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The December issue of our flagship Money Fund Intelligence newsletter, which was sent out to subscribers Friday morning, features the articles: "MMF Assets Kill It in 2019; Signs of Slowdown in '20?," which discusses torrid but slowing money fund asset growth; "Cavanal Hill's Kitchen: There Will Be Yield," which profiles VP & Senior Money Market Portfolio Manager Mike Kitchen; and, "Dreyfus 'Impact' Govt MMF Opens Social Front vs. ESG," which discusses the newest breed of social money funds. We've also updated our Money Fund Wisdom database with Nov. 30 statistics, and sent out our MFI XLS spreadsheet Friday a.m. (MFI, MFI XLS and our Crane Index products are all available to subscribers via our Content center.) Our December Money Fund Portfolio Holdings are scheduled to ship on Tuesday, Dec. 10, and our Dec. Bond Fund Intelligence is scheduled to go out Friday, Dec. 13.

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A press release entitled, "Mischler Expands Cash Management & Liquidity Solutions Platform; Former BofA Execs to Lead Initiative," and subtitled, "Nation's Oldest Veteran-Owned Broker-Dealer Marks 25th Anniversary and Grows Institutional Cash Management Products & Services," tells us, "Mischler Financial Group, Inc. ('Mischler'), the financial industry's oldest diversity-certified investment bank owned and operated by service-disabled veterans today announced a further expansion of the firm's institutional cash management services and ESG-powered money market fund platform that partners with the financial industry's top fund managers. The firm's liquidity solutions group will be led by former Bank of America executives La-Yona Rauls and Christopher Walsh."

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Franklin, the 20th largest manager of money market funds with $22.3 billion, merged two of its Government MMFs, follows its recent filing for a Blockchain money market fund. A Prospectus Supplement filing for Franklin Templeton U.S. Government Money Market Fund, a series of Franklin Templeton Money Fund Trust, tells us, "On May 21, 2019, the Board of Trustees of Franklin Templeton Money Fund Trust, on behalf of Franklin Templeton U.S. Government Money Fund (the 'Fund'), approved a proposal to reorganize the Fund with and into the Franklin U.S. Government Money Fund." We look at the brief below, and we also quote from a Bloomberg article on repo and summarize our latest Weekly Money Fund Portfolio Holdings below.

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Rates on money market funds, brokerage sweep accounts and bank accounts are flattening out after declining in the four weeks after the Fed's third, and possibly final, rate cut on Oct. 30. Our Money Fund Intelligence Daily shows that the flagship Crane 100 MF Index inched down 0.01% to 1.50% over the past week. The Crane 100 is down from 1.81% on Sept. 30 and down from 2.18% on June 30 and 2.23% at the start of the year. Our latest Brokerage Sweep Intelligence publication, with data as of Friday, Nov. 29, shows only Wells Fargo lowering rates in the past week. (See our Oct. 31 Link of the Day, "Fed Cuts Rates a Third Time.")

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HSBC Global Asset Management published the paper, "A Big Deal for Retailers this Black Friday – But What to Do with the Cash?" It explains, "For many retailers the months of November and December involve intense pressure and a focus on tight revenue and expenditure management. Hugo Parry-Wingfield, HSBC Global Asset Management, explains that, due to their high level of diversification, Money Market Funds are an investment product that retailers should consider keeping in their arsenal." We review HSBC's latest update below, and we also quote from a piece on DB (defined benefit) plans with comments from Northern Trust on cash.

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Money fund assets skyrocketed in the latest week, reaching their highest level since August 2009, after a mysterious plunge last week. Assets had suffered just their second decline over the past 13 weeks the previous week, but they've resumed their winning streak this week with their 28th gain out of the past 32 weeks. ICI's latest "Money Market Fund Assets" report shows that MMF totals have increased by $529 billion, or 17.4%, year-to-date in 2019. Over the past 52 weeks, ICI's money fund asset series has increased by $633 billion, or 21.5%, with Retail MMFs rising by $226 billion (20.2%) and Inst MMFs rising by $407 billion (22.3%).

