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SEC Press Release: State of Municipal Securities Market

SEC Announces July 29 Field Hearing on the State of the Municipal Securities Market

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a press release today announcing that

"it will hold a municipal securities market field hearing in Jefferson County, Ala., on July 29. Topics will include distressed communities, small issuers, disclosure, derivatives and pre-trade price transparency."

The purpose of the field hearing is to understand the relevant issues affecting investors in the municipal securities market which may lead to changes in rules, legislation, or best practices guidelines. The SEC has general oversight of the municipal securities market with the purpose of improving multiple aspects of the market, such as financial reporting, accounting, transparency, disclosure and general investor protection and education.

SEC's efforts are timely, given that over the past six months there have been cases of fraud in the municipal securities market involving brokerage firms. For example, back in January of this year, the SEC charged two former portfolio managers of a Utah municipal bond fund for collecting over $500,000 in 'credit monitoring fees' to municipal issuers when such fees went straight to the two people.

SLCG has a dedicated website containing papers and research, include those that relate to municipal bonds: