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Crane's 5th Annual Money Fund University, a two-day crash course in money market mutual funds, attracted nearly 100 attendees to the Stamford Marriott in Stamford, Conn., late last week. Our Day 1 recap features coverage of the History of Money Funds, the Federal Reserve, Interest Rates and Money Fund Math, and Fund Ratings, as well as sessions explaining the various Instruments of the Money Markets (including Repurchase Agreements, Commercial Paper, CDs, Tax-Exempt/VRDNs, CDs, Treasurys, and Time Deposits). Day 2, which we will report on in coming days (and in our February MFI), focused exclusively on Money Fund Regulations. "A day and a half is really not enough time to learn about a space as big as the money fund sector, but we're going to give you a crash course and try," said Peter Crane, President, Crane Data, as well as host and MC for the event. He opened the conference leading a session called "History and Current State of Money Funds. (Note: Crane Data's next conference will be our flagship Money Fund Symposium, June 24-26 in Minneapolis. The next European Money Fund Symposium will be Sept. 17-18 in Dublin and our next MF University will be Jan. 21-22, 2016, in Boston.)

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Below, we excerpt from the January issue of our new Bond Fund Intelligence publication, which features the article, "Short Now Big at PIMCO: Talking w/Schneider & Reisz.... This month, we sat down with Jerome Schneider, MD & Head of the Short-Term and Funding Desk, and Paul Reisz, Executive V.P. and Product Manager for Money Market, Enhanced Cash and Income Strategies, at PIMCO. While Total Return has made a lot of headlines over the past year, it's the short-term bond funds and ETFs at PIMCO that could generate a lot of buzz in 2015. (Crane Data recently launched Bond Fund Intelligence to track the bond fund marketplace with a focus on the ultra-short segment -- see our Dec. 23 News "Crane Data Launches Bond Fund Intelligence, Focus on Ultra-Shorts". Contact us if you'd like to see this first "live" issue.)

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Federated Investors released its latest quarterly earnings report and hosted its latest earnings call late last week. As usual, both contained a wealth of information about money market funds and the money fund business in general. The earnings release says, "Federated's money market assets were $258.8 billion at Dec. 31, 2014, down $17.2 billion or 6 percent from $276.0 billion at Dec. 31, 2013 and up $13.3 billion or 5 percent from $245.5 billion at Sept. 30, 2014. Money market mutual fund assets were $225.5 billion at Dec. 31, 2014, down $14.5 billion or 6 percent from $240.0 billion at Dec. 31, 2013 and up $10.3 billion or 5 percent from $215.2 billion at Sept. 30, 2014." (Note: A transcript of the Federated earnings call is also available on the website Seeking Alpha.)

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Last Friday, we ran the first part of our interview with J.P. Morgan Asset Management's John Donohue, the newly-appointed CEO of Investment Management Americas and Global Head of Liquidity, and Andrew Linton, Global Head of Liquidity Product Development. (If you missed it, read it here.) In Part 2 of the interview, which originally appeared in our January issue of Money Fund Intelligence, the two talk about sweep accounts, the impact on liquidity, and other matters related to gates and fees. We reprint the second half of our article below. (Note: Thanks to those who attended our 5th annual Money Fund University in Stamford Thursday and Friday! The conference binder is available to Crane Data subscribers at the bottom of our "Content" center, and the Powerpoints will be available early next week.)

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Although money market fund reforms don't kick in until October 2016, Goldman Sachs Asset Management announced this week that it intends to comply with the new rules for government money market funds now, nearly two years early. Goldman, the 3rd largest MMF manager in the world with $246.6B in global MMF assets (and 8th largest in the US), has already made changes to four of its MMFs to comply with the reforms. Their press release explains, "Though compliance with the new government money market fund definition is not required until October 2016, GSAM will comply with the new definition and its requirements early in response to investor demand to help ease the transition to new money market fund rules."

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The Investment Company Institute released its "Money Market Fund Holdings" summary report for December, which tracks the aggregate daily and weekly liquid assets, regional exposure, and maturities (WAM and WAL) for Prime and Government money market funds (as of Dec. 31, 2014). ICI's "Prime and Government Money Market Funds' Daily and Weekly Liquid Assets" table shows Prime Money Market Funds' Daily liquid assets at 21.9% as of December 31, 2014, down from 25.8% on Nov. 30. "Daily liquid assets" were made up of: "All securities maturing within 1 day," which totaled 17.0% (vs. 22.2% last month), and "Other treasury securities," which added 4.9% (down from 3.6% last month). Prime funds' "Weekly liquid assets" totaled 39.9% (vs. 37.8% last month), which was made up of "All securities maturing within 5 days" (32.3% vs. 32.9% in November), Other treasury securities (4.9% vs. 3.4% in November), and Other agency securities (2.8% vs. 1.5% a month ago). (See also our previous Money Fund Portfolio Holdings story, Crane Data's Jan. 13 News, "January MMF Portfolio Holdings Show Spike in Fed Repo, Treasuries.")

