NEW YORK (11/1/10)--Mike Schenk, vice president of economics and statistics at the Credit Union National Association, provided insights on consumer lending and the market to two national business publications last week. Schenk talked about the effect of lower long-term interest rates in a Thursday CNNMoney.com article titled, “The Fed’s ‘tax on the consumer.’” “Banks will have a lot more money to lend, and lower rates will make it easier for people to borrow,” Schenk told CNNMoney. “But the problem is that people are still up to their eyeballs in debt and are in the process of paying it down, so it's unclear how much more they'll be willing to borrow.” Schenk commented that the US. market is taking a more realistic look at the Federal Reserve’s actions in regard to easing--manifest through the U.S. Treasury’s recent $29 billion auction of 7-year notes--in a Thursday article titled “Stocks finish mixed amid uncertainty on Fed plans,” in The Street.com. “In the last day or two, it seems like the market has started to look at Fed easing more realistically,” Schenk told the publication. “Expectations were very high for significant and immediate easing. Those expectations have come down--and rightly so--the Fed wasn't going to go in with guns blazing. “The nervousness related to the potential increases in inflation that a big move in easing could have is well understood by the Fed,” he added. Also, favorable jobs data bolstered consumer confidence, Schenk told The Street.com. “A good deal of the optimism we saw earlier was related to the favorable jobs number, which is good and moving in the right direction, but when all is said and done, it doesn't change the fundamental outlook for the jobs market,” Schenk said. “Consumers are still behaving cautiously and in the mode of deleveraging.” To read the articles, use the links.