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Monday, January 09, 2012

A Future Money Fund Oligopoly?

News summary by MFWire's editors

Barron's is encouraging investors to pull their cash out of money market mutual funds. On Saturday Beverly Goodman outlined the current woes of money market mutual funds and their advisors. She points investors, particularly those in sub-$1-billion funds from smaller firms, towards alternative cash havens like bank checking and savings accounts, money-market deposit accounts, bank certificates of deposit, and even short-term bond funds.

Meanwhile, some fundsters offered Barron's their concerns about the looming possibility of more money market mutual fund regulation, especially capital buffers and the possibility of floating NAVs.

"If the regulation requires fund companies to provide the capital, it could create an oligopoly," Deborah Cunningham, Federated Investors' chief investment officer for taxable money-market mutual funds, told Barron's. "The smaller players won't be able to put up the money. You can't get blood from a stone."

Crane Data chief Peter Crane, Vanguard money-market group chief David Glocke, Grant's Interest Rate Observer editor James Grant, Fidelity money-market group president Nancy Prior and Stradley Ronon attorney Joan Ohlbaum Swirsky all offered Barron's their two cents.

Crane's own pub also followed up on the Barron's piece.

The article also offers a chart, powered by Crane Data, of the assets and market share of the ten biggest money market mutual fund advisors. 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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