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U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

The State of the Municipal Securities Markets

Note: This page has been archived and is no longer being updated. It may include obsolete or out-of-date information.


The Securities and Exchange Commission has conducted a review of the municipal securities market, examining a wide range of issues including disclosure and transparency, financial reporting and accounting, and investor protection and education.

The SEC issued a comprehensive report in July 2012 that includes recommendations to help improve the structure of the $3.7 trillion municipal securities market and enhance the disclosures provided to investors. The recommendations address concerns raised by market participants and others in public field hearings and meetings as well as the public comment process during the agency's review, which was initiated by SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro in mid-2010 and led by SEC Commissioner Elisse Walter.

Report on the Municipal Securities Market

Protecting investors in the municipal securities market is a core function of the Commission, and the SEC staff remains dedicated to gathering further information about the market to help implement these recommendations to improve the state of the municipal securities market and help investors.

Questions * Comments

Muni Market Then & Now

  • In 1945, there was less than $20 billion of municipal debt outstanding.
  • In 1960, there was $66 billion of municipal debt outstanding.
  • In 1981, there was $361 billion of municipal debt outstanding.
  • Today, investors hold approximately $3.7 trillion of municipal debt.
Commissioner Elisse B. Walter

"The report brings into clear focus the current state of the municipal securities market and recommends potential action to address issues raised by investors, issuers, and other market participants. I look forward to moving forward with the efforts articulated in our report to further strengthen and enhance this vital market."

—Commissioner Elisse B. Walter
July 31, 2012

Muni Info

Information for Investors

Other Information

Muni Rulemaking

Muni Enforcement

Field Hearings



Modified: 07/11/2019