Thursday, May 17, 2012

Borrow, borrow, toil and trouble

They thought us U.S. of A. consumers were going to borrow about $10 billion this last March.
Boy did we surprise them!

We actually borrowed a tad bit over $21 billion. Which is the largest increase since the Fall of 2001. This bring our total consumer debt to a little over $2 -1/2 trillion dollars.

Although most of the increase was in student loans, you have the usual suspects saying that it shows that in spite of the sluggish economic growth, they see it as a good sign that the U.S. consumer is confident enough to take on more credit card debt.

That is getting to be a hard sell.
Shannon Bond, Financial Times, 7 May 2012 (Hat tip: NC)

Consumers added $16.2bn in non-revolving debt, which includes student and auto loans but excludes mortgages and other real estate debt. Credit card and other revolving debt rose $5.1bn.
Americans are still facing income growth that lags behind inflation, and renewed worries over a job market that has weakened in recent months.
Pressure to stretch money a little farther to deal with rising fuel and food prices could also be behind the rise in borrowing, Mr Edelstein warned.


PioneerPreppy said...

My guess is they figure everyone else is doing it and eventually it will be written off.

There is no financial self control anymore whether it's government or individuals.

russell1200 said...

PP: Yes absolutely. My wife and I live in a smaller home than our comparable peers, and are working toward getting the house paid of early. Sometimes it looks a lot like we are the suckers.

But I look at the spend thrift crowd, and they don't seem to be really getting anywhere even for all their spending.

Of course at the moment, you cannot write of student loans, which is why they are a big focus of the protests. I have some posts coming up on what a disaster it is to overdo the student loans.

But I think in the long run you will have massive defaults. Which means that an awful lot of people are working for free and don't know it. Hyperinflation (a currency explosion) is a favorite EOTWAWKI scenario, but an implosion seems justt as likely. Or a worse, both, assets go to zero, and consumables go through the roof.

erisian said...

i am not economically viable.
so i am proud to state that none of that debt is mine..

though i sure could use some consolidation loans....


russell1200 said...


E: You have to be a little viable. Your on the internet! Right?

? O.K. I see your point.

But if none of the debt is yours, what would you consolidate?