EMMA is growing up

February 10, 2014

Welcome to the new, user-friendly version of EMMA, muniland’s free central repository of bond documents, event disclosures, trade data and market statistics. It’s a treasure trove of muniland’s core information and it has been redesigned to be even easier to use and more intuitive (Disclosure: I participated in several rounds of user testing as the new EMMA design was scoped).

Let’s drill down a little. The third choice on the left bar of the homepage says “Browse municipal securities information by issuer.” Click it and you will see this map:

This presents issuers by state. Choose a smaller, less populated state and click through (it will be easier to see the architecture without getting bogged down in a complex issuer like New York or California). I choose Massachusetts because it is an outstanding example of public disclosure related to the state’s debt issuance. Massachusetts’ home page looks like this (below). Documents and trade data for the entire state is aggregated.

The yellow highlighted box in the screenshot above shows how you can parse results for a specific type of municipal entity within Massachusetts. For example, if you just want to see “county issuers,” tick that box and the screen will refresh. Within “county issuers” you use the search box to drill down further to find a specific county.

The home page for a specific issuer looks like this (below). In the tab bar highlighted in the yellow box you can see information aggregated, including bond documents, trade data, pre-sale documents (the offering statement for a new issue yet to be brought to market) and event disclosures including rating changes, bond calls and default notices.

The site has also improved access to market statistics that are compiled on a daily basis by the MSRB. The fourth left tab on the homepage says “Explore municipal market trends and data” and will allow you to see a constantly updated menu of market statistics.

Every day the most active securities for the previous day will be posted on the homepage (see below). MSRB’s Justin Pica, the godfather of EMMA, hopes to move toward real-time reporting on the most active daily securities over time.

Grown up EMMA is growing fast. It’s easy to imagine a server farm humming with muniland’s most vital data. Kudos to Justin Pica and everyone involved in EMMA 2.0. It is a fantastic information hub for one of America’s most important securities markets.

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