A Conceptual View of the Regulatory Process

by Leo Pellerzi



The article provides a concept of the Federal regulation of a business corporation. Starting with the corporation, the matrix and the dynamics of "regulation" are discussed in this article. At common law, a corporation is a legal fiction; there is no such thing in reality except the artificial person recognized in law. For a great number of years, of course, the legal definition of corporate responsibility was simply a device to separate corporations from responsibility. The Clayton and Sherman acts basically changed that, and today corporate officers can go to jail for violations of antitrust laws. If the development of the corporation is looked as a social institution, there is a great deal of truth in the concept of the corporation as the new social order. Corporations are pervasive in the U.S. In 1800, there were 300 of the limited type of business corporation, and today there are over 2,500 of them listed on the two major stock exchanges plus many thousands not so listed. The primary legal attributes of an independent regulatory agency are that it exercises legislative power pursuant to a delegation that, under the constitutional system, requires a standard and that it exercises quasi-judicial power essential to the decision-making process that underlies regulation.

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