One of the most successful government programs to stabilize the financial system has been the FDIC's Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program (TLGP). It allowed banks to issue short-term notes that are backed by the FDIC. The media generally focuses on the fact that the guaranteed paper was significantly cheaper for banks than issuing notes on their own. This is correct - once investors realized that this is truly a government program, it started trading much closer to treasuries (although people felt that there was some political risk associated with the guarantee).
But many forget that at the end of 08, banks couldn't issue paper at all, even at historically high yields. TLGP effectively unclogged the frozen credit markets, allowing first banks, but shortly after other types of corporations to issue paper, leading to an incredibly robust primary debt markets today.
A total of $329.5 billion of notes have been guaranteed by the FDIC. The question of course is who has been most active in utilizing this program. The usual suspects are there: C, BAC, JPM, etc. But the largest user (and the entity to which the FDIC has the most risk) has been GE Capital (NYSE:GE) (close to $90 billion). "We bring good things to life" means we bring lots of FDIC guaranteed paper to the market. Next time you screw in a light bulb, just remember your tax dollars have kept the lights on, literally.
Other "non-bank" users have been GMAC, American Express (NYSE:AXP), MetLife (NYSE:MET). We also had some non-US banks participate such as HSBC (HBC). The program is about to end however, with the last date of October 30th to issue an FDIC note. This is one of those tools that the government will have available in case of another crisis in the future. Just dust off the old TLGP docs and you are ready to restart the debt markets.