Money market funds are welcoming the Federal Reserve’s offer to buy an estimated $1 trillion in reverse repos, as the economy continues to rebound and the government looks to reduce the $2 trillion it pumped into the capital markets.
Still, even as the Federal Reserve announced these plans on Monday, it stressed that it intends to keep interest rates low for extended periods.
So far, the Fed has dealt with 18 primary dealers, purchasing about $100 billion in reverse repos. In a reverse repo transaction, the Fed replaces securities with such securities as Treasuries, with the promise it will buy them back at a later date.
Three major money market fund providers, Fidelity, Vanguard and Federated Investors, welcomed the news, with a spokesman for Fidelity telling The Wall Street Journal that it would welcome a way to help support its funds’ $1 net asset value and liquidity.
“We would enthusiastically want to take a look at these transactions for our portfolios,” added David Glocke, manager of the money market funds at Vanguard. “It’s a great alternative to other transactions that we already do.” And a Federated spokeswoman said, “We do view this as a positive step for cash markets.”
To qualify for the program, the Federal Reserve requires fund companies to use medium-term securities margined at 100% with maturities of at least 65 days. Minimum bids are $1 billion.