"Fed Risks ‘Spitting in the Wind’ With New Aid Pledges" by Bloomberg's Craig Torres and Scott Lanman, Nov23,2k8 (3rd update)
The Federal Reserve’s new $800 billion effort to combat the financial crisis is designed to make credit more accessible to shaken consumers who aren’t sure they want more debt.More later....
Households and lenders may not respond much because of the wealth destruction from plunging property and stock values, and the deepening economic slump, economists say. That means banks may end up returning the Fed’s new liquidity through deposits at the central bank.
“We are sort of spitting in the wind,” said Michael Darda, chief economist at MKM Partners LP in Greenwich, Connecticut. “Banks won’t be throwing a lot of loans out there when they fear -- rationally -- those loans may not be paid back.”
Policy makers aim to kick-start markets for loans to students, car buyers, credit-card borrowers and small businesses with a new $200 billion program. Backed in part by the Treasury, the Fed will become a new buyer in the market for consumer loans at a time when many traditional holders of the assets, such as off-balance sheet bank units, have collapsed or been dissolved.