2008_11_fedres.jpgStock futures are up after the Federal Reserve announced two big plans in hopes of unfreezing consumer credit. One is a $600 billion program to buy mortgage-related debt, of which the Fed says, "This action is being taken to reduce the cost and increase the availability of credit for the purchase of houses, which in turn should support housing markets and foster improved conditions in financial markets more generally." The other is a $200 billion effort to back consumer loans, like student, auto, and credit card loans; the Fed says it stepped in because "Continued disruption of these markets could significantly limit the availability of credit to households and small businesses and thereby contribute to further weakening of U.S. economic activity."