The Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) will begin a series of hearings this month on the municipal market. The first hearing will be held in San Francisco, with additional hearings being held in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Tallahassee, and Austin.
The hearings will include local market participants and will examine such issues as the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, Build America Bonds, investor protection and education, financial reporting and accounting, market stability and liquidity, municipalities as conduit borrowers, offering participants, professionals and market intermediaries, and Section 529 college savings plans.
They will be followed by a staff report summarizing the lessons learned and making possible recommendations for regulatory and legislative changes, as well as the best practices that market participants could adopt.
The format for the first meeting is being met with some level of criticism. Individuals from the SEC and five panels of speakers from the municipal market have been invited to speak. Other industry representatives question whether the public and other entities will be given this opportunity. The public and other interested parties are being asked to submit comments related to field hearing topics by using the comment form on its website, www.sec.gov or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.