The problem is not one of liquidity, its one of solvency. Put another way, the problem isn't that there isn't money to make loans (there is), the problem is the entities that need to borrow (such as banks) aren't solvent -- they don't have the ability to generate the income to pay the debt and interest. Remember there are 'assets' and a liability associated with this asset (when using borrowed money). The assets have dropped in value, say to 10% of the original value, but the debt has remained. How to service it? The next stage is probably some of suspension of mark-to-market rules. Why? Because even with the government willing to buy toxic assets, banks would be forced to mark what those assets sold for, not what they have on their books (if they marked what they were worth on their books, they would have to raise capital which they can't do). In essence, for the plan to work the banks needs to dump the toxic "assets" while maintaining their value on their balance sheet. Essentially, this is shifting the liability since someone at some point needs to make up this difference. There is no credit crunch. There was a credit ORGY. However, it ended. This is the aftermath; the whole system is built on lies and deceit. That banks won't lend to each other is a very rational response when everyone thinks the other is cooking its books and posting fake numbers. If you don't think the counterparty can pay you back, why would you lend? Imagine a guy with a credit card in over his head.. to the point he can't even pay the interest forget the principle. At some point in normal society the debt get liquidiated (seizing of assets, bankruptcy, whatever). and life goes on. Likewise, that is what has happened here. The exception is that instead of the guy going bankrupt, the debt has been shifted/become the liability of the whole neighborhood! Its not clear what we would buy these assets for. At one point, Bernanke said more than fair value (?) but not how much. So perhaps the government is saying we'll buy $1 bills for $10, but we'll be ok because the $1s are really $5s (??). Or perhaps its buying $10 bills for $1, because they are really worth $5. Who knows. Ultimately, for debt to be serviced it is claim on future earnings which are generated by labor. In a rational/fair society, we would destroy the debt since its unservicable (a business deal that went wrong), similar to a VC investing in a business that went bankrupt. Instead, we are going to maintain the debt and make a claim against the future labor of someone to service it. I wonder who that will be? Ultimately, we find ourselves on the road to indentured servitude -- a promise of freedom yet unable to ever pay off the debt + interest accumulated by our government. How much interest and debt is an average American, rather government mule willing to service?