Assets of money market mutual funds increased by $58.54 billion to $3.458 trillion in the week ended Wednesday, says the ICI's latest weekly "Money Market Mutual Fund Assets" report. Money fund assets have rebounded over the past two weeks, following a three week drop of approximately $187 billion, or 5.2%, in the weeks after The Reserve Primary Fund "broke the buck".

As we noted in a chart in the October Money Fund Intelligence, these relatively modest monthly declines and recent rebound masks a deep decline in Prime Institutional money funds, which fell by $455 billion, or 31.8% over the past 4 weeks to $974 billion. Government Institutional funds (including Treasury funds) were the main beneficiary, rising $275 billion, or 38.3% over the 4-week period (since Sept. 10, the week prior to the "buck-breaking").

Government Institutional funds broke above the $1 trillion level for the first time ever this week, rising $49.54 billion to $1.041 trillion the past week. Tax-Exempt Institutional money funds fell $18 billion, or 8.7%, to $184.5 billion over the past four weeks. But assets showed a jump of $5.74 billion, or 3.2% in the latest week. Overall Institutional money fund assets fell by $146 billion net, or 6.2%, the past 4 weeks.

Retail assets actually rose over the period, though barely. Prime Retail funds have seen a relatively modest $39 billion, or 5.4%, decline to $686 billion, while Government Retail money fund assets rose $73 billion, or 35.5%, to $278 billion. Tax-Exempt Retail assets also rebounded the past week, rising $5.93 billion, or 2.1%, to $294.6 billion. Even with this gain, though, Tax-Free MMFs have fallen $12 billion, or 3.8%, over the past 4 weeks.

Crane Data's Money Fund Intelligence Daily shows the recovery continuing yesterday. Our daily series, which tracks 85% of the money fund universe, shows assets rising $13 billion yesterday. For a sample copy of MFI Daily, Crane Index, or Money Fund Intelligence, or for more information on the various asset measures, e-mail Pete. Have a great long weekend!

Crane Data's monthly Money Fund Intelligence shows assets declining by $160 billion, or 4.8% in September. (ICI's monthly data series won't be released for a couple more weeks.) Our broadest benchmark Crane Money Fund Average, an index of 895 taxable money funds, yielded 1.69% (7-day simple) and 1.88% (30-day) as of Sept. 30, 2008. The Crane 100 yielded 2.17% (7-day) and 2.24% (30-day) at month-end, and returned 0.18% (1-mo), 0.56% (3-mo), 2.05% (YTD), 3.23 (1-year), 4.25% (3-yr, annualized), 3.20% (5-yr), and 3.45% (10-yr) in the month ended Sept. 30. The Crane Tax-Exempt Index yielded 5.25% (7-day) and 2.89% (30-day) at month-end.

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