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Credit Card Debt In The United States Is Approaching A Trillion Dollars

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Credit Card Debt - Public DomainFor the first time ever, total credit card debt in the United States is approaching a trillion dollars.  Instead of learning painful lessons from the last recession, Americans continue to make the same horrendous financial mistakes over and over again.  In fact, U.S. consumers accumulated more new credit card debt during the 4th quarter of 2015 than they did during the years of 2009, 2010 and 2011 combined.  That is absolutely insanity, because other than payday loans, credit card debt is just about the worst kind of debt that consumers could possibly go into.  Extremely high rates of interest, combined with severe penalties and fees, can choke the financial life out of almost any family in no time at all.

These days, most Americans use credit cards for various purposes, and they can be very convenient.

And if you pay them off every single month, they don’t become a problem.

Unfortunately, a lot of people are not doing this.  According to CNBC, total U.S. credit card debt rose by an astounding 71 billion dollars last year alone…

Last year, credit card debt in the U.S. surged by approximately $71 billion to $917.7 billion, according to a new study from CardHub.com. The research also found that most of the debt accrued in 2015 came in the fourth quarter, when Americans tacked on more than $52 billion.

“With 7 of the past 10 quarters reflecting year-over-year regression in consumer performance, evidence is mounting to support the notion that credit card users are reverting to pre-downturn bad habits,” CardHub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou said in a statement.

And as noted above, things were particularly gruesome during the 4th quarter of last year.

According to Alternet, Americans added more credit card debt during those three months than during the entire years of 2009, 2010 and 2011 combined…

Not since we headed into the Great Recession of 2008 have we been quite so loosey-goosey with our credit cards, racking up debt with stunning speed. Of our 4Q totals, CardHub notes, “during this one quarter, we added more debt than in 2009, 2010 and 2011 put together.” That brings dollars owed to credit card companies by each debt-saddled American family up to $7,879, the highest since the Great Recession.

I can’t even begin to describe how unwise this is.  When I was in my twenties, I made the same mistakes that so many other Americans are making right now.  I very foolishly racked up large balances on my credit cards, and it took years of extremely painful payments to fix those mistakes.

In America today, 37 percent of all households maintain credit card balances from month to month, and the average level of credit card debt for those households is $15,700.  The following comes from CBS Minnesota

According to NerdWallet, 37 percent of American households have credit card debt, which is defined as not paying off the full balance every month. Using data from the Federal Reserve of New York, U.S. Census and its own poll, NerdWallet found the average balance for those in credit debt is $15,700.

What most people don’t realize is that by letting balances run from month to month, you can end up paying just about as much in interest as you did for the original purchases.

Here is one credit card repayment scenario that comes from NerdWallet

For the sake of simplicity in calculating the cost of the average credit card debt, let’s assume an APR of 16% and a fixed payment. We’ll also assume a minimum payment of 2% of the principal balance of $15,762, the average as of the end of 2015, or $315.

Based on those terms — and assuming you don’t add any more to your credit card balance — it would take 84 months, or seven years, to pay off the balance in full. During that time, you’ll pay $10,402 in interest — about two-thirds of the original balance — for a total of $26,164. This averages out to about $124 in interest per month.

The scenario above assumes that all payments are made on time.  But a single late payment can trigger higher interest rates, penalties and fees that can be absolutely suffocating.

In fact, some people end up paying back three, four or five times as much as they originally borrowed to the credit card companies.

If you use credit cards for convenience or to buy things online or to automatically pay bills, that is fine.  Just don’t let balances accumulate.  As you can see, that can be financial suicide.

And as we head into a new global recession, you definitely don’t want to be saddled with high levels of debt.  All of us have little luxuries that we can cut back on, and now is not the time to be living on the financial edge.

Just look at some of the troubling signs that we have seen in the news in recent days…

-The U.S. oil and rig count just dropped to the lowest level ever recorded

-One Houston CEO told employees that he was laying off that we have entered a “depression

-It is being reported that 35 percent of all oil and gas companies around the world are at risk of falling into bankruptcy

-Unemployment in Canada just hit a three year high

-The number of job cuts in the United States skyrocketed 218 percent during the month of January according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas

-U.S. manufacturing activity has been in contraction for four months in a row

-U.S. factory orders have now fallen for 15 months in a row

-Subprime auto loan delinquencies have hit their highest level since the last recession

-Orders for Class 8 trucks in the United States dropped by 48 percent on a year over year basis in January

-The Restaurant Performance Index in the United States has dropped to the lowest level that we have seen since 2008

-Major retailers all over America are shutting down hundreds of stores

And this list does not even include all of the signs of severe economic trouble from around the rest of the planet that I have been writing about lately.

Credit card debt truly is financial poison, and it is not something that you want to have during the hard times that are coming.

Unfortunately, most Americans never learn, and they continue to rack up credit card debt as if there is no tomorrow even as the global economy starts to spiral downhill all around them.

  • ALWAYSTOMORROW

    I have never paid one cent of interest on a credit card in my life.

    If someone like myself can figure out paying interest is bad, anyone should be able to figure it out

    • Priszilla

      I did. Right at the beginning, when I believed them when they said: You only need to pay the minimum every month. They never tell anyone they put interest on the rest.

      So you pay off 5%, and they add 30% interest. This goes out of hand very quickly.

    • Mr. Cipher

      Seems ms you only read Michaels work so you can pat your self on the back one more time.

