"Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value – ZERO." - Voltaire (1729)
Anyone who sees this new regulation and feels safe leaving their money in money market funds needs to have their head examined. The "intent" is to prevent a "run" on money market funds when the next crisis hits. Essentially the passage of that regulation signals the high probability of such a crisis happening.
Suspending Money Market Redemptions Is Now Legal; SEC Approves New Money Market Regulation In 4-1 Vote...Zero Hedge discussed a month ago the disastrous prospects of what would happen if the new proposal contemplated by the SEC, which would allow the suspension of redemptions from Money Market Funds, were to pass. Well, in a nearly unanimous vote, Money Market Funds now have the ability to suspend redemptions, courtesy of the SEC's just passed 4-1 vote. This explains the negative rate on bills: at this point, should there be another meltdown, money market investors will not, repeat not, be able to withdraw their money purely on the whim of Mary Schapiro. As the SEC noted: "We understand that suspending redemptions may impose hardships on investors who rely on their ability to redeem shares." Too bad investors' hardships considerations ended up being completely irrelevant.
As alluded to in the post, the rate on 1-month T-bills has gone negative today. Think about what this means. When a big investor is willing to invest short term money and have returned less money than was invested just 30 days ago, it tells us that the investor is more concerned about getting his money back than he is about making money on his money. The investor is essentially paying a small fee to insure that his cash is returned with little loss (30-day T-bills would be considered riskless since the Govt can print money to honor the claim). Think about the signal from big investors that is being given here about the perception of systemic risk and the probability of systemic failure. The rate on 30-day bills went negative for quite some time before the collapse of Lehman and AIG.
This phenomenon only strengthens the case that investors should be putting as much as they can into gold and silver as vehicles for protecting and preserving wealth. When you own gold, you are not subjected to, and victimized by, the bad decisions and moral hazards being implemented by our policymakers, many of whom are puppets for the big banks who fund their positions of leadership (see today's Congressional inquisition of Geithner and Paulson). When you own physical gold in your own possession (or a trusted custodian), your investment does not have any risk of counterparty claim AND you have no Government/SEC restrictions placed on your investment, like the SEC regulation just passed.
I will end with a quote from none other than the king of fiat money, Alan Greenspan, who said on September 9th, 2009: "gold still holds reign over the financial system as the ultimate source of payment." Keep this in mind when you get your next investment statement from your broker or advisor.