The Big Three municipal bond regulators -- the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, and the National Association of Securities Dealers -- made extensive reports to Congress last week, and they all called for change. The efficient functioning and reputation of the municipal bond market are at stake.
When the dust settled, however, no one was sure just what changes will be made and which changes will be made first. The changes have yet to come into sharp focus. Regulators are dissatisfied with the information that municipal issuers disclose. They are dissatisfied with information on secondary-market bond prices. And they don't like the way bond underwriters make political contributions to get business. Three valid criticisms.