On November 12, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson acknowledged that Treasury may support the asset-backed securities markets by using the Troubled Asset Relief Program “to encourage private investors to come back” to the ABS markets “by providing them access to federal financing.” To support consumer access to credit outside the banking system, Paulson stated that the Treasury and the Federal Reserve are exploring the development of a potential liquidity facility for AAA asset-backed securities, especially those backed by payments on auto loans, credit cards and student loans. “The asset-backed securitization market has played a critical role for many years in lowering the cost and increasing the availability of consumer finance ... Addressing the needs of the securitization sector will help get lending going again, helping consumers and supporting the US economy. While this securitization effort is targeted at consumer financing, the program we are evaluating may also be used to support new commercial and residential mortgage-backed securities lending."

http://www.treas.gov/press/releases/hp1265.htm