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Money fund assets declined for the first time in four weeks, moving back down to the $3.63 trillion level after hitting their highest level since July 2009 the prior week, according to the ICI. Their latest "Money Market Fund Assets" report explains, "Total money market fund assets decreased by $7.18 billion to $3.63 trillion for the week ended Wednesday, January 15, the Investment Company Institute reported.... Among taxable money market funds, government funds decreased by $8.51 billion and prime funds increased by $2.32 billion. Tax-exempt money market funds decreased by $993 million." Money fund assets are flat year-to-date in 2020, but they've increased in 10 out of the last 13 weeks and rose by $584 billion in 2019, or 19.2%.

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Crane Data's latest MFI International shows assets in "offshore" European money market mutual assets rising in US Dollar, Sterling and Euro funds in the 30 days through January 15. These U.S.-style funds, domiciled in Ireland or Luxemburg and denominated in US Dollars, Sterling and Euro, increased by $12.8 billion over the last 30 days to $889.3 billion, and they're up by $12.7 billion year-to-date. Offshore USD money funds, which hit a record $500 billion on Jan. 2, are up $10.3 billion over 30 days and up $6.5 billion YTD. Euro funds are up E219 million over the previous 30 days, but YTD they're down E1.0 billion. GBP funds have risen by L1.8 billion over 30 days, and they're up by L6.0 billion YTD. U.S. Dollar (USD) money funds (189) account for over half $500.9 billion, or 56.3%) of our "European" money fund total, while Euro (EUR) money funds (87) total E97.6 billion (11.0%) and Pound Sterling (GBP) funds (120) total L231.0 billion (26.0%). We summarize our latest "offshore" money fund statistics and our Money Fund Intelligence International Portfolio Holdings (which went out to subscribers yesterday), below.

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The January issue of our Bond Fund Intelligence, which was sent to to subscribers Wednesday morning, features the lead story, "Top Stories & Funds of '19; Outlook for '20; BFI Turns 5," which looks at the top bond funds and bond fund articles of 2019, and a second article, "Worldwide BF Assets Dip to $11.4 Trillion, But US BFs Up," which reviews international bond fund markets in Q3'19. BFI also recaps the latest Bond Fund News and includes our Crane BFI Indexes, which show bond fund yields mixed and returns up in December. 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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Below, we reprint the article, "Top Money Funds of 2019; 11th Annual MFI Awards," from the January edition of our Money Fund Intelligence.... In this issue, we recognize the top-performing money funds, ranked by total returns, for calendar year 2019, as well as the top funds for the past 5-year and 10-year periods. We present the funds below with our annual Money Fund Intelligence Awards. These are given to the No. 1-ranked funds based on 1-year, 5-year and 10-year returns, through Dec. 31, 2019, in each of our major fund categories -- Prime Institutional, Government Institutional, Treasury Institutional, Prime Retail, Government Retail, Treasury Retail and Tax‐Exempt.

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Crane Data released its January Money Fund Portfolio Holdings Friday, and our most recent collection, with data as of Dec. 31, 2019, shows a big increase in Repo and Agencies, and a drop in Treasuries. Money market securities held by Taxable U.S. money funds (tracked by Crane Data) increased by $24.7 billion to $3.811 trillion last month, after increasing $20.8 billion in November, $75.8 billion in October and $92.6 billion in September. Repo continues to be the largest portfolio segment closely followed by Treasury securities, 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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Crane Data's latest monthly Money Fund Portfolio Holdings statistics will be released today, Friday, and we'll be writing our normal monthly update on the Dec. 31 data for Monday's News. But we also generate a separate and broader Portfolio Holdings data set based on the SEC's Form N-MFP filings, and we posted these to the website yesterday. (We continue to merge the two series, and the N-MFP version is now available via Holding file listings to Money Fund Wisdom subscribers.) Our new N-MFP summary, with data as of Dec. 31, 2019, includes holdings information from 1,078 money funds, representing assets of a record $4.016 trillion (up from $3.992 trillion last month), the first time MMFs have totaled over $4.0 trillion ever. We review the latest N-MFP data below.

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Crane Data's latest Money Fund Market Share rankings show assets were up again for the vast majority of U.S. money fund complexes in December. Money market fund assets increased by $72.4 billion, or 1.8%, last month to $3.991 trillion. Assets have climbed by $204.7 billion, or 5.4%, over the past 3 months, and they've increased by $779.1 billion, or 24.3%, over the past 12 months through Dec. 31, 2019. The biggest increases among the 25 largest managers last month were seen by BlackRock, Goldman Sachs, Federated, Fidelity, JP Morgan, Dreyfus and Vanguard, which increased assets by $15.4 billion, $13.3B, $12.2B, $8.7B, $7.5B, $7.3B and $4.8B, respectively. Declines in assets among the largest complexes in December were seen by SSgA, UBS, T Rowe Price, First American and HSBC, which decreased by $3.6B, $1.6B, $232M, $222M and $101M. Our domestic U.S. "Family" rankings are available in our MFI XLS product, our global rankings are available in our MFI International product. The combined "Family & Global Rankings" are available to Money Fund Wisdom subscribers. We review the latest market share totals below, and we also look at money fund yields in December.

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The January issue of our flagship Money Fund Intelligence newsletter, which was sent out to subscribers Wednesday morning, features the articles: "Highlights of '19: Assets Grow 20%; Inst, ESG Big Stories," which discusses the biggest cash stories of 2019; "BlackRock's Callahan Talks Cash, Tech, 2020," which profiles BlackRock's Global Head of Cash Management Tom Callahan; and, "Top Money Funds of 2019; 11th Annual MFI Awards," which writes about the top-performing money funds of 2019. We've also updated our Money Fund Wisdom database with Dec. 31 statistics, and sent out our MFI XLS spreadsheet Wednesday a.m. (MFI, MFI XLS and our Crane Index products are all available to subscribers via our Content center.) Our January Money Fund Portfolio Holdings are scheduled to ship on Friday, Jan. 10, and our Jan. Bond Fund Intelligence is scheduled to go out Wednesday, Jan. 15.

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Federated Investors' Deborah Cunningham writes that "The liquidity space should continue to grow in popularity in 2020" in her latest update, entitled, "2020 Outlook: Optimism and opportunities." She says, "The stereotype of trading in the liquidity markets is that it's a ho-hum job. No battling for deals like those in a stock exchange; just grab whatever offer that comes along. Well, not only is that unconditionally wrong, 2020 might force traders for money markets and the like to be as fierce as those in any sector."

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Tax Exempt money funds jumped into the spotlight last week as yields spiked at yearend. (Municipal money fund yields jump at yearend and around April 15 as outflows and tax issues cause investors to shift large amounts of cash.) But Dan Wiener, Editor of The Independent Advisor for Vanguard Investors, warns us about the temporary nature of the jump in a brief entitled, "Soaring tax-exempt money fund yields bad for your wealth." He says, "Be forewarned, those sumptuous-looking yields on all manner of tax-exempt money funds are going to be fleeting. Because of vagaries in the municipal cash markets investors often see yields jumping at year-end on tax-exempt money funds, diverging quite a bit from the trends in the taxable markets."

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Money fund assets jumped in the last week of the year, moving above $3.6 trillion to their highest level since July 2009. Money fund assets have increased in 9 out of the last 11 weeks and in 16 out of the past 17 weeks. ICI's latest "Money Market Fund Assets" report shows that MMF totals have increased by $584 billion, or 19.2%, year-to-date in 2019. Over the past 52 weeks, ICI's money fund asset series has increased by $584 billion, or 19.2%, with Retail MMFs rising by $192 billion (16.4%) and Inst MMFs rising by $374 billion (20.0%).

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With the coming of the New Year, Crane Data is ramping up preparations for its 2020 conference calendar and for its big show, Money Fund Symposium. Crane's Money Fund Symposium, the largest gathering of money market fund managers and cash investors in the world, will take place June 24-26, 2020 at The Hyatt Regency Minneapolis, in Minneapolis, Minn. The preliminary agenda is now available and registrations are now being taken. Money Fund Symposium attracts money fund managers, marketers and servicers, cash investors, money market securities dealers, issuers, and regulators. We review our draft agenda (which is still in flux), as well as the rest of Crane Data's 2020 conferences, below.

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