including related enforcement activities, risk assessment and the arbitration service, merge with the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) to form the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).   The NYSE retains independent regulation functions governing the NYSE trading floor, listed companies, rule development, and market surveillance.