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The central bank infusion was designed to end the freeze in bank-to-bank lending in recent days that had sent lending rates soaring and caused a rush into safe-haven gold and Treasury bills, sending their yields to the lowest levels since World War II.

But the moves came too late to prevent the sudden shutdown of the $15 billion Putnam fund, which was forced to close after receiving massive redemption requests.

Money market mutual funds saw huge redemptions totaling $89 billion in the past 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.

• Sean Lengell and Jon Ward contributed to this report.