While Crane Data is busy preparing for its second annual Money Fund University, a "basic training" conference for money market professionals January 19-20 at the Boston Hyatt, we're also busy preparing for our 4th annual Crane's Money Fund Symposium. Mark your calendars for our 2012 Money Fund Symposium, which will be June 20-22, 2012, at The Westin Convention Center Pittsburgh. Our Symposium in Philadelphia last summer attracted almost 400 speakers, sponsors, and attendees, and we expect our 4th annual money fund conference to be even bigger and better. Our 2012 keynote speakers include: Chris Donahue, CEO & Chairman of Federated Investors and Karen Dunn Kelley, CEO of Invesco Worldwide Fixed Income. (See the full preliminary agenda here.) Crane's Money Fund Symposium offers money market portfolio managers, investors, issuers, and service providers a concentrated and affordable educational experience, as well as an excellent and informal networking venue. Registration for Crane's Money Fund Symposium 2012 will (again) be $750; exhibit space is $3,000; and sponsorship opportunities are $4.5K, $6K, $7.5K, and $10K. Our mission continues to be to deliver a better and less expensive conference alternative to money market fund professionals and investors. We look forward to seeing you in Pittsburgh!
MarketWatch writes "Money market funds swell as investors dump gold". It says, "One explanation for gold's nearly 5% dive on Wednesday is that money managers are cashing out of gold and shifting into money-market funds, where yields are zilch and performance is flat, but the chances of getting taken to the cleaners are slim.... Does any of this explanation bear out with asset levels in money market funds? In fact it does. Research firm iMoneyNet counts six straight weeks of gains in total money fund assets, stretching back to Nov 8. In total, these funds have gained $85 billion, adding $14.1 billion in the week ended Dec. 13 and an outsized $31.9 billion in the week ended Nov. 8. Research firm Crane Data, for its part, says money fund assets have increased for five weeks in a row -- and this likely will be week six." The piece quotes Crane Data publisher Peter Crane, "Any inflow is above average these days." It adds, "Crane Data's daily money fund assets have increased $71 billion, or 2.9%, since Oct. 31, though they're still down 4.7% year-to-date."
In just over a month, we will host our second annual Crane's Money Fund University at The Hyatt Regency Boston, Jan. 19-20, 2012. Money Fund University was designed to offer attendees an affordable and comprehensive two day, "basic training" course on money market mutual funds, educating attendees on the history of money funds, interest rates, Rule 2a-7, ratings, rankings, money market instruments such as commercial paper and repo, and portfolio construction and credit analysis. With our Boston, we will expand the focus on regulations, adding a second session on recent Money Market Fund Reforms. Please note that this Friday (12/16) is the last day that our discounted hotel rate is available.
Day One of the 2012 MFU agenda includes: Welcome to Money Fund University, History & Current State of Money Market Mutual Funds with Peter Crane, President & Publisher, Crane Data and Sean Collins, Sr. Economist, Investment Company Institute; Interest Rate Basics & Money Fund Math with Brian Smedley, U.S. Rates, Bank of America Merrill Lynch; The Federal Reserve & Money Markets with Joseph Abate, Director F-I Strategy, Barclays Capital and Michael Cloherty, Head of Rates Strategy, RBC Capital Markets; Money Fund Regulations: 2a-7 Basics & History with John Hunt, Partner, McLaughlin & Hunt LLP and Joan Swirsky, Of Counsel, Stradley Ronan; Regulations II: Interpretations & Recent Changes with Stephen Keen, Partner, Reed Smith and Joan Swirsky; and, Operations: Fund Admin & The Board's Role with Brian Curran, Vice President, BNY Mellon and Susan Wyderko, Exec. Director, Mutual Fund Directors Forum.
