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ICI's latest "Money Market Fund Assets" report shows overall money fund assets rising for the 7th week in a row, increasing by $101 billion since 10/19 and hitting their highest level since the first week in August. Total assets appear intent on erasing their modest year-to-date deficit; they're now down just $23 billion, or 0.8%. MMF assets have seen year-end growth spurts in each of the past 5 years, so it appears likely we'll end the year with assets up slightly for the 5th year in a row. Prime money market fund assets inched higher again in the latest week, their 4th increase in the past five weeks. Prime MMFs began November with their first increase since July 13 and have risen $3.8 billion since 11/2. Tax Exempt MMFs also rose again for the 7th week out of the past eight. We review the latest statistics, and also cover testimony from Treasury Strategies' Tony Carfang to a House Subcommittee below. (Note: Crane Data also posted the latest versions of our "Funds" and "Portfolio Holdings" data files from the SEC's Form N-MFP <b:>`_ data series here. Our regular December Money Fund Portfolio Holdings will also be released later today.)

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Crane Data's latest Money Fund Market Share rankings show modest asset increases for the majority of U.S. money fund complexes in November, as total assets increased by $33.0 billion, or 1.2%. Overall assets inched lower, falling $2.8 billion, or -0.1%, over the past 3 months. Over the past 12 months through Nov. 30, they've increased by $8.2 billion, or 0.3%. The biggest gainers in November were Fidelity, whose MMFs rose by $18.5 billion, or 4.2%, and Goldman Sachs, whose MMFs rose by $12.6 billion, or 7.0%. Morgan Stanley, Vanguard, JPMorgan, Western and Schwab also saw assets increase, rising by $8.5 billion, $6.2B, $5.2B, $1.9B and $1.8B, respectively. The biggest declines were seen by BlackRock, SSgA, Invesco and Wells Fargo. (Our domestic U.S. "Family" rankings are available in our MFI XLS product, our global rankings are available in our MFI International product, and the combined "Family & Global Rankings" are available to Money Fund Wisdom subscribers.) We review these below, and we also look at money fund yields the past month, which were up for Taxable funds but down for Tax Exempts.

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The December issue of our flagship Money Fund Intelligence newsletter, which was sent to subscribers Wednesday morning, features the articles: "Prime, Tax-Ex Assets Bottom; Rising Rates Returning Cash?" which reviews the latest yields, flow data and fund changes; "SSGA's Butler & McCusker on Cash Investing Post Reform," which profiles Yeng Felipe Butler and Pia McCusker on State Street's latest thinking; and "European Money Fund Regs Passed, But Details Murky," which looks at the EU's new money fund reforms. We have updated our Money Fund Wisdom database query system with Nov. 30, 2016, performance statistics, and also sent out our MFI XLS spreadsheet Wednesday a.m. (MFI, MFI XLS and our Crane Index products are all available to subscribers via our Content center.) Our December Money Fund Portfolio Holdings are scheduled to ship Friday, Dec. 9, and our Dec. Bond Fund Intelligence is scheduled to go out Wednesday, Dec. 14.

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A publication entitled, "2017 Outlook: Money Market Funds" was put out by Fitch Ratings yesterday, which reviews the impact of both U.S. and European regulatory changes on money funds in the coming year. The report says, "Following a tumultuous two-year implementation period, money fund reform in the US is now in place. More than USD1trn has shifted from prime to government money funds, but asset levels have now stabilised and are expected to reverse to a degree over 2017. As fund managers and investors begin to feel more comfortable with the new equilibrium, funds are beginning to revert to a more normal portfolio strategy." We excerpt from Fitch's update below, and also review a BlackRock paper on new European money fund reforms.

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Fitch Ratings published an update entitled, "Repo Use Declines in Prime European Money Funds," which reviews holdings of repurchase agreements in "offshore" money market funds denominated in US dollar, euro and pound sterling. It explains, "Repurchase agreement exposures in European 'AAAmmf' rated prime money market funds (MMFs) declined to 4% in September 2016 from 7% two years earlier. Fitch Ratings attributes this decline to a reduction in the availability of high-quality collateral and regulation affecting banks' ability and willingness to engage in short-dated repo.... Temporary declines in money funds use of repo at month-end, quarter-end and year-end are linked to reduced availability of high-quality collateral at these times as banks use this collateral for other regulatory purposes." We review Fitch's latest update, and also excerpt from updates on T-bill supply from Citi and BofA and the latest monthly from Federated.

