Stress Endures in Market Where Big Companies Turn for Cash

Fed interventions calmed the market for commercial paper, a form of short-term borrowing for companies, but rates remain elevated

The coronavirus pandemic is disrupting the global economy. WSJ’s Greg Ip explains what the Federal Reserve can do to stem the damage. Illustration: Carlos Waters/WSJ

The normally staid corner of Wall Street where companies and banks borrow money for days or weeks at a time was suddenly at the center of a near financial meltdown last month. Some fund managers are concerned that problems remain despite the quick work of central banks to ease the funding strains.

Known as commercial paper, this more than $1 trillion market of short-term loans, used by companies to cover expenses such as payroll and paying suppliers, froze during March’s coronavirus-induced mayhem.

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