Measuring money... faster, cheaper, cleaner

ICI's latest "Money Market Mutual Fund Assets" shows the fifth straight week of asset declines for money funds. It says, "Total money market mutual fund assets decreased by $12.32 billion to $2.679 trillion for the week ended Wednesday, February 13, the Investment Company Institute reported today. Taxable government funds increased by $600 million, taxable non-government funds decreased by $9.93 billion, and tax-exempt funds decreased by $2.99 billion." ICI also issued a "Viewpoint, entitled, "ICI Responds to Letter on Money Market Funds from Federal Reserve Bank Presidents," which says, "Today, ICI made the following statement in response to a comment letter on money market fund reforms filed with the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) by the presidents of the 12 regional Federal Reserve banks. We welcome the Federal Reserve Bank presidents' recognition that different types of money market funds have distinct risk profiles and had different investor redemption experiences during the financial crisis. It is abundantly clear that there is no case for further, fundamental changes in Treasury, government, or tax-exempt money market funds. ICI firmly believes that any money market fund issues should be considered and directed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which has direct authority over mutual funds, including money market funds. For the reasons detailed in ICI's comment letter to FSOC, we believe a temporary redemption gate and liquidity fee for prime money market funds is the only proposal under discussion that would stop redemptions during extreme market stress. FSOC's other proposals would not accomplish regulators' stated goals and would harm investors and the economy." Finally, in other news, a press release entitled, "FEI Committee Submits Comments to Financial Stability Oversight Council on Proposed Money Market Fund Reform" says, "Financial Executives International (FEI), the association of choice for CFOs and other senior-level finance executives, today announced that its Committee on Corporate Treasury has filed a comment letter with the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) on the "Proposed Recommendations Regarding Money Market Mutual Fund Reform." FEI advocates the need to preserve the structure of money market mutual funds (MMF) and has concerns with the three proposed reform options, which would require funds either to float their value (Floating NAV), create a capital buffer with certain investor redemption delays (NAV Buffer and Minimum Balance at Risk), or implement a capital buffer combined with other measures (NAV Buffer and Other Measures). The comment letter states the committee's continued belief that the reform options are unnecessary and may have a dampening effect on the money market industry and then a collateral effect on corporate treasurers and their companies."

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