Public Papers - 1991 - October
Statement on Efforts to Ensure the Availability of Credit
I have today approved a set of proposals for additional action to relieve the ``credit crunch.'' The proposals were developed by the Treasury Department working with the bank regulators. They were reviewed and presented to me by the Economic Policy Council in response to my directive of September 27th.
There are many signs that we are emerging from the recession. Housing starts are up 26 percent since January. Industrial production has risen for 5 straight months. Our unemployment rate in September fell to 6.7 percent. In addition, the index of leading economic indicators has been steady or increasing for 7 straight months.
With mortgage interest rates at their lowest levels since 1977, I want to ensure that we have sound banks making sound loans. The genius of the American economy is the entrepreneurial spirit of our people. Ensuring sound credit for economic expansion which creates new jobs is important.
I am pleased with the additional steps we are announcing today. But let me emphasize: This is not all that can or should be done. I have directed the Economic Policy Council to examine additional measures that might be taken, not only to relieve the credit crunch, but also to advance our agenda for job-creation and growth. We will be meeting to review additional recommendations in the weeks ahead.