MSRB NOTICE 2010-25 (AUGUST 10, 2010)

MSRB FILES PROPOSAL TO ESTABLISH SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE TO INFORMATION COLLECTED BY THE SHORT SYSTEM

The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) has filed today with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) a proposed rule change to establish a subscription to the information collected by the MSRB’s Short-term Obligation Rate Transparency (“SHORT”) System.[1]  The MSRB has proposed an effective date for this proposed rule change of September 30, 2010.  The MSRB has also posted a preliminary SHORT System Subscriber Manual document to the MSRB web site.

The SHORT System is a facility of the MSRB for the collection and dissemination of information about securities bearing interest at short-term rates.  Currently, these securities consist of Auction Rate Securities (“ARS”) and Variable Rate Demand Obligations (“VRDOs”).  The proposed rule change would establish a data stream subscription to the information collected by the SHORT System provided through a web service and would be made available for an annual fee of $10,000.[2] 

Information disseminated from the SHORT System also is posted to the MSRB’s Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA) web portal pursuant to the EMMA short-term obligation rate transparency service.  Such information would be made available to subscribers simultaneously with the availability of such information to the EMMA web portal.  The subscription service would make the information collected by the SHORT System available to market participants for re-dissemination and for use in creating value-added products and services.  Such re-dissemination and third-party use would provide market participants, including investors and the general public, additional avenues for obtaining the information collected by the SHORT System and would make additional tools available for making well-informed investment decisions.

Data elements with respect to the SHORT subscription service that would be provided through the data stream would be set forth in the SHORT System Subscriber Manual posted on the MSRB web site.  The SHORT System Subscriber Manual would provide a complete, up-to-date listing of all data elements made available through the SHORT subscription service, including any additions, deletions or modifications to disseminated data elements, detailed definitions of each data element, specific data format information, and information about technical data elements to support transmission and data-integrity processes between the SHORT System and subscribers.

Subscriptions would be provided through computer-to-computer data streams utilizing XML files for data.  Appropriate schemas and other technical specifications for accessing the web services through which the data stream will be provided would be set forth in the SHORT System Subscriber Manual posted on the MSRB web site.

The MSRB would make the SHORT subscription service available on an equal and non-discriminatory basis.  Subscribers would be subject to all of the terms of the subscription agreement to be entered into between the MSRB and each subscriber, including proprietary rights of third parties in information provided by such third parties that is made available through the subscription.  The MSRB would not be responsible for the content of the information submitted by submitters that is distributed to subscribers of the SHORT subscription service.

Questions about this notice may be directed to Justin R. Pica, Uniform Practice Policy Advisor, at 703-797-6716.

August 10, 2010

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TEXT OF THE PROPOSAL: [3]

MUNICIPAL SECURITIES RULEMAKING BOARD
SHORT-TERM OBLIGATION RATE TRANSPARENCY SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE

            The Short-term Obligation Rate Transparency (“SHORT”) System is a facility of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (“MSRB”) for the collection and dissemination of information about securities bearing interest at short-term rates, which include Auction Rate Securities (“ARS”) and Variable Rate Demand Obligations (“VRDOs”).  The SHORT subscription service, which is available for an annual fee of $10,000, makes available to subscribers a data stream of all information collected by the SHORT System.  Information submitted to the SHORT System also is posted to the MSRB’s Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA) web portal pursuant to the EMMA short-term obligation rate transparency service.  Such information will be made available to subscribers simultaneously with the availability of such information to the EMMA web portal.  Submitters of information to the SHORT System may provide or modify such items for a particular submission in one or more sessions and any such items provided or modified will be made available to subscribers simultaneously with the availability of such items to the EMMA web portal.

            Data elements with respect to the SHORT subscription service to be provided through the data stream shall be set forth in the SHORT System Subscriber Manual posted on the MSRB web site.  Each submission to the SHORT System will result in an XML data packet to be included in the subscription feed containing, to the extent applicable for each submission, some of the following data elements:

Data Element

Definition

Sequence Number

An incremental system generated number assigned to each reported transaction.

