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! We are happy to report that we have reached our turn-of-the-year funding goal and want to extend a special thank you to all of you who have chipped in. We are very grateful for your support! As a general remark, according to usually well informed circles, exercising the donation button in between funding drives is definitely legal and highly appreciated as well.

   

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:

  • French labour union workers and students attend a demonstration against the French labour law proposal in Marseille, France, as part of a nationwide labor reform protests and strikes, March 31, 2016. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier/File PhotoHow the Welfare State Dies
      Hollande Threatens to Ban Protests Brexit has diverted attention from another little drama playing out in Europe. As of the time of writing, if you Google “Hollande threatens to ban protests” or variations thereof, you will find Russian, South African and even Iranian press reports on the topic. Otherwise, it's basically crickets (sole exception: Politico).  Gee, we wonder why?   They don't like him anymore: 120.000 protesters recently turned Paris into a war zone. All...
  • The-answer-is-yesToward Freedom: Will The UK Write History?
      Mutating Promises We are less than one week away from the EU referendum, the moment when the British people will be called upon to make a historic decision – will they vote to “Brexit” or to “Bremain”? Both camps have been going at each other with fierce campaigns to tilt the vote in their direction, but according to the latest polls, with the “Leave” camp’s latest surge still within the margin of error, the outcome is too close to call.   The battle lines are...
  • water houseA Market Ready to Blow and the Flag of the Conquerors
      Bold Prediction MICHAELS, Maryland – The flag in front of our hotel flies at half-mast. The little town of St. Michaels is a tourist and conference destination on the Chesapeake Bay. It is far from Orlando, and even farther from Daesh (a.k.a. ISIL) and the Mideast.   St. Michaels, Maryland – the town that fooled the British (they say, today). Photo credit: Fletcher6   Out on the river, a sleek sailboat, with lacquered wood trim, glides by, making hardly a...
  • nails-in-a-bed-of-nails-new-yorker-cartoonGoing... Going... Gone! The EU Begins to Splinter
      Dark Social Mood Tsunami Washes Ashore Early this morning one might have been forgiven for thinking that Japan had probably just been hit by another tsunami. The Nikkei was down 1,300 points, the yen briefly soared above par. Gold had intermittently gained 100 smackers – if memory serves, the biggest nominal intra-day gain ever recorded (with the possible exception of one or two days in early 1980). Here is a picture of Haruhiko Kuroda in front of his Bloomberg monitor this...
  • queen_gold-840x501Rule Britannia
      A Glorious Day What a glorious day for Britain and anyone among you who continues to believe in the ideas of liberty, freedom, and sovereign democratic rule. The British people have cast their vote and I have never ever felt so relieved about having been wrong. Against all expectations, the leave camp somehow managed to push the referendum across the center line, with 51.9% of voters counted electing to leave the European Union.   Waving good-bye to...
  • junkThe Problem with Corporate Debt
      Taking Off Like a Rocket There are actually two problems with corporate debt. One is that there is too much of it... the other is that a lot of it appears to be going sour.   Harvey had a good time in recent years...well, not so much between mid 2014 and early 2016, but happy days are here again! Cartoon by Frank Modell   As a brief report at Marketwatch last week (widely ignored as far as we are aware) informs us:   “Businesses racked up debt in the...
  • MACAU, CHINA - JANUARY 28: Buildings of Macau Casino on January 28, 2013, Gambling tourism is Macau's biggest source of revenue, making up about fifty percent of the economy.What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
      A Convocation Of Gamblers The Wall Street Journal and BloombergView have just run articles on the shadow banking system in China.  This has put me in a nostalgic mood. About 35 years ago when I was living in Japan, I made a side trip to Hong Kong.   Asia's Sin City, Macau Photo credit: Nattee Chalermtiragool   I took the hydrofoil to Macau one afternoon and the same service back early the next morning.  On the morning trip, I am sure that I saw many of the...
  • saupload_loves-me-loves-me-notA Darwin Award for Capital Allocation
      Beyond Human Capacity Distilling down and projecting out the economy’s limitless spectrum of interrelationships is near impossible to do with any regular accuracy.  The inputs are too vast.  The relationships are too erratic.   The economy - complex and ever-changing interrelations. Image credit: Andrea Dionne   Quite frankly, keeping tabs on it all is beyond human capacity.  This also goes for the federal government.  Even with all their data gatherers and...
  • deflated-souffleThe Fed’s  Doomsday Device
      Bezzle BALTIMORE –  Barron’s, in a lather, says the market is facing the “Two Horsemen of the Apocalypse.” Huh?   Only two? There were four last time!   Supposedly, the so-called Brexit – the vote in Britain this Thursday on whether to leave or remain in the European Union (EU) – and uncertainty over where the Fed will take U.S. interest rates are cutting down stocks faster than a Z-turn mower. But Brexit is a side show. As our contacts in London...
  • rate_hike_cartoon_10.15.2015_largeJanet Yellen’s $200-Trillion Debt Problem
      Blame “Brexit” BALTIMORE – The U.S. stock market broke its losing streak on Thursday [and even more so on Monday, ed.]. After five straight losing sessions, the Dow eked out a 92-point gain. The financial media didn’t know what to say about it. So, we ended up with the typical inanities, myths, and claptrap.   “Investors” are pushing the DJIA back up again..apparently any excuse will do at the moment. The idea may backfire though, as exactly the same thing happened...
  • Brexit supporterGold and Brexit
      Going Up for the Wrong Reason Gold is soaring. It should—and a lot—but in my view not for the reason it is. Indeed gold is insurance for uncertain times, a time that Brexit seems to represent. But insurance is an administrative cost — one must minimize its use.   August gold contract, daily – gold has been strong of late, but this seems to be driven by “Brexit” fears - click to enlarge.   Moreover, insuring against Brexit might ironically be equivalent...
  • cameron at the EUBrexit Paranoia Creeps Into the Markets
      European Stocks Look Really Bad... Late last week stock markets around the world weakened and it seemed as though recent “Brexit” polls showing that the “leave” campaign has obtained a slight lead provided the trigger. The idea was supported by a notable surge in the British pound's volatility.   Battening down the hatches...   On the other hand, if one looks at European stocks, one could just as well argue that their bearish trend is simply continuing – and...

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