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Report from a money market fund



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I received an annual report from a money market fund recently. It includes a Q-and-A with two portfolio managers: Joanne M. Driscoll and Jonathan M. Topper.

I'll pass along a bit of their wisdom here. The first question is, "Please describe the market environment for the 12-month reporting period ended September 30, 2015?"

They respond in part thus:

"The steep decline in commodity prices was especially noteworthy as low oil prices have eased inflationary pressures in the U.S. economy -- keeping inflation well below the Fed's 2% target for price stability. ... the central bank left its benchmark rate unchanged at its main policy making committee meeting in July, but added that it expected to begin raising short-term rates before the end of 2015. At their September meeting, Fed policymakers delayed raising the key short-term interest rate, citing weaker macroeconomic conditions abroad and the heightened market volatility brought on by the People's Bank of China's unexpected devaluation of the Chinese yuan in August.

"Given recent worries about the global economy, money market mutual funds have attracted record demand." 

Nothing surprising there, but a nice wrap-up of the recent monetary scene. The various rounds of QE would 'naturally' have created great inflationary pressures, to which the Fed would normally have responded by terminating that policy and raising rates. But none of that has happened, because oil prices have kept prices in general under control.

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