BUSINESS
05/23/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Federal Program To Boost Private Lending Struggles To Get Money To Consumers

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, according to interviews with government and industry sources. The initiative also serves as a window into the complexities of designing a giant rescue of the financial system.

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