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A press release entitled, "Invesco announces Combination with OppenheimerFunds," tells us, "Invesco Ltd. (IVZ) ... announced a combination with OppenheimerFunds, a strategic partnership with Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) and a $1.2 billion common stock buyback program." Invesco is the 13th largest manager of money funds with $57.8 billion, while Oppenheimer is the 29th largest manager with $8.0 billion. A combined Invesco/OppenheimerFunds would still rank 13th (below SSGA) with $65.8 billion. We review this deal, as well as a couple of recent advertisements from money funds and ultra-short bond funds, below.

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Crane Data hosted its 6th annual European Money Fund Symposium [last month] in London, and European Money Market Fund Reforms took center stage. Below, we highlight from one of the keynotes, "Irish & European Fund Issues," which featured Patrick Rooney, Senior Regulatory Affairs Manager at Irish Funds. He presented a number of statistics on money funds domiciled in Ireland, the largest segment of the European money fund industry, and gave an Irish take on the new regulations and the fate of the RDM, reverse distribution mechanism. (Note: The following article is reprinted from the October issue of our Money Fund Intelligence newsletter. Contact us at info@cranedata.com to request the full issue or the binder from European Money Fund Symposium. Next year's show will be Sept. 24-25, 2019, in Dublin.)

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Vanguard, the second largest manager of money market funds with $327.3 billion, posted a new blog entry entitled, "Are games being played with your cash? Author Karen Risi writes, "With stocks on a nine-year bull market run, many of us probably haven't paid much attention to the yield on our cash accounts. But, maybe we should. Because some firms are playing games with your cash. Games that might leave you, well, shortchanged. Most of us have a cash account of some type -- the bank account from which we pay our bills, the money market fund that we'll tap for emergency expenses, or the brokerage account where our stock and ETF dividends are directed. And while your cash account may not represent the lion's share of your portfolio, it's worth paying attention to -- especially in this rising rate environment."

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Both J.P. Morgan Securities and Citi Research commented recently on the latest cut of Money Fund Portfolio Holdings, in particular the jump in FICC repo. JPM's "September MMF holdings update" tells us, "[T]he recent release of the September MMF holdings reports provides fresh data to highlight how the repo market is evolving. In the past year, it has not only seen yields move higher, but the market has grown larger, broader and deeper. It's also the case the Federal Reserve's presence has greatly declined and innovative uses of sponsored repo have provided both lenders and borrowers new opportunities." We review these below, and we also summarize our latest Form N-MFP Holdings and Weekly Portfolio Holdings data.

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Crane Data's latest MFI International shows total assets in "offshore" money market mutual funds, U.S.-style funds domiciled in Ireland or Luxemburg and denominated in USD, Euro and GBP (sterling), up slightly year-to-date in 2018. Through 10/12/18, MFII assets are up $3 billion to $834 billion. Offshore USD money funds are up $8 billion YTD, continuing to defy predictions of repatriation-related outflows. Euro funds, however, are feeling the pain of negative rates and pending European MMF reforms; they're down E7 billion YTD. GBP funds are up L5B. U.S. Dollar (USD) money funds (159) account for over half ($433 billion, or 51.9%) of this "European" money fund total, while Euro (EUR) money funds (98) total E91 billion and Pound Sterling (GBP) funds (103) total L224 billion. We summarize our "offshore" money fund assets, as well as our latest Money Fund Intelligence International Portfolio Holdings totals, below.

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The October issue of our Bond Fund Intelligence, which was sent out to subscribers Monday morning, features the lead story, "Worldwide Bond Fund Assets Plunge in Q2; Europe Down," which reviews bond fund assets in other countries, and the profile, "Rothweiler & Cameron on New UBS Ultra Short Income," which interviews UBS Asset Management's David Rothweiler and Tom Cameron. BFI also recaps the latest Bond Fund News and includes our Crane BFI Indexes, which show that bond fund yields inched up in September while returns were mixed. We excerpt from the latest issue below. (Contact us if you'd like to see our latest Bond Fund Intelligence and BFI XLS spreadsheet, and ask us about our 3rd annual Bond Fund Symposium, which will take place March 25-26, 2019 in Philadelphia.)

