Germany-Watching: Economics (U.S. Money Market Fund Reform)

from Deutsche Bundesbank Eurosystem’s Bundesbank Research Centre:

You Can’t Always Get What You Want (Where You Want It): Cross-Border Effects of the U.S. Money Market Fund Reform [PDF]

Authors: Daniel Fricke, Stefan Greppmair, Karol Paludkiewicz

Non-technical summary
Research Question

Money market funds (MMFs) are an important part of the growing segment of non-bank financial intermediaries. This paper contributes to this literature by analyzing the cross-border effects of the 2014 U.S. MMF reform, which was implemented several years prior to the EU Regulation. We study whether euro area MMFs received inflows as a consequence of the reform and investigate the (unintended) economic effects on the basis of the non-synchronized implementation dates of the regulatory changes in the U.S. and the EU.


To the best of our knowledge, we are the first to examine the cross-border effects of the 2014 U.S. MMF reform. Prior work has shown that the reform led to a substantial decline of the institutional prime segment in the U.S. (MMFs that invest primarily in non-sovereign debt instruments). Moreover, these funds increased their risk-taking due to the increased competition and newly imposed liquidity restrictions left these funds more prone to large outflows (run risks).


We document both positive and negative effects of the U.S. reform on institutional MMFs in the euro area. These funds, particularly those from the prime segment, experienced substantial inflows from foreign investors around the implementation of the U.S. reform and we show that these cross-border flows were largely motivated by the search for money-like instruments. While euro area MMFs reduced their risk-taking, the industry as a whole has become more concentrated and possibly more exposed to run risks. This risk materialized in the COVID-19 induced stress period during which these funds faced large outflows by foreign investors.

Read the full discussion paper [archived PDF].