      • ALWAYSTOMORROW

        It is funny how when someone lives within their means you criticize it and when a country runs up a 17 trillion dollar debt because it isn’t living within its means you criticize it also.

        • Malcolm Reynolds

          It’s funny that you keep claiming that you live within your means and then come here merely to whine and moan at the author trying to encourage people to live within their means.

  • Mondobeyondo

    Thought we as a whole would have learned one important lesson by now…
    Stay. Away. From. Plastic.
    We can’t. Why? Instant Gratification. INSTANT. GRATIFICATION.
    Ding ding ding, we have a winner!
    Credit cards are like a genie in a bottle, that grants you unlimited wishes (until you max out your account!) on whatever your heart desires. Who can resist that? Not very many.

    • REALIST

      Plastic is my friend.

    • Scott Comin

      Instant gratification engineered by a sick system. Personal responsibility is over-rated as a reason for this problem!!!! In my opinion anyway.

      • Fran

        But personal responsibility is what is required to resist / solve the problem. Call it self-discipline. That’s an endangered personal trait in this day and age

    • Priszilla

      In Australia, Cash is made from plastic.

      • Steeve Girard

        So is Canada now… cotton paper is too easy to imitate.

    • Steeve Girard

      Yes the instant gratification is the wrong thing with credit cards. But it is also a cultural problem to solve needs easily. People just give no thought about the process and consequences of credit payment.

    • Evan Elliott

      Not to metion the Media’s portrayal of daily life that no one will ever attain but everyone still seems hell bent on trying to get. Wanna be like Nicki Minaj but have no money? Credit card!!!!!

  • Whiplash

    Credit is great!

  • REALIST

    I have 16 “active” credit cards, including the American Express Black Card.

    I’m somebody !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Mondobeyondo

      You’ll be a broke somebody soon.

  • smooze

    I have only recently acquired a CC from my local credit union, lowest possible amount. I also have a big box store CC that I used to purchase some supplies for school. I make large payments on the big box every paycheck so that I end up making 13 payments every calender year and I am paying it off faster than the “minimum”. The CU card we use for gas and small purchases and pay it off the same month. Otherwise I pay cold hard cash for everything: groceries, bills, any shopping we do all cash.

  • Scott Comin

    When wages don’t go up and unemployment is high and bills get higher all the time, PEOPLE USE CREDIT TO SURVIVE ALSO. That is the goal of the banks and corporations? to keep people in debt. They can make a profit even when people are poor!! Keep wages low so people have to stay in debt. IT IS ALL PART OF THE GAME. TO KEEP AMERICANS POOR AND STILL FILL THE RICHES COFFERS. SICK EVIL SYSTEM WE LIVE IN.

    • Priszilla

      Pay off your debts, reduce your costs. Once you paid off the debts, avoid new debts. Now save the money you used to pay interest from. You might not get any interest for your savings, but you won’t have to pay interest for new debts when you pay in cash.

      Start smart investing.
      Long johns – to save heating costs;
      A big pot for cooking. No more junk food.
      No need to buy new, when you can get other people’s scrap.

      Mend, repair, maintain.

      People get rich from selling non-durable goods that need to be replaced often, or that expire soon (oil, energy, food, tickets, any kind of ticket, newspapers) People get poor from buying these goods. So reduce those expenditures as much as possible.

      Buy durable goods, save energy, grow your own veggies. Liver is cheaper than steak, yet contains more protein and less fat.
      Heart is pure muscle, chicken gizzard is pure muscle. Here in UK they cost less than £2 per kg, steak costs at least 4 times that much.
      Without eating greens much of the energy you eat goes to your hips. Water helps you to break up nutrients.

      People grow marihuana in homes, so growing small leafy veggies and herbs at home should be possible too.

      • Evan Elliott

        Exactly!!!!!

      • mtntrek3

        Good advice. Still…. unexpected repairs of major appliances and vehicles come around eventually. There are sometimes cheaper ways to solve these problems also….. but not always.

        • Priszilla

          You want to have cash for unexpected expenditures. Possibly at home. Handy to hand to the handyman.

      • Creepy Pedro

        Not eat liver or heart, but the rest is spot on.

        • SunnyFlaSnotress

          I eat a goodly amount of chicken liver. Gizzards take a long time to cook. I even tried beef heart for the first time recently., interesting.. but not something I want to go back for..
          Way back when, the muscle meats used to go the servants and the organ meats went to the upper class. Lots of cholesterol in liver and gizzards though.. and foie gras was one of the things Gandolfini had before he died.

          • TheLulzWarrior

            Soon enough people will be eating rat liver and roadkill stew.

          • Rebel

            If it walks crawls fly’s swims or slithers, eat it they are all fair game!

          • Mark

            I thought vampires drink blood?????

          • SunnyFlaSnotress

            liver is pretty bloody

          • Priszilla

            Foie gras is basically animal abuse.

            Cholesterol is mainly made inside the body. It is the base for such things as testosterone and Vitamin D.

            Get off your sofa and run and tumble. Let your skin make Vitamin D and your balls testosterone.

      • Holger Jahndel

        @Priszilla:disqus :

        There are successfull economic systems and modern tax systems in Scandinavia with Sweden and Finnland and in Iceland!

        Even the Japanese want to introduce the Scandinavian Swedish tax modell in their country as the national taxt system of National Economy and the Benefit of the middle class producing the most jobs! And also CANADA is doing better than the neoliberal Neocon USA with the neoliberal Globalists!

