Uneasiness Over Growth of Consumer Dest
Eisenhower on Regulation of Instalment Credit
Rapid expansion of consumer credit during the past year has brought expressions of mounting uneasiness from many observers. The uneasiness was reflected in a suggestion by President Eisenhower, in the Economic Report to Congress on Jan. 24, that it would be wise to consider arming the government with standby authority to regulate instalment buying. The President felt that in order to “promote stable economic growth, it would be desirable to increase the influence that the federal government can exercise on consumer credit.” He said:
In view of the increasing importance of the durable consumer goods industries in our economy and their marked tendency to fluctuate, consideration should be given to restoring the government's power to regulate the terms of consumer instalment credit …
Experience during the recent past suggests that the authority to set, if and as circumstances may require, minimum down payments and maximum maturities on instalment credit for the purchase of consumer durables would be a useful adjunct to other stabilizing measures.