Transaction

Type

Dealer-supplied transaction type to indicate that a submission is a new report, modification or cancellation.

Publication Date and

Time

Date and time a submission was published.

Dealer Names

The identity of the ARS Program Dealer(s) or VRDO Remarketing Agent.

Control Number

Unique identifier used to tie transactions together in the case of a modification or cancellation.

CUSIP9

CUSIP Number for the security.

Instrument Type

Indication of whether the security is an ARS or a VRDO.

Interest Rate Reset Date and Time

ARS - Date and time that the ARS auction occurred.

VRDOs - Date and time that the VRDO interest rate was determined.

Interest Rate Period

Number of calendar days that the interest rate is applicable.

Interest Rate Posting Date and Time

ARS (only) – Date and time that the ARS auction results were communicated to ARS Program Dealers. 

Interest Rate

Interest rate, in percent.

Minimum Denomination

Minimum allowable transaction size, in par amount.

Rate Type

ARS - Indication of whether the interest rate submitted represents a maximum rate (M), all hold rate (H), or an interest rate set by the auction process (A).

VRDOs - Indication of whether the interest rate submitted represents a maximum rate, a rate that was set by a formula, or a rate that was set by the VRDO Remarketing Agent.

Par Amount Auctioned

ARS (only) - Par amount auctioned not including hold orders effective at any interest rate.  The par amount auctioned is commonly referred to in results of an auction communicated to Program Dealers by Auction Agents as the “accepted sells” or the “executed sells.”

Minimum Rate

ARS - Minimum interest rate, in percent, applicable at the time of the auction or if such minimum interest rate is not able to be calculated, an indication that such rate is not calculable.

VRDOs - Minimum interest rate, in percent, applicable at the time of the interest rate reset or if such minimum interest rate is not able to be calculated, an indication that such rate is not calculable.

Maximum Rate

ARS - Maximum interest rate, in percent, applicable at the time of the auction or if such maximum interest rate is not able to be calculated, an indication that such rate is not calculable.

VRDOs - Maximum interest rate, in percent, applicable at the time of the interest rate reset or if such maximum interest rate is not able to be calculated, an indication that such rate is not calculable.

Par Amount Remarketed

VRDOs (only) - Par amount of the VRDO held by a party other than the VRDO Remarketing Agent.  (This data element is reserved for future use.)

Notification Period

VRDOs (only) - Number of calendar days that may lapse between a holder of a VRDO tendering a position in the security and a liquidity provider purchasing the tendered security in the event that the Remarketing Agent is unable to remarket the tendered security.

Liquidity Facility Type

VRDOs (only) - For each liquidity facility applicable to a VRDO, an indication of whether it is a standby bond purchase agreement or letter or credit.

Liquidity Facility Expiration Date

VRDOs (only) - The expiration date of each liquidity facility applicable to a VRDO.

            The SHORT System Subscriber Manual provides a complete, up-to-date listing of all data elements made available through the SHORT subscription service, including any additions, deletions or modifications to disseminated data elements, detailed definitions of each data element, specific data format information, and information about technical data elements to support transmission and data-integrity processes between the SHORT System and subscribers.

            Subscriptions will be provided through computer-to-computer data streams utilizing XML files for data.  Appropriate schemas and other technical specifications for accessing the web services through which the data stream will be provided are set forth in the SHORT System Subscriber Manual posted on the MSRB web site.

            The MSRB makes the SHORT subscription service available on an equal and non-discriminatory basis.  Subscribers shall be subject to all of the terms of the subscription agreement to be entered into between the MSRB and each subscriber, including proprietary rights of third parties in information provided by such third parties that is made available through the subscription.  The MSRB is not responsible for the content of the information submitted by submitters that is distributed to subscribers of the SHORT subscription service.


[1]  File No. SR-MSRB-2010-06.  Comments on the proposal should be submitted to the SEC and should reference this file number.

[2]  The proposed subscription price would cover a portion of the administrative, technical and operating costs of the SHORT subscription service but would not cover all costs of such subscription service or of the SHORT System.  The MSRB has proposed establishing the subscription price at a commercially reasonable level.

[3]  Underlining indicates additions.