MSRB Disseminates Variable Rate Municipal Securities Data Through Subscription and New Report

Date: September 28, 2010

Contact: Jennifer A. Galloway, Chief Communications Officer
             (703) 797-6600


Alexandria, VA The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) announced today it has received approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission to provide a real-time subscription to interest rate and other information about municipal auction rate securities (ARS) and variable rate demand obligations (VRDOs). The MSRB today also published a report summarizing data it collected about these variable rate securities beginning in early 2009 through May 2010.

The MSRB collects interest rate information and trade data about ARS and VRDOs, and publishes it for free on Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA) website on a security-to-security basis. The new MSRB Short-term Obligation Subscription Service, available beginning September 30, 2010, will provide the same data through an electronic feed and is consistent with the MSRB’s mission to make municipal market data readily available.

The MSRB also published a report today, “Municipal Market Auction Rate Securities and Variable Rate Demand Obligations – Interest Rate and Trading Trends,” that summarizes data collected about these variable rate securities. The MSRB launched a transparency program in 2009 to collect and disseminate on its EMMA website, key interest rates and important descriptive information about ARS and VRDOs. The report summarizes trends that  occurred in ARS and VRDO resets, average interest rates and trades during this period.

“The MSRB provides necessary transparency for auction rate securities and variable rate demand obligations,” said MSRB Executive Director Lynnette Kelly Hotchkiss. “Our new subscription service makes the data more readily available and the report helps investors and others better understand trends in the short-term security market.”

The MSRB protects investors, state and local governments and other municipal entities, and the public interest by promoting a fair and efficient municipal securities market. The MSRB fulfills this mission by regulating the municipal securities firms, banks and municipal advisors that engage in municipal securities and advisory activities. To further protect market participants, the MSRB provides market transparency through its Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website, the official repository for information on all municipal bonds. The MSRB also serves as an objective resource on the municipal market, conducts extensive education and outreach to market stakeholders, and provides market leadership on key issues. The MSRB is a self-regulatory organization governed by a 21-member board of directors that has a majority of public members, in addition to representatives of regulated entities. The MSRB is overseen by the Securities and Exchange Commission and Congress.