MSRB Monthly Update: August 2017

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Municipal Market Indicators Now on EMMA®

John Bagley new

Last month, we released a long-anticipated enhancement to the MSRB’s Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website—third-party market indicators. EMMA now provides a daily yield curve from the Associated Press (AP) and historical index data for five different indices from Standard & Poor’s (S&P). We plan to soon add another yield curve. Read more about understanding yield curves and indices in the MSRB Education Center.

Historically, municipal yield curves have not been readily available to retail investors. We think that the availability of these new tools on EMMA will help investors and other market participants more easily evaluate bond prices and yields and measure market direction and performance, and help investors and issuers make more informed decisions. EMMA’s market indicators support our effort to provide free access to market-wide municipal securities information, thereby expanding EMMA’s focus beyond specific securities and their unique identifiers.

Also supporting this effort is the recent addition of two calendar features on EMMA, one that displays upcoming bond offerings and one showing economic events and data releases. Taken together, the tools and resources on EMMA can help all market participants get a better picture of what’s happening in the market, in addition to being able to assess individual bonds. 

The MSRB will continue to explore partnerships with additional data providers to enhance EMMA with tools that help facilitate decision-making in the municipal market. In September, you will see a significant expansion of our market-wide statistics that will provide numerous views of top traded securities and issuers. This work is aligned with our new strategic goal that emphasizes further evolving the EMMA website into a platform that meets the needs of multiple municipal market participants. For more information, contact me at or 202-838-1307.

MSRB Cautions Against Issuer Selection of
Underwriter’s Counsel

Last week, the MSRB published a market advisory and public commentary addressing the practice of issuers of municipal securities designating or influencing the selection of underwriter’s counsel. The communications reiterate concerns first raised by the MSRB in the 1990s that investors may be harmed in any offering process that does not properly utilize the review, guidance and counseling of an independent, competent and appropriately critical underwriter’s counsel. Underwriters and their counsel play key roles in the issuance of municipal securities. It is important for all municipal market participants that underwriter’s counsel have the independence, expertise, experience and capacity necessary to perform the critical role of legal counsel to an underwriter. Read the MSRB's market advisory. Read the MSRB's commentary in The Bond Buyer.

New MuniEdPro® Course Reviews Suitability and Time-of-Trade Disclosure

The MSRB’s newest MuniEdPro® course is a good refresher for individuals who sell municipal securities. "Making Recommendations: Understanding Suitability and Time-of-Trade Disclosure for Municipal Securities Transactions" navigates a fictional day in the life of a financial advisor making important decisions regarding the suitability of recommended transactions. Designed for financial advisors and other market participants, the course also explores requirements for disclosure of material information to investors at the time of trade. The course, which provides two continuing professional education credits upon completion, can also enhance a dealer compliance program. Log into MuniEdPro® today to access a growing library of municipal market education for municipal market professionals.

For more information about MuniEdPro® or to inquire about subscription options, contact Ritta McLaughlin at or 202-838-1306.

Changes to MyEMMA Alerts

Do you use MyEMMA alerts to receive email notifications when new information regarding a municipal security has become available on the MSRB’s EMMA website? You should be aware of recent changes to the terms of use, including new role-based limits on the number of municipal securities for which you can create an alert. Read answers to frequently asked questions. Not yet signed up for alerts? Get started today.

Calendar of Events

Upcoming Webinar

What to Expect from Your Municipal Advisor

Thursday, August 10, 2017

3:00 - 4:00 p.m. ET

During this free educational webinar, MSRB staff will provide information aimed at helping issuers of municipal securities better understand what to expect from their municipal advisor. Participants will learn about MSRB rules that regulate the activities of municipal advisors and hear about the standards of professional qualifications for municipal advisors—including the Municipal Advisor Representative Qualification Examination (Series 50 exam). By September 12, 2017, municipal advisors must pass the Series 50 exam to engage in municipal advisory activities.


Recent Press Releases

August 2, 2017: MSRB Announces New Officers and Board Members for Fiscal Year 2018

July 31, 2017: MSRB Modernizes Customer Account Transfer Rule

July 28, 2017: MSRB Holds Quarterly Board Meeting

July 24, 2017: Municipal Market Indicators Now Available on EMMA

July 14, 2017: Statement from the MSRB on Opinion in Rule G-37 Legal Challenge

July 13, 2017: MSRB and the Municipal Forum of New York Host Municipal Finance Day in Washington, DC

July 12, 2017: MSRB Provides Implementation Guidance on Mark-up Disclosure



Regulatory Roundup

August 2, 2017: Federal Register Notice of Approval on Proposed Rule Change to Amend MSRB Rule G-26, on Customer Account Transfers, to Modernize the Rule and Promote a Uniform Customer Account Transfer Standard

July 31, 2017: SEC Approves Amendments to MSRB Rule G-26 on Customer Account Transfers


July 27, 2017: Market Advisory on Issuer’s Designation of Underwriter’s Counsel

July 27, 2017: SEC Approval Order for Proposed Rule Change to Amend MSRB Rule G-26, on Customer Account Transfers, to Modernize the Rule and Promote a Uniform Customer Account Transfer Standard

July 20, 2017: Amendment to Proposed Rule Change to Amend MSRB Rule G-26, on Customer Account Transfers, to Modernize the Rule and Promote a Uniform Customer Account Transfer Standard

July 20, 2017: MSRB Response to Comments Received from Federal Register Notice of Filing for Proposed Rule Change to Amend MSRB Rule G-26, on Customer Account Transfers, to Modernize the Rule and Promote a Uniform Customer Account Transfer Standard

July 19, 2017: Proposed Rule Change to Assess an Underwriting Fee on Dealers that are Underwriters of Primary Offerings of Plans

July 13, 2017: MSRB Provides Guidance on Duties of Non-Solicitor Municipal Advisors in Conduit Financing Scenarios

July 12, 2017: MSRB Provides Implementation Guidance on Confirmation Disclosure and Prevailing Market Price

July 7, 2017: Federal Register Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change to Amend Rule G-21(e), on Municipal Fund Security Product Advertisements