The Federal Reserve today introduced two big new programs aimed at unfreezing credit markets, and, let's face it, getting everyone off their backs about helping the consumers. To unclog the housing markets, the Fed says it will purchase as much as $600 billion in debt issued or backed by government-chartered housing-finance companies like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. And under the TALF, or Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility, the New York Fed will lend up to $200 billion to holders of highly rated auto loans, student loans, credit-card loans, and small-business loans. TALF's cousin, TARP (The Troubled Asset Relief Program), will kick in $20 billion to support the upstart initiative, which they hope to have going by February. “The economy is turning down pretty dramatically,” said Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson. “It’s very important that lending continue to be available." Thanks, dude.
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