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Wells Fargo Money Market Funds' latest "Portfolio Manager Commentary" looks back at the financial crisis and what has changed in the decade since. Jeff Weaver, et. al., write "'Surveying [what's left of] the landscape,' That's how we titled the overview section of our September monthly commentary published 10 years ago. September 2008 was a seminal moment in the money markets. Following months of stresses in various sectors of the financial markets, the crisis hit home with a vengeance when Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy on Monday, September 15, 2008. In its wake, a run began on money market funds, culminating with the Reserve Primary Fund, the nation's first and oldest money market fund, breaking its one-dollar net asset value (NAV), becoming only the second to do so since the Community Bankers money market fund in 1994. What began as a credit crisis quickly transformed into a crisis of liquidity and confidence, with markets seizing up and issuers unable to roll their maturities."

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Crane Data released its October Money Fund Portfolio Holdings Wednesday, and our most recent collection of taxable money market securities, with data as of Sept. 30, 2018, shows decreases in Treasuries and Agencies, but increases in Repo, CP and CDs. Money market securities held by Taxable U.S. money funds (tracked by Crane Data) decreased by $13.3 billion to $2.924 trillion last month, after decreasing by $24.1 billion in August, increasing by $90.0 billion in July, and decreasing by $53.8 billion in June. Repo continued to be the largest portfolio segment, followed by Treasury securities, then Agencies. CP remained fourth ahead of CDs, Other/Time Deposits and VRDNs. Below, we review our latest Money Fund Portfolio Holdings statistics. (Visit our Content center to download the latest files, or contact us to see our latest Portfolio Holdings reports.)

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Money fund yields moved higher again in the latest week, as they began to digest the Federal Reserve's latest short-term interest rate hike. The Federal funds target rate was raised 1/4-point to a range of 2.00-2.25% on Sept. 28, the Fed's 8th 1/4-point hike since Dec. 2015 and 3rd hike of 2018. Our Crane 100 Money Fund Index is now at 1.95%, up 7 basis points from a week ago (and from 9/30) and up from 1.12% at the start of 2018 and from 0.43% at the start of 2017. Brokerage sweep rates and bank deposit rates also continue to inch higher. We review recent yields below, and also quote from a pair of Wall Street Journal articles on savings and bank deposits. (Note: We apologize, but we're missing some funds in our Form N-MFP data files that haven't yet been updated on the SEC's website. They should be updated and revised soon though, and our 9/30 Money Fund Portfolio Holdings reports will be sent out on Wednesday.)

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Crane Data's latest Money Fund Market Share rankings show assets were lower for the majority of U.S. money fund complexes in September, but big gains in a handful of complexes pushed the overall totals positive. Money fund assets rose by $1.6 billion, or 0.1%, last month to $3.071 trillion, and assets have risen by $63.3 billion, or 2.1%, over the past 3 months. They have increased by $127.7 billion, or 4.3%, over the past 12 months through Sept. 30, 2018. The biggest increases among the 25 largest managers last month were seen by JP Morgan, Vanguard, Northern, Fidelity, and Morgan Stanley, who increased assets by $10.5 billion, $5.7B, $3.5B, $2.8B, and $1.7B, respectively. We review the latest market share totals below, and we also look at money fund yields in September.

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The October issue of our flagship Money Fund Intelligence newsletter, which was sent out to subscribers Friday morning, features the articles: "Prime MFs Clawing Back Two Years After Reform's 'Big Sort'," which looks at how Prime assets have fared of late; "Highlights from European MFS: Irish Funds' Rooney," which quotes a recent presentation from Irish Funds' Pat Rooney; and, "China, Ireland Still Dominate Global Money Fund Ranks," which reviews the latest statistics on money fund markets outside the U.S. We've also updated our Money Fund Wisdom database with Sept. 30 statistics, and sent out our MFI XLS spreadsheet Monday a.m. (MFI, MFI XLS and our Crane Index products are all available to subscribers via our Content center.) Our October Money Fund Portfolio Holdings are scheduled to ship on Wednesday, October 10, and our Oct. Bond Fund Intelligence is scheduled to go out Monday, October 15.

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Fidelity Investments distributed a recent "Viewpoint" to investors entitled, "Seek more from your cash amid higher rates." Subtitled, "Money markets and CDs may offer more income, and risk, than savings accounts," the piece tells us, "If you do have money in cash, you should consider your options. Interest rates have moved up significantly for some types of investments in recent years, but the average savings account still pays barely any interest. While rates are still low, choosing a higher-yielding home for some of your cash could make a meaningful difference. If you have $50,000 in cash for the next 3 years, the difference between the average savings account, and some higher-yielding options could be thousands of dollars." We review their update, and we also quote from a Bloomberg article on GE CP and review our latest Weekly Portfolio Holdings data below.

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