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Money Fund Intelligence

Money Fund Intelligence Sample

Money Fund Intelligence is a must-read for money market mutual fund and cash investment professionals. The monthly PDF contains:

  • Money Market News - Coverage of cash happenings, new products, companies in the news, people, and more.
  • Feature Articles - Stories like "Trading Portals", "Enhanced Cash", and "Brokerages Push Banks".
  • Money Fund Profiles - In-depth interviews with portfolio managers and management teams.
  • Fund Performance/Rankings - Full listings of fund 7-day yields, monthly and longer-term returns (1-, 3-, 5-, and 10-year), assets, expense ratios, and more.
  • Crane Money Fund Indexes - Our benchmark money market averages by fund type, plus Brokerage Sweep and Bank Indexes.

Whether you're comparing a fund to the competition, benchmarking your cash portfolio to the market, looking for an investment, or looking for new product ideas, Money Fund Intelligence is the answer. E-mail us for the latest issue!

Latest Contents (Aug. 1, 2014)

SEC Passes MMF Reforms on Split Vote 1
Chair White's Statement on Reforms 1
Modest Outflows Expected from Reforms 1
Money Mkt News, Benchmarks 1
Brokerage Sweep & Bank Saving 8
People, Calendar, Subscription 8
Top Performing Tables, Indexes 9-12
Fund Performance Listings 13-30
Crane Money Fund Indexes 24

The content page contains archives and delivery settings for all subscriptions.

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Money Fund Intelligence News

Aug 15
 

Crane Data published its latest Money Fund Intelligence Family & Global Rankings yesterday, which ranks the asset totals and market share of managers of money funds in the U.S. and globally. The August edition, with data as of July 31, shows continued moderate asset decreases for the majority of money fund complexes in the latest month, and over the past three months, but assets have been virually flat over the past year. (These "Family" rankings are available to our Money Fund Wisdom subscribers.) Schwab, Northern, Franklin, and BofA were some of the few that showed gains in July, rising by $1.4 billion, $1.4 billion, $1.3 billion, and $1.3 billion respectively, while Goldman Sachs, BofA Funds, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo and SSgA led the increases over the 3 months through July 31, 2014, rising by $6.6B, $4.3B, $2.5B, $1.9B, and $1.8B, respectively. Money fund assets overall decreased by $21.8 billion in July, decreased by $29.5 billion over the last three months, but fell by just $2.4 billion over the past 12 months (according to our Money Fund Intelligence XLS).

Our latest domestic U.S. money fund Family Rankings show that Fidelity Investments remained the largest money fund manager with $404.7 billion, or 16.5% of all assets (down $440M in July, down $3.9B over 3 mos. and down $14.9B over 12 months), followed by JPMorgan's $231.2 billion, or 9.4% (down $7.0B, down $9.2B, and up 2.1B for the past 1-month, 3-months and 12-months, respectively). Federated Investors ranks third with $196.9 billion, or 8.0% of assets (down $5.0B, down $13.7B, and down $23.4B), BlackRock ranks fourth with $181.6 billion, or 7.4% of assets (down $2.7B, down $10.4B, and up $35.4B), and Vanguard ranks fifth with $171.3 billion, or 7.0% (up $495M, down $797M, and up $148M).

The sixth through tenth largest U.S. managers include: Schwab ($159.6B, 6.5%), Dreyfus ($153.4B, or 6.2%), Goldman Sachs ($135.0B, or 5.5%), Wells Fargo ($108.5B, or 4.4%), and Morgan Stanley ($101.4B, or 4.1%). The eleventh through twentieth largest U.S. money fund managers (in order) include: SSgA ($82.0B, or 3.3%), Northern ($75.9B, or 3.1%), Invesco ($59.3B, or 2.4%), BofA ($48.0B, or 2.0%), Western Asset ($40.1B, or 1.6%), UBS ($37.2B, or 1.5%), First American ($36.6B, or 1.5%), Deutsche ($33.1B, or 1.3%), Franklin ($19.7B, or 0.8%), and RBC ($18.7B, or 0.8%). Crane Data currently tracks 74 managers, down one from last month.