        Neoliberalism has spread from the city of London and mass media like the failed fraud Monetarism of MIlton Friedman of the University of Chicago! The USA are deindustrialized by neoliberal free trade and destructive financial speculations and are loosing their whole industrial basis and the middle class is melting away now!

      • It is no longer wise to pay off the mortgage on your house.

        If you pay off the mortgage on your house you may become a target for civil asset forfeiture. There is no trial to prove you innocence or guilt.

        • Priszilla

          Just googled it. Well, it would help if you lived in a lawful and just society. If you are not there yet renting is always the better choice. Up and away within a month.

      • I’ve Had Enough

        Good tips but don’t cut fat too much, you still need it! But definitely focus on protein and fat and ditch the carbs

        • Priszilla

          Fat is too much energy. Too much protein will give you gout.
          Focus on mineral and vitamin uptake. Essential proteins and fats.
          And fill up energy with carbs as needed.

          Cell walls are fat-based – skin is water resistant.
          Cell content is 80% water.
          Muscles need water as lubricant.
          Cartilage needs water to remain supple and can buffer bones against bones.
          There you are.
          Water is life.

    • Well Said. The system is rigged. Americans can’t live without credit but the same Americans if they live outside America are fine without credit.

      Don’t blame Americans. Blame the corporations.

      • Jacynthia Read

        Blame the Central Bankers and the Shadow Government.

        • Bill G Wilminton NC

          Excellent……

      • Jill

        You can easily live without credit cards and installment loans. It takes a great deal of sacrifice, at times, and a willingness to delay gratification but it can be done. Our family did just that when we decided to become debt free.

    • Opiner

      Yeah, It’s called Capitalism. Capitalize any way you can. It’s the American way. Only we have a corrupt rigged capitalism skewed to benefit the wealthy.

      • Malcolm Reynolds

        Capitalism has nothing to do with this system.

        • Holger Jahndel

          Malcolm Reynolds

          There are successfull economic systems and modern tax systems in Scandinavia with Sweden and Finnland and in Iceland!

          Even the Japanese want to introduce the Scandinavian Swedish tax modell in their country as the national taxt system of National Economy and the Benefit of the middle class producing the most jobs! And also CANADA is doing better than the neoliberal Neocon USA with the neoliberal Globalists!

          Neoliberalism has spread from the city of London and mass media like the failed fraud Monetarism of MIlton Friedman of the University of Chicago! The USA are deindustrialized by neoliberal free trade and destructive financial speculations and are loosing their whole industrial basis and the middle class is melting away now!

          • Malcolm Reynolds

            There are successful economic systems and modern tax systems in Scandinavia with Sweden and Finnland and in Iceland!

            If you say so. I don’t consider heavy taxation, a reliance upon oil exports and sucking on the teat of US military welfare successful, but that’s just me. BTW, Iceland went belly up a few years ago, and had to repudiate their debt. SUCCESS!

            Even the Japanese want to introduce
            The Japanese have been stuck in a stagnating/failing economy for what, a decade? I’d be desperate to implement anything and everything too.

            The USA are deindustrialized by neoliberal free trade and destructive financial speculations
            The USA is suffering under the combined evils of heavy progressive regulation and heavy taxation and as a result offshored everything we had that was a success so the middle class is disappearing.

            But again, no one of this really has anything to do with what I said.

          • Holger Jahndel

            The USA was sucked out by neoliberal free trade (since NAFTA) and the Monetarism of Milton Friedman and his so called “Chicago Boys” (corrupt and criminal), and by destructives specualtions with Derivatives and Hedge Fonds since the end of the Glass Steagall law of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his new deal. Glass Steagall was abolished during Bill Clintons neoliberal decade in the 90ies. Ending with the New Economy Crash, when 4, 6 TRILLION (!!!) US Dollar were melting away suddenly. Destructive financial capital and neoliberal capitalism.

            The Swedish and Finnish tax modell and economic system ist very sucessfull. It also worked in Germany, during the first experiments with it 2007 – 2008, creating about 800.000 new jobs. Unfortunately then came the big financal collapse and economic crisis in 2008, beginning in the USA as the Black Friday 1929 did in New York. The Swesdih and Finnish tax system is in my opinion the answer on the problems of free trade and globalisation.
            But also Switzerland and Canada and Chile are doing quite well economically, compared to other countries like bankrupt neoliberal USA of the Neoliberals and Neocons and Globalists. Even Brazil abolished neoliberal free trade and did classic protectionism again for National Economic reasons and benefits of their own national industries and markets and people. USA should do the same or introduce the Swedish tax system as economic modell. Otherwise it will loose the whole industrial basis and industries to China and Southeastern Asia and Pakistan and Latin American with Brazil. The whole middle class in the USA is melting away. Neoliberal free trade does NOT really function!

      • Rick

        That’s because we have corrupt politicians who can’t avoid the sweet deals from corporate lobbyist. Essentially Congress and the “wealthy” as you call them set all the rules, they determine winners and losers. And what most of America is finding out is that we the ordinary people are the losers…

        • william mony

          Exactly
          People continue to blame capitalism. The usa is no longer a capitalist nation, it is an oligarchy.
          We have a very small group that really runs the nation.
          The morons in chicago, so proud they stopped free speech will soon see what the NWO has planned for them.
          They will be patting themselves on the backs as the American cities are on fire and then the food runs out, and there will be no one to help them.

