It’s enough to make your head spin, what with all the dynamic information, numbers and legislative actions swarming the news these days. The financial markets are in worse turmoil than most of our generation has witnessed before, with words like “bailout” and “crisis” dominating the financial news headlines.

Along with investment community and the general public, professionals involved in state and local government, municipal bonds, public finance, and economic development are closely watching the fast developing activity in the marketplace.

The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) represents over 650 firms in the financial industry, and has a stated commitment to “enhancing the public’s trust and confidence in the markets” – a lofty goal in today’s economic environment. If information is power, then by launching its “Market News Portal” last week, the SIFMA has enhanced our collective arsenal.

In response to the Lehman bankruptcy and other recent developments in the financial markets, SIFMA put together this news “gateway,” which serves as a centralized resource for bulletins, statements, articles and press releases. Sources include government and regulatory agencies, industry groups, the financial exchanges, as well as media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and CNN.

News is arranged by date, beginning on September 18, but visitors can click on a firm name, agency or topic to view specific entries.

SIFMA was formed in 2006 as a result of a merger between The Bond Market Association and the Securities Industry Association.

How long will SIFMA maintain the news portal? Travis Larson, who works in its D.C. office, tells us: “as long as we see the need for it.” Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a short-lived run – or, at the very least, a change in the tone of its contents.