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The Premium for Money-Like Assets
Several academic papers have documented investors? willingness to pay a premium to hold money-like assets and focused on its implications for financial stability. In a New York Fed staff report, we estimate such premium using a quasi-natural experiment, the recent reform of the money market fund (MMF) industry by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
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.
Money Market Funds and the New SEC Regulation
On October 14, 2016, amendments to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rule 2a-7, which governs money market mutual funds (MMFs), went into effect. The changes are designed to reduce MMFs? susceptibility to destabilizing runs and contain two principal requirements. First, institutional prime and muni funds?but not retail or government funds?must now compute their net asset values (NAVs) using market-based factors, thereby abandoning the fixed NAV that had been a hallmark of the MMF industry. Second, all prime and muni funds must adopt a system of gates and fees on redemptions, which can ...
The Fragility of an MMF-Intermediated Financial System
Since the financial crisis of 2007-09—and, in particular, the run on prime money market funds (MMFs) in September 2008—policymakers have been concerned that the funds’ fragility may render banks themselves more susceptible to risk. For instance, in a recent article and speech arguing in favor of MMF reform, New York Fed President Bill Dudley stated that MMF fragility may contribute to financial market systemic risk. The idea that the susceptibility of MMFs to runs may make the financial system more unstable seems intuitive, but is it correct? In this post, we show that the idea isn’t ...
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 ...