BlackRock released its largest earnings and hosted its Q2'21 earnings call last week, and money funds and fee waivers were mentioned a few times. CFO Gary Shedlin comments, "Second quarter base fee and securities lending revenue of $3.8 billion was up 27% year-over-year, primarily driven by the positive impact of market beta on average AUM and strong organic base fee growth, partially offset by higher discretionary money market fee waivers, lower securities lending revenue and strategic pricing investments over the last year. Sequentially base fee and securities lending revenue was up 5%. However, our effective fee rate was down 0.3 basis points, as strong organic base fee growth driven by our higher fee active businesses and the impact of one additional day in the current quarter were more than offset by higher discretionary money market fee waivers and the impact of divergent equity beta in the quarter." He explains, "During the second quarter, we incurred approximately $165 million of gross discretionary yield support waivers driven in part by continued strong flows into our U.S. government money market funds. While the Fed's recent technical adjustments to the IOER and RRP have modestly helped, we still expect discretionary fee waivers to persist at or around current levels for the new term. However, future levels of discretionary fee waivers may also be impacted by several additional factors, including the level of AUM and funds with existing waivers, gross yields and competitive positioning." Shedlin adds, "Finally, BlackRock's cash management platform continued to grow, generating $23 billion of net inflows in the second quarter, driven by both prime and U.S. government money market funds. Despite facing net zero returns in both the U.S. and Europe, client demand for cash strategies remained strong, given the significant liquidity in the financial system and by helping clients manage their cash, we are building broader and deeper strategic relationships."

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