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Notes to myself, possibly of interest to others.
-- Bill Northlich

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The US Consumer to the Rescue?

US household debt has fallen for 7 consecutive quarters. Some cheer, noting that it was a feeding-frenzy of debt-based consumption that got us into the current mess.  But Americans went so far into debt because (1) the banksters made it easy and (2) American (inflation adjusted) wages have been falling for 30 years so the only way to keep consuming at the rate necessary to keep the economy running was to go into debt and to borrow, borrow, borrow against the illusionary value of their homes.  Now Americans have no choice but to pare back their debts, and thus there is and will be scant revival of the consumer-based economy.

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