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The September issue of our Bond Fund Intelligence, which was sent to subscribers Wednesday morning, features the lead story, "BlackRock, IHS Markit on Bond ETFs for Portfolio Managers," which reviews a recent webinar discussing ETFs in portfolio construction; and "TCW's Rivelle Stepping Down Says WSJ, MetWest Filing," which quotes from a recent WSJ story and filing on changes at TCW. BFI also recaps the latest Bond Fund News and includes our Crane BFI Indexes, which show that bond fund returns inched lower in August while yields rose. We excerpt from the new issue below. (Contact us if you'd like to see our latest Bond Fund Intelligence and BFI XLS spreadsheet, or our Bond Fund Portfolio Holdings data. Also, watch for plenty of Ultra-Short Bond Fund content at next week's Money Fund Symposium, which takes place live Sept. 21-23 in Philadelphia.)

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Two recent press releases reflect the growing interest by fund managers and investors in ESG, Social and/or D&I money market mutual funds and trading. The first is, "BlackRock Partners with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund to Benefit Students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, while the second is "CastleOak Securities Expands Money Fund Solutions Team." BlackRock's release, subtitled, "Global leaders in technology, financial services and consumer goods will pioneer growth of socially aware money market fund," explains, "BlackRock announced it will partner with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund ('TMCF') to support students of Historically Black Colleges and Universities ('HBCUs') and Predominantly Black Institutions ('PBIs') in their journey to college and into upwardly-mobile careers. TMCF ... will receive an annual contribution from BlackRock, which will represent a portion of net revenue from BlackRock's management fee for the BlackRock Liquid Federal Trust Fund ('BLFT'). BLFT is a government money market fund designed for investors seeking to further positive social outcomes through their cash management. Several notable firms have committed as investors or distributors of BLFT, including Bank of America, BNY Mellon, Capital One, The Coca-Cola Company, Google, Jefferies, Lyft, and Verizon."

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Wells Fargo Money Market Funds' most recent "Portfolio Manager Commentary" discusses money fund yields, the Fed's repo program, and the Treasury debt ceiling. It tells us, "With the FOMC firmly on hold and the market awash in excess cash from monetary and fiscal stimulus, prime money market yields continued to tread water in August. The one-month versus three-month LIBOR spread entered the month of August +3.41 basis points ... and ended the month at +3.71 bps. This backdrop is favorable for risk assets as front-end rates continue to be predictable and maintained at an advantageous level for economic growth."

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Crane Data's September Money Fund Portfolio Holdings, with data as of August 31, 2021, show yet another jump in Repo and plunge in Treasury holdings. Money market securities held by Taxable U.S. money funds (tracked by Crane Data) increased by $47.4 billion to $4.879 trillion in July, after falling $89.1 billion in July, but rising $1.5 billion in June, $30.2 billion in May and $29.1 billion in April. Treasury securities remained the largest portfolio segment (barely), but Repo is now almost tied for the No. 1 spot. MMF holdings of Fed repo rose to over $1.0 trillion. Agencies were the third largest segment, CP remained fourth, ahead of CDs, Other/Time Deposits and VRDNs. Below, we review our latest Money Fund Portfolio Holdings statistics. (Note: We're still a go for next week's Money Fund Symposium in Philadelphia, Sept. 21-23! Registrations are still being taken if you're vaccinated and not afraid of meeting in person. We look forward to seeing many of you next week!)

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Crane Data's latest monthly Money Fund Portfolio Holdings statistics will be sent out Friday, and we'll be writing our regular monthly update on the August 31 data for Monday's News. But we also uploaded a separate and broader Portfolio Holdings data set based on the SEC's Form N-MFP filings on Thursday. (We continue to merge the two series, and the N-MFP version is now available via Holding file listings to Money Fund Wisdom subscribers.) Our new N-MFP summary, with data as of August 31, 2021 includes holdings information from 1,010 money funds (down 17 from last month), representing assets of $5.027 trillion (up from $4.977 trillion). Prime MMFs now total $863.4 billion, or 17.2% of the total. We review the new N-MFP data below, and we also look at our revised MMF expense data.

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Crane Data's latest Money Fund Market Share rankings show assets increased across a majority of the largest U.S. money fund complexes in August. Money market fund assets increased $27.9 billion, or 0.6%, last month to $4.966 trillion. Assets have decreased by $94.7 billion, or -1.9%, over the past 3 months, and they've decreased by $25.2 billion, or -0.5%, over the past 12 months through August 31, 2021. The largest increases among the 25 largest managers last month were seen by Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Fidelity, Morgan Stanley and Dreyfus, which grew assets by $17.4 billion, $12.4B, $7.8B, $6.0B and $5.0B, respectively. The largest declines in August were seen by BlackRock, Federated Hermes, Wells Fargo and UBS, which decreased by $13.0 billion, $7.6B, $3.4B and $1.6B, respectively. Our domestic U.S. "Family" rankings are available in our MFI XLS product, our global rankings are available in our MFI International product. The combined "Family & Global Rankings" are available to Money Fund Wisdom subscribers. We review the latest market share totals below, and we also look at money fund yields in August.

