Jan. 5 (Bloomberg) -- As the new owner of $172.5 billion of preferred shares and warrants in 208 U.S. financial institutions, the Treasury Department hasnât succeeded in thawing frozen credit markets, leaving taxpayers propping up an industry that wonât lend to them. While inter-bank lending rates have fallen since Congress approved the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program on Oct. 3, most bank lending to consumers remains tight and interest rates high. The average credit-card rate was 14.33 percent on Dec. 16, according to IndexCreditCards.com in Cleveland, almost unchanged from 14.41 percent in October 2007. Thatâs prompted criticism from Alan S. Blinder, a professor of economics at Princeton University in New Jersey and a former Federal Reserve vice chairman, who says the government should take a more active role as a stakeholder in the nationâs banks. âWith the banks in a state of catatonic fear now, theyâre just sitting on the capital,â Blinder said in an interview. âI donât fault the banks one bit, since this shows Wall Street theyâre safer, but then this doesnât get you much improvement. If youâre taking money from the public purse, we should get something in return, and weâre really not.â http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=aqLT6v88t.Jo&refer=home Oopss...How do peole survive with 14,33 % ???