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ICI's latest "Money Market Fund Assets" report shows that Prime money market funds' 3-week recovery came to an end in the latest week, with a decline of $1.4 billion. Prime MMFs began November with their first increase since July 13 and have risen $2.9 billion since 11/2. (Crane Data's Money Fund Intelligence Daily shows Prime MMFs down by $7.5 for the month of November though.) Tax Exempt MMFs also dipped after rising for 6 weeks in a row. However, overall assets, which broke back above $2.7 trillion for the first time since August last week, continued their push higher in the latest week. Year-to-date they're down $40 billion, or 1.4%. Total MMF assets, which have seen year-end growth spurts in each of the past 5 years, appear to again be embarking on a push to close the remaining deficit before year-end.

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BlackRock announced some changes to its TempCash money market fund in a website posting entitled, "TempCash Investment Strategy Change." They tell us, "Since our implementation of the structural changes required for money market fund reform in October 2016, we have partnered with you to understand the impacts of the new cash investment landscape. In an effort to adapt our product offerings to your needs, we are pleased to announce that the BlackRock Liquidity Funds TempCash (the "Fund") will adopt a new investment strategy, effective February 28, 2017."

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The Investment Company Institute, the trade group for mutual funds, released its most recent monthly "Trends in Mutual Fund Investing" and "Month-End Portfolio Holdings of Taxable Money Funds" yesterday. The former shows both taxable and tax-exempt money fund assets down slightly in October, while the latter confirms earlier reports of a continued surge in Treasury holdings and plunge in Repo and CDs last month. (See our Nov. 10 News, "November Portfolio Holdings: Treasuries Jump; Repo, TDs, CDs Fall.")

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The SEC released its latest "Money Market Fund Statistics" last week. The latest data set shows that assets were down slightly in October, as over $177 billion shifted out of Prime and $148 billion shifted into Government MMFs. Gross yields jumped for Prime MMFs but dropped sharply for Tax Exempt MMFs. The SEC's Division of Investment Management summarizes monthly Form N-MFP data and includes asset totals and averages for yields, liquidity levels, WAMs, WALs, holdings, and other money market fund trends. The Commission's latest statistics show total money market fund assets decreased by $30.0 billion in October to $2.915 trillion. (The SEC's series includes some private and internal funds not reported to ICI, Crane Data or other reporting agencies.) Assets fell $35.2 billion in Sept., $33.7 billion in August, $21.2 billion in July, and $20.7 billion in June. Year-to-date, total assets are down $170.6 billion, or 5.5%, through 10/31.

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Vanguard announced that it will liquidate its $‚Äč400 million Ohio Tax-Exempt Money Market Fund, the latest in a long line of liquidations in the municipal money market space. The Prospectus Supplement filing for Vanguard OH Tax-Exempt MMF, entitled, "Important Changes to Vanguard Ohio Tax-Exempt Money Market Fund," tells us, "On November 17, 2016, the board of trustees for Vanguard Ohio Tax-Exempt Money Market Fund (the Fund) approved a proposal to liquidate and dissolve the Fund on or about February 22, 2017 (the liquidation date). In anticipation of the liquidation and dissolution, the Fund will be closed to new investors after the close of business on November 22, 2016, and will be closed to new investments after the close of business on January 18, 2017." We review this news below, and also excerpt from J.P. Morgan Securities' 2017 Outlook, which discusses the uncertainty surrounding the money markets following their massive 2016 transformation.

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UBS Asset Management writes in a new "Liquidity Perspectives" about "Increasing liquidity: A framework for managing risk in volatile times." The piece says, "The global economy has experienced anemic growth in the aftermath of the financial crisis, which has been partially sustained by an unprecedented level of monetary policy action.... `From a corporate treasurer's perspective, this environment warrants caution and places a premium on maintaining a healthy level of liquidity, not only as a defensive buffer to protect against the unknown, but also to capitalize on opportunities."

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Below, we reprint the lead article from our November BFI, "Touchstone Ultra Short Duration's Weston & Miller".... This month, Bond Fund Intelligence interviews Fort Washington Investment Advisors' Scott Weston, MD & Senior PM, and Brent Miller, Asst. VP & Senior PM. Fort Washington, a subsidiary of Western & Southern Financial Group, is the sub-advisor for several Touchstone funds and the Touchstone Ultra-Short Duration Fixed Income Fund, which was started in 1994. Our interview, which discusses the ultra-short bond fund space, the Fed, and "inside-out" investors, follows.

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