          • Bill G Wilminton NC

            VOTE TRUMP resist……

      • afchief

        Capitalism is man taking care of himself in a competitive but predominately cooperative market system. Capitalism breeds independence, interdependence, personal responsibility, freedom, etc.

        Socialism is the government micromanaging the details in everyone’s lives by means of taking from those who have and distributing it in a very unproductive way to those who don’t have so much. Socialism breeds corruption, laziness, oppression, etc.

    • Pic889

      There are generally three kinds of people who are in credit card debt:

      1) Unemployed people who need to buy things to survive (and people with no college education can’t “just get a job” easily)

      2) Millennials with no real assets to be foreclosed and who think it’s cool to “steal” some money from the banks even if it ruins your credit score.

      3) Millennials who got a credit card tied to their bank account and don’t really realize how much they spend (there is this Ashley Feinberg girl on Gizmodo who spent $236 on candy crush)

      I apologize for my generation. But the banks giving credit card *loans* (that’s what it is essentially) without any assets backing them are primarly to blame.

      Also, you do NOT need a credit card to shop online. My ATM card (which has a VISA logo on it) is accepted on PayPal and all e-shops and food deliveries I ‘ve tried.

      • Holger Jahndel

        @Pic:

        There are successfull economic systems and modern tax systems in Scandinavia with Sweden and Finnland and in Iceland!

        Even the Japanese want to introduce the Scandinavian Swedish tax modell in their country as the national taxt system of National Economy and the Benefit of the middle class producing the most jobs! And also CANADA is doing better than the neoliberal Neocon USA with the neoliberal Globalists!

        Neoliberalism has spread from the city of London and mass media like the failed fraud Monetarism of MIlton Friedman of the University of Chicago! The USA are deindustrialized by neoliberal free trade and destructive financial speculations and are loosing their whole industrial basis and the middle class is melting away now!

    • mtntrek3

      That’s what I was about to say. Working class poor using the cards to make ends meet. Corporate greed along w/ big banks and government encouraging it all.

    • Malcolm Reynolds

      Banks and corporation exist to make money, not keep people in debt. That falls squarely on the shoulders of the dizzy simps that run up their debts, which you denied above.

      Personal responsibility is over-rated as a reason for this problem
      If a child sticks his hand into the maw of a angry dog, do you blame the dog for biting the kid too?

    • Holger Jahndel

      @Scott:

      There are successfull economic systems and modern tax systems in Scandinavia with Sweden and Finnland and in Iceland!

      Even the Japanese want to introduce the Scandinavian Swedish tax modell in their country as the national taxt system of National Economy and the Benefit of the middle class producing the most jobs! And also CANADA is doing better than the neoliberal Neocon USA with the neoliberal Globalists!

      Neoliberalism has spread from the city of London and mass media like the failed fraud Monetarism of MIlton Friedman of the University of Chicago! The USA are deindustrialized by neoliberal free trade and destructive financial speculations and are loosing their whole industrial basis and the middle class is melting away now!

  • Guest

    “If you use credit cards for convenience or to buy things online or to automatically pay bills, that is fine. Just don’t let balances accumulate.”

    Well said. Credit cards are very convenient. You just have to be disciplined with them. I used them to build a credit history. I pay the balances in full every month and have never carried a balance. My FICO score is currently over 800.

  • Guest

    What is going on with the stock market? It’s totally absurd.

    • Creepy Pedro

      QE

      • Guest

        QE3 ended.

        • Creepy Pedro

          ECB QE

          • Guest

            Maybe El Chapo is laundering drug money through the Wall Street banks. Are you related to him?

          • Jacynthia Read

            That’s mean.

          • Creepy Pedro

            He’s not very educated. Quite typical of muricans.

          • Guest

            It was a bad joke. I sincerely apologize.

          • Creepy Pedro

            Maybe you need to brush up on your capital markets a little more. Try and keep up.

    • Steeve Girard

      I was telling you people that there would be 2 cycles of this crap before the true fall in 2030. We have just started the recuperation part of this cycle. That is normal behavior of Kondratievian financial winter.

      • ALWAYSTOMORROW

        2030 sounds possible.

        You might want to consider issuing a “R E D A L E R T.”

        This time it got around moderation. :-)

  • pbt777

    I am a small business owner in home improvements and I see a part of the problem, at least for me, is that 2015 was eerily similar to 2007. I had a good first half of the year, but from late July on it was terrible. I had no choice but to use credit or bills wouldn’t have gotten paid. The economic climate is not good, as Michael does a great job of informing us. So far the start of 2016 is okay, not great, but I am surprised it’s been better than the second half of 2015. Maybe because of tax season. We’ll see how we progress through the summer. I am not very confident though. But I know other contractors like myself are saying the same thing, there’s just not a lot of work around. And to get a job we have to practically give the ranch away in low-ball pricing. Not good for the bottom line. Anyway, my point is that I am sure there are many who don’t want to use plastic but may not have a choice. If the drop in gasoline and home heating oil prices didn’t give even a little boost to the economy, that’s telling me the savings are going to paying bills and putting food on the table and not to discretionary retail spending.

    • Guest

      In October 2015 I hired a guy to do some repairs on my home. While he was here he told me that during the last recession he had very little work and that he had racked up about $24k on his credit cards. He refinanced his home in order to lower his mortgage payment so that he could put more money toward his credit card debt each month. I just wonder what he’ll do during the next economic downturn.

  • sre

    …and the beat goes on…

  • Priszilla

    Doesn’t sound that much compared with UK.

