Letter to the Editor

NFMA: Interim disclosure 'critical' to investors

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On Jan. 28, The Bond Buyer published an article titled “Issuers oppose broad interim disclosure.”

The quote by a member of the GFOA debt committee that the NFMA’s desire for interim disclosure is “asking for the moon” demonstrates, in our opinion, a lack of understanding of what our organization is advocating for on behalf of investors and the critical importance of such information to the fair and efficient functioning of the municipal secondary market.

The NFMA has for many years and in a variety of communications requested that issuers make periodic, public disclosures of relevant and available financial and credit-related information in between annual filings. Borrowers in the capital markets are almost certainly monitoring their fiscal positions, on a regular basis, for a variety of constituents. For example, interim disclosures are commonly prepared for executive and legislative bodies, not-for-profit leadership and boards, oversight entities, banks and other private lenders, credit enhancement providers and rating agencies.

Municipal investors provide issuers with access to long-term, low-cost capital for critical infrastructure and other financing needs. In return, we ask that issuers publicly provide information that enables their securities to be adequately evaluated for investment and pricing decisions in the secondary market, and ensures a level playing field of information.

Nicole Byrd is chair of the NFMA and Lisa Washburn is industry and media liaison.

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