Day Two's agenda includes: Instruments of the Money Markets Intro with Alex Roever, Managing Director, J.P. Morgan Securities; Instruments: Repurchase Agreements with Ellie Boldenow, Executive Director, J.P. Morgan Securities; Instruments: Treasuries & Govt Agencies with Sue Hill, Senior Portfolio Manager, Federated Investors and Sal Ursida, Partner, G.X. Clarke & Co.; Instruments: Commercial Paper & ABCP with Rob Crowe and Jean-Luc Sinniger of Citi Global Markets; Instruments: CDs, TDs & Bank Debt with Garret Sloan, F-I Strategist, Wells Fargo Securities and Dave Lummis, President, J.M. Lummis & Co.; Instruments of the Money Markets: Tax-Exempt Securities, VRDNs, TOBs & Muni Bonds with James Randazzo, Senior PM, Wells Capital Management and Ben Schuler, Structured Muni Analyst, Fidelity Investments; Portfolio Management Strategies & Basics with Jeff St. Peters, Portfolio Manager, SSgA and Michael Markowitz, MD & Head STFI, Guggenheim Partners; Credit Analysis & Approved Lists with Bob Piepenburg, Director/Credit Analyst, BofA Global Capital and Jacob Weinstein, Sr. Portfolio Analyst, Fidelity; and, Ratings, Monitoring & Risk with Joel Friedman, Senior Director, Standard & Poor's Viktoria Baklanova, Senior Director, Fitch Ratings and Crane Data's Peter Crane.
New portfolio managers, analysts, investors, issuers, service providers, and anyone interested in expanding their knowledge of "cash" investing should benefit from our comprehensive program. Even experienced professionals should enjoy a refresher course and the opportunity to interact with peers in an informal setting. Attendee registration for Crane's Money Fund University is $500. Exhibit space is $2,000 and sponsorship opportunities are $3K, $4.5K, and $5K. A small block of rooms have been reserved at the Hyatt Regency Boston. The conference negotiated rate of $189 plus tax (14.45% currently) is available through December, 16th.
We'd like to thank our current sponsors -- Fitch Ratings, G.X. Clarke & Co., Fidelity Investments, Invesco, Investortools, and Standard & Poor's -- for their support, and we look forward to seeing you in Boston next month. E-mail Pete for the latest brochure or visit http://www.moneyfunduniversity.com to register or for more details.
Crane Data has also published the preliminary agenda and is accepting registrations for its largest Money Fund Symposium conference, which will be held June 20-22, 2012, at the Westin in Pittsburgh, Pa.. (See http://www.moneyfundsymposium.com for details.) Finally, we also plan on joining forces with German conference producer IQPC to support the launch of European Money Fund Summit, an event focusing on money fund regulations, trends and standards in Europe tentatively scheduled for Nov. 14-16, 2012, in Frankfurt, Germany. Watch for more details in coming months.
On Friday, the Investment Company Institute posted "Data Update: Money Market Funds and the Eurozone Debt Crisis". The brief piece, produced by Economists Sean Collins and Chris Plantier, says, "In October, we discussed how portfolio managers of U.S. prime money market funds have addressed the ongoing debt crisis in the eurozone. Here is a look at the latest monthly data on these funds' holdings by home country of issuer. We will revisit the topic in mid-December with updated analysis once November figures become available." The table and chart, produced by ICI (using Crane Data's Money Fund Portfolio Holdings), shows U.S. Prime Money Market Funds' Holdings of Eurozone Issuers declining from 31.1% in May to 28.8% in June, 26.6% in July, 23.4% in August, 18.9% in September, and 17.4% in October. France declines from 15.7% to 7.3% during this period.
Barron's writes "How Much Risk Is Worth Higher Yields? Watch Those ‘Floating’ NAVs". It says, "Allowing money markets to float their net asset values rather than forcing them to maintain a steadier state would likely spark a run on such funds, asserts David Hirschmann, CEO of the Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness. A floating NAV -- still being considered by regulators -- is a "blunt instrument" to solve the possibility of a fund "breaking the buck," he told Dow Jones Newswires.... His message to regulators: define the problem clearly first, decide whether the changes already made have worked and proceed with caution. If he's right that investors won't see much value in money markets if NAVs are allowed to float, then ultra-short bond funds like the Pimco Enhanced Short Maturity Strategy ETF (MINT) would likely be a prime beneficiary. As noted earlier, Legg Mason has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to launch its first exchange-traded fund. Its mandate appears to closely resemble that of MINT's. Still, some analysts are preaching restraint. Anything yielding more than 1% under current conditions is taking oversized risks, asserts Peter Crane, whose Crane Data research firm specializes in tracking money markets." Crane says, "The search for more income at the shorter-end of the (yield) curve tends to attract the wrong type of crowd at this stage in the cycle. Some short-term bond funds could be a wreck waiting to happen." See also, WSJ's "Bank-Run Risk in the Shadows".