MSRB Update: Summer 2018

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Update Summer 18

Delivering Market Insight

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One of the ways that the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) fulfills its goal of optimizing the use and dissemination of municipal market data is through analysis and research. Grounded in objective data analysis, our findings can help market participants better understand trends and trading characteristics of the municipal securities market. They also provide tangible and actionable insights for those who invest, or work, in the municipal market.


The MSRB’s market structure team, several of whom are former municipal market practitioners, applies its expertise to develop objective, authoritative reports and statistical analyses. This expertise—and the ability to draw conclusions from MSRB data—are particularly important in the municipal securities market, given its unique features and functions. In recent months, we have examined trends in investor transaction costs, changes in trading activity of municipal securities dealers and the relationship between municipal bond exchange-traded funds and municipal bond market liquidity.


In case you missed our latest reports, links to these publications are below. Don’t forget about our annual Fact Book and quarterly data releases, which deliver a comprehensive reference for historical trade statistics on a quarterly and yearly basis. We always welcome public and industry feedback and input on additional research topics. Please feel free to share ideas with me at

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Transaction Costs for Customer Trades in the Municipal Bond Market: What is Driving the Decline?: The Chief Economist of the MSRB examines the steady decline of the effective spreads for customer trades in the municipal bond market.

Dealer Participation and Concentration in Municipal Securities Trading: This MSRB report is the first-ever to analyze changes and trends in the customer trading activity of municipal securities dealers.

Municipal Bond ETFs: Liquidity Impact on the Municipal Bond Market: The Chief Economist of the MSRB examines municipal bond exchange-traded funds’ relationship to municipal bond market liquidity.


Fact Sheet on Inter-Dealer Municipal Trading: Read statistical analysis on the use of alternative trading systems (ATSs) by municipal security dealers.

2017 Fact Book: The MSRB publishes its annual Fact Book to provide municipal market participants, policymakers, regulators, academics and others with historical statistics that can be further analyzed to identify market trends and activity.


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View additional white papers and reports from the MSRB.

Gary Hall and Ed Sisk to Lead MSRB Board of Directors

Last month, the MSRB announced that Gary Hall, Senior Managing Director, National Head of Investment Banking and equity partner at Siebert Cisneros Shank & Co., LLC, will serve as Chair of the Board of Directors of the MSRB. Edward J. Sisk, Managing Director, Head of Public Finance at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, will serve as Vice Chair. Five new Board members were also introduced. Read more about them here

Chair-Elect Gary Hall


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Gary has been a member of the governing board of the MSRB since 2015 and currently leads its Finance Committee and is a member of the Steering Committee. His professional career spans over 25 years and includes positions in government, law and investment banking. Prior to joining Siebert, Hall was an executive director in the public finance – investment banking group of J.P. Morgan Securities LLC. Earlier he was a member of the merger and acquisitions group of Banc One Capital Markets Inc., and practiced law in the corporate finance department of Gardner, Carton and Douglas (now Drinker, Biddle and Reath). Hall worked for the U.S. Department of Treasury as a White House Fellow under President Bill Clinton and in the Mayor's Office of Budget and Management for the City of Chicago. Gary received a bachelor’s degree from Howard University and a law degree from the University of Notre Dame.

Vice Chair-Elect Ed Sisk

Ed Sisk

Ed has been an MSRB Board member since 2017 and currently serves on the Nominating and Governance Committee, and chairs the Market Structure Advisory Group. He is Managing Director, Head of Public Finance at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where he leads a team of investment bankers responsible for municipal underwriting in the United States. Sisk has 30 years of municipal market and legal experience. He previously led municipal structured products, direct lending, money market trading and new product development at Merrill Lynch. Prior to those positions, he was an attorney at Mudge Rose Guthrie Alexander & Ferdon working with municipal issuers and underwriters. Ed received a bachelor’s degree from Fordham University and a law degree from Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law.

New Yield Curves Available on EMMA®

Indices, benchmarks and yield curves can provide municipal securities investors and issuers with valuable sector-specific or broad market information about the general level of municipal interest rates. Market participants can use these indicators to assist in the evaluation of a unique bond’s yield or its performance relative to a particular sector, or the market as a whole, as well as the interest-rate environment and the value of any single security.

The MSRB recently made additional yield curves from Bloomberg BVAL and IHS Markit available on the EMMA website. Visit the Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website today to access more free tools for evaluating municipal market trends.

New Courses on Negotiated and Competitive Sales Coming Soon to MuniEdPro®

The number of municipal securities issued through negotiated sales are declining and competitive sales are on the rise, but both methods of sale are fundamental to the municipal market. It’s helpful for all municipal market participants to understand the key components of both methods to be fully informed about the bond issuance process. 

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The MSRB will soon add two new courses to its MuniEdPro® catalog covering the fundamentals of the negotiated and competitive sales and allow the learner to navigate tax-exempt bond issuances through interactive examples. Learners will be able to identify the components of the sales process, from the release of the preliminary official statement through the closing of the bond offering, and apply the applicable MSRB rules. 

MuniEdPro® is the MSRB’s suite of interactive, online courses designed specifically for municipal market participants. For more information, contact Ritta McLaughlin, Chief Education Officer, at or 202-838-1306.

Upcoming Virtual Workshops

To submit questions in advance of any workshop or to suggest topics for future workshops, email

MSRB Rule G-37: Completing Form G-37

September 14, 2018, 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. ET

Register to attend this free, virtual compliance workshop. MSRB staff will conduct an in-depth discussion about key provisions of MSRB Rule G-37 on Political Contributions and Prohibitions on Municipal Securities Business and Municipal Advisory Business related to Form G-37. The workshop will follow a question-and-answer format based on questions and suggestions from regulated entities and other stakeholders. 

EMMA® for Municipal Advisors

October 11, 2018, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. ET

Register to attend this free, virtual compliance workshop to learn how municipal advisors can leverage the MSRB’s Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website to find information about the municipal securities market and specific state and local government issuers. Explore EMMA’s intuitive navigation, quick links to interactive tools and improved display of information about individual bonds, including trade data and disclosure documents.

MSRB Rules G-21 and G-40: Advertising by Dealers and Municipal Advisors

November 8, 2018: 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. ET


Register to attend this free, virtual compliance workshop. MSRB staff will conduct an in-depth discussion about key provisions of MSRB Rule G-21, on advertising by dealers, and MSRB Rule G-40, on advertising by municipal advisors. This workshop will follow a question-and-answer format based on questions and suggestions from regulated entities and other stakeholders.


Rules and Guidance Roundup

Visit the Rules and Guidance page of 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