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Author:McCabe, Patrick E. 

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

Working Paper
The economics of the mutual fund trading scandal

I examine the economic incentives behind the mutual fund trading scandal, which made headlines in late 2003 with news that several asset management companies had arranged to allow abusive--and, in some cases, illegal--trades in their mutual funds. Most of the gains from these trades went to the traders who pursued market-timing and late-trading strategies. The costs were largely borne by buy-and-hold investors, and, eventually, by the management companies themselves. ; A puzzle emerges when one examines the scandal from the perspective of those management companies. In the short run, they ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2009-06

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
Money Market Fund Vulnerabilities: A Global Perspective

Money market funds (MMFs) are popular around the world, with over $9 trillion in assets under management globally. From their origins in the 1970s, MMFs have operated in a niche between the capital markets and the banking system, as investment funds that offer private money‐like assets with features similar to those of bank deposits. Hence, they are vulnerable to runs that arise from liquidity transformation and from sudden changes in investor perceptions of the funds’ ability to serve as money‐like assets. Since 2000, MMF runs have occurred in many countries and under many regulatory ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2022-012

Report
Money Market Fund Vulnerabilities: A Global Perspective

Money market funds (MMFs) are popular around the world, with over $9 trillion in assets under management globally. From their origins in the 1970s, MMFs have operated in a niche between the capital markets and the banking system, as investment funds that offer private money-like assets with features similar to those of bank deposits. Hence, they are vulnerable to runs that arise from liquidity transformation and from sudden changes in investor perceptions of the funds’ ability to serve as money-like assets. Since 2000, MMF runs have occurred in many countries and under many regulatory ...
Staff Reports , Paper 1009

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

Working Paper
The cross section of money market fund risks and financial crises

This paper examines the relationship between money market fund (MMF) risks and outcomes during crises, with a focus on the ABCP crisis in 2007 and the run on money funds in 2008. I analyze three broad types of MMF risks: portfolio risks arising from a fund's assets, investor risk reflecting the likelihood that a fund's shareholders will redeem shares disruptively, and sponsor risk due to uncertainty about MMF sponsors' support for distressed funds. I find that during the run on MMFs in September and October 2008, outflows were larger for MMFs that had previously exhibited greater degrees of ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2010-51

Discussion Paper
Gates, Fees, and Preemptive Runs

In the academic literature on banks, ?suspension of convertibility??that is, preventing the exchange of deposits at par for cash?has traditionally been seen as a potential means of preventing economically damaging bank runs. In this post, however, we show that giving a financial intermediary (FI) the option to suspend convertibility may ultimately increase the risk of runs by causing preemptive runs. That is, investors who face potential restrictions on their future access to cash may run when they anticipate that such restrictions may be imposed.
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20140818

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

Working Paper
Gates, Fees, and Preemptive Runs

We build a model of a financial intermediary, in the tradition of Diamond and Dybvig (1983), and show that allowing the intermediary to impose redemption fees or gates in a crisis--a form of suspension of convertibility--can lead to preemptive runs. In our model, a fraction of investors (depositors) can become informed about a shock to the return of the intermediary's assets. Later, the informed investors learn the realization of the shock and can choose their redemption behavior based on this information. We prove two results: First, there are situations in which informed investors would ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2014-30

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