JIM HENRY

Let's hope Washington resolves debt crisis in timely way

Jim Henry is a special correspondent for Automotive News

It sure would be a shame if a U.S. government debt default were to undo all the progress of the last 18 months or so.

Auto finance seems to be hitting on all cylinders: easier access to credit; subprime and leasing picking up; delinquencies and write-offs for bad loans at the lowest level in a decade; transaction prices, used-car values and residuals up; and incentives seemingly under control.

With all those positive factors, it's hard to imagine the industry backsliding into another recession and the low, low sales volumes of 2008 and 2009. Yet the government debt crisis has analysts predicting exactly that scenario.

Let's hope cooler heads prevail in Washington.

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