There has been some talk of a whopping $5 trillion sitting on the sidelines, but little if any of it is actually in a position to be the white knight the market may have been hoping would save the day and lead the way back to bullish times.

That lofty figure is a combination of the $2.23 trillion stored in money market mutual funds and $2.8 trillion in bank money market deposit accounts, according to Peter Crane, vice president at iMoneyNet, a publisher of money fund data in Westborough, Mass.

It is true that assets in money market funds are up 32% over the life of the bear market, jumping to $2.23 trillion as of the end of February. But because of money market mutual fund paltry returns of as little as 0.06% and the specter of further Fed rate cuts, bank certificates of deposit and money market accounts have a decided competitive edge.

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