Over the past year, BlackRock showed the largest asset increase (up $35.4B, or 24.7%; note that most of this is due to the addition of securities lending shares to our collections), followed by Goldman Sachs (up $6.9B, or 4.9%), and Morgan Stanley (up $6.7B, or 7.2%). Other gainers since July 31, 2013, include: BofA (up $5.9B, or 13.9%), SSgA (up $5.6B, or 7.4%) American Funds (up $4.0B, or 30.0%), and JPMorgan (up $2.1B, or 0.9%). The biggest declines over 12 months include: Federated (down $23.4B, or -10.6%), Fidelity (down $14.9B, or -3.6%), UBS (down $11.6B, or -22.4%), and Deutsche (down $9.0B, or -21.4%). (Note that money fund assets are very volatile month to month.)

When "offshore" money fund assets -- those domiciled in places like Dublin, Luxembourg, and the Cayman Islands -- are included, the top 10 managers match the U.S. list, except for BlackRock moving up to No. 3, Goldman moving up to No. 4, and Western Asset appearing on the list at No. 9. (displacing Wells Fargo from the Top 10). Looking at these largest Global Money Fund Manager Rankings, the combined market share assets of our MFI XLS (domestic U.S.) and our MFI International ("offshore), we show these largest families: Fidelity ($410.7 billion), JPMorgan ($354.3 billion), BlackRock ($297.5 billion), Goldman Sachs ($214.9 billion), and Federated ($206.3 billion). Dreyfus ($178.2B), Vanguard ($171.3B), Schwab ($159.6B), Western ($132.7B), and Morgan Stanley ($120.4B) round out the top 10. These totals include offshore US dollar funds, as well as Euro and Sterling funds converted into US dollar totals.

In other news, our August 2014 MFI and MFI XLS show that both net and gross yields remained at record lows for the month ended July 31, 2014. Our Crane Money Fund Average, which includes all taxable funds covered by Crane Data (currently 841), remained at a record low of 0.01% for both the 7-Day and 30-Day Yield (annualized, net) averages. (The Gross 7-Day Yield was also unchanged at 0.13%.) Our Crane 100 Money Fund Index shows an average yield (7-Day and 30-Day) of 0.02%, also a record low, down from 0.03% a year ago. (The Gross 7- and 30-Day Yields for the Crane 100 remained unchanged at 0.16%.) For the 12 month return through 7/31/14, our Crane MF Average returned a record low of 0.01% and our Crane 100 returned 0.02%.

Our Prime Institutional MF Index yielded 0.02% (7-day), the Crane Govt Inst Index yielded 0.01%, and the Crane Treasury Inst, Treasury Retail, Govt Retail and Prime Retail Indexes all yielded 0.01%. The Crane Tax Exempt MF Index also yielded 0.01%. (The Gross Yields for these indexes were: Prime 0.18%, Govt 0.10%, Treasury 0.06%, and Tax Exempt 0.13% in July.) The Crane 100 MF Index returned on average 0.00% for 1-month, 0.00% for 3-month, 0.01% for YTD, 0.02% for 1-year, 0.04% for 3-years (annualized), 0.06% for 5-year, and 1.62% for 10-years.

In other news, ICI released its latest "Money Market Fund Assets" report, which showed money funds increasing for the second week in a row (up $23.3 billion in 2 weeks). It says, "Total money market fund assets increased by $10.51 billion to $2.58 trillion for the week ended Wednesday, August 13, the Investment Company Institute reported today. Among taxable money market funds, Treasury funds (including agency and repo) increased by $8.15 billion and prime funds increased by $2.93 billion. Tax-exempt money market funds decreased by $570 million." Year-to-date, money fund assets have declined by $141 billion, or 5.2 percent.

