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Analysis

March 26, 2020

Fact Sheet: Money Market Funds Are Failing and Being Bailed Out Again, As They Were During the 2008 Financial Crisis Just Twelve Years Ago

Another devastating financial and economic crisis is engulfing the nation just twelve years after the last one in 2008.  The first priority must be to respond as fully and effectively as possible with measures that will enable tens of millions of Americans to meet their daily needs while minimizing damage to the economy.  We also need to plan for next steps.  But it’s also important to look at what is happening today, identify troubling similarities with the last crisis, and ask why we are repeating the mistakes of the past.

A dramatic case in point is the money market fund (“MMF”) market, which once again is teetering on the brink of failure.  The MMF market nearly collapsed during the 2008 crisis and would have but for a massive, industry-wide, taxpayer-guaranteed backstop of the entire $3.4 trillion industry—the first time such action was taken in the nation’s history.  Remarkably, now, just twelve years later, it is happening again.  That’s because, following the 2008 crash, regulators and policymakers failed to sufficiently reform the MMF markets.  Responding to relentless industry lobbying, they instead enacted half-measures, and one lesson is clear:  Strong regulatory oversight is essential, not only in the MMF market but across the financial system, and our regulators and policymakers have to get it right or hardworking American taxpayers will inevitably suffer. Read our full fact sheet here, or by clicking the button below.

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