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The Investment Company Institute released its monthly "Trends in Mutual Fund Investing - October 2019" and its latest monthly "Month-End Portfolio Holdings of Taxable Money Funds" reports yesterday. Their latest numbers show money fund assets jumping $77.4 billion to $3.518 trillion in October. (Watch for our coverage of ICI's latest Weekly MMF Assets tomorrow.) The monthly increase follows increases of $74.4 billion in September, $87.0 billion in August and $78.2 billion in July. For the 12 months through Oct. 31, 2019, money fund assets have increased by $633.5 billion, or 22.0%. (Crane Data's separate MFI Daily asset series shows money market funds up by another $76.1 billion to $3.920 trillion month-to-date in November through 11/25.)

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Earlier this month, PIMCO celebrated the 10th birthday of MINT, or PIMCO Enhanced Short Maturity Active ETF, the oldest and largest actively-managed fixed-income exchange traded fund. Below, we discuss the origin, success and current state of the short-term bond ETF and the ultra-short space with PIMCO MD & Portfolio Manager Jerome Schneider and Product Specialist Ken Chambers. Our Q&A follows. Note: This profile is modified slightly and reprinted from the November issue of our Bond Fund Intelligence publication. Contact us if you'd like to see the full issue, or if you'd like to see our BFI XLS performance spreadsheet, our BFI Indexes and averages, or our most recent Bond Fund Portfolio Holdings data set, which was published Friday.

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Crane Data is making plans for its fourth annual ultra-short bond fund event, Bond Fund Symposium, which will take place in four months (March 23-24, 2020) at the Hyatt Regency Boston. Crane's Bond Fund Symposium offers a concentrated and affordable educational experience, as well as an excellent networking venue, for bond fund and fixed-income professionals. Registrations are now being accepted ($750) and sponsorship opportunities are available. We review the preliminary agenda and details below. We also give an update on our upcoming "basic training" show, Money Fund University, which will be held in Providence, January 23-24, 2020.

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The Federal Reserve Bank of New York's "Liberty Street Economics" blog published the piece, "Monetary Policy Transmission and the Size of the Money Market Fund Industry." Written by Marco Cipriani, Jeff Gortmaker and Gabriele La Spada, it tells us, "In a recent post, we documented the transmission of monetary policy through money market funds (MMFs). In this post, we complement that analysis by comparing the transmission of monetary policy via MMFs to the transmission via bank deposits and studying the impact of the differential pass-through on the size of the MMF industry. To this purpose, we focus on rates on certificates of deposit (CDs) offered to banks’ retail customers and compare their response to monetary policy with that of retail MMF yields."

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Dreyfus recently filed to change one of its Government money market mutual funds into a new breed of "impact" or socially responsible funds, making it the second fund to date to funnel business through minority and other "diversity" dealers. A Prospectus Supplement for the $4.6 billon Dreyfus Government Securities Cash Management Fund tells us, "The following information supplements the information contained in the section of the fund's prospectus entitled 'Shareholder Guide – General Policies': BNY Mellon Investment Adviser, Inc. generally will seek to place, over time, a majority of the aggregate dollar value of purchases and sales orders for Dreyfus Government Securities Cash Management's portfolio securities with dealers that are owned by minorities, women, disabled persons, veterans and members of other qualified and recognized diversity and inclusion groups, subject to the Adviser's duty to seek the best execution for the fund's orders."

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On Monday, PNC, the 25th largest manager of money market mutual fund assets with $11.3 billion, merged its assets into Federated, the 5th largest MMF manager (with $299.6 billion as of 10/31/19 before the merger). A press release entitled, "Federated Investors, Inc. Completes Acquisition of Certain Investment-Related Assets from PNC Bank, N.A.," tells us, "Federated Investors ... announced the acquisition of certain components of the PNC Capital Advisors LLC (PCA) investment management business. The transaction involved the reorganization of 18 PNC equity, fixed-income and liquidity mutual funds into 16 corresponding Federated mutual funds and the transition of a five-person Cleveland-based international equity portfolio management team from PCA to Federated. The acquisition also included a portion of PCA's separate account and separately managed account businesses."

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