Non-financial businesses are enterprises formed by individuals and other businesses to engage in activities for profit, where the activities are not primarily those of financial intermediaries such as commercial banks. These businesses issue debt and equity instruments and invest in the financial markets.
Businesses participate as investors in financial markets by investing excess funds in the money market, as well as investing the funds of defined benefit plans they sponsor, as do state and local governments. Nonfinancial corporations are the largest defined benefit pension fund for businesses in the United States. The top five total assets in billions as of January 26, 2009 by pensions and investments are:
General Motors $91.0
AT&T $61.9
General Electric $50.0
IBM $49.4
Boeing $42.5
Some nonfinancial businesses have subsidiaries that engage in the same activities as financial corporations. Financial subsidiaries which we refer to as captive finance companies participate in the financial market by providing loans. Examples include Ford Motor Credit and General Electric Credit Corporation.

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