I like Edgar.
I enjoy learning new things and whenever I need to locate corporate securities data, say in relation to a company’s announced workforce layoff or regarding a proposed merger, Edgar always points me in the right direction when I hunt for reports.
You know Edgar, right? The Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system? Maybe you’ve used the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission’s productivity tool, Edgar, too?
I also like Emma, from what I hear about her.
Do you know her?
I didn’t either.
The regulatory Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board launched the Electronic Municipal Market Access system four months ago on March 31 as a pilot program. Its intent was to establish an electronic clearinghouse for municipal bond information.
Until Emma came around, municipal bond issuers sold disclosure reports to for-profit repositories, who resold the data to retail investors for a fee.
The impact is huge, using 2007 as a benchmark:
- 6.6 trillion long and short municipal trades
- 9 million transactions
- 50,000 state and local government issuers
- 2 million bonds outstanding
When you consider Edgar provides corporate data for free in real-time over the internet, you can imagine why the MSRB was eager to seek a comparable Edgar, or Emma if you will, for municipal securities and ease the burden of the investors and the market as a whole.
The pilot was so successful that SEC Chairman Christopher Cox announced, yesterday, that Emma is going live:
Retail investors — who own two-thirds of municipal securities — will soon have the same one-stop, cost-free, instant electronic access to disclosure documents about municipal bonds that they’ve long had for corporate stocks and bonds. This is a giant step forward for municipal bond investors.
And that’s not all…
Cox also announced yesterday that tech-savvy corporations are allowed to provide financial disclosure data (in the form of, say, a social media-enhanced press release) directly to current and prospective investors through their blogs.
If interested in this big bang, check out Brian Solis’ massive commentary at Social Media Today.