MSRB NOTICE 2011-23 (APRIL 21, 2011)

REMINDER OF MAY 16, 2011 EFFECTIVE DATE OF CHANGES TO RULES G-8 AND G-34 TO INCREASE TRANSPARENCY OF MUNICIPAL VARIABLE RATE SECURITIES AND ANNOUNCEMENT OF TRAINING WEBINARS

The MSRB reminds brokers, dealers and municipal securities dealers (collectively “dealers”) of the May 16, 2011 effective date of changes to MSRB Rules G-8, on books and records, and Rule G-34(c), on variable rate security market information. These changes will enhance the interest rate and descriptive information currently collected from dealers and made transparent by the MSRB on municipal Auction Rate Securities (“ARS”) and Variable Rate Demand Obligations (“VRDOs”) by adding to the information currently collected and publicly disseminated from the MSRB Short-term Obligation Rate Transparency (“SHORT”) System documents that define auction procedures and interest rate setting mechanisms for ARS and liquidity facilities for VRDOs, as well as ARS bidding information and additional VRDO information.[1]

SHORT SYSTEM SPECIFICATIONS AND TESTING

The MSRB has made test environments available to dealers and their agents for making test submissions to the SHORT System using computer-to-computer connections since mid-February 2011 for submissions of ARS bidding information and additional VRDO information and early-March 2011 for submissions of ARS and VRDO documents. Links to the current technical specifications can be found below and these documents also are available on the variable rate securities page of the Market Disclosures and Data section of the MSRB web site.

TRAINING WEBINARS

The MSRB will host two training webinars designed to assist individuals responsible for submitting ARS and VRDO information and documents to the SHORT System. The webinars will cover the upcoming changes to MSRB Rules G-8 and G-34, and will instruct dealers on how to comply with these regulatory changes.

These identical sessions, which will last approximately one hour, will provide an overview of the process for submitting additional ARS and VRDO information and documents; modifying and cancelling submissions; and web navigation on the SHORT Web User Interface and EMMA Dataport.

There is no cost to participate; however, pre-registration is required. Click on the links below or visit the “Upcoming Events” section of www.msrb.org to register for a session.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. EST Register.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 4:00 p.m. EST Register.

Questions about testing the SHORT System should be directed to the Market Information Help Desk at 703-797-6668. Other questions about this notice may be directed to Justin R. Pica, Director, Uniform Practice Policy at 703-797-6716.

April 21, 2011


[1] A complete description of the rule change can be found in MSRB Notice 2010-31 (August 26, 2010). On February 23, 2011 the MSRB published a notice addressing questions received on the portion of the rule change related to the submission of documents to the SHORT System. See MSRB Notice 2011-17 (February 23, 2011).