The law affords many protections to securities investors. According to the Securities and Exchange Commission (S.E.C.), a stockbroker must comply with both the suitability and the best-execution rules when he or she sells or buys a security on behalf of an investor. By contrast, a subprime mortgage broker need not obey either of these rules. Scholars have questioned the unequal treatment of investors and borrowers and have focused on the counterintuitive elements of this unequal treatment. Many of these scholars have wondered why the law provides more protections to investors of securities than to borrowers of subprime mortgages even though the former are more likely to be more sophisticated consumers.

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