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The enactment of federal securities legislation in the 1930s codified the principle that investors should be shielded from securities fraud, but scholars and policymakers continue to debate the appropriate balance between protecting investors and encouraging capital formation. Congressional activity of the past decade reflects this tension. In the 1990s, Congress enacted two major pieces of legislation to restrict securities fraud class actions because of its belief that frivolous class actions were a drain on entrepreneurism. In 2002, after the EnronIW orldCom et al. corporate scandals, reflecting perhaps a sense that the earlier legislation had tipped the pendulum too far, Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) with its wide-ranging reforms to improve corporate reporting and investor decision- making.

The Pace Investor Rights Project (PIRP), launched in the fall of 2003 as an expansion of Pace Law School's ground-breaking Securities Arbitration Clinic, seeks to foster increased scholarly interest on topics related to investor justice in the regulatory, arbitral and judicial arenas. The Project thus produced the Investor Rights Symposium, which took place on the grounds of the Judicial Institute at Pace Law School on March 31 and April 1, 2005, to bring together academics, regulators, practitioners, investors' advocates and students to explore the precarious balance between investor protection and wealth creation. The scholarship that follows in this volume reflects the academic and critical thoughts of six authors who explore through different lenses the various obstacles to optimal investor protection in the securities industry.