Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Debtor NationThe History of America in Red Ink$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Louis Hyman

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691140681

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691140681.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 25 July 2021

War and Credit

War and Credit

Government Regulation and Changing Credit Practices

(p.98) Chapter Four War and Credit
Debtor Nation

Louis Hyman

Princeton University Press

This chapter looks at a federal policy called Regulation W. As the federal government attempted to restrain inflation during World War II scarcity, it instituted both the well-known rationing program for many consumer goods, and launched the now forgotten first federal attempt to directly regulate consumer credit. With Regulation W, Roosevelt authorized the Federal Reserve to directly regulate how much consumers could borrow and the terms under which this borrowing could occur. While Regulation W reduced the overall amount of consumer debt during the war, it also destabilized established lending practices and encouraged a hybridization of installment credit and charge accounts that combined interest charges and flexibility in a form outside Regulation W. In effect, from the beginning of World War II until the Korean War, Regulation W deeply shaped the course of credit practices in the American economy, pushing retailers and consumers towards revolving credit—the nucleus of today's modern credit card.

Keywords:   Regulation W, consumer credit, Federal Reserve, consumer debt, installment credit, revolving credit, credit card

Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.