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Since our Jan. 12 News update, "Stable NAV MMF Bill Stalls," we've seen two more mentions of H.R. 2319, the bill to bring back the $1.00 NAV for Prime Institutional money funds. In the first, Politico Pro writes "Investment Companies Fight Effort to Undo Fund Rules." They comment, "ICI is lobbying to preserve money market fund regulations enacted in 2014, as the House Financial Services Committee prepares to vote on bipartisan legislation that would roll back the regulations. ICI told senior lawmakers in a letter Friday that it opposes the House bill, citing "substantial and costly operational changes" that had been undertaken and its view that markets had adjusted to the regulatory overhaul." (Welcome to Boston for those attending our Money Fund University! Feel free to stop by the Hyatt to "audit" a course, and subscribers can see the materials in our MFU 2018 Download Center.)

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Crane Data's MFI International shows 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 sharply in 2017 (up $100 billion, or 13.7%) to $831 billion. Year-to-date in 2018 (through 1/11/18), MFII assets are up another $26 billion to $857 billion, which many believe is a result of pending "repatriation" of US dollar assets held in Europe. U.S. Dollar (USD) funds (152) account for over half ($449 billion, or 52.4%) of the total, while Euro (EUR) money funds (93) total E94 billion and Pound Sterling (GBP) funds (106) total L224 billion. USD funds are up $24 billion, YTD, and were up $27B in 2017. Euro funds remain relatively flat (down E4 billion YTD and up E3B in 2017), while GBP funds are up L5B YTD and L29B in 2017. USD MMFs yield 1.22% (7-Day) on average (as of 1/11/18), up from 1.19% at the end of 2017 and 0.56% at the end of 2016. EUR MMFs yield -0.51% on average, up from -0.55% on 12/29/17 and -0.49% on 12/30/16, while GBP MMFs yield 0.28%, up from 0.24% at the end of 2017 and 0.19% at the end of 2016. We review our latest MFI International Portfolio Holdings statistics, and also review ICI's latest MMF Holdings report, below.

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The January issue of Crane Data's Bond Fund Intelligence, which will be sent out to subscribers Tuesday, features the lead story, "Top Stories & Funds in '17; Outlook for '18; BFI Turns 3," which reviews the top stories and funds of 2017, and it features the profile, "Dechert's Cohen on Regulations Impacting Bond Funds," an interview with Partner Stephen Cohen on major regulatory issues. Also, we recap the latest Bond Fund News, including yield declines in December and the latest Worldwide bond fund totals. BFI also includes our Crane BFI Indexes, which showed increases in December. We excerpt from the latest BFI below. (Watch for more excerpts from our Dechert profile later this month on www.cranedata.com, and contact us if you'd like to see a copy of our latest Bond Fund Intelligence and BFI XLS. Note: We've also uploaded the Powerpoints and Binder for our upcoming Money Fund University, which is Jan. 18-19 in Boston. Subscribers and Attendees may now access these via the bottom of our "Content" page or our MFU 2018 Download Center, and clients are welcome to "crash" some sessions or our cocktail party!)

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Money fund assets declined slightly for the second week in a row and the first full week of 2018, though Prime MMFs continued to see inflows, according to the Investment Company Institute's latest "Money Market Fund Assets" report. ICI writes, "Total money market fund assets1 decreased by $1.85 billion to $2.84 trillion for the week ended Wednesday, January 10, the Investment Company Institute reported today. Among taxable money market funds, government funds decreased by $6.42 billion and prime funds increased by $2.83 billion. Tax-exempt money market funds increased by $1.74 billion." Total Government MMF assets, which include Treasury funds too, stand at $2.238 trillion (78.9% of all money funds), while Total Prime MMFs stand at $462.3 billion (16.3%). Tax Exempt MMFs total $135.7 billion, or 4.8%. We review the latest asset totals, as well as another WSJ update on H.R.2319, below.

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Crane Data released its January Money Fund Portfolio Holdings late yesterday, and our most recent collection of taxable money market securities, with data as of Dec. 31, 2017, shows a huge increase in Repo, a jump in Agencies, but big drops in Time Deposits (Other) and CDs. Money market securities held by Taxable U.S. money funds overall (tracked by Crane Data) increased by $37.2 billion to $2.893 trillion last month, after increasing $18.4 billion in November, $77.7 billion in October, $8.5 billion in September, and $58.6 billion in August. Repo remained the largest portfolio segment and broke over $1.0 trillion for the first time ever, followed by Treasuries and Agencies. CP remained in fourth place 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 if you'd like to see our latest Money Fund Portfolio Holdings reports.)

