US Treasury's Steel sees money markets settling
WASHINGTON, Sept 6 (Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury's domestic finance chief said on Thursday he was optimistic that money markets would be operating normally by year-end as a liquidity crunch eases and market confidence returns.
Robert Steel, the Treasury's undersecretary for domestic finance, told CNBC Television, however that it would take a long time for banks to become more comfortable in taking lending risks, and more encouragement was needed.
"I think for now things are working and they've improved from where they were at the bottom," Steel said on CNBC's Kudlow & Company show. "Basically we believe liquidity is beginning to come back but we're vigilant and focused on the issue," he added.
Steel also said that efforts to help financially troubled homeowners restructure their mortgages and avoid foreclosure should be focused on owner-occupants, not those with second homes or properties bought for speculation.