"Healthy Lending Levels," the Oxymoron Is Not Yet Dead
Federal Program to Boost Private Lending Struggles to Get Money to Consumers By Neil Irwin Washington Post Staff Writer Thursday, April 23, 2009 In its first two months, the government's signature initiative to support consumer lending has fallen well short of expectations, deploying only a fraction of the amount officials had hoped to extend to stimulate auto loans, student loans and credit card lending. The slow rollout of the program has frustrated staff at government agencies working on the effort and diminished hopes that they could engineer a rapid return to healthy lending levels . . .
And what, pray tell, is the WaPo definition of 'healthy lending levels?' Are those the levels that leveled the economy, the levels that busted real estate, or the levels that turned us from a nation of producers to a banana republic? Unsurprisingly (or not, if you have little faith in the citizenry), we the people are hell-bent on cutting down our spending, learning to live on what we need instead of what we want and socking some away to get us through the storm whose clouds darken the horizon. Sorry if that puts a crimp in Wall Street's recovery.