Money market funds traditionally have been both a safe vehicle for investors to store money and important to the economy because they generate short-term capital.

Naturally, market events do affect money market fund yields and expenses. For example, less than a year after the Dow Jones Industrial Average peaked in October 2007 at its all-time high of 14,164, money market funds' values eroded. That happened when the Reserve Primary Fund "broke the buck" in September 2008 (net-asset value fell below $1 per share), largely because of exposure to Lehman Brothers debt securities. It was then that investors redeemed their shares of the fund and that money market funds, in general, suffered tremendous net outflows.

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