Yesterday the Fed rolled out another $800 billion package to prop up the economy. This time, though, the money is aimed at helping banks make affordable loans to consumers:
- $200 billion will be used to buy securities backed by consumer debt like car loans or credit cards
- $600 billion is intended to directly buy troubled mortgages, taking them off the books of Fannie Mae, Ginnie Mae and Freddie Mac, the three government-backed mortgage lenders.
It could wind up being a better short-term thing for consumers than anything the government has done so far, given that so little of the trillions spent on bailouts have gone toward anything that might make it directly easier for you and I to borrow. Problem is, this, like everything else, will have to be paid for and will have long-term ramifications that most of us can't even imagine yet.
What's your take? Good idea or bad one?