GAO: Municipal Bond Disclosures Could Be Better

The Government Accountability Office (pdf) recently issued a report on municipal bond issuers, finding that disclosures for municipal debt instruments could be improved.

Non-profit hospitals and health systems issue bonds through the municipal markets frequently. Healthcare providers and other non-profit "conduit borrowers" account for roughly 7 percent of municipal securities, while state and local governments account for most of the remaining securities.

However, investors and municipal market participants have said there have been many issues with issuer disclosures. For example, issuers do not always provide all financial information, event notices or other pertinent information.

Overall, most experts and respondent groups included in the GAO's report, which was required by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, did not advocate changes to the exemption for non-profit conduit borrowers. They suggested disclosure could be improved by further enhancing and promoting the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board's Electronic Municipal Market Access system, which is a central repository for municipal bond information.

More Articles on Municipal Bond Markets and Hospitals:

How Does the Libor Scandal Affect Hospitals?

Libor Scandal Part 2: Was Your Hospital a Victim?

Should Hospitals Start Disclosing Bank Loans on EMMA?

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