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U.S. Ends Money Market Guarantee Program

Friday, 18 Sep 2009 11:23 AM

WASHINGTON -- US authorities Friday ended a program to guarantee money market funds begun last year to stem a run on deposits that could have destabilized the financial sector during the market turmoil.

The Treasury said it had no losses under the program and had earned 1.2 billion dollars in fees.

The program was established last September in the wake of the collapse of investment giant Lehman Brothers and a government rescue of insurance giant AIG. It was launched for three months initially and extended for a full year.

"As the risk of catastrophic failure of the financial system has receded, the need for some of the emergency programs put in place during the most acute phase of the crisis has receded as well," Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said in a statement.

"The guarantee program for money market funds served its purpose of adding stability to the money market mutual fund industry during market disruptions last fall and ultimately delivered a healthy return to taxpayers."

The Treasury had approved the use of up to 50 billion dollars to guarantee the deposits which are widely held by Americans in mutual funds and brokerages, if the firms pay an insurance fee.

US financial firms hold some 3.5 trillion dollars in money market funds, which are generally considered safe investments although they are normally not federally guaranteed.

Money market funds are a type of mutual fund that is required by law to invest in low-risk securities, so they have relatively low risks compared with other mutual funds. They pay dividends that generally reflect short-term interest rates.

Copyright © 2009 Agence France Presse. All rights reserved.

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WASHINGTON -- US authorities Friday ended a program to guarantee money market funds begun last year to stem a run on deposits that could have destabilized the financial sector during the market turmoil.The Treasury said it had no losses under the program and had earned 1.2...
money,markets
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2009-23-18
Friday, 18 Sep 2009 11:23 AM
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