The release continues, "Assets of retail money market funds increased by $1.22 billion to $906.60 billion. Among retail funds, Treasury money market fund assets increased by $220 million to $202.88 billion, prime money market fund assets increased by $1.33 billion to $517.03 billion, and tax-exempt fund assets decreased by $340 million to $186.69 billion. Assets of institutional money market funds increased by $9.30 billion to $1.67 trillion. Among institutional funds, Treasury money market fund assets increased by $7.93 billion to $714.58 billion, prime money market fund assets increased by $1.60 billion to $884.46 billion, and tax-exempt fund assets decreased by $240 million to $71.80 billion."

Aug 07
 

The August issue of Crane Data's Money Fund Intelligence was sent out to subscribers on Thursday. (Sorry about the delay; we had some e-mail issues Thursday.) The latest edition of our flagship monthly newsletter features the articles: "SEC Passes MMF Reform on Split Vote: Combo is Coming," which discusses the adoption of money market fund reforms by a count of 3-2; "Chair White's Statement on New MMF Reforms," which excerpts SEC Chair Mary Jo White's discussion of the reforms; and, "Modest Outflows Expected from Reforms; 3 Questions," which examines the implications of the MMF reforms on fund flows. We also updated our Money Fund Wisdom database query system with July 31, 2014, performance statistics and rankings late last night, and we also sent out our MFI XLS spreadsheet this a.m. (MFI, MFI XLS and our Crane Index products are available to subscribers at our Content center.) Our July 31 Money Fund Portfolio Holdings data are scheduled to go out on Monday, August 11.

The latest MFI newsletter's lead article comments, "By a vote of 3-2, the SEC adopted long-awaited and much discussed reforms for the $2.6 trillion money market industry on July 23rd. "The amendments make structural and operational reforms to address risks of investor runs in money market funds, while preserving the benefits of the funds," stated the SEC in a press release. We distill the SEC's 869-page reform proposal down to the highlights. Chair Mary Jo White, along with Commissioners Luis Aguilar and Daniel Gallagher, voted in favor of the reform package. Commissioners Kara Stein and Michael Piwowar voted in opposition. Here's what they adopted."

The article explains, "Floating NAV -- Institutional Prime MMFs (including Inst Muni MMFs) are required to maintain a floating net asset value for sales and redemptions based on the current market value of the securities in their portfolios rounded to the fourth decimal place. The requirement would result in the daily share prices of the money market funds fluctuating along with changes in the market-based value of the funds' investments. These funds no longer will be allowed to use the special pricing and valuation conventions that currently permit them to maintain a constant share price of $1.00. Also, the U.S. Dept. of the Treasury and the IRS proposed new regulations to allow floating NAV MMF investors to use a simplified tax accounting method to track gains and losses."

Our monthly "profile" says, "At the Open Meeting of the Securities and Exchange Commission on July 23, the SEC voted to adopt its proposal to reform money market funds. Here are excerpts from Chair White's statement." White said: "Today's reforms will fundamentally change the way that most money market funds operate. They will reduce the risk of runs in money market funds and provide important new tools that will help further protect investors and the financial system in a crisis. Together, this strong reform package will make our financial system more resilient and enhance the transparency and fairness of these products for America's investors."

She continued, "Over the last several decades, money market funds have become a critical part of the American economy, providing an important source of short-term financing for issuers, including American businesses, state and local governments, and other market participantsToday, nearly $3 trillion is invested in money market funds, much of it in institutional prime funds held by investors such as pension funds and corporations. Issuers and investors now rely daily on money market funds, and the benefits of such funds are significant."

The August MFI article on `Modest Outflows Expected from Reforms; 3 Questions asks, "How much money could leave Prime Institutional money funds? How likely is a 30% (or 10%) liquidity buffer breach (and how likely will boards be to use gates and fees at these points)? Will the floating NAV actually float? These are what we see as the 3 most important questions fund companies and investors are asking as the money fund industry begins preparing for the SEC's Money Fund Reforms in August 2016. We examine these below."

