WASHINGTON -- The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board cautioned bond underwriters this week that making political contributions to issuers can create the appearance of bribery and erode investor confidence.

But the board, in a brief statement Monday, stopped short of taking the more ambitious step it contemplated last winter. That step would have entailed publishing voluntary procedures that firms should follow to disclose political contributions made to municipal officials -- possibly as an attachment to the official statement for a deal.

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