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Us Credit Card Debt Rises For First Time Since Collapse Of Lehman Brothers

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Credit card borrowing climbed $2.3bn in December, according to figures from the Federal Reserve, taking credit card debt to $800.5bn. It was the first increase since August 2008, the month before the collapse of the investment bank Lehman Brothers triggered a deepening of the financial crisis.

The US consumer, whose spending accounts for about 70pc of the country's gross domestic product, has been behind a stronger showing from the economy over the past couple of months. Unlike almost every other western country, Congress and the Federal Reserve are doing all they can to get people spending again.

"Credit conditions have broadly loosened," said Neil Dutta, an economist at Bank of America. "Whether we're seeing a more broad-based turn in the credit cycle is up for debate."

While some of the increase is likely to be down to consumers feeling better off, it also underlines the fact that policy makers have few other levels to pull as they try to accelerate the recovery.

President Barack Obama has publicly called for a rebalancing of the US economy away from debt-fuelled consumer spending.

Possible 20% unemployment rate but some a splashing the cash, I love who the VI ramping of the increase likely due to consumers feeling better off, ignoring the possibility that some of the increase could be down to families simply living off the credit card in a last ditch attempt to stay afloat, hoping that somehow their own fortunes will turn before the bill become due.

Viva recovery.

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Need more debt - must be better off. :lol:

There are times when I serious believe that certain countries are intenitonally trying to destroy their economies and even their future viability.


The average young person in the U.S. has more student loan debt than credit card debt.

According to the leading experts, college students will be paying more than they ever have for their school loans. It is amazing but student debt has passed up credit card debt. The one good thing is that the average student loan has a lower interest rate than the average credit card payment.

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Dig this headline:

Americans’ credit-card debt rose for the first time since 2008, a possible sign they are growing more confident about the economy and opening their wallets wider.

It did?






Ok, it did. By $2.3 billion.

November? It fell $3.351 billion. So December failed to just reverse November's decline.

The month before? It fell $4.53 billion.

Ok, so that's a positive, right? Well, sorta.

First, let's not forget that December is Christmastime. Second, let's also remember that this is a seasonally adjusted number.

And here's where we have some problems, because when not seasonally adjusted the total amount held by banks was..... down.




That's a $9.96 billion decrease.

Credit unions?




That's down by $76 million.

Savings institutions?




Ok, that's up a bit ($406 million or so)

How about non-financial businesses?




Ah, there's a gain ($3.06 billion.) Wait a minute... that's probably not revolving debt. But even if it is, between banks, credit unions and savings institutions we're still negative.

Now let's look at cars, which are mostly here under "financing companies" (e.g. Ford Credit, etc):




That's real. $27 billion worth of "real."

But when you look at where revolving debt is held, that is, banks, you see continued contraction and a goodly amount of it.

Again, these subindices are non-seasonally adjusted. That is, they're counts as opposed to guesses.

Charts at the link.

Dennigers take on the improvement in consumer confidence....

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