MuniMarket.com was first proposed to the Muni industry in 2004 by Kevin Olson, pioneer of Municipal Bond price transparency. There was no interest from the MSRB, nor the NASD (FINRA). The SEC (Martha Haines) said it was a great idea.
One of the fundamental problems with the Muni Markets is that the bid-side is captive and closed. Your bonds are held at a dealer securities account. If you want or need to sell, you get one bid from your broker. That bid may be your broker's bid, or your broker's trading desk could have gone out and gotten another bid and kept a nice spread for themselves.
There may be a few layers of bids and spreads before a final buyer is found. The result is neither seller nor buyer gets the best price. Unfortunately this is common practice.
It is essential the Muni Markets secure and strengthen the bid-side. So we will take this step to help investors and create the first Muni Market exchange platform.
Original Proposal Letter From 2005
My idea for an official Muni Market exchange is again specifically recommended earlier this year (2010) in my attempt to be part of a "reformed" MSRB.
2010 "Reformed" MSRB Board Member Candidate Q&A Form
Above I state that when I first told Martha Haines of the SEC about my idea for a Muni Market exchange for the bid-side she told me she thought it was a great idea.
Martha Haines, Director, SEC Office of Municipal Securities now denies ever saying that the idea of a Muni Market exchange is a great idea.
The SEC Muni Department is throwing a tantrum.
OK. So be it. But let me add to this correction --
The reality is the SEC has been a miserable failure when it comes to the Muni Markets and public finance.
Martha Haines has been the SEC's Muni point person for years...she is a career regulator.
Unfortunately it has been a career of failure.
All one need say is DisclosureUSA.com.
But then there is the current FA fiasco. These past ten years were important, Martha, and it is unfortunate for U.S. Public Finance, Muni Market investors and for this Country that you are who you are and where you are seated.
With MuniMarket.com I once again am doing the right thing for the Muni Markets. Years ago I pushed and actualized fixed income price transparency by myself and out of my own back pocket.
Truth be told it was always me.
I will now do what I can to actualize a Muni Market.
Perhaps it is best that Martha Haines, et al, remain on the sidelines and sit this one out yet again...
so myself and others at the SEC who care and are genuinely capable can actualize something.
The Muni Markets need a success right now, and developing a Muni Market exchange of some sort would be our biggest success.
Can Muni Issuers, such as States, List Their Bonds On An Exchange Similar to Stocks
I have officially asked the SEC if Muni Issuers, such as States, can list their bonds on an exchange similar to how corporations list thier stocks on an exchange.
If there is ever to be a Muni Market exchange, this question is important.
Commissioner Walter has promised an answer. But Commissioner Walter would have to talk to SEC staff about something like this.
Is Trading and Markets working on the answer...or is it Martha Haines and the Muni Department.
I am not sure how much Trading and Markets even like the Muni Department people? This could be interesting.
SEC Commissioner Walter promised an answer on question about Muni Issuers, such as States, and listing their bonds. The Muni Markets are a mess and the Muni bid side is even worse.
Investor protection campaigns are being prepared.
Investor protection campaigns begin.
Martha Haines of the SEC (see above February 2011) is leaving the SEC. One media headline says "Martha Haines Calling It Quits".
July - December 2011 - January - July 2012
Investor protection campaigns begin against the Nastional Association of State Treasurers, and it's "State Debt Action" thing.
Please see :
Kelly Schmidt of ND, Kate Marshall of NV and Manju Ganeriwala of VI claim leadership of our Country's State Treasurers.
also the leadership of something they call the "State Debt Action" please see :
Richard Ellis of UT
Jim McIntire of WA
Chip Flowers of DE
David lillard and Justin Wilson of TN
Nancy Kott of MD
Ted Wheeler of OR
Robert Dinapoli of NY