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WASHINGTON, March 30 (Reuters) – A group of financial regulators will lay out recommendations in July to improve the resilience of money market funds and minimize the chance they will need government support in the future, Federal Reserve Vice Chair Randal Quarles said on Tuesday.
Quarles, in his capacity as head of the Financial Stability Board, said the group will focus on the relationship between money market funds and the short-term funding market, particularly the commercial paper market, after a liquidity crunch led to a run on those funds last March that necessitated government intervention.
The FSB, which coordinates financial rules for the Group of 20 industrialized economies, has been eyeing that corner of the financial market since the March 2020 rescue, which was the second time in little more than a decade that governments had to intervene to prevent runs on what are supposed to be safe investments.
Quarles said U.S. institutional prime money market funds saw outflows of roughly $100 billion over two weeks in 2020, which accounted for roughly 30% of the funds’ assets and was more severe than the run experienced at the peak of the 2008 financial crisis.
“The March market turmoil is the second time in roughly a decade that we have witnessed destabilizing runs,” he said in prepared remarks for an event organized by the Petersen Institute for International Economics. “More concerning this time, however, is that we had taken steps between these events precisely to reduce the likelihood of such runs.”
Quarles did not say specifically what reform recommendations the group would make, other than highlighting a few areas of focus.
Separately, Quarles also said the FSB was continuing work to address issues around cross-border payments. He acknowledged that work there is expected to be complicated and long-running.
“The roadmap sets our path, but the practical reality is, we need consensus among, and action by, many different – even competing – stakeholders to achieve success,” he said. (Reporting by Pete Schroeder; Editing by Paul Simao)