There is a lot of confusion about whether or not the government owns stocks. Some people believe that the government controls the stock market and can intervene when they please. Others think that stocks are a part of the government and that it has a hand in every stock transaction. In this blog post, we will clear up the confusion and answer all of your questions about government ownership of stocks. 

Does the government own stocks? 

The answer is both yes and no. The United States government does not own the stock market, but it does own stocks. For example, some members of congress invest in stocks. The United States government also has historically owned stocks in companies that it has bailed out, such as General Motors. So while the government does not own the stock market, it does own stocks. 

Does the government own the stock market? 

No, the United States government does not own the stock market. The stock market is made up of all the stocks that are traded on the stock exchanges. These include the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Nasdaq. 

The government may influence the stock market, but it doesn’t own it. For example, the Federal Reserve can influence the stock market by changing interest rates. But, the government does not have a say in how individual stocks are traded. 

Are stocks part of the government? 

No, stocks are not part of the government. Stocks are a type of investment. When you buy a stock, you’re buying a piece of a company. You become a shareholder and have a claim on the company’s assets and profits. 

The government may own stocks, but stocks are not part of the government. Stocks are separate from the government because they are bought and sold by private individuals and public companies, not the government.

Bonds on the other hand are part of the government. The government uses treasuries to finance its operations. Bonds are a type of loan. When you buy a bond, you’re lending money to the government. 

What stocks does the US government own? 

The United States government owns stocks in companies that it has bailed out. The most well-known stock that the US government owned was General Motors but they have since sold their stake in the company. Other companies that the US government has bailed out are JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo. 

Some members of congress do own stocks. In fact, many members of Congress are wealthy because they own stocks and other investments. However, it is important to remember that not all members of Congress are wealthy. 

Who owns the stock market? 

Intercontinental Exchange owns the New York Stock Exchange. The founder of this company is Jeffrey C. Sprecher. Although the exchange is owned by a for-profit corporation, it has always been considered a non-profit institution. 

The market makers are the real owners of the stock market. These are the people who provide liquidity to the market by buying and selling stocks at prices that they are willing to accept. The stock market is also owned by the federal government. 

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is a government agency that regulates the stock market. The SEC has been given authority by Congress to oversee the stock market and protect investors from fraud. 

It can also be debated that investment banks have part ownership in the efficacy of the stock market. These banks play a vital role in providing capital to companies that need it for growth and expansion. 

Without these banks, many companies would not be able to survive or thrive. The publicly listed companies are also important because they are the ones that are being traded. This means that their share prices are constantly changing based on supply and demand. 

The shareholders of these companies ultimately have the most control over the direction of the stock market. However, they do not 'own' the stock market unless they invest in Intercontinental Exchange Inc. Yes, the company that owns the NYSE is traded on the same exchange. You can invest in them through the ticker symbol (ICE). 

In this scenario, investors would own equity in the underlying infrastructure of the stock market. So, who really owns the stock market? It depends on how you look at it. If you believe control equals ownership, then the answer is the government. If you believe ownership equals equity, then the answer is Intercontinental Exchange Inc and its investors. 

Whichever way you look at it, the stock market is a complex system with many different players. Each one has its own role to play in keeping the market running efficiently and effectively. 

Can the government intervene in the stock market? 

The government can intervene in the stock market, but it does not own the stock market. The government regulates the stock market and can impact the stock market through its policies. 

The government can intervene in the stock market if it believes that there is fraud or manipulation taking place. 

For example, in September of 2008, the US government intervened in the stock market to prevent a collapse after Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy. The intervention stabilized the markets and prevented a complete meltdown. 

How the government can intervene in the stock market 

The government can intervene through bailouts, changing regulations, buying and selling stocks, and more. The government can provide bailouts to companies or industries that it believes are essential to the economy. 

Government bailout examples

For example, the US government bailed out the auto industry in 2008. Bailouts are when the government provides loans or financial assistance to a company. The government can also change regulations to impact the stock market. 

Government stock market regulation examples

For example, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act was passed in 2002 in response to corporate accounting scandals. The act made it harder for companies to commit fraud and increased transparency in the stock market. 

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was passed in 2010 in response to the financial crisis. This law made it harder for banks to gamble with their customers' money and put the economy at risk. As you can see, regulation can dramatically affect the stock market. 

The government also has the power to regulate the stock market through other institutions. For example, the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) is a government agency that regulates the stock market. The SEC enforces rules and regulations that protect investors from fraud and manipulation. 

Interest rates

Another way the government can intervene is by changing interest rates. For example, if the government wants to stimulate the economy, it will lower interest rates. 

This makes it cheaper for companies to borrow money and invest in stocks. Conversely, if the government wants to slow down the economy, it will raise interest rates. This makes it more expensive for companies to borrow money and invest in stocks. 


The government can also raise taxes on stocks. This would make them less attractive to investors and cause the stock market to decline. 

For example, if the US government were to raise taxes on dividends, it may influence investors to focus on stocks that appreciate rather than provide cash flow. Lastly, the government can buy and sell stocks to impact the stock market. For example, the US government sold its shares in General Motors in 2010. 

This means that US taxpayers no longer owned the stock because it had been removed from the US Treasury. 

Government’s influence on the stock market

The government can also use its power to influence the direction of the stock market. In more authoritarian regimes, the government may own the stock market and use it to benefit its own interests. 

For example, in China, the government owns many of the largest companies and can direct where money is invested. Propaganda can also be used to influence the stock market. 

For example, during World War II, the US government propaganda posters encouraged people to buy war bonds to finance the war effort. 

Politicians’ influence on the stock market

Politicians may also scare investors away from investing in foreign stocks through their political views. The same can be said for domestic industries. 

For example, if a political party denounces an industry such as oil, it may convince investors to sell their stocks in that industry. In contrast, if they were to legalize an industry such as psychedelic-assisted therapies, it could trigger a buying frenzy of stocks in that industry. As you can see, the government has a lot of power when it comes to the stock market. 

The government can own stocks, bail out companies, change regulations, and more. However, the government is not the only one with power over the stock market. Institutions, investors, and even company management can all influence the direction of the stock market. 


In the end, the stock market is a complex system with many moving parts. The government is just one player in the game. And when systems are as complex as the stock market, there are always unforeseen consequences. 

Ownership is something that many investors enjoy about the stock market. So whether it be individual congress members or entire government institutions, their interests will always be worth watching.