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The Securities and Exchange Commission's latest "Money Market Fund Statistics" summary shows that total money fund assets increased by $461.6 billion in April to a record $5.200 trillion, the 21st increase in the past 22 months. (Month-to-date in May through 5/26, assets have increased by $99.7 billion according to our MFI Daily.) The SEC shows that Prime MMFs jumped $105.2 billion in April to $1.090 trillion, while Govt & Treasury funds skyrocketed by $347.3 billion to $3.969 trillion. Tax Exempt funds increased by $9.1 billion to $141.1 billion. Yields were down for Prime, Govt and Tax-Exempt MMFs in April. The SEC's Division of Investment Management summarizes monthly Form N-MFP data and includes asset totals and averages for yields, liquidity levels, WAMs, WALs, holdings, and other money market fund trends. We review their latest numbers below.

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Money market fund yields once again inched lower in the latest week with our flagship Crane 100 down 3 basis points (through Friday, May 22) to 0.16%. The Crane 100 MF Index fell below the 1.0% level in mid-March and below the 0.5% level in late March, and is down from 1.46% at the start of the year and down from 2.23% at the beginning of 2019. While a number of money funds have already hit the zero floor, most continue to show some yield. According to our Money Fund Intelligence Daily, as of Friday, 5/22, 393 funds (out of 852 total) yielded 0.00% or 0.01% with assets of $1.316 trillion, or 25.7% of the total. There were 156 funds yielding between 0.02% and 0.10%, totaling $992.1B, or 19.4% of assets; 173 funds yielded between 0.11% and 0.25% with $1.647 trillion, or 32.2% of assets; 101 funds yielded between 0.26% and 0.50% with $837.5 billion in assets, or 16.4%; 24 funds yielded between 0.51% and 0.99% with $325.7 billion in assets or 6.4%; no funds yield over 1.00%.

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For those of you who might have missed it, we hosted our first webinar, entitled, "Crane's Money Fund Update & Training," last Thursday. It featured Peter Crane reviewing recent events and trends involving money market mutual funds for 30 minutes, including discussions of asset flows, negative yield and a number of other topics. The webinar also included a brief, 15 minute tutorial on our Money Fund Intelligence Daily product. Below, we review Crane's latest comments, and we also include links to the recordings and Powerpoint. (See the bottom of our "Content" page for all of our Webinar and conference materials.) Mark your calendars and watch for details on our next webinar, which will be held June 25 at 2pm, and bear with us as we ramp up our virtual event capabilities over the next couple of months.

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This month, MFI interviews Paul Schott Stevens, President & CEO of the Investment Company Institute (ICI). Stevens has been with the mutual fund trade association for 20 years and has been involved in the fund industry for even longer. We discuss his storied career, and ICI's crucial involvement in the development of money fund regulations. Our Q&A follows. (Note: The following is reprinted from the May issue of Money Fund Intelligence, which was published on May 7. Contact us at info@cranedata.com to request the full issue or to subscribe.)

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The SEC recently released its latest quarterly "Private Funds Statistics report, which summarizes Form PF reporting and includes some data on "Liquidity Funds." The publication shows overall Liquidity fund assets were up in the latest reported quarter (Q3'19) to $588 billion (up from $580 billion in Q2'19). The SEC's "Introduction" tells us, "This report provides a summary of recent private fund industry statistics and trends, reflecting data collected through Form PF and Form ADV filings. Form PF information provided in this report is aggregated, rounded, and/or masked to avoid potential disclosure of proprietary information of individual Form PF filers. This report reflects data from Fourth Calendar Quarter 2017 through Third Calendar Quarter 2019 as reported by Form PF filers." We believe many of these liquidity funds are securities lending reinvestment pools and other short-term investment funds. (Note: As a reminder, we'll be hosting our first Webinar event, "Crane's Money Fund Update & Training," at 3:00pm Eastern today, Thurs., May 21. To register for our free update, go here: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/5005519395474084109.)

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Northern Institutional Funds filed to liquidate its $1.7 billion Northern Prime Obligations Portfolio earlier this week, we learned from Bloomberg. The filing says, "The Board of Trustees (the 'Board') of Northern Institutional Funds (the 'Trust') has determined, after consideration of a number of factors, that it is in the best interests of the Prime Obligations Portfolio (the 'Portfolio') and its shareholders that the Portfolio be liquidated and terminated on or about July 10, 2020 (the 'Liquidation Date') pursuant to a plan of liquidation approved by the Board. The Liquidation Date may be changed at the discretion of the Trust's officers. The pending liquidation of the Portfolio may be terminated and/or abandoned at any time before the Liquidation Date by action of the Board of the Trust. As of the date of this supplement, Williams Capital Shares of the Portfolio have not commenced operations and are not offered for purchase." (The fund's assets are down from $3.8 billion on Feb. 28, 2020.)