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Below, we reprint the article, "Top Money Funds of 2017; 9th Annual MFI Awards," from the January edition of our Money Fund Intelligence.... In this issue, we recognize the top-performing money funds, ranked by total returns, for calendar year 2017, as well as the top funds for the past 5-year and 10-year periods. We present the funds below with our annual Money Fund Intelligence Awards. These are given to the No. 1-ranked funds based on 1-year, 5-year and 10-year returns, through Dec. 31, 2017, in each of our major fund categories -- Prime Institutional, Government Institutional, Treasury Institutional, Prime Retail, Government Retail, Treasury Retail and Tax‐Exempt. (Note: We've posted the latest versions of our "Funds" and "Portfolio Holdings" data files from the SEC's Form N-MFP data series here. Our normal January Money Fund Portfolio Holdings will also be released later today.)

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Crane Data's latest Money Fund Market Share rankings show assets were up across almost all U.S. money fund complexes in December. Overall assets increased by $57.9 billion, or 1.9%. Total assets have increased by $97.1 billion, or 3.3%, over the past 3 months. They've increased by $286.6 billion, or 10.4%, over the past 12 months through December 31, but note that our asset totals have been inflated by the addition of a number of funds. (Crane Data added batches of previously untracked funds in December 2016, and in February and April 2017. These funds, which total over $200 billion, include a number of internal funds that we hadn't been aware of prior to disclosures of the SEC's Form N-MFP.) The biggest gainers in December were BlackRock, whose MMFs rose by $16.1 billion, or 5.8%, Morgan Stanley, whose MMFs rose by $14.0 billion, or 11.9%, and Federated, whose MMFs rose by $11.7 billion, or 6.2%.

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The January issue of our flagship Money Fund Intelligence newsletter, which was sent out to subscribers Monday morning, features the articles: "Money Fund Highlights of '17; Yield Jump, Assets Big Stories," which reviews the top stories of 2017 and outlook for 2018; "Public Trust Advisors' Palomba & Waud on LGIPs," which interviews PTA's Randy Palomba and Neil Waud; and, "Top Money Funds of 2017; 8th Annual MFI Awards," which reviews top-performing money market funds for the past 1-, 5- and 10-year periods. We've also updated our Money Fund Wisdom database with Dec. 31, 2017, 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 January Money Fund Portfolio Holdings are scheduled to ship Wednesday, January 10, and our January Bond Fund Intelligence is scheduled to go out Monday, January 15.

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We mentioned a recent "MetLife Stable Value Study in our Dec. 14 "Link of the Day", but we didn't have time to give it more coverage at the time. Today, however (since we're stuck in the snow), we excerpt in more detail from the "2017 Stable Value Study." MetLife commissioned the study and survey "plan sponsors, stable value fund providers and advisors ... to gain strategic insight into the current marketplace for stable value, a capital preservation option offered in defined contribution (DC) plans." They explain, "In fact, stable value is the only capital preservation option designed specifically for qualified retirement plans. Today, approximately 11% of the $7.5 trillion in DC plan assets is in stable value."

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We learned from mutual fund news publisher ignites that Charles Schwab Investment Management has filed to liquidate the $8 billion Schwab Money Market Fund, a move that likely indicates an acceleration in Charles Schwab & Co.'s shift of brokerage "sweep" assets from money market funds into FDIC-insured bank accounts. The Prospectus Supplement says, "At a meeting held on December 12, 2017, the Board of Trustees of The Charles Schwab Family of Funds approved the liquidation of, and the related Plan of Liquidation for, Schwab Money Market Fund (the Fund)." We review this latest liquidation filing, as well as recent rate increases on brokerage sweep accounts, below. (See our Oct. 23, 2017 "Link of the Day," "Schwab Earnings Talk MMFs.")

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The Wall Street Journal wrote a piece entitled, "Which Banks to Own When Savers Get Fed Up." Subtitled, "2018 will be the year that banks finally start paying decent returns to savers, but some will have to pay more than others," the article discusses the likelihood of various banks raising rates for savers in the coming year. It says, "Savings accounts, which have paid out almost nothing for the past decade, could get more interesting in 2018 as yields rise and investors scramble for the higher returns. That could be bad news for certain banks. Savings account yields haven't risen much since the Federal Reserve started raising interest rates. As the Fed keeps tightening in 2018, more banks will raise deposit rates and savers will respond by rushing to the banks that pay the most."

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Adviser Investments published a brief entitled, "Deja Vu Again - Tax-Exempt Money Yields Soar." Written by Christopher Keith, it tells us, "Here we go again! Tax-exempt money market yields are on a moonshot. Investors and savers may be getting the wrong impression about just how sumptuous their yields will be in the new year. It's something we haven't seen for years as money market yields, and particularly those in the municipal market, have been hovering around 0%. Now they've going over 1% and shooting higher." We excerpt from this article, and we extend a new "Free Friday" offer for our upcoming Money Fund University, below. We'd also like to wish all of our readers the best of luck in 2018. Happy New Year!

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