MSRB Publishes Long-Range Market Transparency Plan

Date: February 23, 2012

Contact: Jennifer A. Galloway
             (703) 797-6600


Alexandria, VA – The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) today published a plan to guide the evolution of its market transparency products, including the Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website, maximize their benefits for the protection of investors and state and local governments, and provide for the efficient allocation of MSRB resources.

The MSRB is a federal regulatory entity with primary responsibility for rulemaking in the municipal securities market. The organization, which is funded primarily through assessments on municipal securities dealers and advisors, operates the EMMA® website as the principal means of disseminating market data and disclosures in support of market transparency. EMMA, at, makes this information available to retail investors and the general public for free.

The MSRB’s long-range market transparency plan establishes a vision for an enhanced EMMA website as the central public dissemination hub supported by additional information, improved commercial dissemination of data and customized functionality. Among the enhancements outlined in the plan are free public user accounts, an expanded universe of available information, an integrated display of data and documents, a new real-time central transparency platform and additional features for investors, municipal entities and professional users of EMMA.

The MSRB has previously announced several of the first initiatives under the long-range plan, including public availability of yields on inter-dealer trades, improvements in the timing and quality of data available for new issues of municipal securities, improving market-wide access to plan disclosure documents and related information for 529 college savings plans, and potential conflicts of interests disclosure on EMMA, among other initiatives.

The long-range plan reflects feedback from market participants, regulatory organizations and the general public—input that has greatly enhanced the plan’s relevance and the MSRB’s understanding of the market’s needs. The plan seeks to provide for the orderly evolution of the MSRB’s market transparency products at a pace consistent with current MSRB funding levels, with enhancements that are scalable to available resources. The MSRB understands the need to balance the provision of market transparency products and services against the cost of developing and supporting those resources, and against other regulatory priorities.

The MSRB plans to continuously review its long-range plan to reflect changing market priorities and to ensure the relevancy of its goals. The MSRB invites further feedback from the marketplace and the general public to promote a collaborative, ongoing assessment. Feedback on the plan can be submitted here. In addition, the public will have the opportunity to provide comment on individual elements of the long-range plan as they are proposed in the course of implementing specific initiatives and subsequently filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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.