The Investment Company Institute released its "Trends in Mutual Fund Investing: August 2009" yesterday, which showed money market mutual fund assets declined by $53.7 billion, or 1.5% in August to $3.552 trillion. Assets have declined by another $73 billion month-to-date in September, according to ICI's weekly asset series. ICI's separate "Month-End Portfolio Holdings of Taxable Money Market Funds" shows that U.S. Government Agency Securities held by money funds declined by $44.37 billion, representing the vast majority of the declines in money market securities held by funds.

ICI's monthly asset report shows assets down by $280.5 billion year-to-date, or 7.3%, through Aug. 31. The release says, "Money market funds had an outflow of $53.79 billion in August, compared with an outflow of $48.33 billion in July. Funds offered primarily to institutions had an outflow of $30.60 billion. Funds offered primarily to individuals had an outflow of $23.19 billion." The number of money funds tracked by ICI's monthly report fell to 724 in August from 734 in July and from 796 in August 2008. The "Liquid Assets of Stock Mutual Funds," a measure of "cash" holdings, fell to 4.0% in August from 4.2% in July and from 4.5% a year ago.

The non-public "Portfolio Holdings" report shows U.S. Government Agency Securities remained the largest holding in taxable money funds, even after their decline, with $654.69 billion, or 21.0%. While Government holdings have plunged by $168.64 billion since peaking in January 2009, Agencies remain $177.59 billion above their level of a year ago. Certificates of Deposits, including Eurodollar CDs, remain the second largest component of money funds with $638.78 billion, or 20.5% of assets. Repurchase Agreements ranked third with $581.06 billion, or 18.7%.

Commercial Paper (including ABCP), which had been the largest holding in money market funds with 22.4% of assets a year ago and 29.9% of assets two years ago, now ranks fourth with $513.79 billion, or 16.5% of assets. CP fell by a mere $542 million in August, but has plummeted by $157.36 billion over the past year. U.S. Treasury Bills and Treasury Securities accounted for 14.0% of taxable money fund assets ($437.01 billion). Treasury holdings fell by $4.03 billion in August but have risen by $118.97 over the past 12 months.

Corporate Notes and Bank Notes represented 4.7% ($146.63 billion) and 1.9% ($58.94 billion), respectively, while Other, which we believe would include other money market funds as well as tax-exempt securities, represented 2.6% of assets. Note that Crane Data's Money Fund Intelligence XLS has recently added Portfolio Composition totals, but we're still in the process of establishing collections of this info from a number of funds.

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