Investor protection with municipal bonds is so spotty that there is potential for much mischief.
Disclosure, that bedrock of fair securities markets, is the heart of the problem facing municipal investors. Municipal issuers often don't file the most basic reports outlining their operating results or material changes in their financial conditions.
Even though hospitals, cities and states that borrow money are required by their bond covenants to make such filings, nondisclosure among the nearly 60,000 issuers is common.
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