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The September issue of our flagship Money Fund Intelligence newsletter, which was sent to subscribers Wednesday morning, features the articles: "FSB Comment Letters Show Consensus on Reforms Close," which discusses the latest feedback on reforms; "BlackRock's Beccy Milchem Talks European MMF Issues," which profiles the new Head of EMEA Cash; and, "More D&I Share Classes on the Way, But ESG Takes Hit," which recaps the latest news on diversity MMFs. We also sent out our MFI XLS spreadsheet Wednesday a.m., and have updated our Money Fund Wisdom database query system with 8/31/21 data. (MFI, MFI XLS and our Crane Index products are all available to subscribers via our Content center.) Our September Money Fund Portfolio Holdings are scheduled to ship on Friday, Sept. 10, and our September Bond Fund Intelligence is scheduled to go out next Wednesday, Sept. 15.

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Over the past several weeks, we've quoted from a number of comment letters to the Financial Stability Board in response to the FSB's "Policy proposals to enhance money market fund resilience: Consultation Report". These include statements from J.P. Morgan Asset Management, BlackRock, Fidelity, Federated Hermes, Charles Schwab, BNY Mellon, Vanguard and SSGA, as well as letters from the ICI, ABA and others. Today, we quote from a few more, including comments from U.K. and France-based asset managers HSBC Asset Management, BNP Paribas, Amundi and Aviva Investors. Jonathan Curry, who will speak on "European, ESG and Corporate Issues" at our upcoming Money Fund Symposium in Philadelphia (Sept. 21-23), writes in, "HSBC Asset Management Response to FSB Policy Proposals to Enhance Money Market Fund Resilience," "HSBC Asset Management is HSBC's core investment business dedicated to managing assets for institutions and individuals worldwide, with USD612.4 billion in total assets under management."

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ICI's latest "Money Market Fund Assets" report shows assets falling at month-end after several weeks of minor gains. The release says, "Total money market fund assets decreased by $17.18 billion to $4.51 trillion for the week ended Wednesday, September 1, the Investment Company Institute reported today. Among taxable money market funds, government funds decreased by $16.70 billion and prime funds decreased by $634 million. Tax-exempt money market funds increased by $153 million." Money fund assets are up by $212 billion, or 4.9%, year-to-date in 2021. Inst MMFs are up $310 billion (11.2%), while Retail MMFs are down $98 billion (-6.4%). (For the month of August, money fund assets were flat, declining by a miniscule $1.1 billion to $4.945 trillion, according to Crane Data's MFI Daily collection.)

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The Financial Times writes that the "Debt ceiling fight pushes money market funds to brink," which discusses the latest battle over the debt ceiling, the dramatic shrinkage in Treasury debt and its impact on money market funds. They tell us, "The supply of the safest US government bonds has been cut this month after federal spending limits were reinstated, driving prices higher and reigniting problems for the money market fund industry -- which has already been bailed out by the Federal Reserve once this year. Treasury bills -- US bonds which mature in a year or less -- were already scant this year after the US lengthened the average duration of its new debt issues. Supply then took another hit after Congress failed to pass legislation in July that would have allowed the Treasury department to issue new debt -- known as raising the debt ceiling."

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Federated Hermes, the sixth largest manager of money market mutual funds in the world according to Crane Data, also submitted a comment letter to the Financial Stability Board in response to the FSB's "Policy proposals to enhance money market fund resilience: Consultation Report". Federated's Deborah Cunningham and Dennis Gepp state, "Federated Hermes has been in business since 1955 and has more than 45 years of experience managing money market funds ('MMFs').... Federated Hermes manages Low-Volatility Net Asset Value MMFs ('LVNAV'), and Public Debt Constant NAV MMFs ('CNAV') domiciled in the EU, and LVNAV and Variable NAV MMFs ('VNAV') in the UK. Federated Hermes also manages MMFs in the United States [and] accounts for institutional customers that invest in money market instruments, as well as US local government investment pools that invest in money market instruments. In all, Federated Hermes manages more than $400 billion (€330 billion) in money market assets, the vast majority of which have ESG integrated into their investment process. We appreciate the opportunity to comment on the consultation report on the FSB's policy proposals to enhance money market fund resilience that was published on 30 June 2021." (Note: Federated's Cunningham is scheduled to co-keynote our upcoming Money Fund Symposium conference, Sept. 21-23 (live) in Philadelphia. We hope to see you there!)

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ICI released its latest monthly "Trends in Mutual Fund Investing" and "Month-End Portfolio Holdings of Taxable Money Funds" for July 2021. The monthly "Trends" report shows that money fund assets decreased $24.4 billion in July to $4.510 trillion. This follows a decrease of $73.4 billion in June, which followed increases of $78.6 billion in May, $31.9 billion in April, $129.4 billion in March, and $39.4 billion in February. MMFs decreased $5.2 billion in January, $10.0 billion in December and $12.0 billion in November. Assets also fell $47.6 billion in October, $118.4 billion in September and $56.7 billion in August. For the 12 months through July 31, 2021, money fund assets have decreased by $24.4 billion, or -0.5%. (Month-to-date in July through 8/27, MMF assets have decreased by $11.5 billion according to Crane's MFI Daily.)

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