The Essential Economic Lubricant

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

It's not called capital for nothing — credit is what makes the economy groove. You may have noticed that the "financial crisis" all over CNN has been replaced by phrases like "credit crunch" and "lending freeze." The primary worry? The credit markets: they're the lifeblood of the American economy, and they've been dealt a stiff blow by the domino effect of the subprime mess. Everyone from mom and pop shops to big companies like AT&T are feeling it, and the lack of liquidity is the ghoul that's really scaring everyone from Wall Street to Madison Avenue to Small Town Drive. Today, we'll explain why credit is so important — doesn't anyone just have cash anymore? — and we want to hear from you, especially if you're an employer feeling the pinch.

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