MSRB Update: Fall 2020
MSRB’s Special Governance Review Concludes
Bob Brown, Chair of the Governance Review Special Committee
The MSRB set out to examine and enhance our overall Board governance practices as one of the key initiatives for FY 2020. Our Governance Review Special Committee developed a series of substantive changes to the MSRB’s governance rules that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission approved in August 2020.
The amendments, set to take effect on October 1, will:
- Tighten the eligibility requirement for public Board members by increasing the separation period from a regulated entity to at least five years;
- Reduce the size of the 21-member Board, initially moving to 17 members for one year before ultimately shrinking to 15 members; and
- Establish a lifetime service limit of six years for Board members.
To help our stakeholders understand the full breadth and implications of these governance enhancements, MSRB Deputy General Counsel Jacob Lesser and I discussed the changes on the most recent episode of the MSRB Podcast. As my tenure on the MSRB Board is coming to an end, I also take some time in the episode to reflect upon my journey in public finance and share my optimism for the prospects of the incoming MSRB Board leadership. Listen to the episode here .
After filing a few housekeeping tweaks to clean up procedural aspects of our governance rules last week, the MSRB is ready to bring this important FY 2020 initiative to a close. I am grateful for the work of my fellow Special Committee members, the support of the full Board and staff, and the thoughtful input from municipal market stakeholders and other public interest groups along the way. I believe that together we have significantly improved the MSRB’s governance and its ability to carry out its public interest mandate.
MSRB Podcast Returns for Season Two
The latest season of the MSRB Podcast is now available on MSRB.org and your favorite podcast platform. Our most recent episode features a discussion of the recent changes to the MSRB’s governance that tighten the standards for selecting Board members and reduce the size of the Board.
In the first episode, Leading through Crisis, MSRB leadership walks through the organization’s response to the pandemic and corresponding municipal market liquidity and credit crises. The MSRB Director of Research later joins for a deep dive into the data behind the March 2020 market dislocation.
The Countdown is Over: EMMA Submission Calculator Now Live
The EMMA® Submission Calculator, which shows the timing of issuers’ annual financial disclosures, became live on July 1. Get an interactive demo of the calculator with a free on-demand webinar on using EMMA to identify the timing of annual financial disclosures.
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New Publications and Resources
Investing in a 529 savings plan involves considerations about tax consequences, risk appetite, and gains and losses. This educational resource describes some of these considerations for 529 savings plan account owners.
This paper examines the competitive bidding activity in municipal securities during the primary offering process.
The MSRB is providing these answers to FAQs to address the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic-related regulatory measures and guidance for brokers, dealers and municipal securities dealers and municipal advisors in light of disruptions to normal business operations.
Since releasing a research report on pre-trade market activity in October 2018 (based on data from 2015), the MSRB has obtained more recent quote data from the same two alternative trading systems (ATSs) with a significant presence in the municipal securities market and conducted an in-depth analysis for the period from June 1, 2018 through November 30, 2018.
The MSRB's quarterly statistical summaries include aggregate municipal market information for the most recent quarter and cover different types of municipal issues, trades and interest rate resets. The MSRB publishes this information to regularly update certain data published annually in the MSRB Fact Book with the goal of providing market participants with historical statistics that can be further analyzed, studied and reviewed.
The MSRB is closely monitoring the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on municipal market participants and market activity. This page will be updated with additional information, resources and data to assist market participants and policymakers as the situation evolves.
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.
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.