Money Funds Break $3.3 Trillion; 52-Week Gains Approach $1 Trillion. ICI's latest weekly money fund asset series shows an increase of $40.4 billion in the week ended Jan. 30 to a record $3.315 trillion. Retail money fund assets increased by $16.16 billion to a record $1.213 trillion and institutional money fund assets increased $24.24 billion to a record $2.102 trillion. Year-to-date, money fund assets have grown by $168.6 billion, or 5.4%. Over 52 weeks, money funds have grown by almost $1 trillion -- an eye-popping $959 billion, or 40.7%. ICI also released its official monthly mutual fund totals yesterday. Money fund assets increased by $763.2 billion, or 32.4%, to a record $3.117.6 trillion, last year, making 2007 far and away the best year in money funds' 35-year history. Money funds paradoxically gained huge amounts of assets due to 2007's credit squeeze in the asset-backed commercial paper market as institutional investors fled the direct investment market for the shelter of funds. Funds also benefited from institutional money seeking to delay the impact of Fed rate cuts, and from retail money seeking higher yields than banks and brokerage programs.

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