The Securities and Exchange Commission has announced that it will hold a roundtable on April 16, 2013 to discuss potential ways to improve the transparency and efficiency of fixed income markets. The roundtable will focus on the corporate bond market and the municipal securities market, which were the subject of a July 2012 Commission report.
Why is this important? The U.S. fixed income markets help finance the nation’s public infrastructure and private businesses. Fixed income securities are also important components of the investment portfolios of the American public with retail investors directly or indirectly holding more than 75 percent of the outstanding principal amount of municipal securities and 28 percent of the outstanding principal amount of corporate bonds.
The July 2012 Commission Report focused on two key areas of concern in the municipal securities market: disclosure and market structure. The Commission provides a number of recommendations for potential further consideration including legislative changes, Commission rulemaking, Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (“MSRB”) rulemaking and enhancement of industry “best practices.” The recommendations are designed to address the various concerns raised by market participants and others and to provide avenues to improve the municipal securities market, including transparency for municipal securities investors.
The SEC recognizes that action on specific recommendations will involve further study of relevant additional information, including information related to the costs and benefits of the recommendations and the consideration of public comment.
So here’s your chance to weigh in. The roundtable will be held at the SEC’s Washington, D.C., headquarters, and will be open to the public and via live webcast on the SEC’s website. Information on the agenda and participants will be issued soon.
“I look forward to hearing the views of a wide range of knowledgeable market participants, investors, and others on how best to improve the transparency, efficiency and fairness of the fixed income markets and practical ways in which these ideas might be implemented,” said SEC Chairman Elisse Walter.