MSRB Marks Milestone in Municipal Market Transparency

Date: July 1, 2014

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


Alexandria, VA – The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) today marked the fifth anniversary of a pivotal milestone in the transparency of the municipal securities market. On July 1, 2009, the MSRB’s Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website became the official, centralized public access point for financial and other continuing disclosures from state and local governments that issue municipal securities, making these documents freely available to investors and the general public for the first time.

“Over the past five years, EMMA has been the go-to place for municipal market participants and others seeking financial information about state and local governments,” said MSRB Executive Director Lynnette Kelly. “EMMA has also evolved from a basic repository for municipal bond trade data and disclosure documents into an indispensable resource for the market, with interactive tools to help users understand municipal trade prices and track the availability of new information about their bonds.”

Since creating a real-time trade reporting system for municipal market trades in 2005, the MSRB has significantly improved transparency of information in a market where basic disclosures and other information were previously difficult to access. View a graphic that highlights key events in the evolution of municipal market transparency. The MSRB has been recognized by industry groups for its contributions to municipal market transparency.

The fifth anniversary of free, centralized access to disclosure on EMMA comes at a time of particular interest in municipal market transparency and financial disclosure. “EMMA provides a platform for state and local governments to communicate key information to investors, citizens and the broader public,” Kelly said. “Municipal market participants have free access to more information than ever before to help them understand their investments and make more informed decisions.”

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 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.