Document Type



Journal of Business & Technology Law




This Article advocates that securities regulators promulgate rules based upon taking into consideration their impacts upon investors' and others' affect, happiness, and trust. Examples of these impacts are consumer optimism, financial stress, anxiety over how thoroughly securities regulators deliberate over proposed rules, investor confidence in securities disclosures, market exuberance, social moods, and subjective well-being. These variables affect and are affected by traditional financial variables, such as consumer debt, expenditures, and wealth; corporate investment; initial public offerings; and securities market demand, liquidity, prices, supply, and volume. This Article proposes that securities regulators can and should evaluate rules based upon measures of affect, happiness, and trust in addition to standard observable financial variables. This Article concludes that the organic statutes of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission are indeterminate despite mandating that federal securities laws consider efficiency among other goals. This Article illustrates analysis of affective impacts of these financial regulatory policies: mandatory securities disclosures; gun-jumping rules for publicly registered offerings; financial education or literacy campaigns; statutory or judicial default rules and menus; and continual reassessment and revision of rules. These regulatory policies impact and are impacted by investors' and other people's affect, happiness, and trust. Thus, securities regulators can and should evaluate such affective impacts to design effective legal policy.