Securities fraud features prominently in conversations about financial reform, and for good reason. In addition to the disproportionate number of securities fraud lawsuits and government actions filed every year, securities fraud case law is frequently consulted as an analytical aid for other types of corporate fraud. And yet, in discussing the interpretation and application of the securities laws, scholars, judges, and lawmakers alike have largely overlooked a feature of securities fraud that could offer significant assistance in many challenging areas: namely, that securities fraud, including civil securities fraud, has a pronounced moral dimension.

This Article explores the role that moral judgment plays in the development and application of the law of civil securities fraud. It argues that civil securities fraud is a morally charged concept, and liability for securities fraud is a pronouncement of moral blameworthiness. Recognizing this moral dimension offers both descriptive clarity about the development and application of securities fraud liability, and prescriptive guidance for judges, litigants, and lawmakers navigating the often fraught landscape that is securities fraud law today. On a broader stage, the morality of civil securities fraud offers new ideas for principled legal reform and explorations of new methods of fraud prevention.