MSRB Monthly Update: February 2017

February 2017 Monthly Update

The Future of the EMMA® Website

Lynnette Kelly with caption

In recent years, the MSRB has heard from many municipal market stakeholders sharing their stories about the benefits of the Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA) website and their hopes for the website’s future development. Since the MSRB first launched EMMA as a pilot project in 2008, the website has matured into a robust, indispensable industry utility that provides unparalleled transparency for the municipal securities market. As EMMA’s user base and functionality have expanded over the years, so too has the market’s desire to see EMMA become even more useful and user friendly.  


The MSRB recognizes the current and future potential of EMMA to the municipal market. Our wish-list of enhancements requires strategic prioritization so that we approach changes in a cost-efficient manner. There are feasibility and resource constraints to be considered, and above all, we need to ensure that EMMA’s development remains consistent with the MSRB’s mission to a promote a fair and efficient municipal securities market.


At its meeting last week, the MSRB Board of Directors conducted a strategic planning session in which discussions about the future of EMMA played a central role. MSRB staff are also engaged in stakeholder outreach related to EMMA, conducting focus groups with EMMA users who can help us consider what changes would be most beneficial. We appreciate the feedback that we continue to receive. It supports our decision-making and helps guide our priorities as we determine a road map for EMMA’s future. Please feel free to contact me at any time about this important initiative at

Board Member Applications Due by February 17

The MSRB is accepting applications for its Board of Directors through February 17, 2017. The MSRB is particularly interested in candidates that represent diverse experiences and market perspectives, as well as the market's gender and minority diversity. The 21-member Board sets the strategic direction of the organization, makes policy decisions, authorizes rulemaking and market transparency initiatives, and oversees MSRB operations. The MSRB annually seeks applicants to fill open positions on the Board. Interested candidates must submit an application on the MSRB Board of Directors Application Portal. To learn about requirements for all applicants to the Board, including specific eligibility requirements to serve as a public or regulated-entity Board member, see MSRB Rule A-3.


MSRB to Update Customer Complaint Rules and Apply Them to Municipal Advisors

The MSRB recently received approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission to apply its customer complaint rules to municipal advisors while also modernizing the rules, which currently apply to municipal securities dealers. The updated rules, which take effect on October 13, 2017, will more clearly focus on customer and municipal advisory client education and protection. Read the full press releaseRead the regulatory notice.

In Case You Missed It: Mark-up Disclosure Webinar

Webinar Video

The MSRB's free webinar on “Amended MSRB Rules G-15 and G-30 on Required Disclosure of Mark-ups and Mark-downs to Retail Customers on Certain Transactions and to Provide Guidance on Prevailing Market Price” is available on demand for one continuing education credit. 

The webinar covers key provisions of the recently approved amendments to MSRB Rule G-15 on confirmation, clearance, settlement and other uniform practice requirements with respect to transactions with customers and MSRB Rule G-30 on prices and commissions related to disclosure of mark-ups and mark-downs on certain customer confirmations and guidance on prevailing market price. 

View all upcoming and on-demand webinars in the MSRB’s online webinar portal

See Upcoming Municipal Securities Offerings on EMMA®

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To enhance the availability of information about upcoming offerings of new municipal securities, the MSRB in January added a new issue calendar feature to the Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website. The calendar enables investors, issuers and other market participants to see new bond issues scheduled to come to market as well as final pricing scales for bond issues sold through competitive and negotiated sales.

Investors can use the calendar to locate upcoming bond offerings of interest, while state and local governments that may be planning on issuing municipal bonds can use the calendar to identify, monitor and compare prices of similar new issues. View the new issue calendar and other tools and resources on EMMA.

Stay informed about future changes and enhancements to EMMA alerts and other EMMA features by signing up for MSRB email updates.

New MuniEdPro℠ Course Coming Soon

Discover MuniEdPro

In February, the MSRB will launch its third MuniEdPro℠ course, Understanding the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB). This course will cover the MSRB's primary activities and its role in the municipal securities market; the scope and limitations of the MSRB's regulatory authority; the MSRB's rulemaking process; and how market transparency, education resources, and outreach efforts help fulfill the MSRB's mission.


Additional MuniEdPro℠ courses in the course library are:

  • The Decision to Borrow: Roles and Responsibilities of Market Participants in Fixed-Rate, Primary Market Offerings 
  • Rules and Risks: Applying MSRB Rules in Relation to Municipal Market Risks

For more information on how MuniEdPro can benefit anyone looking to reinforce understanding of MSRB rules, strengthen market knowledge or supplement a continuing education program, contact the MSRB's Chief Education Officer, Ritta McLaughlin, at or 202-838-1306.


Recent Press Releases

January 30, 2017: MSRB Holds Quarterly Board Meeting

January 24, 2017: MSRB Hires Chief Economist

January 18, 2017: MSRB to Apply Customer Complaint Rules to Municipal Advisors and Modernize Existing Rules for Dealers

January 9, 2017: MSRB Publishes Upcoming Municipal Securities Offerings on EMMA

January 9, 2017: MSRB Seeks Board of Directors Applicants 

Regulatory Round Up

January 24, 2017: Proposed Rule Change to Add New MSRB Rule G-49, on Transactions Below the Minimum Denomination of an Issue, to the Rules of the MSRB, and to Rescind Paragraph (f), on Minimum Denominations, from MSRB Rule G-15

January 23, 2017: Federal Register Notice of Approval on Proposed Rule Change to Extend the MSRB's Customer Complaint and Related Recordkeeping Rules to Municipal Advisors and to Modernize Those Rules

January 9, 2017: MSRB Seeks Applicants for Board of Directors