Commercial Paper Rises for Second Straight Week

By MADLEN READ | AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) - The Federal Reserve says the amount of commercial paper in the market has increased for the second straight week, but at a slower pace.

Companies issue commercial paper to borrow money for short periods to finance their day-to-day operations. The Fed started buying highly rated, three-month commercial paper on Oct. 27 to prop up a market that saw demand fall off after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. collapsed.

Commercial paper outstanding increased by $50.5 billion to a seasonally adjusted $1.60 trillion in the week ended Wednesday, after rising by $100.5 billion in the previous week.

The amount outstanding remains down from $1.82 trillion eight weeks ago, and down from $2.2 trillion at the market's peak in the summer of 2007.

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