The next move of the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve will be an attempt to boost consumer credit by pumping $25 billion to $100 billion into a new program to be announced later today. The money will come from the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
Weâ€™ll have to wait for the details before judging this newest program, but Iâ€™d be interested to know what percentage of consumers are not making purchases because of lack of credit. Iâ€™m sure there are some, but I wonder if increasing the availability of credit will significantly increase consumer activity. I mean, how many of us really want to go into more debt in this economy?
That said, consumer credit has become an essential part of our economy, particularly for large purchases. In principle, I have no problem with attempts to loosen up the moribund consumer credit market. I just hope the plan will allow responsible people to make responsible purchasers rather than incentivizing the taking on of untenable debt. God knows weâ€™ve already had enough Americans bury themselves in credit woes.