Property Rights of Money Market Fund Investors Are Weakened

Here is one more reason (as if one was needed …) why one should hold physical gold outside of the system for insurance purposes. We already briefly alluded to the new rules that are mulled with respect to bond funds, but it seems that they are now implemented for money market funds first.

According to Reuters:

 

U.S. regulators are expected to adopt rules on Wednesday that force "prime" money market funds used by large institutions to float their share price. Proponents have suggested that moving from the current stable $1 per share net asset value (NAV) to a floating NAV would help prevent investors from getting spooked by the prospect of funds "breaking the buck," or falling lower than that amount.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is also likely to finalize a second provision that will permit fund boards to lower so-called redemption "gates" or charge fees in stressed market conditions, according to people familiar with the matter.

The reform will impact a wide variety of asset managers, from Blackrock Inc, Fidelity and Vanguard to Charles Schwab Corp, Pimco and Federated Investors Inc. The two-pronged reform for the $2.6 trillion industry comes after a long battle between the SEC, the industry and federal banking regulators.

The industry and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have warned that any rules that drastically change the structure of money market funds could cut off a major supply of short-term funding for corporations. Wednesday's final rule is expected to carve out exemptions for a wide swath of money funds.

Funds used by retail investors, for instance, will still be permitted to maintain a stable $1 per share net asset value because they are considered less likely than institutional investors to run on a fund if the market deteriorates. The U.S. Treasury Department, which has been working to devise a way to relieve investors in funds with a floating NAV from burdensome tax rules, is also expected to unveil its plan sometime on Wednesday, several people familiar with the matter said.

The Financial Stability Oversight Council, a panel of regulators charged with policing for risks, has been pressuring the SEC to bolster money market fund regulations since 2012.

In 2008, the Reserve Primary Fund's heavy exposure to Lehman Brothers led panicked investors to yank out their money, causing the fund to break the buck when its net asset value fell below $1 per share.

The Federal Reserve was ultimately forced to backstop the industry until the chaos subsided. Former SEC Chair Mary Schapiro initially pushed two potential plans for money funds, including either a floating NAV or a capital buffer requirement.

The majority of the industry and three of the SEC's fellow commissioners, however, rejected the ideas, saying they could kill the product and that more study was needed to justify new rules. After the SEC completed a study and the agency assumed new leadership, sentiment toward a floating NAV softened.

While some funds and industry groups are still opposed to requiring a floating NAV, others say they are fine with it as long as it only applies to prime funds and as long as all of the tax and accounting issues associated with a floating share price are resolved.

 

(emphasis added)

The floating requirement obviously favors the banking industry over money market funds, as these funds have been used by investors as a cash equivalent, bringing a slightly higher return than could be had from a bank deposit. Once their unit prices begin to float, they will no longer be seen as cash equivalents, so  banks will enjoy an advantage.

This advantage is unfair, because bank deposits are by no means safer. On the contrary, since they are fractionally reserved and the assets “backing” them often have far longer maturities than the short term debt money market funds as a rule invest in, they must be regarded as inherently more risky.

However, the main problem is the proposal to erect “redemption gates”. First of all, the Fed was not “forced” to bail out the industry by backstopping it (note that banks are similarly backstopped by the Fed, and this is apparently not questioned at all). The Fed did of course backstop money market funds, but to argue that it was “forced” to do this is a huge stretch. According to which statute was it forced? Given that the Fed's policies caused the bubble that eventually imploded and created trouble for money market funds in 2008, one could of course well argue that it had some moral responsibility to help them. It goes without saying though that the world would be better off without bubble-blowing central banks, as then no rescue operations of this sort would need to be pondered in the first place.

The adoption of “redemption gates” effectively means that money market fund boards will be able to suspend the property rights of their customers. After all, it is their money, and it should be up to them whether or not they want to “yank it out”. In order to make such redemption gates legally enforceable, they will have to become part of the fine print of money market fund agreements. Once again, this creates a big disadvantage for the money market fund industry in favor of banks, since demand deposits will continue to lack such “redemption gates”, in spite of the fact that banks are de facto unable to actually pay out all demand deposits, or even a large portion of them, “on demand”.

