The Securities and Exchange Commission's chief economist said Friday he doesn’t worry runs on money funds could cause a systemic calamity to the financial system.
Here is economist Mark Flannery's logic:
Systemic problems happen with financial products when there are a lot of sellers but no buyers.
However, investors fleeing money market funds looking for another short-term investment opportunity would have only one place to put their cash—bank deposits.
The banks, in turn, would then have extra money to buy the short-term assets the money funds were selling.
Flannery, who also serves as director of the SEC’s Division of Economic and Risk Analysis, said runs on mutual funds heavily invested in corporate bonds wouldn’t create a systemic danger, either.
Mutual funds own 25 percent of the corporate debt in the country, he noted. With a massive sell-off, he said, hedge funds would be poised y to buy the bonds when their prices dropped.
Flannery’s comments came at a joint Financial Stability Oversight Council and Office of Financial Research conference in Washington, D.C., during which Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chair Tim Massad said cyber attacks are a big threat to U.S. financial stability.
“(Cyber threats) may be the greatest threat facing our financial system today," said Massad.
The CFTC is hoping to reduce the danger through new proposals to insure derivatives exchanges, swap execution facilities, clearinghouses and swap data repositories are adequately protecting themselves from cybersecurity risks, he said.