Ned Johnson Fights the "Shadow Banking" Label For Money Funds
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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Ned Johnson Fights the "Shadow Banking" Label For Money Funds

Fidelity Investments is coming to the defense of money-market funds. Barron's reports that in a comment letter on the European Commission's "Green Paper on Shadow Banking," the mutual fund shop objects to the use of the term "shadow banking" for money-market funds, which it calls "confusing" and "misleading."

Barron's blogger Brendan Conway writes that in the comment letter the Fidelity team "goes lengths to sound unexasperated" as they argue that money-market funds are sufficiently transparent.

The story includes an excerpt from the letter:

Neither in the shadows nor banks –- Further, some of the entities that the Green Paper proposes to label as shadow banks are neither in the shadows nor banks nor even banklike. Investment funds generally and [money-market mutual funds] in particular are significantly more transparent than banks, and, therefore, hardly in the “shadows.” For example, U.S. [money-market mutual funds] must disclose their portfolio holdings on a monthly basis. Comprehensive, frequent, and easily accessible MMF disclosure enables shareholders, regulators, and market participants to be well informed about fund holdings. Banks, on the other hand, do not have these same disclosure requirements and, consequently, are much less.

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