It is an interesting detail that retail customers are to be exempt from this regulation based on the idea that they are basically too addled to react to crisis conditions.

 

Conclusion:

Why are such regulations held to be required at all? Are regulators implying that the system has not been “made safe” by adopting several telephone book-sized tomes of additional regulations?

 

gateConsider yourself gated when it will be most important to get your money out!

(Image by Rannimi (Pvt) Ltd)

 

 
 

Emigrate While You Can... Learn More

 
 

 
 

Dear Readers!

It is that time of the year again – our semi-annual funding drive begins today. Give us a little hand in offsetting the costs of running this blog, as advertising revenue alone is insufficient. You can help us reach our modest funding goal by donating either via paypal or bitcoin. Those of you who have made a ton of money based on some of the things we have said in these pages (we actually made a few good calls lately!), please feel free to up your donations accordingly (we are sorry if you have followed one of our bad calls. This is of course your own fault). Other than that, we can only repeat that donations to this site are apt to secure many benefits. These range from sound sleep, to children including you in their songs, to the potential of obtaining privileges in the afterlife (the latter cannot be guaranteed, but it seems highly likely). As always, we are greatly honored by your readership and hope that our special mixture of entertainment and education is adding a little value to your life!

   

Bitcoin address: 1DRkVzUmkGaz9xAP81us86zzxh5VMEhNke

   
 

One Response to ““Redemption Gates” for Money Market Funds”

  • Keith Weiner:

    Pater: You make a number of interesting points. One being the reason to hold gold isn’t to speculate on its price but because it’s not subject to counterparty default nor these new “gates”. The other is that a money market fund is safer than a bank deposit because the fund buys short term bills and the bank deposit may be used to buy long bonds.

Your comment:

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Most read in the last 20 days:

