Measuring money... faster, cheaper, cleaner

Money market mutual fund assets retook the $2.7 trillion level for the first time since Jan. 11, 2012, and moved to their highest level since June 15, 2011, the week before concerns over European holdings caused large outflows. The ICI's latest weekly "Money Market Mutual Fund Assets" report says, "Total money market mutual fund assets increased by $37.78 billion to $2.705 trillion for the week ended Wednesday, January 2, the Investment Company Institute reported today. Taxable government funds increased by $27.75 billion, taxable non-government funds increased by $3.72 billion, and tax-exempt funds increased by $6.32 billion." Since Oct. 31, money fund assets have increased by $158.2 billion, or 6.2%, rising 7 out of the past 9 weeks.

No doubt the expiration of the TAG, or Transaction Account Guaranty, program, which provided unlimited FDIC insurance for noninterest bearing transaction accounts, on Dec. 31, 2012, has fueled the rebound in money fund assets. Government Institutional (including Treasury Inst) money funds accounted for the lion's share of the gains in the latest week, rising $25.0 billion. Money funds two week asset gain of $68.1 billion represents the largest two-week gain since Jan. 14, 2009. In the 52 weeks through Jan. 2, 2013, money fund assets have increased by $12 billion, or 0.4%. (Assets had been showing declines for almost all of 2012, but the past two weeks will likely push 2012's totals into the positive column.)

ICI's report explains, "Assets of retail money market funds increased by $13.89 billion to $943.12 billion. Taxable government money market fund assets in the retail category increased by $2.76 billion to $200.15 billion, taxable non-government money market fund assets increased by $7.90 billion to $539.12 billion, and tax-exempt fund assets increased by $3.24 billion to $203.86 billion.... Assets of institutional money market funds increased by $23.89 billion to $1.762 trillion. Among institutional funds, taxable government money market fund assets increased by $24.99 billion to $727.06 billion, taxable non-government money market fund assets decreased by $4.18 billion to $947.21 billion, and tax-exempt fund assets increased by $3.08 billion to $87.24 billion."

Crane Data's Money Fund Intelligence Daily, which is delivered to subscribers each day at 8am with the prior day's assets and yields on over 1,000 money market funds, shows assets rising by $44.4 billion over the past week (through 1/2/13). We show Government Institutional (excluding Treasury funds) funds rising by $19.1 billion, Treasury Institutional money funds rising by $10.0 billion, and Prime Institutional funds falling by $4.0 billion. Surprisingly, Retail (taxable) money funds also showed a strong $13.9 billion increase, belying the suspicion that this is all "TAG" money moving into MMFs.

The 20 largest gainers among money funds on the week include: Goldman Sachs FS Govt (FOAXX, $38.3 billion, up $2.54 billion), Dreyfus Govt Cash Mgmt Instit (DGCXX, $17.3B, +2.45B), BlackRock Lq TempFund (TMPXX, $56.0B, +1.9B), Fidelity Instit MM: Govt Port I (FIGXX, $27.9B, +$1.8B), Northern Trust Treasury Money Mkt (NITXX, $11.5B, +$1.79B), BlackRock Lq FedFund Inst (TFDXX, $14.9B, +$1.68B), JPMorgan US Govt MM Capital (OGVXX, $27.8B, +$1.64B), Dreyfus Treas Prime Cash Mg (DIRXX, $23.9B, $1.58B), Federated Treasury Oblig (TOCXX, $24.8B, +$1.41B), Fidelity Cash Reserves (FDRXX, $118.3B, +$1.38B), Vanguard Prime MMF (VMMXX, $96.9B, +$1.250B), HSBC Inv US Govt Money Mkt (RGYXX, $3.3B, +$1.19B), Federated Government Obl (GOCXX, $32.8B, +$1.1B), Morgan Stanley Inst Liq Govt (MVRXX, $15.7B, +$1.07B), State Street Inst Liquid Res Inst (SSIXX, $25.86B, +$1.04B), Goldman Sachs FS Prm Ob (FBAXX, $19.9B, +$1.03B), Goldman Sachs FS Fed (FVAXX, $12.2B, +$1.03B), JPMorgan 100% US Trs MM (CJTXX, $9.4B, +$1.0B), Western Asset US Treas Res (CIIXX, $10.7B, +$1.00B), and JPMorgan 100% US Trs MM (JTSXX, $9.02B, +$957M).

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