    I believe I remember that UK credit card debt was over 1 trillion Pound in 2008. And the strange thing was at that time: credit card companies canceled cards of people who always paid their debts on time, and issued more cards to people who incurred ever more debts.

    Reason: the former didn’t pay interest, the latter only paid interest, never getting out of their debt.

    • AngelsAmongUS

      Economic Slavery…

      • Mike Smithy

        Usury.

    • Whitey

      I have 2 credit cards and keep a balance of $10 on each. I make a monthly payment of 10 bucks and use the card to buy $10 of gas. The bank is happy, it’s getting a bit of blood. I’m happy, keeping a good credit score in case some catastrophic event occurs and I NEED money. I pray that day never comes, but if survival depends on it then I might be able to get to the front of the line when the next credit crunch happens. Otherwise, I never, ever carry debt. It took 2 lessons to teach my hard head that debt is slavery.

    • Jerry C

      Exactly. I had a credit card tied to my house for only a yearly $50 fee with a ton of credit & low % and paid it off timely, but the bank cut down my credit to the amount owed & eventually cut if off when paid. Banks only want usury.

  • Guest

    Another reason I like credit cards is that you can make money by using them, though it’s not much. I earn points on every purchase that I make with my Bank of America Mastercard. I currently have enough points for an $80 check. I’ll admit, though, that it has taken me several years to accumulate those points. But I can use that $80 to add to my emergency food storage.

    • Priszilla

      In Hong Kong you usually get a discount when paying cash. In England they add 3% when using credit cards.

      In addition, when always paying cash you save a lot of money on impulse buying when the cash is gone. Leave the house with not more than $10 every day.

      • Guest

        I’m a very disciplined person. I only buy what I need. For example, today while I was waiting for Costco to open, I went into Home Depot to pass time. I saw so many things that I would love to have, but I didn’t buy anything because I don’t need anything right now.

  • I think the vast majority of people racking up these bills recognize that it is a bad decision. Unfortunately, this bad decision is better than their alternatives. This is a sign that most Americans are nearing the end their rope, more than a sign of poor decision making.

    • billtheguy

      I truly believe you are correct. My friend is the exception. He repeatedly keeps a balance on his cards, him and his wife. Plus their house and cars. They do very well. His family believes as a lot of people do; credit is ok, you need it to live. I asked of his emergency fund or his savings account? None. $400.00 that’s it. I cannot believe people like him. I really tried to reach him.

  • df NJ

    In the immortal words of Lemmy Kilmister:

    They say music is the food of love,
    Let’s see if you are hungry enough,
    Take a bite, take another, just like a good boy would,
    Get a sweet thing on the side,
    Home cooking, homicide,
    Side order, could be your daughter,
    Fingerlicking good

    Come on baby, eat the rich,
    Put the bite on the son of a bitch,
    Don’t mess around, don’t give me no switch,
    C’mon baby eat the rich
    C’mon baby eat the rich

    Sittin’ here in a restaurant,
    Tell the waiter just what you want
    Is that the meat, you wanted to eat,
    How would you ever know?
    Hash browns an’ bacon strips,
    I love the way that you lick your lips,
    No fooling, I can see you drooling,
    Feel the hunger grow

    Come on baby, eat the rich,
    Put the bite on the son of a bitch,
    Don’t mess around, don’t give me no switch,
    C’mon baby eat the rich
    C’mon baby eat the rich

    Eat up, eat you, eat me,
    Eat two, get one free
    Shetland pony, extra pepperoni
    Just pick up the phone,
    Eat greek, or eat chinese,
    Eat salad, or scarf up grease
    You’re on the shelf, maybe eat yourself,

    Come on, bite my bone

    • SunnyFlaSnotress

      Do you think they meant that song literally or semi-literally?

    • AngelsAmongUS

      RIP Lemmy.

  • Barry Goldwater

    Many times when browsing I encounter signs such as 25$ per month rather than the price or in some cases the price will be in very small print. Auto dealerships advertise ” we have a payment to fit your budget ” and on it goes. It’s as if the entire country now uses plastic . Americans have been badly deceived into the debt quagmire.
    I’m finding a large majority would prefer to have it now rather than save till they can afford it. This certainly wasn’t Grandma’s economics.

  • VigilanteCaregiver

    How much of this debt is from identity theft?

  • Phinehas

    There’s only one explanation… people are using the cards to survive. Jobs have been lost, hours reduced, cost of living increased, rising (astronomically) health care insurance costs, etc. If retail had a horrible Q4 (and are shutting stores down as quick as they can), credit card debt jumping like that has to be simply because people are not surviving any longer.

    • Jacynthia Read

      That’s what I think as well. People are barely surviving.

    • Rick

      That makes sense.

  • John Roberts

    I agree that CC debt is bad for the individual same as the lottery is really not a good investment tool. But what if that economic activity hadn’t happened. Wouldn’t more stores and businesses be closing? It bought the system time. The collapse is inevitable capital economies always fail either regionally or this time globally. The world has been sold a bag of holes.

  • Jim Oliver

    Allow me to take a contrarian point of view…… Michael and many others (Gerald Celente, Peter Schiff etc) keep saying get out of debt and buy physical gold and silver because the dollar is going to collapse! Ok, then doesn’t it make sense to go to your local Bankster and take out a personal loan (say $5,000) and hold that money until gold and silver dip, then use that money to buy gold and silver. As the Dollar implodes you’ll be paying back that loan with worthless dollars as your gold and silver investment soars! I realize there are a lot of big “if’s” in this scheme A. Your able to secure a loan from the bank. B. gold and silver have to take a significant dip while your sitting on your loan. C. the Dollar has to implode. D. gold and silver have to skyrocket in value.

