Yesterday at 4:00pm, the U.S. Treasury Department "announced an extension of its temporary Money Market Funds Guarantee Program through September 18, 2009, in order to support ongoing stability in financial markets." The Program, originally launched on Sept. 19, 2008, had been scheduled to end on April 30, 2009. Most funds will continue to pay 1.5 basis points for coverage and will have until April 13 to reapply. We expect a number of Treasury and government funds to drop coverage, but we expect prime and tax-exempt funds to virtually all reenlist.

Treasury said in its press release, "As a result of this extension, the temporary guarantee program will continue to provide coverage to shareholders up to the amount held in participating money market funds as of the close of business on September 19, 2008. All money market funds that currently participate in the Program and meet the extension requirements under the Guarantee Agreements are eligible to continue to participate in the Program. Funds that are not currently participating in the Program are not eligible to participate."

It continues, "The Extension Notice attached below provides the procedures for participating funds to follow to ensure continued participation in the Program as well as instructions for making the Program extension participation payments. Funds are required to submit a program extension payment, an extension notice and an updated Annex A by April 13, 2009, and a Bring-Down Notice by May 11, 2009. The amount of the payment for the extension period will be based on a fund's net asset value as of September 19, 2008."

"For funds that had a market-based net asset value greater than or equal to 99.75 percent of their stable share price, the payment will be 0.015 percent, or 1.5 basis points, multiplied by the number of shares outstanding on September 19, 2008. For funds that had a market-based net asset value less than 99.75 percent of their stable share price but greater than or equal to 99.50 percent of their stable share price, the payment will be 0.023 percent, or 2.3 basis points, multiplied by the number of shares outstanding on September 19, 2008. The Program extension payment amounts, when combined with prior payment amounts, equate to 4 or 6 basis points (on an annualized basis) of the fund's asset base over the entire extended Program term," says the Treasury.

They add, "While the Program protects the accounts of investors, each money market fund makes the decision to participate in the program. Investors cannot sign-up for the Program individually. The Program currently covers over $3 trillion of combined fund assets."

The Investment Company Institute recently advised money market mutual funds in its Report of the Money Market Working Group, "It should be the goal of all money market funds to substantially implement these recommendations by September 18, 2009, when authorization for the Treasury Temporary Guarantee Program for Money Market Funds expires. This will provide additional assurance to money market fund investors and help facilitate an orderly transition out of the Guarantee Program."

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