Press Releases Archives: February, 2016

The preliminary agenda is available and registrations are now being taken for Crane's Money Fund Symposium, which will take place June 22-24, 2016 at The Philadelphia Marriott, in Philadelphia, Pa. Money Fund Symposium is the largest gathering of money market fund managers and cash investors in the world. Last summer's event in Minneapolis attracted a record 505 attendees, and we expect yet another robust turnout for our 8th annual event in Philadelphia this June. (Symposium participants include money fund managers, marketers and servicers, cash investors, money market securities dealers, issuers, and regulators.) Visit the MF Symposium website ( for more details. Registration for attendees is $750, and discounted hotel reservations are also now available. We review the agenda and conference details below. (E-mail us at to request the full brochure or click here.) We also excerpt some comments from yesterday's speech by the New York Fed's Simon Potter, who briefly mentioned money funds.

Symposium's June 22 Opening (afternoon) Agenda kicks off with a "Welcome to Money Fund Symposium 2016" by Peter Crane, President & Publisher of Crane Data. Next, we've scheduled BlackRock to present our keynote discussion on "The New Look of Money Market Funds." (We just learned that CEO Larry Fink, who was originally invited, can't make it. So watch for this slot to be revised soon.) The rest of the Day One agenda includes: "Strategists Speak '16: Repo, Rates and Regs," with Mark Cabana of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Joseph Abate of Barclays, and Rob Zambarana of Guggenheim Securities; "Enhanced Cash and Ultra-Short Bond Funds," moderated by J.P. Morgan Securities' Alex Roever, and featuring Dave Fishman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Michael Morin of Fidelity Investments; and , "Major Money Fund Issues 2016," moderated by Peter Crane and featuring Charlie Cardona of BNY Mellon Cash Investment Strategies, John Donohue of J.P. Morgan AM, and Roger Merritt of Fitch Ratings. (The opening evening's reception will be sponsored by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.)

Day 2 of Money Fund Symposium 2016 begins with "Treasury Update: Supply, FRNs, and Stability Issues, with John Dolan of the U.S. Treasury. The rest of Day Two features: "Senior Portfolio Manager Perspectives," moderated by Frank Dugan of Barclays, and including Laurie Brignac of Invesco, Tim Huyck of Fidelity, and `Peter Yi of Northern Trust; "Government and Treasury Money Fund Issues," moderated by Garrett Sloan of Wells Fargo Securities, and featuring Mike Bird of Wells Fargo Funds, and Rob Sabatino of UBS Global AM; "Muni & Tax Exempt Money Fund issues" with Justin Schwartz of Vanguard, and John Vetter of Fidelity.

The Afternoon of Day 2 (after a Dreyfus-sponsored lunch) features: "Dealer Roundtable: Supply and New Products," with Stewart Cutler of Barclays, John Kodweis of J.P. Morgan Securities, and Jean-Luc Sinniger of Citi Global Markets; "Portal Panel: Transparency and Direct Investments," moderated by Ryan Kipp of Cachematrix and featuring Greg Fortuna of State Street's Fund Connect, Tony Hazard of ICD, and Steve Kraus of FIS Global; "MMF Issues in Europe and in Asia," with Reyer Kooy of IMMFA, Jonathan Curry of HSBC Global AM, and Dan Morrissey of William Fry; and "Investor Issues: Corporate, Brokerage Sweeps" with Tony Carfang of Treasury Strategies, Tom Hunt of the AFP, and Sunil Kothapalli of Wells Fargo Advisors. (The Day 2 reception is sponsored by Barclays.)