Crane Data's August MFI with July 31, 2014, data shows total assets decreasing by $19.8 billion (after decreasing by $13.4 billion in June, rising $10.9 billion in May, and falling by $59.5 billion in April) to $2.461 trillion (1,238 funds, 10 fewer than last month). Our broad Crane Money Fund Average 7-Day Yield and 30-Day Yield remained at a record low 0.01% while our Crane 100 Money Fund Index (the 100 largest taxable funds) yielded 0.02% (7-day and 30-day). On a Gross Yield Basis (before expenses were taken out), funds averaged 0.13% (Crane MFA, unchanged) and 0.16% (Crane 100) on an annualized basis for both the 7-day and 30-day yield averages. (Charged Expenses averaged 0.12% and 0.14% for the two main taxable averages.) The average WAM for the Crane MFA and the Crane 100 were 42 and 45 days, respectively, increasing 1 day from the prior month for the Crane 100. (See our Crane Index or craneindexes.xlsx history file for more on our averages.)

Finally, the final agenda was sent out to subscribers for our European Money Fund Symposium, which will take place Sept. 22-23 in London at the Hilton London Tower Bridge. Though there has been no word from European regulators and the newly elected European Parlaiment has yet to even commence, we expect them to eventually craft legislation similar to the SEC's. This will be a main topic of discussion at Euro MFS, along with other issues impacting Euro, Sterling, USD and "offshore" money market funds domiciled in Dublin, Luxembourg and other European and global financial centers.

Jul 14
 

Crane Data released its July Money Fund Portfolio Holdings Friday, and our latest collection of taxable money market securities, with data as of June 30, 2014, shows a big jump in Repos, and a big drop in Other (Time Deposits), CP and CDs. Money market securities held by Taxable U.S. money funds overall (those tracked by Crane Data) decreased by $18.0 billion in June to $2.370 trillion. Portfolio assets also decreased by $3.7 billion in May, $39.1 billion in April, and $43.0 billion in March. Repos again surpassed CDs as the largest portfolio composition segment among taxable money funds, followed by Treasuries, then by CP, Agencies, Other, and VRDNs. Money funds' European-affiliated holdings plunged to 23.5% of holdings (down sharply from 30.8% last month), primarily due to a record spike in holdings of the NY Fed's RRP (repo) program. Below, we review our latest Money Fund Portfolio Holdings statistics.

Among all taxable money funds, Repurchase agreement (repo) holdings jumped by $76.1 billion to $591.5 billion, or 25.0% of fund assets, after rising $32.9 billion in May. (Holdings of Federal Reserve Bank of New York repo rose $148.3 billion to a record $274.5 billion.) Certificates of Deposit (CDs) dropped in June, decreasing $17.4 billion to $550.7 billion, or 23.2% of holdings. Treasury holdings, now the third largest segment, increased by $4.8 billion to $390.6 billion (16.5% of holdings). Commercial Paper (CP), which dropped to the fourth largest segment, decreased by $30.9 billion to $363.0 billion (15.3% of holdings). Government Agency Debt was up $8.5 billion. Agencies now total $322.1 billion (13.6% of assets). Other holdings, which include primarily Time Deposits, dropped sharply (down $55.7 billion) to $120.2 billion (5.1% of assets). VRDNs held by taxable funds decreased by $3.3 billion to $32.3 billion (1.4% of assets).

Among Prime money funds, CDs still represent over one-third of holdings with 37.2% (down from 36.5% a month ago), followed by Commercial Paper (24.5%, down from 27.2%). The CP totals are primarily Financial Company CP (14.5% of holdings) with Asset-Backed CP making up 6.0% and Other CP (non-financial) making up 4.0%. Prime funds also hold 5.4% in Agencies (up from 4.9%), 4.2% in Treasury Debt (up from 4.0%), 2.0% in Other Instruments, and 4.8% in Other Notes. Prime money fund holdings tracked by Crane Data total $1.481 trillion (down from $1.505), or 62.5% of taxable money fund holdings' total of $2.370 trillion.

