While we were holding out and hoping to have a live event, concerns over the virus spike have forced us to cancel our upcoming live Money Fund University and shift to a virtual event. Our 12th annual MFU "basic training" conference will still take place in two weeks, January 20-21, 2022, but it'll be during the afternoons only and no longer at the Boston Hyatt. Crane's Money Fund University is designed for those new to the money market fund industry or those in need of a concentrated refresher on the basics. The event also focuses on hot topics like money market fund regulations, money fund alternatives, offshore markets, and other recent industry trends. Registrations (now $250 instead of the $500 we charge for the live event) are still being taken, and the latest agenda is available here. (E-mail us to request the latest brochure.)

Money Fund University offers a 2-day crash course on money market mutual funds, educating attendees on the history of money funds, the Fed, interest rates, ratings, rankings, and money market instruments such as commercial paper, Treasury bills, CDs and repo. We also cover portfolio construction and credit analysis. Our educational conference features a faculty of the money fund industry's top lawyers, strategists, and portfolio managers.

New portfolio managers, analysts, investors, issuers, service providers, and anyone interested in expanding their knowledge of "cash" investing should benefit from our comprehensive program. Even experienced professionals may enjoy a refresher course and the opportunity to interact with peers in an informal setting. Attendee registration for Crane's Money Fund University is just $250, and sponsorship opportunities are $2K (Bronze), $3K (Silver) and $5K (Gold).

We'd like to thank our current and past MFU sponsors -- BlackRock, Dreyfus CIS, J.P. Morgan Asset Management, Fitch Ratings, TD Securities, S&P Global Ratings, Dechert LLP, Fidelity Investments and Federated Hermes -- for their support, and we look forward to seeing you online in 2 weeks. E-mail Pete Crane (pete@cranedata.com) for the latest brochure or visit www.moneyfunduniversity.com to register or for more details.

Crane Data is also preparing for our next Bond Fund Symposium, which will be held March 28-29, 2022, at the Hyatt Regency in Newport Beach, Calif. Our Bond Fund Symposium offers a concentrated and affordable educational experience, as well as an excellent and informal networking venue. Registration for Bond Fund Symposium is $750; exhibit space is $2,000 (includes 2 tickets); and sponsorship opportunities are $3K, $4K, $5K, and $6K. Our mission is to deliver the best possible conference content at a reasonable price to bond fund professionals and investors.

We're also beginning to make plans for our next "big show," Money Fund Symposium, which will be held June 20-22, 2022, at the Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis. (Let us know if you'd like details on speaking or sponsoring.) Finally, mark your calendars for our next European Money Fund Symposium, which will be held Sept. 27-28, 2022, in Paris, France. Watch for more details on these shows in coming weeks and months. Note that the recordings and materials from our past events are available to Crane Data subscribers at the bottom of our "Content" page. Let us know if you'd like more info on any of our (or other "cash") events, and we hope to see you in Newport Beach in March, Minneapolis in June or Paris in September in 2022!

In other news, Wells Fargo Corporate & Investment Banking's Vanessa McMichael, who will present on "CDs, TDs & Bank Debt" at our upcoming Money Fund University, recently published a "2021: A year in review." She comments, "The Fed's Reverse Repo Facility (RRP) was a focal point in 2021 with new highs reached over and over. On the final day of 2021, the facility accepted $1.9 trillion with 103 counterparties.... Last year marked another explosive one for government MMF assets while prime MMFs experienced marginal outflows. The growth in government MMFs is reflective of the environment in which cash is abundant, while the decline in prime funds mid-2021 and beyond, seemed to be driven by the rate environment more than anything else. With prime fund yields hovering just above zero, the value for investment dwindled for some investors. Likewise, tax-exempt MMFs also shed assets this year which could be driven by similar factors."

The Wells Strategist also writes, "Front-end government supply declined in 2021; thus, the RRP was a critical instrument for government MMFs during this period of growth. According to Crane Data, the latest month-end MMF portfolio holdings indicate that 45% of total taxable MMF holdings are repo. During the same timeframe in 2019, repo made up about 30% of taxable MMF holdings."

She states, "Prime MMFs were blamed for short term market interference at the start of the pandemic. While prime funds did experience significant outflows in March 2020, the flight-to-quality was widespread and not entirely the fault of this one particular asset class. Nonetheless, in December 2020, the President's Working Group released a study of potential policy measures to address risks that prime funds and tax-exempt funds face in times of short-term market stress. The paper was debated amongst money market participants for most of 2021. On December 15th, 2021, the SEC released proposed changes to money market fund reform. The proposal was released with three members in favor and two dissenting. The changes are not yet final as there is a public comment period open for 60 days after the release."

McMichael says, "In summary, here are the reforms that are attempting to reduce the speed of excessive redemptions when market conditions shift: Increase minimum liquidity requirements; Remove the ability of money market funds to impose liquidity fees and redemption gates when they fall below certain liquidity thresholds; Require certain money market funds to implement swing pricing; and, Enhance certain reporting requirements."

Finally, she adds, "ESG became a larger conversation with money market investors given the growth in ESG and D&I MMFs. In the 2a-7 space, ESG/D&I funds operate like government or prime funds and purchase securities similar to other 2a-7 funds but transact with broker-dealers that are women-owned or black-owned, as examples. Similarly, these funds might allocate a portion of their management fee to an ESG/D&I cause or refuse to purchase individual securities from non-ESG friendly industries/issuers."

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