Money market mutual fund assets fell for the third week in a row and the 11th week in the past 14 weeks. The Investment Company Institute's latest weekly "Money Market Mutual Fund Assets" report shows a decline of $72.85 billion to $3.675 trillion in the week ended June 17. Year-to-date, money fund assets have declined by $155 billion, or 4.1%, and assets, after peaking at $3.922 trillion the second week in January, have now retreated to levels last seen in mid-November 2008.

Though this week's totals were undoubtedly pushed lower due to Monday's quarterly corporate tax payment date, it's becoming increasingly clear that the declines in money fund assets are more than mere seasonal moves. Institutional money funds accounted for almost all of the asset declines this week; assets here fell by $66.20 billion to $2.439 trillion. Retail assets declined by $6.65 to $1.235 trillion. Year-to-date, however, retail assets have accounted for the bulk of the retreat, falling $119 billion, or 8.8%. Institutional assets have decreased by $46 billion, or 1.9%.

ICI's release says, "Taxable government money market fund assets in the retail category decreased by $2.14 billion to $209.28 billion, taxable non-government money market fund assets decreased by $3.52 billion to $755.99 billion, and tax-exempt fund assets decreased by $988 million to $270.09 billion.... Among institutional funds, taxable government money market fund assets decreased by $36.18 billion to $1.058 trillion, taxable non-government money market fund assets decreased by $29.58 billion to $1.192 trillion, and tax-exempt fund assets decreased by $436 million to $188.63 billion."

Over the past 52 weeks, total money fund assets have increased by $174 billion, or 5%. Institutional assets have increased by $172 billion, or 7.6%, while Retail assets have increased by $2 billion, or 0.2%. Over the past 104 weeks (2 years), money fund assets have still grown by a whopping $1.14 trillion, or 45%.

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