Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board Can Expand Public Information on Municipal Variable Rate Demand Obligations and Auction Rate Securities, Says SEC

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has approved the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board’s proposal to expand publicly available information about auction rate securities and municipal variable rate demand obligations. The SEC also approved letting the MSRB require that municipal securities dealers provide more information about these securities while allowing them to make this data available through its Electronic Municipal Market Access website. The disclosures will hopefully enhance transparency for investors that want to assess key information regarding the degree of dealer support, auction liquidity, and variable rate securities resales.

Once the approval is implemented, which could take nine months, the MSRB will gather liquidity facility documents for variable rate demand obligations from municipal securities dealers. Documents may include stand-by purchase agreements, letters of credit, and identifying information related to the provider of the liquidity facility that was available at the time of the interest rate. Dealers will have to report ARS bidding data and documents defining auction procedures and interest rate setting mechanisms to the MSRB. All documents and information from the dealers will be made accessible through the EMMA Web site. EMMA currently offers free public access to interest rate information for ARS and VRDOs.

MSRB regulates banks and securities firms that trade, underwrite, and sell municipal securities. It also gathers and gives out market information and is committed to ensuring the key municipal market data is available and free to the public. This data allows retail investors to evaluate the risks and benefits. MSRB is a self-regulatory organization subject to Securities and Exchange Commission oversight.

Related Web Resources:
MSRB Receives SEC Approval to Create Additional Transparency for Variable Rate Securities, MSRB, August 26, 2010

Municipal Market Rulemaking Board Asks SEC To Approve Expansion, Wall Street Journal, August 27, 2010

Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board

Electronic Municipal Market Access

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