Overview, strategy, and outlook: As of March 31, 2016As we discussed in our January commentary, market volatility in multiple asset classes was quite pronounced as market participants struggled with the prospect of slower global growth, the weakened state of the Chinese economy, and commodity prices dampening inflation expectations.
Overview, strategy, and outlook: As of February 29, 2016Although improving somewhat in recent weeks, credit quality has been under pressure, as evidenced by spreads widening significantly since mid-2014. There has been particular weakness in high-yield spreads, especially in the oil and gas sector, and acute weakness with respect to banks, namely certain European global trading and universal banks.
Overview, strategy, and outlook: As of January 31, 2016Volatile (vol-uh-tl, -til or, esp. British, -tahyl), adjective
1. The U.S. markets in January 2016.
If that’s not a real definition, it should be, because it accurately describes the roller-coaster ride the fixed-income, equity, and commodities markets experienced in January.
Overview, strategy, and outlook: As of December 31, 2015On December 16, 2008, as it began to realize the magnitude of the financial crisis, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), which is the monetary policymaking body of the Federal Reserve (Fed), established a target range for the federal funds rate of 0.00% to 0.25%, effectively lowering interest rates from 1% to 0%. Exactly seven years later, on December 16, 2015, the FOMC finally felt comfortable enough with the strength of the economy to raise interest rates, nudging its target range up to 0.25% to 0.50%.
Overview, strategy, and outlook: As of November 30, 2015After a year of listening to the Federal Reserve (Fed) say that it may be appropriate to begin the process of normalizing monetary policy by raising interest rates in 2015, here we are just a few short days ahead of the last Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting of the year.
Overview, strategy, and outlook: As of October 31, 2015We regularly monitor the high-grade corporate and financial issuers of securities we purchase, or may purchase in the future, for ongoing evaluations of their creditworthiness. One of the unintended consequences of that effort, the rare good kind, is a bottom-up perspective of the operating environment for those large multinational corporations that make up much of our investing universe.
Overview, strategy, and outlook: As of September 30, 2015On September 16, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved amendments to Rule 2a-7 to remove references to credit ratings issued by Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations (NRSROs) and replace such references with a new standard of creditworthiness. Money market funds will be required to comply by October 14, 2016—the same date that institutional prime money market funds will convert to a floating net asset value (NAV).
Overview, strategy, and outlook: As of August 31, 2015In our last commentary, we wrote that Greece’s governing party rejected a five-month extension of its bailout package because it was contingent on additional austerity measures and capital controls. Instead, Greece would hold a referendum to allow its people to vote on a new bailout.
Overview, strategy, and outlook: As of June 30, 2015In late June, more than 500 industry professionals descended on Minneapolis for the seventh annual Money Fund Symposium, sponsored by Crane Data. This is the largest conference aimed at money market fund portfolio managers, credit analysts, investors, servicers, issuers of money market securities, and others involved in the money market fund industry.
Three steps to optimize short-term cashCash portfolios have been viewed as an asset class in their own right for several decades—certainly since 3-month Treasury bill rates reached the more-than-16% stratosphere in the early 1980s. With interest rates now at the other end of the spectrum—near 0% since the 2008 financial crisis—optimizing a cash portfolio remains an important responsibility of corporate treasurers and investment committees.
Overview, strategy, and outlook: As of May 31, 2015With the U.S. government having recently entered a debt-issuance suspension period, quietly financing its deficit operations using what are euphemistically called extraordinary measures, the debt ceiling is likely to remain a back-burner issue through the summer before heating up in the fall. Here we explore the issue in greater detail, providing lazy-summer beach reading while the issue simmers in the background.
Overview, strategy, and outlook: As of April 30, 2015The first part of April was an unusually heavy news cycle for repurchase agreements (repos). These sleepy, white-bread staples of the money markets typically get little press, let alone a spotlight focused on them. However, several events have conspired to bring them front and center.
Overview, strategy, and outlook: As of March 31, 2015The Federal Reserve (Fed) took another step in the first quarter toward normalization by taking forward guidance upstairs—worn out after its busy, useful day—and tucking it into bed. You’ll recall that forward guidance, initially in the form of a promise to keep rates low for an extended period of time, and lately in the form of the term patience, moved to the forefront of the Fed’s easy policy after asset purchases were tapered down to zero in 2014.
Overview, strategy, and outlook: As of February 28, 2015The Consumer Analyst Group of New York held its 51st annual conference February 16–20, at which leaders from some of the largest and most well-known brands in the consumer goods and food/beverage industries made presentations. Each speaker discussed the unique challenges the current environment presents as well as their company’s specific efforts to address those challenges. While several general themes emerged that will figure prominently in 2015, we’ll touch on three common themes here.
Laurie R. White Managing Director
and Senior Fund Manager,
Taxable Money Funds
An investment in a money market fund is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. Although the Wells Fargo Money Market Funds seek to preserve the value of your investment at $1.00 per share, it is possible to lose money by investing in a money market fund.