15 February 2007

Hooray for Bernanke

I don't know how many of you listen to the radio, but I know I've noticed a surge in advertisements that say things like, "Bad credit? No credit? No problem! If you have a job, you can get a new car using your old car as a down payment at X Chevy in Kansas City!" I have wondered for as long as I've heard these kinds of ads about how much these dealers really help people with bad credit. It seems to me that if you're in debt with a $200/week job, buying a new car at what will almost certainly be a ruinous interest rate is not the way to get out of it.

It turns out Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke agrees:
"There's been a surge in delinquencies and foreclosures, particularly in subprime lending with variable rates that adjust ... and that is a concern to us."
He has suggested national standards to prevent such lending. Three cheers for a Federal Reserve Chairman who recognizes that building a culture of high-interest debt is not the smartest way to generate economic prosperity!

(I probably feel especially strongly about this at the moment because I've been reading Bleak House, and characters like Richard and Mr. Skimpole and Mr. Jellyby and Mr. George just make me crazy with how far they get into debt, and then can't get out!)

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