MSRB Monthly Update: October 2017

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October 2017 Monthly Update

Fiscal Year Start Brings New Focus

Lucy Hooper, Board Chair & Lynnette Kelly, Executive Director

The MSRB began a new fiscal year on October 1, 2017, and we couldn’t be more determined to demonstrate in new ways our deep commitment to ensuring a fair and efficient municipal securities market. We recognize the great responsibility of being entrusted with oversight of this market, and as a self-regulatory organization with the ability and expertise to respond to change, we are evolving ourselves.

Following an intense period of rulemaking over the last several years, the MSRB is pursuing strategic priorities that reflect the interests of our stakeholders and a continued path to a fair and efficient municipal securities market. Our new focus includes a greater emphasis on facilitating industry understanding of and compliance with MSRB rules. We are committed to developing resources that assist and support regulated entities’ ability to comply with new and existing standards of conduct. 

    Cover: Infrastructure Primer

    Financing the Nation's Infrastructure

    In September, the MSRB published a primer and resource for policymakers that underscores the role of municipal securities in financing infrastructure. Municipal Securities: Financing the Nation’s Infrastructure provides a basic understanding of municipal securities, how the municipal market provides access to capital for over 50,000 state and local governments that own and maintain the majority of public works, and the role of the federal government and public-private partnerships in investing in public infrastructure.

    Bloomberg BVAL® Now Available on EMMA®

    The MSRB has just added Bloomberg’s BVAL Municipal AAA Curve to the group of municipal market yield curves and indices on its Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website. Bloomberg’s BVAL Municipal AAA Curve gives investors another tool to help monitor the level and direction of municipal bond interest rates and compare relative yields of specific municipal securities.

    Bloomberg’s BVAL Municipal AAA Curve is available on EMMA’s Tools and Resources page, as are a daily yield curve from the Associated Press (AP) and historical index data for five different indices from Standard & Poor’s (S&P). Access yield curves and indices on EMMA. Market indicators are useful tools for evaluating bond prices and yields, measuring market direction and performance, and determining pricing on new bond issues. Read about understanding yield curves and indices in the MSRB Education Center.

    MuniEdPro Logo Blue Square NEW

    Go "Back to School" with MuniEdPro®

    Go "back to school" and continue your professional development this fall with the expanding MuniEdPro® course library. MuniEdPro® is the MSRB’s suite of interactive, online courses designed specifically for municipal market participants. Courses can benefit anyone looking to reinforce understanding of MSRB rules, strengthen market knowledge and supplement a continuing education program. Enhance your firm's compliance program by offering your municipal finance professionals the full MuniEdPro® course catalog at the discounted rate of $100 per personThe discounted rate, which is available from October 1 to December 31, 2017, is a $270 value per person, saving firms over 60 percent on the full course catalog. 

    Log into MuniEdPro® today to access a growing library of municipal market education for professionals, including two new courses: “Gift, Gratuities, Non-Cash Compensation and Expenses of Issuance: MSRB Rule G-20” and “Best Execution of Transactions in Municipal Securities: MSRB Rule G-18.”

    For more information about MuniEdPro® or to inquire about taking advantage of discounted subscription pricing, contact Ritta McLaughlin at or 202-838-1306.

    Upcoming Events

    Amendments to MSRB Rule G-3 on Professional Qualification Standards for Municipal Advisors 

    Thursday, October 12, 2017

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

    During this free webinar, MSRB staff will review amended MSRB Rule G-3, which requires municipal advisors to develop a continuing education program for covered persons, and for every covered person of a municipal advisor to participate in continuing education training. Amended MSRB Rule G-3 has an implementation date of January 1, 2018. Register now.


    Mark-up Disclosure Implementation Forum

    Thursday, November 2, 2017

    1:00 – 4:30 p.m. ET

    The Mark-up Disclosure Implementation Forum will further support the understanding of and compliance with mark-up disclosure requirements under amendments to MSRB Rule G-15 and related Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) rules for the corporate bond market. Join MSRB and FINRA staff and a diverse panel of industry participants for an in-depth discussion of the mark-up disclosure requirements and methods of calculating prevailing market price. View the agendaRegister to attend in personRegister to attend via webcast.

    Compliance Outreach Program for Municipal Advisors

    Wednesday, November 8, 2017

    9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. ET

    Join the SEC, MSRB and FINRA for the Compliance Outreach Program for Municipal Advisors. Topics of discussion will focus on the duties and standards of conduct for non-solicitor municipal advisors under MSRB Rule G-42 and the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, as well as municipal advisor compliance with rules concerning supervision, registration and books and records. View the agendaRegister to attend in personRegister to attend via webcast.


    Recent Press Releases

    October 5, 2017: MSRB Adds Bloomberg BVAL to Municipal Market Yield Curves on EMMA

    September 26, 2017: Saliha Olgun Named a Bond Buyer 2017 Rising Star

    September 21, 2017: MSRB Announces Results of Qualifying Examination for Municipal Advisors


    September 19, 2017: MSRB Primer Underscores Role of Municipal Securities in Infrastructure Finance

    September 14, 2017: MSRB Solicits Input on Retrospective Review of Primary Offering Practices

    September 13, 2017: MSRB Publishes Market Advisory on Selective Disclosure

    September 11, 2017: SEC, MSRB, FINRA to Hold Compliance Outreach Program for Municipal Advisors



    Regulatory Roundup

    September 2017: Compliance Advisory for Brokers, Dealers and Municipal Securities Dealers

    September 18, 2017: Federal Register Notice of Filing for Proposed Rule Change to Amend MSRB Rule G-34, on CUSIP Numbers, New Issue, and Market Information Requirements

    September 14, 2017: Request for Comment on a Concept Proposal Regarding Amendments to Primary Offering Practices of Brokers, Dealers and Municipal Securities Dealers

    September 14, 2017: MSRB Response to Comments Received on Federal Register Notice of Filing for Proposed Rule Change to Assess an Underwriting Fee on Dealers that are Underwriters of Primary Offerings of 529 Plans

    September 13, 2017: Market Advisory on Selective Disclosure