Securities and Exchange Commission Historical Society

The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board Gallery on Municipal Securities Regulation

The Newest Old Market

EMMA

“During the time I was on the MSRB Board, we switched from being a regulatory oversight Board and a little bit of IT, to being a regulatory oversight Board running an IT company.”

May 16, 2014 Interview with Maud Smith Daudon

The municipal market is the oldest financial market, but has seen much innovation. Despite new transparency, old abuses rooted in influence peddling persist. The market’s regulator has improved its oversight and has welcomed an expanded mandate, yet still works largely within confines established in the 1930s. In all these respects, the municipal securities industry entered the 21st century as the newest old market.

Emblematic of both old and new is the story of the Electronic Municipal Market Access website, pleasantly named EMMA. A fresh digital solution, it emerged in conservative, incremental fashion out of the NRMSIR experiments, a process “letting the players try to solve the disclosure dissemination issue, and let the private sector work.” 30 Only by the late 2000s, after the failure of that process, with the Muni Council having allayed old suspicions, and the SEC having approved electronic disclosure, did the decades-long pursuit of an effective central municipal securities disclosure system come close to realization. The new start owed much to Frank Chin and Lynnette Kelly.

Chin was an industry veteran in Citibank’s municipal securities department when he became a leader of the Muni Council in the early 2000s. Kelly had followed bond law through a stint with the New York Municipal Assistance Corporation to industry leadership as general counsel of The Bond Market Association. Together, they had led the Muni Council’s efforts to create the Central Post Office. By fall 2007, Kelly was MSRB’s Executive Director and Chin its Chair. They convinced the Board to take up the challenge of designing and hosting a centralized electronic disclosure system.

The MSRB created an entirely new website to differentiate the MSRB’s existing rulemaking function from this additional information repository function. EMMA was launched on a pilot basis in March 2008. 31 By December, it was providing daily market statistics. 32 The SEC approved the MSRB becoming the sole repository of municipal documents and EMMA transitioned to a permanent system on June 1, 2009. The role of information technology in advancing the MSRB’s regulatory mission cannot be underestimated; EMMA “has absolutely worked to level the playing field among the people who are on different sides of the trade.” 33


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Related Museum Resources

Papers

September 10, 2007
image pdf (Courtesy Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board)
November 21, 2007
image pdf (Courtesy of Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board)
December 14, 2007
image pdf (Courtesy of Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board)
December 17, 2007
image pdf (Courtesy of Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board)
December 19, 2007
image pdf (Courtesy Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board)
January 23, 2008
image pdf (Courtesy of Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board)
September 24, 2008
image pdf (Courtesy Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board)
September 24, 2008
image pdf (Courtesy of Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board)
September 24, 2008
image pdf (Courtesy of Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board)
May 21, 2009
image pdf (Courtesy of Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board)

Oral Histories

08 December 2010

Frank Chin

(Made possible through the support of Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board)

16 May 2014

Maud Smith Daudon

04 April 2014

Lynnette Kelly

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