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Two major articles on money market funds and "cash" were published on Friday, which examine the two biggest stories of August to date -- brokerage sweep account changes and money fund asset growth. The first, Barron's "How Brokerages Use 'Sweep Accounts' and Cash In on Your Desire for Convenience," discusses brokerage programs and deposits vs. money funds, while the second, Bloomberg's "The $3.4 Trillion Haven Where Investors 'Hide Out for a While'," discusses the recent surge in money fund assets. We quote from these articles below. (See our August 13 News, "Cash of the Titans: Schwab vs. Fidelity; MF Yields Dip Below 2.0 Percent," and our August 16 Link of the Day, "ICI: Money Fund Assets Push Higher.")

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A press release entitled, "State Street Provides Clients Record Access to Cleared Repo Financing," tells us, "State Street Corporation (STT), today announced that it has sponsored a record $140 billion in repo investment volumes as a result of its partnership with the Fixed Income Clearing Corporation (FICC). In 2005, State Street partnered with FICC to launch its Sponsoring/Sponsored Member Repo Program, whereby a bank netting member of the clearing house could sponsor eligible US mutual funds to clear their repos with FICC." We quote from the release, and review the latest Portfolio Holdings updated from JP Morgan and ICI too, below.

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Crane Data's latest MFI International shows assets in "offshore" or European money market mutual funds rising sharply in the latest month through August 13. These U.S.-style funds, domiciled in Ireland or Luxemburg and denominated in US Dollars, Sterling and Euro, increased by $34.4 billion to $868.8 billion over the past month, and they're now up by $22.9 billion year-to-date. Offshore USD money funds rose $13.3 billion the past month and they're up $9.9 billion YTD. Euro funds surged E8.3 billion to break into the black YTD, up E0.3 billion. GBP funds jumped by L9.0 billion from July 12 through August 13, are they are up by L14.6 billion YTD. U.S. Dollar (USD) money funds (175) account for over half ($463.8 billion, or 53.4%) of our "European" money fund total, while Euro (EUR) money funds (78) total E99.3 billion (11.4%) and Pound Sterling (GBP) funds (103) total L224.0 billion (25.8%). We summarize our latest "offshore" money fund statistics and our Money Fund Intelligence International Portfolio Holdings (which went out to subscribers yesterday), below.

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The August issue of our Bond Fund Intelligence, which will be sent out to subscribers Wednesday morning, features the lead story, "Fund Concentration Grows in Muni Bond Space; Big Flows," which discusses recent articles on the municipal fixed-income space and "Northern's Peter Yi Part II: Ultra-Shorts & Segmentation," which features BFI's recent "profile" interview. BFI also recaps the latest Bond Fund News and includes our Crane BFI Indexes, which show lower bond fund yields and higher returns (again) in July. We excerpt from the new issue below. (Contact us if you'd like to see our Bond Fund Intelligence and BFI XLS spreadsheet, or our Bond Fund Portfolio Holdings data.)

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Most money market fund and brokerage sweep yields moved lower in the latest week, driven by the Federal Reserve's July 31 rate cut. The notable exception was Fidelity's brokerage sweep rate, which jumped from 0.79% to 1.07% last week. (See our August 8, 9 and 12 Links of the Day, "Fidelity Now Sweeps to Money Fund," "WSJ on Fidelity: Cash's Sweeping Giant" and Barron's Clarifies Fidelity Sweep Push.") Fidelity announced the sweep move, which took aim at Schwab, E*TRADE and TD Ameritrade, with a full page ad ("Your cash never had it so good") in the Wall Street Journal, but over the weekend Charles Schwab returned fire with a full page ad in the Sunday New York Times. So begins what we're calling the "Cash of the Titans."

