Where Have All the Checkbooks Gone?

Lenders are getting more tightfisted as more tough times loom for housing

The days of easy money may be over. On July 24 the Dow Jones industrial average tumbled 226 points after mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Corp. warned of more rough times to come in the housing market. The next day, banks pulled an offering for $12 billion in loans to fund private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management's buyout of Chrysler Group. [On July 26, the Dow Jones industrials plunged more than 300 points in intraday trading, dogged by the same credit and housing market worries.]

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