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Money market fund yields, which fell below the 1.0% level in mid-March and below the 0.5% level in late March, continued inching lower in the latest week. Our flagship Crane 100 Money Fund Index was down 3 basis points over the past week (through Friday, May 15) to 0.19%. The Crane 100 is down from 1.46% at the start of the year and down 2.04% from the beginning of 2019 (2.23%). While some funds have already hit the zero floor, most money funds continue to show some yield and are stubbornly resisting zero yields. According to our Money Fund Intelligence Daily, as of Friday, 5/15, 360 funds (out of 852 total) yielded 0.00% or 0.01% with total assets of $922.6 billion, or 18.0% of total assets. There were 143 funds yielding between 0.02% and 0.10%, totaling $927.0B, or 18.0% of assets; 200 funds yielded between 0.11% and 0.25% with $1.972 trillion, or 38.4% of assets; 100 funds yielded between 0.26% and 0.50% with $887.8 billion in assets, or 17.3% ; 44 funds yielded between 0.51% and 0.99% with $427.4 billion in assets or 8.3%; no funds yielded over 1.00%.

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As we mentioned last week, the Investment Company Institute recently published its "2020 Investment Company Fact Book," an annual compilation of statistics and commentary on the mutual fund industry. (See our May 6 Link of the Day, "ICI Releases 2020 Fact Book.") We reviewed the bulk of the money fund content in our May 13 News, "ICI's 2020 Fact Book Reviews Money Funds Trends; BIS on Covid Crisis," but below we focus on the numerous "Data Tables" involving "Money Market Mutual Funds, which start on page 230. ICI lists annual statistics on shareholder accounts, the number of funds, net assets, net new cash flows, paid and reinvested dividends, composition of prime and government funds, and net assets of institutional investors by type of institution.

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Crane Data's MFI International shows assets in European or "offshore" money market mutual assets rising sharply over the past month, breaking $1.0 trillion for the first time ever. These U.S.-style funds, domiciled in Ireland or Luxemburg and denominated in US Dollars, Pound Sterling and Euros, increased by $50.9 billion over the last 30 days to $1.007 trillion; they're up by $130.7 billion year-to-date. Offshore USD money funds, which broke over $500 billion in January, are up $26.0 billion over the last 30 days and are up $37.1 billion YTD. Euro funds are up E4.3 billion over the previous 30 days, and YTD they're up E25.5 billion. GBP funds have risen by L13.9 billion over 30 days, and are up by L33.3 billion YTD. U.S. Dollar (USD) money funds (192, up two from the previous month) account for over half ($531.5 billion, or 52.8%) of the "European" money fund total, while Euro (EUR) money funds (92, unchanged from the previous month) total E124.1 billion (12.3%) and Pound Sterling (GBP) funds (123, unchanged from the previous month) total L258.2 billion (25.6%). We summarize our latest "offshore" money fund statistics and our Money Fund Intelligence International Portfolio Holdings (which went out to subscribers Thursday), below.

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The May issue of our Bond Fund Intelligence, which was sent to subscribers Thursday morning, features the lead story, "ICI's Stevens Discusses Bond Funds, ETFs, Retirement," which interviews the ICI President and CEO, and, "ICI 2020 Fact Book Reviews Bond Fund Trends, Flows," which reviews the ICI's latest Fact Book. BFI also recaps the latest Bond Fund News and includes our Crane BFI Indexes, which show that bond fund yields fell and returns rebounded in April. 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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As we mentioned late last week in our May Money Fund Intelligence, the Investment Company Institute released its "2020 Investment Company Fact Book," an annual compilation of statistics and commentary on the mutual fund industry. Subtitled, "A Review of Trends and Activities in the Investment Company Industry," the latest edition reports that equity funds slowed, bond fund inflows jumped, and money market funds had their strongest inflows in almost 10 years in 2019 ($553 billion). Overall, money funds assets were $3.632 trillion at year-end 2019, making up 17% of the $21.3 trillion in overall mutual fund assets. Retail investors held $1.370 trillion, while institutional investors held $2.262 trillion. We excerpt from the latest "Fact Book" below.

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Crane Data released its May Money Fund Portfolio Holdings Monday, and our most recent collection, with data as of April 30, 2020, shows a huge jump in Treasuries and a big drop in Repo last month. Money market securities held by Taxable U.S. money funds (tracked by Crane Data) jumped by $562.6 billion to $5.123 trillion last month, after increasing a staggering $725.6 billion in March, $5.0 billion in February and $19.0 billion in January. Treasury securities broke above $2.0 trillion and are now the largest portfolio segment, followed by Repo, 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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