Investors in a $5 billion cash management fund run by General Electric have become the latest victims of the subprime mortgage meltdown.
CNBC has confirmed that a short-term cash management fund, which attempts to keep the value of each share at one dollar ... and offer enhanced returns above money market rates, is instead offering investors just 96 cents on the dollar.
The fund is not a money market fund, which is subject to much more stringent regulations than a cash management fund.
A spokesmen for General Electric , the parent company of CNBC, says no other GE cash management funds are offering investors less than a dollar.
The story first appeared earlier today in Barron's online and traders say it was a major reason for the sharp late-day selloff.
In recent days, several asset managers, whose funds were infected by bad subprime paper, have injected cash into their money funds to avoid breaking the buck. You may have heard that phrase on CNBC today: It's when an asset management fund offers less than one dollar per share.
Among them: Legg Mason , Bank of America and Wachovia .
The GE spokesman said the company had no plans to inject cash into the fund, called the GE Asset Management Enhanced Cash Trust.
The fund holds cash from outside investors, the General Electric pension fund and other GE employee benefit plans.
Barron's says that as of June 30, the fund has about one-third of its assets in home-equity asset-backed securities and about a quarter in residential mortgage securities.