WASHINGTON - The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, which collects vast amounts of municipal securities trade and disclosure data, plans to study what the data means for the market with an eye toward positioning itself as a resource to retail investors and other market participants.

To that end, the board has hired Marcelo Vieira, who began his first day yesterday as the MSRB's director of research. Vieira will serve as a source of information for federal lawmakers and regulators who regularly seek muni market information and may also provide periodic reports on market trends and statistics, he said in an interview yesterday, stressing that the specifics of his job are still evolving,

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