The Checkout

What Do Consumers Think About the Bailout?

Nancy Trejos

On Monday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said Congress should consider implementing a second stimulus package.

According to at least one survey, though, many Americans are not yet convinced that the $700 billion bailout package already approved by Congress is even going to work.

In a survey commission by and conducted by Harris Interactive, only 1 percent of the 2,021 adults polled said they believe the bailout initiative will be "very effective."

Sixty-two percent said they believe it will be at least somewhat effective at improving the current economic climate., which is run by Transunion, one of the three major credit bureaus, also took a look at how the financial crisis is affecting spending habits.

Sixty-eight percent said they have spent or will soon spend less, a trend that would probably be nice for their pocketbooks but not for the U.S. economy, which is highly dependent on consumer spending.

Almost half the respondents said they believe the economy will have an impact on their retirement savings. Almost 30 percent said the economy will affect their interest rates, their ability to retire and their investment portfolios. And nearly a quarter said the economic climate will affect their ability to get a mortgage.

Clearly, there are a lot of worried people out there.

By Nancy Trejos |  October 21, 2008; 7:05 AM ET Economy Watch , Nancy Trejos
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Joseph M. Krisanda

I have been watching the economy carefully and trying to arrange my investments accordingly. The volatility of the stock market is a major concern, but I have been able to attain positive returns by diversifying. This strategy is always the best if one is not interested in risky investments that may bring large positive returns, but also potentially large losses. I find that it is best to follow this conservative approach so that I can meet my retirement goals. Because of the lower returns, however, I invest more of my salary and consequently purchase fewer luxury items. I only make luxury purchases when I have saved the money, and I do not buy on credit.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 21, 2008 8:59 AM

I think that what most people want is the economy "fixed". There are structural problems with the economy that are escalating the wage inequality issue, and the bandaids that are being implemented do nothing to address these problems.

The bailout may make the "recession" less severe, but we will be stuck with a US debt that will only compound the pain the average citizen feels today. Stimulus checks feel good in the short-term, but do nothing but add to the pain in the long-term. And this citizen is mostly worried about that.

My feeling is that our government is mostly concerned with making sure they are re-elected. If they were true leaders, they would address the real problems instead of looking for quick fixes.

Posted by: jan | October 21, 2008 9:00 AM

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