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Author: imuafool Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 35379  
Subject: More transparency for muni investors Date: 12/11/2008 11:58 AM
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In a 12/08/08 news release, SEC Chairman Cox announced:

"For the first time, millions of individual investors in municipal bonds will have free and instant access to information about their investments, similar to the way they can obtain information about public companies. With liquidity problems of municipal auction rate securities and rating downgrades of municipal bond insurers contributing to the current credit crisis, the disclosure and transparency of the municipal markets have never been more critical. Municipal securities investors need to know what they own. Now they will no longer have to go to such extensive and expensive lengths to find out."

The rule amendments approved by the SEC designate the MSRB as the central repository for ongoing disclosures by municipal issuers. Under a separate MSRB rule change, its Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA) system would make these disclosures available to investors in the same manner that the SEC's EDGAR system does for corporate disclosures.

EMMA will operate as a consolidated, online portal where investors can instantly access, for free, all of the key information produced by municipal bond issuers about their bonds. Offering documents, real-time trade prices, and education resources already are available on EMMA at www.emma.msrb.org .

The SEC's rule amendments and the MSRB's rule change will be effective on July 1, 2009.


Source: http://www.sec.gov/news/press/2008/2008-286.htm

On another matter, Cox's quote above mentioned municipal auction rate securities. Well today, the SEC announced that it finalized settlements with Citigroup Global Markets, Inc. (Citi) and UBS Securities LLC and UBS Financial Services, Inc. (UBS) that will provide nearly $30 billion to tens of thousands of customers who invested in auction rate securities before the market for those securities froze in February.
http://www.sec.gov/news/press/2008/2008-290.htm

Cox stated: "Today's settlements are the largest in SEC history, and represent the largest return of customer money in the agency's 75 years. The Commission's prompt action after the auction rate securities market froze in February of this year, which led to last summer's settlements in principle, helped restore liquidity to tens of thousands of investors. Every one of the investors covered by these settlements will be able to receive 100 cents on the dollar on their ARS investments."

Ray
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