Government fund portfolio assets totaled $431.6 billion, down from $436.8 billion last month, while Treasury money fund assets totaled $457.7 billion, up from from $444.5 billion at the end of May. Government money fund portfolios were made up of 55.4% Agency securities, 20.9% Government Agency Repo, 4.5% Treasury debt, and 18.5% Treasury Repo. Treasury money funds were comprised of 67.7% Treasury debt and 31.4% Treasury Repo.

European-affiliated holdings decreased $175.8 billion in June to $558.0 billion (among all taxable funds and including repos); their share of holdings is now 23.5%. Eurozone-affiliated holdings also fell (down $93.3 billion) to $324.0 billion in June; they now account for 13.7% of overall taxable money fund holdings. Asia & Pacific related holdings rose by $7.5 billion to $291.5 billion (12.3% of the total), while Americas related holdings increased $153.0 billion to $1.520 trillion (64.1% of holdings).

The overall taxable fund Repo totals were made up of: Treasury Repurchase Agreements (up $93.1 billion to $353.6 billion, or 14.9% of assets), Government Agency Repurchase Agreements (down $16.9 billion to $154.2 billion, or 6.5% of total holdings), and Other Repurchase Agreements (down $142 million to $83.7 billion, or 3.5% of holdings). The Commercial Paper totals were comprised of Financial Company Commercial Paper (down $26.4 billion to $214.4 billion, or 9.0% of assets), Asset Backed Commercial Paper (down $683 million to $89.4 billion, or 3.8%), and Other Commercial Paper (down $3.9 billion to $59.2 billion, or 2.5%).

The 20 largest Issuers to taxable money market funds as of June 30, 2014, include: the US Treasury ($390.6 billion, or 16.5%), Federal Reserve Bank of New York ($274.5B, 11.6%), Federal Home Loan Bank ($196.1B, 8.3%), BNP Paribas ($60.1B, 2.5%), Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd ($59.5B, 2.5%), Bank of Nova Scotia ($57.4B, 2.4%), RBC ($53.0B, 2.2%), JP Morgan ($51.9B, 2.2%), Wells Fargo ($51.3, 2.2%), Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Co ($47.6B, 2.0%), Citi ($46.5B, 2.0%), Credit Agricole ($45.1B, 1.9%), Federal Home Loan Mortgage Co ($44.8B, 1.9%), Credit Suisse ($42.4B, 1.8%), Federal National Mortgage Association ($41.5B, 1.8%), Bank of America ($40.0B, 1.7%), Toronto-Dominion ($39.7B, 1.7%), Federal Farm Credit Bank ($36.7B, 1.6%), Natixis ($35.3B, 1.5%) and Mizuho Corporate Bank Ltd. ($32.9B, 1.4%).

In the repo space, Federal Reserve Bank of New York's RPP program issuance (held by MMFs) remained the largest program by far with 46.4% of the repo market. The 10 largest Repo issuers (dealers) (with the amount of repo outstanding and market share among the money funds we track) include: Federal Reserve Bank of New York ($274.5B, 46.4%), BNP Paribas ($32.7B, 5.5%), Bank of America ($30.1B, 5.1%), RBC ($23.6B, 4.0%), Wells Fargo ($20.2B, 3.4%), JP Morgan ($19.7B, 3.3%), Credit Suisse ($19.6B, 3.3%), Barclays ($19.6B, 3.3%), Citi ($18.3B, 3.1%), and Credit Agricole ($16.9B, 2.9%). Crane Data shows 82 funds participating in the NY Fed repo program with 2 money funds maxing out the Fed program with $10 billion, and 8 more holdings over $7 billion (the previous cap). The largest Fed repo holders include: State Street Inst Lq Res, Western Asset Inst Lq Res, Federated Trs Oblg, Goldman Sachs FS Trs Obl Inst, Dreyfus Tr&Ag Cash Mgmt Inst, Morgan Stanley Inst Liq Trs, JP Morgan Prime MM, Morgan Stanley Inst Lq Gvt, Northern Trust Trs MMkt, and BlackRock Lq T-Fund.

