The December issue of Crane Data's Money Fund Intelligence was sent out to subscribers on Friday morning. The latest edition of our flagship monthly newsletter features the articles: "Money Fund Assets Retake $2.7 Trillion; Flat Again in '13," which reviews the growth of money fund assets over recent months and cycles of 2012 and 2013; "Northern Rethinks Cash: Interview with Peter Yi," which discusses money markets and enhanced cash with the Chicago manager; and, "MMF MNAVs Not Floating," which reviews the disclosure of market net asset values since the beginning of 2013. We've also updated our Money Fund Wisdom database query system with Nov. 30, 2013, performance statistics and rankings, and will be sending out our MFI XLS shortly. (MFI, MFI XLS and our Crane Index products are available to subscribers at our Content center.) Our November 30 Money Fund Portfolio Holdings are scheduled to go out on Tuesday, Dec. 10.

Our MF Assets piece says, "Money market mutual fund assets were basically flat for the second year in a row in 2013. But the miniscule gains masked a huge decline then comeback this year, a pattern similar to what we saw in 2012. Money fund assets rose by $24 billion in the latest week, according to ICI's numbers, and retook the $2.7 trillion level for the first time since the first week of 2013."

The December issue's lead story continues, "Assets have only peaked above $2.7 trillion for the first couple of weeks in January in both 2013 and in 2012. They had first broken above this level in the summer of 2007 and remained above it until mid-2011. (See the annual asset level chart on page 2, and assets over the past 2 years below.)"

Our "profile" with Northern's Peter Yi says, "This month Money Fund Intelligence interviews Peter Yi, Senior Vice President and Director of Money Markets at Northern Trust. Northern is the 11th largest manager of money funds in the U.S., but its footprint in the cash marketplace is even larger given its management of securities lending reinvestment and other cash pools. Our Q&A follows."

We write: "MFI: How long has Northern been involved in running money funds?. Yi: Northern Trust has been managing money market funds since the 1970's when Northern created its first cash sweep vehicle in our trust department. We have been doing this for a long time and continue to be very committed to the money market business. We are now managing about $225 billion in AUM across various money market and short duration products and strategies.."

The article on MMF MNAVs explains, "Two of the major stories of 2013 included the SEC's money market fund reform proposal, which contained a floating NAV option for prime institutional money funds, and the voluntary disclosure of daily market NAVs by a number of institutional money fund managers. Given that we now have almost a year of history of these daily MNAVs, and a 2-year history of the monthly "shadow" NAVs, we decided to look at whether money funds do indeed actually float. Given the minimal fluctuation in these values to date, it's pretty clear that the answer is "No."

Finally, we're making preparations for our "basic training" conference event, Crane's Money Fund University, which will be held Jan. 23-24, 2014 in Providence, Rhode Island. Our 4th annual MFU will contain a heavier focus on money fund regulations, and will, as always, cover the basics of money funds, interest rates, and overviews of various money markets. Our next main event, Crane's Money Fund Symposium, will take place June 23-25, 2014, in Boston, and our second annual "offshore" event, European Money Fund Symposium, will take place Sept. 23-24 in London. Registrations and sponsorships are now being accepted for our 2014 Symposium, and the preliminary agenda is being finalized. (Watch for the agenda later this month.)

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