As a result, shares in London and New York were sent tumbling as fears over the credit problems grew.
The FTSE 100 index dropped by 122.7 points, a fall of about two per cent, In New York the Dow Jones industrial average fell by 387.2 points, about three per cent.
The surge in rates was the latest sign of the pressure on the market, leading banks tried to secure money to cover $299 billion of corporate loans that were stockpiled on their balance sheets.
The ECB indicated that it would provide unlimited funds at four per cent and they supplied a total of $131.6 billion.
The Fed also provided $24 billion for daily money market operations.
Speaking to The Times, Nick Parsons, head of strategy at nabCapital, said: "Because liquidity in the market is drying up, and because financing is also becoming difficult, it seems that investors who need to finance holdings of securities are not being able to draw on credit facilities and instead are having to finance off the cash market. That's putting up rates for cash."
The day after the September 11th attacks on the US the ECB put $96 billion euros into markets.