The 10 largest CD issuers include: Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd ($41.3B, 7.5%), Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Co ($39.6B, 7.2%), Bank of Nova Scotia ($36.4B, 6.7%), Toronto-Dominion Bank ($33.4B, 6.1%), Mizuho Corporate Bank Ltd ($26.9B, 4.9%), Bank of Montreal ($23.2B, 4.2%), Rabobank ($22.9B, 4.2%), Wells Fargo ($22.6B, 4.1%), Citi ($20.9B, 3.8%), and Natixis ($20.5B, 3.7%).

The 10 largest CP issuers (we include affiliated ABCP programs) include: JP Morgan ($22.1B, 7.1%), Westpac Banking Co ($16.0B, 5.1%), Commonwealth Bank of Australia ($15.6B, 5.0%), RBC ($11.6B, 3.7%), Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB ($10.6B, 3.4%), BNP Paribas ($10.4B, 3.3%), HSBC ($9.8B, 3.2%), FMS Wertmanagement ($9.5B, 3.1%), Australia & New Zealand Banking Group ($9.5B, 3.0%), and National Australia Bank Ltd. ($8.6B, 2.8%).

The largest increases among Issuers include: Federal Reserve Bank of New York (up $148.3B to $274.5B), Federal Home Loan Bank (up $10.6B to $196.1B), State Street (up $4.6B to $11.3B), US Treasury (up $4.1B to $390.6B), Toronto-Dominion Bank (up $3.9B to $39.7B), and Mizuho Corporate Bank Ltd. (up $2.7B to $47.6B). The largest decreases among Issuers of money market securities (including Repo) in June were shown by: Deutsche Bank AG (down $25.1B to $27.0B), Barclays PLC (down $22.3B to $29.8B), Societe Generale (down $16.5B to $23.9B), DnB NOR Bank ASA (down $16.4B to $12.3B), Credit Agricole (down $13.7B to $45.7B), and BNP Paribas (down $12.1B to $60.1B).

The United States remained the largest segment of country-affiliations; it now represents 54.9% of holdings, or $1.302 trillion. Canada (9.1%, $216.5B) moved into second place ahead of France (7.7%, $183.5B). Japan (7.6%, $180.4B) remained the fourth largest country affiliated with money fund securities. Sweden (3.7%, $87.9B) moved up to fifth place, ahead of Australia (3.5%, $83.7B) and the U.K. (3.2%, $76.1B). The Netherlands (3.1%, $74.9B) ranked 8th while Germany (2.5%, $59.7B) dropped to 9th place. Switzerland (2.4%, $57.4B) was tenth among country affiliations. (Note: Crane Data attributes Treasury and Government repo to the dealer's parent country of origin, though money funds themselves "look-through" and consider these U.S. government securities. All money market securities must be U.S. dollar-denominated.)

As of June 30, 2014, Taxable money funds held 25.2% of their assets in securities maturing Overnight, and another 12.1% maturing in 2-7 days (37.3% total in 1-7 days). Another 19.7% matures in 8-30 days, while 25.8% matures in the 31-90 day period. The next bucket, 91-180 days, holds 13.6% of taxable securities, and just 3.6% matures beyond 180 days.

Crane Data's Taxable MF Portfolio Holdings (and Money Fund Portfolio Laboratory) were updated Friday, and our MFI International "offshore" Portfolio Holdings will be updated Wednesday (the Tax Exempt MF Holdings will be released late Monday). Visit our Content center to download files or visit our Portfolio Laboratory to access our "transparency" module. Contact us if you'd like to see a sample of our latest Portfolio Holdings Reports or our new Reports Issuer Module.

