WASHINGTON - President Clinton was on the verge Friday of signing legislation that permanently extends the Treasury Department's authority over the government securities market and sets tougher federal standards for participating dealers.
The Government Securities Act Amendments of 1993, which Clinton is expected to approve, will permit the Treasury to issue new rules for market participants and expands the regulatory powers of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Under the law, all government securities dealers and brokers will be required, upon request, to furnish the SEC with records of any trades in connection with inquiries or investigations. In addition, the SEC is authorized to set antifraud rules, after consulting with Treasury and bank dealer regulators.
The law eliminates the ban on sales practice rules by federal regulatory authorities. In addition, it allows the Treasury to issue reporting rules for dealers and other market participants who take a large position in the market.
Other provisions require all bidders to have access to the Treasury's computerized auction system by the end of 1995, subject to minimum creditworthiness regulations. Bidders are explicitly barred from submitting false or misleading bids.
The law allows public, access to the meetings of the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee, which meets before the quarterly refundings to provide market advice to government debt managers.
Micah Green, executive vice president of the Public Securities Association, welcomed Clinton's likely action. "This legislation will permit the Treasury to deal with any situation in the government securities market," Green said. "It recognizes the liquidity and efficiency of the market while in a very targeted way assures the continued integrity of the market."