    • Mark

      I agree with your theory and am not questioning anything just asking your opinion. However, I guess I am confused on whether we actually will have a crash. I believe we are going into recession and things are getting wore but since the $ seems to be holding its own and the market continues to go up while gold and silver seems to have peaked and will go down. Will it stay down and continue to go below $1000? I do not know but I think the Fed, Gov’t, and Treasury are manipulating the system and that makes me nervous which may purposely being done to artificially inflate the market and give this sense of false security. I still can not believe this market is going up. Is it a cat bounce? Most economic indicators are bad and reinforces an economic problem both globally and domestically
      Your thoughts much appreciated.

      • REALIST

        The Market MUST be kept up, at least high enough so the Pension funds, Insurance companies, Money market funds, etc., don’t collapse. I think the “trigger point” is 16,000 and the FED, Major Banks and Government are all working together to keep the Dow at and above that.

        “They” also can not let Interest rates rise. It will destroy the Bond market and, again, the Pensions and Insurance companies.

        IT is going to get ugly

        • Mark

          What do you mean by trigger point at 16,000? You mean like the break even point? How will it get ugly? Do you think it may happen sooner or later after the election? I am still very nervous and uncomfortable.

          Thanks

          • Bill G Wilminton NC

            “THEY” will keep the dow above 16,000 be uncomfortable as it is coming…..

          • Mark

            Do you think that this could collapse within this year before the elections or after the elections? How far down? 50% 60%?

          • Bill G Wilminton NC

            I believe that the central bankers will keep things up till they see how election goes…..or we may have a mini bubble burst BEFORE and THEY will blame it on trump.

            But when this bubble bursts it will make 29 look like a warmup……and ALL BY DESIGN….to bring in NEW WPRLD ORDER.

        • Bill G Wilminton NC

          YUP……

      • Jim Oliver

        Mark, Thanks for your input, lot’s of good points, If you read Bill’s comment he also makes a good point when he wrote “I don’t want to go into debt based on if’s!” I guess I was thinking “sometimes silly schemes payoff!” But wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could screw the Bankers at their own game!!! As always, use your own judgement! My investing track record always seems to be “Buy high, sell low!!” hee,hee!

        • Mark

          Yes, scary times. Just trying to get some input from fellow ECB bloggers and other points of view. Sure doesn’t hurt in listening to others because right now I am utterly frustrated and confused. Lost my job 2 months ago with 3M and 1500 others. Have 2 degrees and 20 years experience. Have been looking with no luck. Nobody wants to hire you and actually gives you a hard time on phone interviews. Everyone asked my last salary and I even lied and gave lower wage information on the online applications. Not good.
          However, I have no debt except a house. Have three retirement accounts and cash reserve. Everything else I paid off thank God. My wife has an ok job as a registered dietician. We only pay with cash/debit card. No credit cards. Never thought that the country would go in this direction but it is and not liking it. Had to change a lot of habits.
          Regards

          • Bill G Wilminton NC

            Good Job……………….

          • Mark

            Thanks

          • Jerry C

            Sorry to hear you lost your job. Other than that, you’re leaps ahead of most people. My wife has worked for her company for over 25 years & has no clue since she’s never been off a job. It’s a Recession if you have a job, but a Depression if you don’t. ’bout sums it up.

          • Mark

            Yes, you are right about this one.
            Regards,
            M

      • Bill G Wilminton NC

        Pushed up by central banks to create image that all is well……wrong.

      • Rebel

        The paper price of gold and silver is not in line with the physical price when dealers and distributes are buying over the spot price. Precious metals are down by paper shares of gold and silver that don’t exist or haven’t been mined yet.

        • Mark

          Interesting. Then do you think the price of physical silver and gold will eventually go up?

          • Rebel

            Yes.

          • Mark

            Thanks

    • bill

      JIm – Yes, a lot of ‘ifs’. It depends upon what you want the PM’s for, investment or security. It seems your plan is to buy and sell like a stock – investment. I think the PM guru’s are saying buy and hold for a currency collapse. Personally, I don’t want to go into debt based on ‘ifs’. I would rather buy and hold a little at a time, regardless of the price. BTW, IMO silver is very undervalued as compared to gold, and cheaper to acquire.

      • Jim Oliver

        Bill, Thanks for your input!

        ,

  • billtheguy

    As I said in posts from a week ago, every institution it seems is peddling a credit card. Walmart, Lowes, Citi Bank, etc. Everybody is in the credit game now. (I know they have been for a while) For a while I thought all those adds went away. But they’re back, stronger than ever! Its easy to “just say no” (like Nancy Reagan says on drugs, God rest her soul) but what about someone who has no discipline?

    • Jerry C

      Hallmark of a corrupt government: the ignorant and poor are taken advantage of.

  • Orac4Prez

    Credit Cards are just about a necessity. I’m in Australia and my ISP for example wont take cash (checks don’t exist any more) and will only accept BPay (ie direct debits from an account) or credit cards. A lot of places wont take cash – you get looked at like you are a criminal. If you have a few notes you know when it is getting lighter, but the old credit card doesn’t change. I don’t use them much but last time I asked for a balance I got charged for it!