The third day of Symposium features: "State of the Money Fund Industry" with Peter Crane, Deborah Cunningham of Federated Investors, and Alex Roever of J.P. Morgan Securities; "Money Fund Reforms: Outstanding Issues," moderated by Joan Swirsky of Stradley Ronon and featuring Jane Heinrichs of the Investment Company Institute, Sarah ten Siethoff of the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, and Jack Murphy of Dechert LLP; "Reform Issues: Credit Ratings, Floating NAVs" with Jimmie Irby of JPMAM and Charles Hawkins of BNY Mellon Asset Servicing. Finally, the last session is entitled, "Money Fund Data, Statistics, and Software," with Peter Crane presenting on the latest money fund information tools.

We hope you'll join us in Philadelphia this June! (We'd also like to encourage attendees, speakers and sponsors to register and make hotel reservations early.) In other conference news, Crane's 4th annual "offshore" money fund event, European Money Fund Symposium, will be held in London, England, September 20-21, 2016. This website ( will be live soon. (Contact us to inquire about sponsoring or speaking.) Our next Money Fund University "basic training" event is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 19-20, 2017, in Jersey City. Finally, the date and location for our inaugural Bond Fund Symposium are set –- it will be held March 23-24, 2017 in Boston. Watch in coming months for more details on these events.

In other news, Simon Potter, the executive vice president of the New York Federal Reserve, spoke Monday on "Money Markets after Liftoff: Assessment to Date and the Road Ahead." Potter discussed the Fed's RRP program, saying, "[T]he Federal Reserve instead pursued offering an overnight investment opportunity that could, with sufficient capacity, intensify competition in money markets and, without necessarily draining reserves, enhance the transmission of IOR into other overnight money market rates. This approach entailed a twist on a traditional Federal Reserve tool, reverse repos: Instead of running quantity-based, term operations aimed at altering reserve levels, the Desk would run interest-rate-based overnight operations aimed directly at influencing market rates.... To summarize my conclusion about the performance of the operating framework to date: I am extremely pleased with what we've seen so far."

He adds, "We have learned a lot about the structure of our operations from our experience with liftoff.... Let's begin with quantifying the aggregate capacity limit.... [T]he ON RRP is currently being run with an aggregate capacity limit of around $2 trillion, which is far in excess of typical daily demand and well above the $300 billion capacity limit the facility had had since September 2014. As the FOMC made clear in the minutes to its March 2015 meeting, this elevated capacity was intended to ensure a smooth liftoff, but the absence of an aggregate cap is only temporary. This is why the recent January minutes included a discussion of when and how it will be appropriate to reinstate an aggregate cap."

Potter continues, "So, what have we learned about the appropriate level of the cap? It seems likely that having a very elevated aggregate capacity was helpful in controlling market rates initially, perhaps because it showed the FOMC's commitment to achieving interest rate control, but it's unclear exactly how much available capacity, or "headroom," is needed to maintain such control. `Our recent experience suggests that having reasonably high aggregate capacity can help improve control without necessarily encouraging greater use of the facility.... This means that they might accept relatively low rates in money markets.... So, having a high capacity could actually reduce ON RRP take-up."

Finally, he explains, "We are also paying close attention to developments in the money market mutual fund industry and their potential impact on policy implementation The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced new regulations for these funds aimed at enhancing financial stability. One important feature of these new rules is that government-only money funds receive different regulatory treatment than prime funds, possibly making government-only funds more attractive for some institutional investors. If the assets under management in government-only money funds were to grow significantly, that could put upward pressure on ON RRP take-up, since most fund managers consider the facility to be a government investment. As I noted earlier, we would not want to see growth in government-only money funds if it were predicated on a mistaken impression that ON RRP would be around indefinitely and with high capacity. Also, if assets under management in prime funds were to decline sharply, this could possibly lead to less efficient transmission of monetary policy."

Footnote 49 in the speech's transcript notes, "Assets under management in government-only funds could grow two ways: Prime funds could convert into government-only funds, or prime fund investors could transfer their money into government funds. Most prime funds have announced their intentions at this point, and among those that have converted to government funds, take-up has not markedly increased, so therefore we are less concerned about such conversions, but we continue to pay close attention to them, as we do to investor behavior."