Much bloviation has been unleashed on the poor economy and its impact on the auto industry, but even where consumers have cash and carmakers have cars to sell, it's the credit industry that's failing them both. To help mend that breach, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has proposed a $1 trillion dollar program to get consumer lending back on track.

Dubbed Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan facility, or TALF, the $1,000,000,000,000 program is aimed at improving the issuance of consumer loans by freeing up the market for securities. Geithner says that about 40% of the consumer loan industry is dependent upon those securities.

The impact for the car industry could be massive, though it will likely take some time, assuming there are enough car buyers out there ready to purchase but in need of financing. The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) hailed the program as it was proposed last November when it was expected to amount to a relatively paltry $200 billion.

“I want to be candid: this strategy will cost money, involve risk, and take time,” said Geithner.

Now that the fund has grown to five times the size, it's expected to be all the more effective in getting customers back into dealerships. The $1 trillion plan is in addition to the $700 billion in TARP funds already allocated, and the $825 billion stimulus package being negotiated in Congress. The TARP program will itself be reworked by the Obama administration, but the underlying funding is expected to remain in place.

The total of these three programs comes to about $2.5 trillion - a staggering amount claimed to be necessary to overcome the "late and inaequate" steps taken by the Bush Administration. The total rescue plan, dubbed the Financial Security Plan, may reach $2 trillion according to Geithner.