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A Little History of Electronic SEC Filings

November 12, 2009

In 1986, the Securities and Exchange Commission started to accept SEC filings — 10-K forms and the like — electronically. Between ’86 and ’92, only a handful of companies filed their 10-K electronically. The companies?

1986

  • Medical Monitors, Inc.

1987

  • Medical Monitors, Inc.

1988

  • Medical Monitors, Inc.
  • Fast Eddie Racing Stables, Inc.

1989

  • Medical Monitors, Inc.
  • Fast Eddie Racing Stables, Inc,.
  • Jilco Industries, Inc.
  • Whitney American Corp.
  • Filmagic Entertainment Corp.
  • First Boston Mortgage Sec. Corp. Con Mor Pas Thr Cer CR 1989-2
  • First Boston Mortgage Sec. Corp. Con Mor Pas Thr Cer CR 1989-3
  • First Boston Mortgage Sec. Corp. Con Mor Pas Thr Cer CR 1989-5

1990

  • Medical Monitors, Inc.
  • Fast Eddie Racing Stables, Inc,.
  • Jilco Industries, Inc.
  • Filmagic Entertainment Corp.
  • Xanthic Enterprises, Inc.
  • First Boston Mortgage Sec. Corp. Con Mor Pas Thr Cer CR 1988-1
  • First Boston Mortgage Sec. Corp. Con Mor Pas Thr Cer CR 1988-2

1991

  • Medical Monitors, Inc.
  • Fast Eddie Racing Stables, Inc,.
  • Jilco Industries, Inc.
  • Filmagic Entertainment Corp.
  • Xanthic Enterprises, Inc.
  • Admiral Financial Corp.
  • Quad Metals Corp.
  • First Boston Mortgage Sec. Corp. Con Mor Pas Thr Cer CR 1988-4

1992

  • Medical Monitors, Inc.
  • Fast Eddie Racing Stables, Inc,.
  • Jilco Industries, Inc.
  • Filmagic Entertainment Corp.
  • Xanthic Enterprises, Inc.
  • Admiral Financial Corp.
  • Quad Metals Corp.
  • American Housing Partners
  • First Boston Mortgage Sec. Corp. Con Mor Pas Thr Cer CR 1992-3

While I get the obvious kick out of Fast Eddie Racing Stables, Inc. — that it’s publicly traded and was an early-comer to electronic SEC filing — my hunch is that these early companies are there not necessarily because of who runs them (although it’s certainly possible that Medical Monitors, Inc. has a techno-saavy CEO) but more likely because 86-92 was a period of controlled introduction. In the following years, the number of electronically-filed 10-Ks were:

Year # of filings
1993 1305
1994 1249
1995 3460
1996 6482

I suspect that the SEC opened the flood gates only partially in 93-94, a bit more in 95, and completely in 96. On the other hand, this was the era during which the Internet was really taking off, so it’s hard to distinguish between what the SEC mandated and what it allowed.

If you’re wondering what those First Boston Mortgage things are, they’re probably asset-backed securities, which are by far the largest class of securities regulated by the SEC. Commercial state banks are up there, too. But it’s interesting that the largest group of securities aren’t even operating companies — they’re just a publicly-traded piece of paper that represents a share of ownership in some asset.

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