Measuring money... faster, cheaper, cleaner

ICI's weekly "Money Market Mutual Fund Assets" says, "Total money market mutual fund assets increased by $11.50 billion to $2.716 trillion for the week ended Wednesday, January 9, the Investment Company Institute reported today. Taxable government funds increased by $2.49 billion, taxable non-government funds increased by $8.30 billion, and tax-exempt funds increased by $710 million." Money fund assets rose for the third straight week and for the 8th time in the past 10 weeks. Since Oct. 31, 2012, MMF assets have increased by $169.8 billion, or 6.7%. They broke back above the $2.7 trillion level last week for the first time since June 15, 2011. While most attribute the heavy inflows to the expiration of TAG, the transaction account guaranty program that offered unlimited FDIC insurance, it's interesting to note that flows have been heavy in both retail and institutional funds. Since Oct. 31, Institutional money funds have increased by $114 billion, or 6.9%, while Retail money funds have increased by $54 billion, or 6.1%. Thus, there likely are other factors at work such as worries over the "Fiscal cliff" or cash stockpiling following Hurricane Sandy.

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