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ICI Global, the international arm of the Investment Company Institute, released its 2014 Annual Report recently, which includes brief comments on the state of money market fund regulations in Europe, as well as U.S. reforms. ICI Global MD Dan Waters says in the introduction, "Helping regulators and member firms find common ground on issues important to funds is at the heart of ICI Global's work. Throughout the year, ICI Global met with policymakers to help them better understand the nature of funds and why some proposed regulations -- such as the potential designation of funds as global systemically important funds, or the European Union's proposed 3 percent capital buffer on certain money market funds -- would inadvertently harm funds and their investors." (Note: The Federal Reserve Bank of New York also released an "Expanded Reverse Repo Counterparties List late Friday, which included the Additions of several banks, GSEs and money fund managers.)

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In the latest issue of our flagship Money Fund Intelligence, we profile J.P. Morgan Asset Management's John Donohue, the newly-appointed CEO of Investment Management Americas and Global Head of Liquidity, and Andrew Linton, Global Head of Liquidity Product Development. Below, we reprint part of the Q&A, in which they discuss the implementation of the SEC's recently adopted money fund reforms, particularly issues involving the "gates and fees" provisions. (Look for more of the interview in coming days, or see Crane Data's January Money Fund Intelligence.)

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Crane Data published its latest Money Fund Intelligence Family & Global Rankings earlier this week, which rank the asset totals and market share of managers of money market mutual funds in the U.S. and globally. The January edition, with data as of Dec. 31, 2014, shows asset increases for a majority of money fund complexes in the latest month, with the largest players leading the way. Gains have also been solid over the past three months. Assets jumped by $86.2 billon, or 3.3%, in December; over the last 3 months, assets are up $115.4 billion, or 4.6%. For 2014, total assets inched up $25.7 billion, or 1.0%. Below, we review the latest market share changes and figures. These "Family" rankings are available to our Money Fund Wisdom subscribers. (Note: We also wanted to give readers a final reminder about next week's Crane's Money Fund University, which will take place Jan. 22-23 in Stamford, Conn. Registrations are still being accepted for our "basic training" event (see the agenda here), and we hope to see some of you in Stamford next week!)

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Where will bank deposit assets flow given the regulatory challenges banks are facing? That is the question Wells Fargo Securities' short-term market strategist Garret Sloan explores in a special commentary entitled, "It's Not You, It's Me: Finding Investment Alternatives for Bank Deposit Investors." Sloan asks, "Why are banks so flush with deposits?" He explains, "In a somewhat perverse way, since the financial crisis of 2008 and the failure of a number of global banks, bank deposits have grown on an outright basis, and in terms of the proportional share of institutional cash investments. Deposit growth can be attributed to four primary drivers: Lack of business reinvestment has resulted in cash accumulation; Unlimited FDIC insurance encouraged companies to park cash; Attractive ECR relative to money market rates; and, Government support (TARP) and regulatory reform has reduced perceived bank risk." (Note: Bank deposits now have over $7.5 trillion in assets, compared to about $2.7 trillion in MMFs. Since the financial crisis in 2008, bank deposits have grown by over $3 trillion, while MMF assets have declined by about $1 trillion.)

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Crane Data released its January Money Fund Portfolio Holdings yesterday, and our latest collection of taxable money market securities, with data as of Dec. 31, 2014, shows a jump in Repo, Treasuries, and Agencies, and drops in Other (Time Deposits), Commercial Paper, and CDs. Money market securities held by Taxable U.S. money funds overall (those tracked by Crane Data) increased by $68.3 billion in December to $2.519 trillion, after rising $11.5 billion in November, $4.7 billion in October, $42.4 billion in September, and $28.2 billion in August. With a huge increase in Fed repo at year-end, Repo became the largest portfolio segment among taxable money market funds, once again moving ahead of CDs. Treasuries ranked as the third largest segment, followed by Agencies, which moved ahead of CP. These were followed by Other (Time Deposits), then VRDNs. Money funds' European-affiliated holdings fell precipitously to 20.0%, from 28.1% the previous month, while the Americas increased its market share to 67.9%. Below, we review our latest Money Fund Portfolio Holdings statistics.

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As we mentioned Thursday when we released the January issue of our flagship Money Fund Intelligence newsletter, each year Crane Data recognizes the top-performing money funds, ranked by total returns, for calendar year 2014, as well as the top-ranked funds for the past 5‐year and past 10-year periods. We present the following funds with our annual Money Fund Intelligence Awards. These include the No. 1-ranked funds based on 1-year, 5-year and 10-year returns, through Dec. 31, 2014, in each of our major fund categories -- Prime Institutional, Government Institutional, Treasury Institutional, Prime Retail, Government Retail, Treasury Retail and Tax‐Exempt. Below, we reprint the MFI article announcing the winners. (We mentioned the 1-year winners on the website Thursday -- see our Jan. 8 News "Dec. MFI Features Awards, JPM's Donohue & Linton; Fed Shelves CSAs". We repeat them here, but we also review the 5-year and 10-year top-performers below.)

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