Deregulation removes restrictions on industry, usually to promote competition. Supporters of deregulation and opponents of government intervention have historically battled over changes in market conditions. Finance has been one of the most heavily regulated industries in the United States, but the pendulum has started to swing in recent years in favor of deregulation.
The deregulation of financial services is one of the most compelling success stories in American economic history. There has been a steady movement toward deregulation during the past 25 years, with most restrictions entirely lifted by 1999. The result has been dramatically increased competition and innovation in all areas of finance, including banking and insurance, financial markets, securities trading and investment research, personal finance management and planning tools, pensions and investments for retirement, education savings accounts, and more.
Deregulation is expected to enable new businesses to enter markets, increasing competition and creating more investment opportunities. As more companies enter a market and compete with each other, consumers have more choices and can enjoy lower prices.
By reducing the need for corporations to invest in resources and capital to comply with regulations, lessening corporate regulation frees up funds for research and development. Without the restrictions imposed by regulations, businesses can develop new products, set competitive prices, employ more labor, enter foreign countries, buy new assets and interact with consumers.
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