Government efforts to rescue the commercial paper market kicked into full gear last week, as two Federal Reserve-sponsored programs got a jump-start.

The Commercial Paper Funding Facility (CPFF), which is aimed at offering a liquidity backstop to U.S. commercial paper issuers, was launched on Monday. General Electric Co., the country's largest issuer of commercial paper, GMAC and American Express were all in the news as the first companies to take advantage of the facility.

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