SEC releases a primer on money market funds and the repo market

Viktoria Baklanova, Isaac Kuznits, Trevor Tatum

This primer discusses the use of repurchase agreements (repos) by money market funds (MMFs) and provides a quantitative view of key repo metrics using data from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Federal Reserve. The metrics cover historical trends in repo assets and liabilities, repo holdings by MMFs, counterparty types, settlement arrangements, collateral securities, and margining practices.

The Federal Reserve estimates the total repo assets (or investments in repos) at around $4.6 trillion as of September 30, 2020. Securities dealers are also the largest investors in the repo market, accounting for close to 28% of the total repo assets as of September 30, 2020, below the 20-year average of nearly 40%. Securities dealers’ function as market intermediaries may explain their large shares of both repo assets and repo liabilities. Dealers exchange cash and securities in the repo market on behalf of their clients and to support their own market activity.

The full paper is available at https://www.sec.gov/files/mmfs-and-the-repo-market-021721.pdf

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