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Author:Holscher, Michael 

Discussion Paper
Money Market Funds and Systemic Risk

On September 16, 2008, Reserve Primary Fund, a money market fund (MMF) with $65 billion in assets under management, announced that losses in its portfolio had caused the value of shares in the fund to drop from $1.00 to $0.97. The news that an MMF had ?broken the buck? spread panic quickly to other MMFs. In the two days following Reserve?s announcement, investors withdrew approximately $200 billion (10 percent of assets) from so-called ?prime? MMFs, which, like Reserve, mainly invest in privately issued short-term securities. The massive redemptions and resulting strains on MMFs contributed ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20120611

Discussion Paper
The Minimum Balance at Risk: A Proposal to Stabilize Money Market Funds

In a June post, we explained why the design of money market funds (MMFs) makes them prone to runs and thereby contributes to financial instability. Today, we outline a proposal for strengthening MMFs that we?ve put forward in a recent New York Fed staff report. The proposal aims to reduce, and possibly eliminate, the incentive for investors to run from a troubled fund, while retaining the defining features of money market funds that make them popular financial products. U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, in a recent letter to the Financial Stability Oversight Council, requested that it ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20121015

Discussion Paper
Twenty-Eight Money Market Funds That Could Have Broken the Buck: New Data on Losses during the 2008 Crisis

During the financial crisis in 2008, just one money market fund (MMF) ?broke the buck??that is, its share price dropped below one dollar. The Reserve Primary Fund announced on September 16 that the value of its shares had dropped to 97 cents. As we discussed in a previous post, Reserve?s announcement helped spark a widespread, damaging run on MMFs that slowed only when the federal government intervened three days later to backstop the funds.
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20131009

Report
The minimum balance at risk: a proposal to mitigate the systemic risks posed by money market funds

This paper introduces a proposal for money market fund (MMF) reform that could mitigate systemic risks arising from these funds by protecting shareholders, such as retail investors, who do not redeem quickly from distressed funds. Our proposal would require that a small fraction of each MMF investor's recent balances, called the "minimum balance at risk" (MBR), be demarcated to absorb losses if the fund is liquidated. Most regular transactions in the fund would be unaffected, but redemptions of the MBR would be delayed for thirty days. A key feature of the proposal is that large redemptions ...
Staff Reports , Paper 564

Working Paper
The minimum balance at risk: a proposal to mitigate the systemic risks posed by money market funds

This paper advances the theory and methodology of signal extraction by introducing asymptotic and finite sample formulas for optimal estimators of signals in nonstationary multivariate time series. Previous literature has considered only univariate or stationary models. However, in current practice and research, econometricians, macroeconomists, and policy-makers often combine related series - that may have stochastic trends--to attain more informed assessments of basic signals like underlying inflation and business cycle components. Here, we use a very general model structure, of widespread ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2012-47

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