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But the moves came too late to prevent the sudden shutdown Thursday of a $15 billion money market fund by Putnam investments, which said it was forced to close the fund after receiving massive redemption requests from investors worried about spreading defaults.

Money market mutual funds saw huge redemptions totalling $89 billion in the last week, according to the Money Fund Report. Much of that was involved the Reserve Primary Fund, which became the first to “break the buck” this week, prompting investors to pull $40 billion out of the $65 billion fund.

President Bush urged confidence early in the day after cancelling a trip to Alabama so he could meet with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and other financial advisers and monitor the situation on Wall Street.