New Mexico Deal Raises Eyebrows
A more than $700 million dollar deal that RBC Capital Markets executed in New Mexico earlier this month is has raised the eyebrows of some market participants, who think the firm's municipal advisory relationships with several New Mexico cities created a conflict of interest when it underwrote the deal for a power authority run by those municipalities.
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State treasurers and financial officers are urging federal banking regulators to identify quantitative liquidity standards or characteristics that would allow at least some municipal securities to qualify as high-quality liquid assets in a rule to be released on Wednesday. more »
A bipartisan House duo is threatening the Securities and Exchange Commission, warning it must further ease the Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation initiative for dealers before the Sept. 10 deadline for participation or they will step in with legislative action. more »
The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board failed to address concerns that its proposed municipal advisor supervision rule will be too costly and burdensome, non-dealer MAs told the Securities and Exchange Commission this week. more »
The Securities and Exchange Commission's new credit rating agency reforms seem to make some positive strides for the muni market by creating parity between municipal and corporate bond ratings and increasing rating methodology transparency, sources said. more »
Non-dealer municipal advisors are concerned that the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board's draft core MA rule contains an exemption for "inadvertent advice," while broker-dealers say certain aspects of the rule are too vague and too broad. more »
Municipal bond broker-dealer groups have spent nearly $5 million trying to influence federal lawmakers in recent months, using in-house lobbyists as well as outside firms and campaign contributions to promote their positions on securities laws, tax reform, and regulation. more »
Municipal Market Advisors' recent research on ratings seems to counter recently raised concerns that Standard & Poor's ratings for some local governments may be too high and out of step with current credit conditions. more »
Dealers are objecting to new provisions added to the best execution standard the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for approval that would increase the information customers have to provide to be considered sophisticated municipal market professionals who are exempt from the standard. more »
The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board has asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to approve its proposal to require municipal securities dealers to seek the most favorable price possible when executing transactions for most investors. more »
The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority's decision in its forbearance agreement to disclose certain information to only some its bondholders could put both PREPA and those investors at an increased risk of committing securities law violations, disclosure experts said Wednesday. more »
The Government Finance Officers Association has issued a new alert on the Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation initiative, offering guidance to issuers on how to make use of the extra time they were granted to participate in the program and explaining problems state and local governments face in performing due diligence. more »
The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board's proposal to extend its dealer pay-to-play rule to include municipal advisors contains provisions that would affect both dealer and non-dealer MAs, market participants said Tuesday. more »
The Securities and Exchange Commission's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations has launched a program to scrutinize newly-regulated municipal advisors, the SEC announced Tuesday. more »

Issuance of municipal MSA tobacco bonds by states was the subject of a highly critical article published by ProPublica. The article attempts to make a case that states erred in deciding to issue tobacco bonds. The article was widely circulated across social media. As we frequently observe, the national media focus on the muni market is appreciated, but the facts got muddied in the pursuit of a good story.

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