MSRB's EMMA Is Vast Resource for Journalists

Date: August 18, 2009

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


THE MUNICIPAL SECURITIES RULEMAKING BOARD'S
EMMA WEBSITE OFFERS VAST RESOURCES FOR JOURNALISTS
Reporters Can Find Government Financial Documents in a Single Location

Alexandria, VA - For reporters covering state and local government, accessing relevant financial information has often been a cumbersome and time-consuming process.  However, a new online service operated by the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) now provides a centralized electronic repository for documents and data related to the bonds issued by municipalities - information that includes financial data and material disclosures of interest to investors and the general public. 

The MSRB's Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA) website provides access, free of charge, to all disclosure documents associated with municipal bonds, as well as real-time trade data for approximately 1.2 million outstanding municipal bonds, as well as current interest rates for auction rate securities and variable rate demand obligations.  EMMA's Education Center provides useful information about investing in municipal bonds and 529 college savings plans and a Glossary of Municipal Securities Terms.   Reporters can also sign up to receive automatic alerts from EMMA when documents are posted for specific bond issues.

How Journalists Can Use EMMA

  • State and Local Government Reporters - Review continuing disclosures about the financial or operating condition of state and local municipal bond issuers, including public utilities and school districts. In addition, the MSRB makes disclosures of political contributions by municipal bond dealers to municipal issuer officials available on the MSRB's main website.  Under MSRB rules, municipal bond dealers could be banned from business with issuers based on political contributions to issuer officials.
  • Utilities Reporters - Review disclosures and trade information for local utility bond issues.
  • Education Reporters - Find disclosures and other information for school bond issues.
  • Personal Finance Reporters - Learn about investing in municipal bonds and 529 college savings plans in EMMA's Education Center; view documents associated with municipal securities and see real-time trade price data to compare bonds
  • Financial Reporters - Access real-time trade data, daily and annual market statistics and information about auction rate securities and variable rate demand obligations.

Background on EMMA

While the MSRB has operated EMMA in various pilot stages since March 2008, in July 2009 the MSRB launched the key feature of providing electronic access to market-wide continuing disclosure documents. This important information, which includes annual financial statements and notices of material events, reflects the financial or operating condition of the issuer and events occurring throughout the life of a bond that can affect the ability of an issuer to repay its bonds and the value of the bond, among other things. Previously these documents were collected by private enterprises that charged investors for the information.

EMMA, at emma.msrb.org, also collects and makes available to investors hundreds of thousands of municipal bond offering documents, the prices of millions of municipal trades, as well as interest rates and auction results for auction rate securities, interest rates for variable rate demand obligations, daily market statistics and educational material about municipal bonds.

Training sessions on EMMA are available by contacting thanachi@msrb.org.


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.