MSRB NOTICE 2000-18 (APRIL 28, 2000)


The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board today announced the panelists who will discuss electronic trading systems at the MSRB’s May 5th Roundtable Discussion in New York.  The Roundtable will be held between 9:00 am and 12 noon at the New York Marriott World Trade Center at Three World Trade Center.

The Roundtable will focus on the regulatory issues associated with the growing number of electronic systems that are being offered to the dealer and investor community for the purchase and sale of municipal securities. 

Christopher Taylor, Executive Director of the MSRB, made the following statement: 

We have seen an explosion of new electronic trading systems for stocks.  The same technological advances that have fueled these systems also are changing the way that bonds are marketed.   Real-time trading and communication systems have the capability to greatly enhance the quantity and quality of market information available to investors, issuers and dealers. And the ease of making on-line bond purchases also should help lower investor costs and foster a healthy market. 

At the same time, it is important to remember that there are substantial differences between equities and municipal securities. There are over 1.3 million different municipal securities, ranging from simple non-callable general obligation debt to conduit financings involving complicated credit structures and multiple call features.  The dealer's role in the municipal securities market traditionally has been very important in explaining the product to the investor, ensuring that recommendations are suitable and that transactions are priced correctly. The MSRB rules that embody these dealer responsibilities continue to apply, even in those electronic systems that automate the process of showing bonds to the customer and provide the option for the customer to “click and buy.” 

The Roundtable will bring together top legal experts to discuss the application of MSRB rules and other regulations to the electronic trading of municipal securities.  We expect that the discussion will help to frame the issues to be considered by the MSRB as it reviews its rules in light of new electronic trading systems and changes in market practices.

The Panelists for the Roundtable are:

Brandon Becker
Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering 

Daniel T. Brooks
Senior Vice President and General Counsel
Trading Edge, Inc. 

Robert A. Fippinger
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe  LLP 

Robyn A. Huffman
Vice President - Assistant General Counsel
Goldman, Sachs & Co. 

Harold L. Johnson
Deputy General Counsel
Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board 

Diane G. Klinke
General Counsel
Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board 

Keith Rothfus
General Counsel
MuniAuction, Inc. 

Paul Saltzman
Executive Vice President and General Counsel
The Bond Market Association 

John B. Sprung
First Vice President and Assistant General Counsel
Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc. 

April 28, 2000

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