Thursday, October 16, 2014

SEC Introduces New Money Market Rules Which Might Deter Investors From Investing

Trade
The Securities and Exchange Commission has announced few major changes to its money market fund (also known as MMF) regulation. SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White had emphasised that these new rules are inculcated with an aim of reducing the risk of runs in the money market funds. The new MMF regulation is expected much needed financial stability in the funds market.

However, the Ms. White’s assertion of reducing the risk factor in money market along with bringing in of financial stability is a highly debatable call from any corner.

Detailed Analysis of the New Money Market Rule

The two major rules announced by the SEC related to MMF are:

  • a. MMFs can charge a certain amount of fee to withdraw your money or they might even delay paying during the times of stress. 
  • b. Second rule allows the share price to change in accordance with the market conditions.
Money Market Funds in general sense are mutual fund with a share price fixed at $1. During the normal and not-so-happening times, the MMF share remains unchanged. Furthermore, MMFs simply invests only in short-term debt which are non-volatile in nature. MMFs also respond to small price changes by adjusting their yield in a dignified manner. But currently we are living in highly unpredictable times with another crisis looming at the horizon. MMFs are also feeling the heat of the moment and bound to face liquidity risk, it is a situation where investors does not buy more as they to sell for raising cash.

Liquidity risk poses a real problem for the borrowers. It basically affects a corporation selling short term debts in order to finance its business operations. At the maturity of each debt contract, the corporation or issuer is expected to sell a new one. If the market sizes up, the corporation could get into big trouble due to lack of investment.

Credit market is often described as a highly unpredictable and volatile where everyone is having it fun until some misses a payment. When they cannot sell up the debt contracts corporation gets into a fix.
How this affects MMFs

This kind of situation is posing a serious threat to the money market funds because they own debts and hold them as their assets. Currently the market value of the MMFs assets are depreciating or falling but their share price is fixed at $1. This simply puts that fund loses more with every redemption. If a large number of redemption is made the remaining investors would end up just holding an empty bag

SEC Comes To Rescue 

Through its second rule, it allows the share price to drop as per market conditions and it saves the investors from the threat o total loss. And with its first rule of imposing penalties it cleverly discourages withdrawals to certain extent.

Through delaying of payments, it prevents the runs, which might occur even with a floating share price and withdrawal penalties. The new rule would come into effect in 60 days, which gives an ample time to the investors to pull their money if they wish to do so.

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