MSRB Update: Spring 2018

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MSRB Update Spring 2018

Sharing Our Expertise on Market Developments

MSRB President and CEO Lynnette Kelly

As part of our long-term strategic vision, we are continuing to leverage the MSRB’s specialized knowledge as the market’s self-regulatory organization by publishing white papers, reports and commentary that can help practitioners and policymakers respond to market developments. In case you missed our latest reports, included below are links to the MSRB's recent publications.

 

 

EMMA White Paper

Milestones in Municipal Market Transparency: 

The Evolution of EMMA® 

As we celebrate 10 years of the MSRB's Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website, read this historical account of major turning points in market transparency. 

 

Municipal Bond ETFs: Liquidity Impact on the Municipal Bond Market

The MSRB's Chief Economist analyzes the relationship between municipal bond exchange-traded funds and liquidity in the municipal securities market.

 

MSRB Issue Brief on Regulatory Framework for Municipal Market Derivatives

Review this resource for municipal market participants that may be considering alternative structures like swaps and other derivatives following the elimination of tax-exempt advance refunding bonds by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. 


MSRB Issue Brief on Minimum Denominations of Municipal Securities

Read about historical policy issues and additional considerations related to the use of minimum denominations in the sale of municipal securities.

 

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View additional issue briefs, reports and commentary from the MSRB.

New Decade, New Look for EMMA®

The EMMA website has become the go-to source for municipal securities disclosures and market data, providing free, up-to-date information about this important $3.9 trillion market. This year, EMMA marks 10 years of improving municipal market transparency with a redesign that kicks off a multi-year commitment by the MSRB to enhance EMMA's utility and usability. The first phase of changes supports investors by providing more intuitive navigation, quick links to interactive tools and improved display of information about individual bonds. 


Read a Q&A with MSRB President Lynnette Kelly to learn more about EMMA, the redesign and its roots in user feedback and focus groups, and why market transparency matters for investors, the communities that issue municipal bonds and the public. Register for a webinar to explore the new EMMA. 

  

EMMA 10-Year logo jpg

Webinar: Getting to Know the New EMMA 

Date: Thursday, May 10, 2018 

Time: 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. ET 

Register to attend.


Christopher Ryon: At-a-Glance

A regular feature on members of the MSRB Board of Directors


MSRB Board Member Christopher Ryon

For municipal securities investor and MSRB Board Member Christopher Ryon, the most important role of the MSRB is to create a fair and efficient market that allows investors to confidently put their capital to work. Millions of investors rely on the municipal market, and Ryon says the ability of the MSRB to provide access to market information is essential to maintaining a healthy climate for investors.


“If people have confidence in the market, they’ll access it through individual securities, mutual funds or separately managed accounts,” he says. “And if they know they are getting the right price, odds are they will commit more capital. The transparency and disclosure the MSRB makes possible help increase that confidence.”


That confidence is important in a market that attracts the largest percentage of individual investors and more bond issuers than any other capital market. Ryon, who is managing director at Thornburg Investment Group, says the MSRB’s EMMA website and trade data feeds that the MSRB makes available to market participants help investors create a full picture for pricing municipal securities. “Our in-house database incorporates MSRB trade price data with other indicative data, so we can see where a specific municipal bond should trade,” he says. This ability to more accurately price a bond supports a more efficient market. “Because of MSRB data, investors have a better price discovery tool to strengthen their bids, which is good for the market as a whole.”


As a professional investor who has been analyzing municipal bonds for more than 30 years, Ryon remembers the time when disclosure meant getting a phone call with someone giving a description of a bond, or when he would find out that a bond he purchased was different than what he thought he bought. Ryon says the availability of official statements and secondary market disclosures on EMMA has provided more certainty for municipal market investors. “A market is based on uncertainty,” he says, “But the surprises that you used to have because you didn’t have clarity into what you were buying has been significantly reduced.”

Upcoming Events

MSRB Chicago Town Hall 

Hosted in coordination with the Municipal Bond Club of Chicago 

Thursday, May 17, 2018 

4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. CT 

 

Register to attend the MSRB's next Town Hall meeting on Thursday, May 17, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois in coordination with the Municipal Bond Club of Chicago. Our Town Hall meetings give municipal market participants the opportunity to discuss self-regulation of the municipal securities market. The meeting is exclusively in person and is intended to support the municipal market community by creating a forum to communicate concerns and capture ideas to inform the MSRB's future activity. All are welcome and there is no cost to attend. View the agenda.

 


Compliance Workshop on MSRB Rule G-44: 

Small Firm Municipal Advisor Supervision 

Thursday, May 24, 2018 

3:00 – 4:00 p.m. ET


During this free virtual compliance workshop, staff from the MSRB and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will discuss considerations for small municipal advisors in tailoring supervisory procedures based on the nature and scope of the firm’s municipal advisory activities, and methods of documenting that supervisory controls were implemented and enforced consistent with the regulatory obligations under MSRB Rule G-44. SEC staff will highlight some of their observations from municipal advisor examinations. To submit questions in advance of the workshop or to suggest topics for future workshops, email MSRBEvents@msrb.org.


 

Compliance Workshop on MSRB Rule G-17: 

Making Disclosures to Issuers 

Friday, June 22, 2018 

12:30 – 1:30 p.m. ET


During this free virtual compliance workshop, MSRB staff will conduct an in-depth discussion about key provisions of MSRB Rule G-17 on Conduct of Municipal Securities and Municipal Advisory Activities related to making disclosures to issuers. This workshop will follow a question-and-answer format based on questions and suggestions from regulated entities and other stakeholders. To submit questions in advance of the workshop or to suggest topics for future workshops, email MSRBEvents@msrb.org.

 

New MuniEdPro® Course on Books and Recordkeeping

MuniEdPro® is the MSRB’s suite of interactive, online courses designed specifically for municipal market participants. In April, the MSRB released a new course on MSRB Rule G-8 focusing on the books and recordkeeping requirements for municipal advisors. The course covers the fundamental aspects of the rule and allows the learner to understand the application of the rules to real-world examples. Stay tuned for the next course, on MSRB Rule G-12 on uniform practice, scheduled for release later this month. 


For more information about MuniEdPro®, contact Ritta McLaughlin at 

rmclaughlin@msrb.org or 202-838-1306. 

Glossary

Rules and Guidance Roundup

Visit the Rules and Guidance page of msrb.org to stay up-to-date with the latest requests for comment, proposed rule changes, rule approval notices and market advisories.

 

Compliance Resources

Visit the online Compliance Center for resources and information to help regulated entities understand and comply with MSRB rules. 

 

Recent Press Releases

Read the MSRB’s latest press releases on msrb.org.