Money Market Guarantee Program Ending In One Week
The Treasury's Money Market Fund guarantee program, which was among the first to be instituted in the wake of Lehman's collapse, after the Reserve Primary Fund broke the buck (for a great description of what really happened, go here) is set to expire on September 19, after an extension had been granted on March 31 to postpone the initial April 30 expiration.
As a reminder, and as all money on the sidelines proponents will remind anxious bears, there is about $3.5 trillion in cash that is currently insured by the US Treasury. And speaking of the whole sideline money theory, which has been disproven over and over by those who don't actually have an agenda to push this stock or that on CNBC, here is another perspective on the issue courtesy of today's Rosenberg notes:
The reality is that the mountain of money is no higher or lower than it was when the market was plumbing the depths through 2008 — money market mutual funds back then were $3.5 trillion and guess what? Today they are $3.5 trillion. Go figure.
As for the guarantee expiration, perhaps this is another effort by the administration to have citizens push their money out of money markets and into the speculative stock market casino, now that this implicit guarantee is removed and ultimately any money would be lost either way. Alternatively, it could simply be an indication of the Treasury's false sense of security that another major run on the bank at this point is not a threat. Alas, the latter does not jive too well with Mr. Geithner's disclosure that despite the economy having returned to a properly functioning status, virtually all other government crutches will likely be here to stay for years.