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Friday, September 19, 2008

Treasury Move is Embraced by the Industry

Reported by Erin Kello

The Treasury's unprecedented move to guarantee the NAV of money market funds received cautious optimism from industry insiders insiders today and may even help save one Putnam fund.

"The measure has certainly stopped the bleeding for now," Peter Crane, president and CEO of Crane Data, told the MFWire.

Crane declined to comment on the long term effects of the guarantee saying, "forget next year, we're thinking about next week."

Only one fund, The Reserve Primary Fund, actually broke the buck during the crisis and Crane says that the majority of money fund sponsors would have been in the clear without the rescue. "Only a handful of funds were on the precipice, "Crane said.

As for the Putnam money market fund that announced its liquidation on Thursday, Crane said that the Treasury's decision could pave the wave for the fund to re-open, even though it is unclear if the fund's NAV ever fell below a dollar.

Crane said that the Treasury's move may retroactively boost the NAV of the Putnam fund. "If an NAV falls in the forest and no one is there to see it, did it happen?, "Crane said.

Mutual fund firms that sponsor money market funds are being cautiously optimistic.

Dana Grosser, a spokeswoman for SEI, told the MFWire that the firm is "looking forward to seeing further details of plan."

Laura Fay, a spokeswoman for Evergreen Investments, told the MFWire, "We think this is a positive step for the industry. We are reviewing the the plan and as more details emerge we will take action in the best interest of the shareholders."

Megan McAndrew, a spokeswoman for Federated Investors, told the MFWire, "We think the Treasury's move will provide comfort and support in the markets. Federated supports the move because we think it will bring stability and liquidity to the markets." 

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