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Crane Data released its August Money Fund Portfolio Holdings Friday, and our most recent collection of taxable money market securities, with data as of July 31, 2019, shows another big jump in Repo, and a rebound in Agencies. Money market securities held by Taxable U.S. money funds (tracked by Crane Data) increased by $102.1 billion to $3.504 trillion last month, after increasing $18.7 billion in June, $77.2 billion in May and $88.9 billion in April. Repo continues 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 assets showed their largest increase since December and one of the largest jumps ever in the latest week, reaching their highest level since November 2009. This follows a slight decline last week, which broke a record-tying 14 straight weeks of increases. ICI's latest "Money Market Fund Assets" report shows that MMF totals have increased by $293.4 billion, or 9.6%, since April 17, and they've increased by $289 billion, or 9.5%, year-to-date. Over the past 52 weeks, ICI's money fund asset series has increased by $472 billion, or 16.5%, with Retail MMFs rising by $222 billion (21.2%) and Inst MMFs rising by $250 billion (13.8%). We review the latest money fund asset totals below, and we also look at Fidelity's asset growth and summarize the latest Form N-MFP Portfolio Holdings data.

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Crane Data's latest Money Fund Market Share rankings show assets were up again for almost all U.S. money fund complexes in July. Money fund assets increased by $78.1 billion, or 2.2%, last month to $3.620 trillion. Assets have climbed by $201.8 billion, or 5.9%, over the past 3 months, and they have increased by $578.5 billion, or 19.0%, over the past 12 months through July 31, 2019. The biggest increases among the 25 largest managers last month were seen by Fidelity, BlackRock, Federated, Invesco, JP Morgan and Schwab, which increased assets by $13.3 billion, $10.7B, $10.4B, $10.3B, $6.8B and $6.3B respectively. The only decline in assets among the largest complexes in July was seen by Goldman Sachs. 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, which moved lower in July.

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The August issue of our flagship Money Fund Intelligence newsletter, which was sent out to subscribers Wednesday morning, features the articles: "Money Fund Assets Surging in '19; No Signs of Slowdown," which reviews the recent strength in money market fund asset flows; "Northern's Peter Yi: Money Market Business Asymmetric," which profiles Northern Trust Asset management's Director of Short Duration Portfolio Management and Head of Taxable Credit Research; and, "Confusion Grows as 'ESG' Gets Hotter in Money Funds," which discusses the latest developments in the "green" money fund space. We've also updated our Money Fund Wisdom database with July 31 statistics, and sent out our MFI XLS spreadsheet Wednesday a.m. (MFI, MFI XLS and our Crane Index products are all available to subscribers via our Content center.) Our August Money Fund Portfolio Holdings are scheduled to ship on Friday, August 9, and our August Bond Fund Intelligence is scheduled to go out Wednesday, August 14.

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Money fund, brokerage sweep, bank savings and "robo" yields all moved lower in the days following the Federal Reserve's rate cut last Wednesday. Money market mutual fund rates, which had been inching down in the 2 months prior to the cut, have declined by 6 basis points over the past 3 days. Our weekly Brokerage Sweep Intelligence publication shows 4 brokerages cut their sweep rates (out of 11), and the two main "fin-tech" advisors offering savings products both cut rates by 1/4 point. Our Crane 100 Money Fund Index, currently at 2.06%, was 2.18% at the end of June and 2.22% two months ago. Rates should continue inching lower in coming weeks.

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European regulators just issued some new guidance on parts of the recently implemented European Money Fund Reforms, though we couldn't understand a word of it. A press release entitled, "ESMA readies stress testing requirements for money market funds" tells us, "The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has today issued two sets of guidelines regarding the stress testing of money market funds and reporting on money market funds to national competent authorities (NCAs), aimed at ensuring a coherent application of the Money Market Fund (MMF) Regulation." We quote from the release below, and we also review an article on global money funds and remind readers about our upcoming European Money Fund Symposium in Dublin (Sept. 23-24).

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Money fund assets fell in the latest week after a record-setting 14 straight weeks of increases. The Investment Company Institute's latest "Money Market Fund Assets" report shows that MMF totals have increased by $235.7 billion, or 7.7%, since April 17, and they've increased by $231 billion, or 7.6%, year-to-date. Over the past 52 weeks, ICI's money fund asset series has increased by $427 billion, or 15.0%, with Retail MMFs rising by $212 billion (20.4%) and Inst MMFs rising by $211 billion (11.6%). We review the latest money fund asset totals below, and we quote from a new FT article on the company with the largest cash hoard.

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