Definition: Credit allows the American economy to keep chugging along. A business or corporation that can borrow money can pay its employees, grow, and cover its expenses. With the lack of current confidence in our financial system, a credit and lending freeze has descended, with few banks feeling comfortable enough to extend credit to individuals or businesses. An extended freeze may result in layoffs and other drastic measures.
Usage: "The credit markets are frozen with fear. You can say it's irrational, but given the money that has been lost over the last 12 months by investors who were willing to take risks, it actually looks smarter to be irrational about this than to be rational." (Los Angeles Times, October 4, 2008)