Jul 08
 

The July issue of Crane Data's Money Fund Intelligence was sent out to subscribers on Tuesday morning. The latest edition of our flagship monthly newsletter features the articles: MMF Reform Regulations Delayed; Stalemate Part II?," which discusses the delay and possible stalemate of money market reform; "Fidelity's Nancy Prior Says Black Clouds Parting," which summarizes the keynote speech from Fidelity's top money fund leader; and, "State of Money Funds: Highlights of Symposium," which reviews a number of sessions from our recent Money Fund Symposium conference. We also updated our Money Fund Wisdom database query system with June 30, 2014, performance statistics and rankings late Monday night, and will send out our MFI XLS spreadsheet Tuesday a.m. (MFI, MFI XLS and our Crane Index products are available to subscribers at our Content center.) Our June 30 Money Fund Portfolio Holdings data are scheduled to go out on Thursday, July 10.

The latest MFI newsletter's lead article comments, "Though SEC Chair Mary Jo White has repeatedly said Money Market Fund Reforms are coming in the "very near term," recent press reports and discussions among money fund managers and lawyers indicate that it could be months more before we see any final rules. Some are even predicting an indefinite stalemate. We still believe that dropping the floating NAV, or using it only after a threshold is broken, is the only path forward, given the lack of progress with the IRS over 'de minimis' gains issues."

The article explains, "Last month, The Wall Street Journal wrote in "SEC Divided on Money-Market Fund Rules," broke the news that it may be some time before we see money market fund reforms. The Journal article commented, "Six years after money-market mutual funds became a source of vulnerability in the financial crisis, U.S. securities regulators are still hashing out how to limit the risks they pose to the financial system. Tighter rules might not be finalized for several months, according to people familiar with the process.""

Our monthly "profile" piece says, "Nancy Prior, President of Fidelity Investments' Fixed-Income unit, gave the keynote address, entitled, "Money Market Funds: Past and Future," at Crane's Money Fund Symposium, late last month. We excerpt from the text of the speech below. Prior comments, "At long last, it appears we're getting close to the much-anticipated, long-awaited announcement of new money market fund rules from the Securities & Exchange Commission."

She continues, "The skies appear finally to be brightening after what seems like one long, gloomy winter. For the past 5 1/2 years, the money market mutual fund industry has been ... you can pick your metaphor here: Embattled, Under siege, Under a cloud.... Suffice it to say, the past few years have just not been a whole lot of fun. In addition to a very challenging, uncertain regulatory environment, we have had to manage through a prolonged and unprecedented period of extraordinarily low interest rates. Given all of this, it's not surprising that some financial writers predicted that money market mutual funds would not make it through this gauntlet."

The July MFI article on State of Money Funds: Highlights of Symposium explains, "Crane's Money Fund Symposium, held June 23-25 at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel, featured record attendance with approximately 500 attendees, speakers, and sponsors. It also earned rave reviews for its content, which delved into the major issues on the money fund landscape. Here are some of the highlights."

Crane Data's July MFI with June 30, 2014, data shows total assets decreasing by $13.4 billion (after rising $10.9 billion in May, falling by $59.5 billion in April and $25.9 billion in March) to $2.479 trillion (1,248 funds, down from 1,255 last month). Our broad Crane Money Fund Average 7-Day Yield and 30-Day Yield remained at a record low 0.01% while our Crane 100 Money Fund Index (the 100 largest taxable funds) yielded 0.02% (7-day and 30-day). On a Gross Yield Basis (before expenses were taken out), funds averaged 0.13% (Crane MFA, unchanged) and 0.16% (Crane 100) on an annualized basis for both the 7-day and 30-day yield averages. (Charged Expenses averaged 0.12% and 0.14% for the two main taxable averages.) The average WAM for the Crane MFA and the Crane 100 were 41 and 43 days, respectively, unchanged from the prior month. (See our Crane Index or craneindexes.xlsx history file for more on our averages.)