Student debt now exceeds credit card and auto loan debt.
“But if houses don’t become cheaper and wages don’t rise, what is actually achieved by making it easier for people to go into debt to buy them?”
A: Inflation! Making bankers richer! The totally foreseeable detonation of the worldwide economy!
Oh wait…. is this one of those rhetorical questions?
As banks, technology giants and would-be disruptors such as Square scrummage over the payment system of the future, German consumers seem perfectly happy with the payment system of the past. Germany remains one of the most cash-intensive advanced economies on earth. On average, wallets in Germany hold nearly twice as much cash—about $123 worth—as those in…
The German word for debt comes from the root word for guilt. Also, a pretty good discussion of ‘everyone’s favorite hyperinflation’.
Readers chime in as to why young people are avoiding credit cards.
It frustrates me that the coverage of this recent report is totally ahistoric. Pre-2006 it didn’t matter that you didn’t have a job and had a loan, credit card companies were signing students on campuses up left and right. That they aren’t anymore and that individuals don’t feel the need to get a card, isn’t a story of some victory over economic expectations, a failure to grow, or unemployment.
This is a story about the mistakes of the previous generation, what an overage of credit did before and could do again; why the underlying economic shift away from personal debt is incredibly depressing and dangerous for consumers and the middle class.
Credit cards and credit card companies are AWFUL. But the lack of availability of credit to individuals compared with significant outlays of credit to banks and large corporate entities (and the inflation that accompanies it) is THE story.
It’s the story of our ongoing tailspin into complete economic inequality and one that tells us about a dark future for Millennials that has nothing to do with carrying balances or avoiding debt and EVERYTHING to do with our increasing inability to access the means by which wealth is created.