The Securities and Exchange Commission met Wednesday to discuss various changes to money market funds to safeguard them from another run on the bank like what happened last September with the Primary Fund.
The SEC might require money funds to undergo periodic stress tests, avoid illiquid securities, invest only in high-quality securities and keep 5% or more of their assets in cash or cash equivalents. Institutional funds would have to hold 10% of their assets in cash or cash equivalents. The SEC might also shorten the average maturity of debt from 90 to 60 days.
In extraordinary situations, money funds would be permitted to temporarily suspend redemptions, but the Commissioners did not discuss how long.
And, most controversially, the SEC is considering imposing a fluctuating net asset value on money market funds, removing their traditional $1 NAV.
This will enable money market funds to be better positioned to meet demands from investors who want to redeem their shares on a short-term basis, said SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro.