SEC help sought on auctions

The trade association representing broker-dealers has contacted the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to seek help restoring confidence in the troubled auction-rate securities (ARS) market.

The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (Sifma) revealed it has been in discussions with the SEC over possible means to coax broker-dealers back to the ARS market following their recent withdrawal - a shift that has led to unprecedented numbers of failed auctions in recent weeks.

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