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Europe’s safest funds lose a tool to cope with negative interest rates

JANUARY 21ST should have been a momentous day for the European Union’s money markets. A package of reforms five years in the making, designed to make the bloc’s safest funds even safer, was due to kick in. Blue-chip firms like BlackRock and Morgan Stanley, anxious to meet the deadline, planned to switch their funds to compliant structures a week early. Yet on January 11th regulators announced a surprise delay. Money-market managers, which together oversee €1.3trn ($1trn), now have until March to put their houses in order. The delay stems from a row between national regulators over whether managers should ditch the “share-cancellation mechanism”(SCM), a tool that helps them deal with negative interest rates.
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