May 2022

April and May have been busy months for NABL. In April some of NABL’s long-time members and many of its newer members converged at The Essentials conference in Denver, where members of all ages learned a lot from each other and also had the opportunity to introduce ourselves and NABL to our newest law school scholarship recipients. 
It being the 60th anniversary of the first James Bond movie this year, in his separate April City Week remarks entitled “The Name’s Bond,” SEC Chair Gary Gensler analogized the U.S. fixed income market and the Bond movies, underscoring the importance of both the corporate and municipal bond markets and his focus on strengthening market transparency and enhancing financial resiliency, while simultaneously admitting the fixed income markets might not be the most “cinematic” part of the financial system. Au contraire we say from Denver, at least the muni market’s lawyers are looking good!
In May the NABL Board reinstituted its historically annual pilgrimage to Washington D.C. to meet with legislators, staffers and regulators, advocating NABL’s positions and priorities. If you are not familiar with it, I recommend you (a) pull up our 2022 Advocacy Primer, and (b) contact the Governmental Affairs Committee to get involved. For me, it always feels good to do my small part to get our message heard. I am sure you will feel the same.
In March of this year, NABL submitted comments to the MSRB in response to MSRB RFI 2021-17 relating to ESG practices. During the Board’s May Washington D.C. visit, we were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to review our comment letter with MSRB personnel. While our organizations’ perspectives may not be identical, it is clear we will all be evaluating for some time how ESG practices do and do not impact the muni market, and NABL is encouraged that we had the opportunity to open a dialogue with the MSRB about the subject. For more information on these and other current public finance developments, tap the NABL and NABL U resources available on the website, and NABL will continue to populate it with relevant information as market conversations evolve.
It has been a productive spring. Now go have a great summer!

Ann D. Fillingham 
NABL President