The securities markets have faced some of the most significant challenges since the creation of the Securities and Exchange Commission; including the recent credit crisis, the implosion of subprime mortgages, the collapse of several of the largest brokerage houses, the failure of auctions for auction-rate securities, the liquidity crisis in asset-backed securities, and the alleged $50 billion Ponzi scheme by Bernard Madoff. These events have altered the landscape of 21st-century Wall Street. This course will cover the operation and regulation of the securities markets, brokerage firms, and other financial institutions. We will study specialized SEC and self-regulatory organization rules that regulate the activities of financial firms in connection with the distribution and trading of securities as well as Exchange Act anti-fraud concepts. We will explore the increasingly complex questions raised as world markets continue to converge, examine recent trends and proposed regulation in this area, consider the appropriate bounds of U.S. regulation when foreign markets, financial institutions, and investors interact, and discuss the securities activities of banks and other financial institutions into the securities business. We will look at each of these issues in the context of the current financial crisis, the collapse of Bear Stearns, the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, and the sale of Merrill Lynch.