  • factoryA Striking Chart
      The Economy and the Stock Market As long time readers know, we are always paying close attention to the manufacturing sector, which is far more important to the US economy than is generally believed. In terms of gross output it is the largest sector of the economy, and it should of course be obvious that saving, investment and production are the only ways to create wealth.   What's left of the Brooklyn Domino Sugar Refinery. Photo credit: Paul Raphaelson   Contrary...
  • trump-putin-1024Trump and Putin Narrowly Escape Assassination Attempt
      The Gloves are Coming Off First a little bit of recent history. Readers are probably aware that some questions about the occasionally malfunctioning Deep State android... no, wait, we'll start again. Questions have recently been raised about the health of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton by various “alt-right” tinfoil hat-wearing conspiracy theorists, such as this one.   The monsters are normally hiding under Hillary's bed, but lately they have come out into the open...
  • swing-voterWhy the Fed Destroyed the Market Economy
      What Have You Done for Me Lately? Swing voters are a fickle bunch.  One election they vote Democrat.  The next they vote Republican. For they have no particular ideology or political philosophy to base their judgment upon.   The primacy of the wallet.   They don’t give a rip about questions of small government or big government.  Nor do they have any druthers about the welfare or warfare state. In effect, they really don’t care.  What’s important to the...
  • trump-mapDonald’s Electoral Struggle
      Wicked and Terrible After touting her pro-labor union record, the Wicked Witch of Chappaqua rhetorically asked, “why am I not 50 points ahead?”  Her chief rival bluntly responded: “because you’re terrible.”*  No truer words have been uttered by any of the candidates about one of their opponents since the start of this extraordinary presidential campaign!   Electoral map (note that the coloration may no longer be applicable...)   That Hillary Clinton is...
  • wallet-367975_960_720Janet Yellen’s Shame
      Playing Politics In honest capitalism, you do what you can to get other people to voluntarily give you money. This usually involves providing goods or services they think are worth the price. You may get a little wild and crazy from time to time, but you are always called to order by your customers.   In the market economy, consumers reign supreme. There is no such thing as a “lost” vote in the marketplace; every penny spent affects production. Mises noted: “Consumers...
  • warren-buffett-gold-coinGet Ready for a New Crisis – in Corporate Debt
      Imposter Dollar OUZILLY, France – We’re going back to basics here at the Diary. We’re getting everyone on the same page... learning together... connecting the dots... trying to figure out what is going on.   The new three dollar bill issued by the Apprehensive States of America.   We made a breakthrough when we identified the source of so many of today’s bizarre and grotesque trends. It’s the money – the new post-1971 dollar. This new dollar is green. You...
  • 4-ip-and-non-def-capital-goods-ordersThe Economy, the Stock Market and the Fed
      John Hussman on Recent Developments We always look forward to John Hussman's weekly missive on the markets. Some people say that he is a “permabear”, but we don't think that is a fair characterization. He is rightly wary of the stock market's historically extremely high valuation and the loose monetary policy driving the surge in asset prices.   The S&P 500 Index and the NYSE advance-decline line. Most market internals weakened steadily until early February 2016, but...
  • silkroadHanjin Marooning in San Pedro Bay
      Global Trade Reversal Expansions and contractions in global trade have played out over long secular trends for thousands of years.  The Silk Road, for example, was established by the Han Dynasty of China in 130 BC, and allowed for continuous trade between East and West for nearly 1,600 years.  In addition to economic trade, the Silk Road was also a conduit for culture and knowledge among its network of civilizations.   A map of the main ancient Silk Road - click to...
  • voltaireGreat Causes, a Sea of Debt and the 2017 Recession
      Great Cause NORMANDY, FRANCE – We continue our work with the bomb squad. Myth disposal is dangerous work: People love their myths more than they love life itself. They may kill for money. But they die for their religions, their governments, their clans... and their ideas.   Famous French hippie and author Voltaire. He wears the same sardonic grin in every painting, whether he's depicted at a young or an old age, doesn't matter. His real name was François-Marie Arouet; he...
  • wilsonand-morganThe Donald Versus Killary: War or Peace?
      War: A Warning from the Past Although history does not exactly repeat itself, it does provide parallels and sometimes quite ominous ones.  Such is the case with the current U.S. Presidential election and the one which occurred one hundred years earlier.   The Donald probably has the better slogan...   The dominating question which hung over the 1916 campaign was whether the country would remain neutral in regard to the horrific slaughter which was taking place on the...
  • hittite-leftoversA Rift in the Space-Time Continuum
      Weird and Unnatural NORMANDY, France – First, a quick look at the markets. The Dow bounced on Monday, recovering 239 points of the nearly 400 it lost on Friday. Why the comeback?   FOMC member Lael Brainard: her comments on Monday were touted as the “reason” for the stock market recovering half of Friday's losses. We suspect the real reason is the triple witching on Friday... Photo via twitter.com   The financial press has a ready answer: “Stocks gain...
  • ukraine-mapCrimea: Digging For The Truth
      Renewed Escalation This summer witnessed a renewed escalation between Russia and Ukraine after Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine of sending saboteurs to attack Russian troops, targeting “critical infrastructure”. Kiev denied the allegations and claimed Russia’s “fantasy” was nothing but a false pretense to launch a “new invasion”.   August 10: Russian president Putin announces that there was an altercation involving a group of Ukrainian saboteurs at...

Austrian Theory and Investment

Support Acting Man

Own physical gold and silver outside a bank

Archive

j9TJzzN

350x200

Realtime Charts

 

Gold in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Gold in EUR:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Silver in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Platinum in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

USD - Index:

[Most Recent USD from www.kitco.com]

 

THE GOLD CARTEL: Government Intervention on Gold, the Mega Bubble in Paper and What This Means for Your Future

 
Buy Silver Now!
 
Buy Gold Now!
 

Oilprice.com