  • rentslave

    At least we know that the debt isn’t due to people getting cash advances to play Powerball as the jackpot again only went up by 10 million after the last drawing.Tap City is here.

    • Bill G Wilminton NC

      YUP the tap is running dry………..vote trump

  • alexb1

    The other side of this scenario is that since there are not any debtors’ prisons, what is the harm. Worst case scenario, you die with debt and the creditors are screwed. No, this is not my philosophy (I’m not a very good consumer), but it seems that most people you meet are playing this game with all forms of consumer debt. Oh, and for those saying that one’s estate would have to pay off the decedent’s debts, I say “what estate?” – outside of Ebayable trinkets, the average person really has nothing of value which their creditors can recoup upon.

    • REALIST

      This is exactly my plan when I get old enough to die. I’m going to rack up the Credit Cards with cash advance checks they send me, give the money to my kids, die and let Chase (Rockefeller), Bank of America, Wells Fargo, etc (the Big 5 that own the Federal Reserve Corporation), eat the debt.

      IT isn’t really debt. They issued me “credit” which costs them nothing. IT is ALL dishonest and I shall be dishonest too

      • Mark

        You make a good point and agree. We need to stick it right back at them for all the finagling they did to the middle class. I wonder how much you could get for doing this? I am assuming $5 grand per credit card? Interesting idea.

        • Bill G Wilminton NC

          You may not have LONG ENUFF to stick it to em…….they are bringing the USA down.

          • Mark

            You are right about that one. Very depressing and scary.

          • Bill G Wilminton NC

            VOTE TRUMP…..resist serfdom

          • Mark

            Yes, that’s who I plan on voting for.

          • Bill G Wilminton NC

            GO TRUMP GO

  • jakartaman

    We have an entitlement mentality. We deserve whatever regardless wether we have the funds to have it.

    • Bill G Wilminton NC

      YUP but that is coming to a screeching halt….put your seatbelt on.

  • TheTruthMatters

    The largest expense that hit folks in the past year was their health insurance costs. It’s is a known fact that literally half the country doesn’t have $1000 for an emergency. How can they come up with a quarterly health insurance payment of $1500? They are using their plastic to keep the float going and this money isn’t going back into the economy. When we make these payments, between 70% and 80% of that money is reinvested by the insurance company into long term debt meaning that it does nothing for the economy. Then of course most of us have insane deductibles meaning that we have no coverage until the deductible is met or no insurance on the first $5000.00 of medical care. How many people have this much cash laying around to cover the deductible? More on the credit cards, meaning more profits for the banksters and insurance companies.
    Ask anyone if their credit card rates have gone down in the past seven years while the Fed has held rates at near zero. The average rate in America right now exceeds 18% and most department store cards are pushing 29%. One of the fastest areas of debt growth are student loans and they are pushing 8%. Ask why should these rates exist when the government can sell 10 year US treasury debt at 1.80%?
    Under Obama, substantially more people are in debt, have lower paying jobs, have completely lost any passive income and their cost of living has risen substantially due to regulations and mandates from the federal government. The Federal Reserve has been allowed to keep rates at zero on the lie that they are doing it to increase employment. All these low rates have done is to enrich people with paper and leveraged assets, while at the same time increasing inflation on the rest of us. These rates also allow the federal government to issue debt and because it yields almost nothing, doesn’t show the real compounded affect of more debt on the country. Under Obama, we have added almost $8 trillion in new debt and barely any of it is new interest. Just think if rates were pushing 5%, what that debt would look like.
    Anyone with half a brain knows that the real unemployment rate exceeds double digits and if you take out any job under 30 hours a week, and eliminate double counting of jobs, it probably is pushing 20%. Under this administration, they count anyone that starts a business or works 1 hour a week as a job. What a scam.
    Due to all these issues, people are forced to pull out the plastic to survive. Their real cash flow has dried up and this is all they have left. Retail sales are plummeting both in brick and mortar and on the internet. Amazon missed earnings big time over the Christmas holiday. That speaks spades about what is happening to most consumers. Healthcare is a massive tax on America and it’s destroying our real economy. Obamacare forces us to buy worthless insurance with little or no coverage using extortion(penalty).
    The real economic numbers are falling like rocks right now. The media and talking heads on wall street are doing everything in their power to convince the sheeple that things are fine and getting better.
    We have watched the market skyrocket in the past month with no real news. We believe that the central banks are the buyers of last resort to make it look like things are getting better in this election year. They have an agenda to keep the power in DC and will do whatever it takes irregardless of who gets hurt when the whole thing collapses.
    Watch your backs and prepare yourself by cutting back on anything that isn’t necessary. We are officially living in a Banana Republic run by Oligarchs……..

    • Jacynthia Read

      Very well said. I think you capture the feelings of most Americans out there who are just trying to survive this progressive utopia.

    • Bill G Wilminton NC

      VOTE TRUMP do not accept Serfdom….two choices accept or resist….A VOTE FOR TRUMP is resisting.

