Municipal Securities Market

News & Analysis as of

SEC Announces Enforcement Actions Under its Muni Bond Disclosure Initiative

Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it brought enforcement actions against 71 municipal issuers and other obligated persons as part of the SEC’s Municipalities Continuing Disclosure...more

California State Treasurer Sets His Sights on Curbing Pay-to-Play in the Municipal Bond Arena

While it’s easy for mainstream news outlets to get caught up in the mid-summer drama of Vice-Presidential selections, national political party conventions, and the geopolitical repercussions of Brexit, we here at Pay to Play...more

Investment Management Update

SEC Enforcement Action against Private Equity Fund Adviser - On June 1, 2016, the SEC announced that a private equity fund adviser and its principal owner agreed to pay more than $3.1 million to settle SEC charges that,...more

Joint Notice: MSRB and FINRA Increasing Scrutiny of Private Bank Placements

Direct lending by banks has proliferated in the $3.7 trillion municipal bond market as states, local governments and non-profits find that they can borrow, in the form of direct loans, at interest rates comparable to those on...more

MSRB on Direct Purchases – Transparency Trumps Tower?

The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (“MSRB”) issued a concept release last month suggesting that market transparency trumps the direct Congressional prohibition against federal regulations requiring filing of...more

Orrick's Financial Industry Week in Review

Senators Introduce SAFE Lending Act - On April 7, 2016, several Democratic Senators introduced the Stopping Abuse and Fraud in Electronic (SAFE) Lending Act, SAFE 2016, which is designed to change the manner in which...more

The Federal Reserve Board Finalizes Rule Regarding Investment-Grade General Obligation State and Municipal Securities

On April 1, 2016, the Federal Reserve Board finalized a rule to include certain U.S. general obligation state and municipal securities in the type of assets that financial institutions may use to satisfy requirements designed...more

Part 2: Shelf Registration Extended Offering Period

Our first post in this series examined the regulatory and contractual considerations for municipal securities issuers and conduit borrowers using shelf registration. Now we examine the equally important considerations for...more

Shelf Registration Extended Offering Period: Ready for the Municipal Marketplace?

Recently, a significant municipal issuer entered the market with its first sale under a $1 billion borrowing program that will use an offering statement style novel to the municipal market. For years, issuers of traditional...more

SEC Speaks 2016: Enforcement Panels Double Down on Use of Data Analytics

Data collection and analysis continue to impact SEC’s approach to enforcement. The increasing use of data analytics to jump-start investigations and enforcement efforts dominated the panel discussion at this year’s...more

Obama’s FY2017 Budget Would Double SEC & CFTC Funding

White House officials this week said that President Obama’s fiscal 2017 budget will seek major increases in funding for Wall Street regulators in the near term, and proposes to double their funding by 2021....more

MSRB’s Execution Guidance under Rule G-18: Forward with Flexibility

The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (“MSRB”) recently released its best execution guidance under MSRB Rule G-18 (the “Rule” or “Rule G-18”). The Rule will be effective as of March 21, 2016. The Rule provides: “The...more

MSRB Considering T+2 for Munis

The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, or MSRB, is seeking public comment on a proposal to facilitate shortening the settlement cycle for transactions in municipal securities in response to a securities industry-led...more

Recent MCDC Settlements Provide Guidance Concerning Scope of Materiality in Continuing Disclosure Obligations

In responding to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s recent Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation (MCDC) initiative, the unanswered question for many municipalities and broker-dealers was determining whether...more

Second Wave of MCDC Hits Underwriters ….No Smooth Sailing Ahead!

On September 30 the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced another round of enforcement actions against 22 municipal underwriting firms for disclosure violations in connection with municipal bond offerings. The...more

Financial Services Weekly News - October 2015

Regulatory Developments - FINRA Files Proposed Rule Change to Apply Markup Rule to Government Securities: On Sept. 30 FINRA filed with the SEC a proposed rule change, published in the Federal Register on Oct. 6, to...more

SEC Announces Second Wave of MCDC Enforcement Actions

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) this week announced enforcement actions under its Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation (MCDC) Initiative, targeting 22 municipal bond underwriting firms for alleged due...more

One Size Does Not Fit All: Written Disclosure Policies in a Time of Increased SEC Enforcement

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) continues to increase its enforcement efforts in the municipal bond market by focusing on the sufficiency and timeliness of disclosure in initial municipal securities...more

SEC Issues Second Round of Municipal Disclosure Settlements

On September 30, the SEC issued its second round of mass settled actions over municipal securities disclosure issues, as part of its Municipal Continuing Disclosure Cooperation (“MCDC”) Initiative. In this round, 22 municipal...more

Fed’s Proposed Treatment of Municipal Securities as High-Quality Liquid Assets

Financial Crisis and Bank Regulatory Response - In the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009, international banks sought to ensure sufficient liquidity for the largest banks by establishing a quantitative...more

National Association of Bond Lawyers Releases Guidance on Municipal Securities Disclosure Policies

Issuers of municipal securities (including conduit borrowers) are required to comply with certain disclosure requirements when preparing official statements or other offering documents, submitting continuing disclosure...more

MSRB Submits Municipal-Advisor Gift Rule for SEC Approval

The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (“MSRB”) announced September 2 that it has submitted for SEC approval proposed amendments extending its gift-limitations Rule G-20 to municipal advisors. In general, the Rule...more

SEC Expands its Focus in the Municipal Bond Market, Bringing First-Ever Charges Against an Underwriter for Pricing Violations...

Coming on the heels of the SEC’s first wave of settlements with underwriters as part of its Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation (“MCDC”) initiative, the agency has brought yet another precedent-setting...more

SEC Takes More Time to Consider Municipal Advisor Conduct Rule

The SEC instituted proceedings August 6 to allow additional time – and analysis – of the MSRB’s proposed Rule G-42 establishing broad conduct standards for municipal advisors. The Order essentially buys more time for the SEC...more

FINRA Warns on Muni Shorts & Fails: Substitute Interest is Taxable

FINRA issued its late-July Regulatory Notice 15-27 warning brokerage firms that inadvertent short positions or fail-to-delivers in municipal securities trading can create situations where the member-firm pays a customer...more

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