For Consumers, Skepticism Over Bailout Abounds

What would you call something that only 1 percent of consumers heartily approved of? According to a study sponsored by and conducted by Harris Interactive, you’d call it the $700 billion government-led financial bailout. The Harris study of consumer attitudes towards the bailout plan found that only one percent felt it would be “very effective” in resolving the nation’s financial crisis — and another 38 percent were adamant in their belief that the bailout will be “not at all effective,” according to the study released Thursday morning. 52 percent of those surveyed were lukewarm towards the proposal, feeling it would be “somewhat effective.” Regardless, in the short term, the economic climate is likely to affect consumers’ spending habits. In fact, a majority — 68 percent of those surveyed — said they already spend, or plan to spend less as a result of the current economic climate. Somewhat surprisingly, however, three in ten said their spending habits have not and will not change (we’re thinking those in the latter category are the same ones that took out option ARMs, but we’re probably just cynical). And denial clearly runs deep, beyond s belief that spending habits won’t need to change: less than one in five consumers surveyed said the believed their credit score will be affected by the current economic climate. The ideas about about spending may come in the form of reduced savings for retirement: nearly half of consumers — 47 percent — said the current financial crisis will affect retirement savings, while 30 percent said it will affect when they will be able to retire. Only 24 percent of adults, however, think their ability to be approved for a loan or mortgage will be impacted by the current economic climate. More proof, we suppose, that consumers have no idea what they’re actually talking about. For more information, visit

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