WASHINGTON — The Securities and Exchange Commission is considering holding five field hearings between September and January as part of a nationwide inquiry on the municipal market that is expected to lead to recommendations for statutory and regulatory changes to better protect investors.

Elisse Walter, the commissioner leading the inquiry, said the hearings will be designed to help her and the SEC staff formulate recommendations for legislative changes, new or amended SEC and Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board rules, and how to encourage the development of market-based disclosure best-practices documents geared toward specific market sectors.

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