Washington, DC – Historic volatility is straining the predominantly retail investor market that enables state and local governments to finance essential public services, newly published data show. The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) today began publishing daily analysis of trade activity to assist market participants, policymakers and the general public with understanding the impact of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) on the liquidity of the $4 trillion municipal securities market.
MSRB data show trading in the secondary market for municipal securities is at all-time highs, as institutional investors sell off large positions. Meanwhile, in the fixed-rate market, customer buying in smaller pieces of $100,000 or less, indicative of retail investors, jumped to a daily average of approximately 11,700 trades in March 2020, compared to about 8,500 trades per day in January and February. View the MSRB’s analysis, which will be updated daily, here. The MSRB also plans to analyze and publish additional variable rate data.
“The municipal market touches the lives of every single American because it finances over two-thirds of the state and local infrastructure that is bearing the brunt of the Coronavirus crisis,” said MSRB Board Chair Ed Sisk. “Dislocation in this critical capital market damages investor confidence and has an outsize effect on the financial health of communities around the country.”
As the primary regulator for the municipal securities market, the MSRB’s mission is to protect municipal securities investors and issuers. The MSRB is governed by a Board of Directors representing investors, issuers, dealers, municipal advisors and others with first-hand understanding of the municipal securities market. The MSRB’s market transparency systems collect municipal market trade data and disclosure documents and make them available to the public for free on the Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website.
“The MSRB actively monitors trade data and will continue to release the results of our analysis to help market participants and policymakers make informed decisions in the best interests of the country,” Sisk said. “We stand ready to provide our data and expertise to help advance effective policy solutions that will provide emergency relief to the municipal securities market.”
Date: March 25, 2020
Contact: Leah Szarek, Director of Communications