More than half of Europe’s money market funds by assets have closed because securities they invest in pay negative returns after the European Central Bank cut interest rates, according to Standard & Poor’s.
The six largest U.S. money market funds have eliminated their lending to Italian and Spanish banks, reduced investments in French banks and are favoring Swiss securities for their $511 billion of assets.
Money-market mutual funds would be forced to create capital buffers equaling 1 percent to 3 percent of assets to protect against losses under a plan now favored by staff at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, according to three people briefed on the regulator’s deliberations.
Arthur Levitt, former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman, says an S.E.C. proposal on money market funds "would only make matters worse." Levitt talks with Bloomberg's Tom Keene on Bloomberg Radio's "Bloomberg Surveillance."