Tuesday, March 2, 2010
The SEC and the IRS today announced that the two agencies agreed to work more closely to monitor and regulate the municipal bond market and industry. SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro and IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) designed to improve compliance with SEC and IRS rules and regulations related to municipal securities. The muni bond market currently totals about $2.8 trillion in outstanding securities and continues to grow in complexity and size.
The SEC and IRS will work cooperatively to identify issues and trends related to tax-exempt bonds in the municipal securities industry and to develop strategies to enhance performance of their respective regulatory responsibilities. To support this effort, the two agencies will work through a standing Tax Exempt Bond/Municipal Securities Committee to discuss policy, procedures and compliance issues. The SEC and IRS will also share information as appropriate regarding market risks, practices and events related to municipal securities, among other things. In addition, the two agencies will collaborate on educational and other types of outreach efforts.
Former SEC Chair Christopher Cox frequently expressed the need for reform in the municipal bond offering requirements. It's not clear to me whether this is part of the current Chair's focus.