WASHINGTON - The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board plans to "get into the ballgame" and encourage federal regulators to address liquidity concerns in the municipal market as part of their response to the credit crisis, MSRB chairman Ron Stack said yesterday.

The MSRB's burgeoning effort to try to influence officials at the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve stems from the "tremendous liquidity problems" facing state and local governments that have been forced to either pay much higher interest rates to access the capital markets or delay bond sales altogether because of the higher rates, said Stack, who spoke with reporters on a teleconference yesterday about the board's three-day meeting late last week."Because of the severe liquidity crisis, highly rated municipal governments are unable to meet their borrowing needs at a reasonable cost, and it is taxpayers who ultimately bear that expense," said Stack, who is managing director and head of public finance at Barclays Capital in New York. "We will try to be a collector of the options ... and then present the facts and the data and what we feel is the impact in an unbiased and objective way ... then allow the federal policy decision makers to make their policy choices with the information."

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