  • DJohn1

    The problem I see is socialism.
    The entire system is set up to steal the money we make by earning it with hard work.
    IF you have one major illness in this country it will break you financially.
    Even if you have good insurance to take care of it.
    No such thing as good insurance after Obamacare.
    The deductables have gone from $600 to $6,000 dollars in a short period of time on secondary insurance. Medicare has a gap and it is large.
    In order to qualify for Medicaid you have to have exhausted your own financial means.
    Meaning you must qualify. No new cars for you. You have to have a car worth less than 2,000 dollars.
    Neither can you have more than about 2,000 dollars saved. The government will take the rest through medicare and medicaid.
    Other countries do not do this to their citizens.
    The idea is to break everyone financially that the banks can.
    So it is not unusual for people to rack up huge amounts of credit card debt in the process of going down the road to bankruptcy.
    The other means of doing this is to deprive them of honest employment. The banks, the corporations, everyone that is rich is sending the jobs to places where labor slavery is legal.
    The place where I used to work encouraged us to retire as soon as possible. I retired a year earlier because they offered me a bonus of one half year’s pay to retire. It really did not make sense to stay.
    Afterwards they laid off the entire graphic arts staff and sent the jobs to India.
    Some had worked there for many years.
    This crap is going on all over the place.
    People no longer have unions to protect them.
    We are currently going to be very indebted because my wife had a cardiac arrest on Christmas night. After the circus of Medicare, I am sure we will be many 10s of thousands in debt if only because the deductable on the secondary insurance is so high.
    Donald Trump used bankruptcy law to make money.
    He was smart.
    There is no connection between the money you make and the amount of hard work you do under the current system rules of finance.
    Until all of that gets straightened out, we are very vulnerable to a Hitler like person arising. That person like Donald Trump will over whelm the political parties with a popular uprising in one or both political parties. It has happened before.
    People need hope. They need the advantage of knowing that somewhere down the road they can comfortably retire on the wages they have made. That American Dream has turned into the American nightmare for a majority of working people both young and old.
    The water in that pan is boiling. Because over the last 60-70 years we have went from a country where one could succeed to one in which it is exceedingly rare to succeed.
    I suggest we as a people need a different set of rules. One in which the average person can earn enough to retire in comfort without fear of it being stolen legally away from them in their old age.
    Donald is a symptom of what is wrong.
    That is why we are going to be led by a person like Donald in the near future.
    That credit card debt we speak of is also just a symptom of what has gone wrong with our country.

    • goldminer

      Why are you blaming Donald Trump for everything??? He is not the root of your problems!
      WTF are you crazy? He has noting to do with what is wrong. He is not a political hack. He Not in power.
      He is not a symptom of what is wrong. He is just a fairly rich guy trying to make a difference. He can with your support.
      The rest of the political central bank military industrial machine ass kissers in this election are the ones you should fear.

      • DJohn1

        I do not blame Trump. He works within the “system” and the “system rules” to make money. That is smart.
        He is a symptom of what is wrong because right now despite his Archie Bunker philosophy he seems to be the only honest candidate out there.
        Lyin’ Ted is bought and paid for. Seen his dirty tricks bag lately?
        Marco Rubio appears to be the same. Attempting to drain votes from Trump.
        Gov. Kasich as near as I can figure is in it to dilute the vote so one of them can get elected at the convention on the first ballot. Then it goes to a brokered convention in which Donald does not stand a chance of winning.
        SO which paid for candidate will get the nomination?
        Then you have Hillary and Ben. Both of which will raise taxes. Wonder if they can track the dissenters in Chicago to either one?
        The truth is that even if Donald Trump gets the nomination, he stands a good chance at being killed by paid dissenters.
        The big boys in D.C. are just as filthy as a New York Mafia Godfather.
        And that is what is really wrong with the entire system.
        Will Donald make it?
        It is like an addictive daytime soap opera at this point.

        • Bill G Wilminton NC

          It is all New World Order Globalism and USA going down. Cruz and Rubio you got right and Kasich is a promoter of TPP the latest and WORST trade agreement of ALL and after signed with the UN is irrevocable THATS RIGHT “IRREVOCABLE”

      • Bill G Wilminton NC

        WOW well said……..thanks

    • Bill G Wilminton NC

      You have reached the point of RESISTANCE to the SERFDOM that the establishment elites have planned for you.

      Be like POPEYE stand up and say ” I CANT STANDS IT NO MORE ” two choices acceptance or resistance …VOTE TRUMP and resist !

  • ICFubar

    CC debt is unsecured . Default on this debt would be hung around the necks of bankers and their creditors. That is unless the law is changed. Be that as it may you can’t get blood from a stone unless those laws are changed with true slavery re-introduced along with the laws of physics being altered. We can attribute the allowance of this debt increase to the systems need for more debt to keep the ball rolling. That is until the mathematical imperative of systemic collapse.

    • Jacynthia Read

      Or they could bring back debtor’s prison, which if they think they can get away with it they will..

      • European American

        What planet did you say you’re from? Here is America debtor’s prison is alive and well. Do some research.

        • Jacynthia Read

          Prove it and cool your attitude. You come across as arrogant, snobbish, and rude.

          • European American

            Are you in debt? If you are, then YOU are in debtors prison. They control you and keep you behind the bars of constant fear, to the degree of the size of your debt, You may “think” you’re above it all, but that’s when they REALLY have you by the balls. I’m not in debt so, statistically, the odds are, you are in debt, as well as many of the other commenters, here.

            As for an actual “debtors prison”, like, say, Alcatraz, I don’t know of any specifically, but I do know that there is a major concerted effort to arrest thousands of Americans across the country who are “late” in making payments. Now THAT is a FACT. Don’t believe me? Do your research, if your willing to travel deeper down the proverbial rabbit hole.

          • Jacynthia Read

            I don’t know why you think I am in debt. You don’t even know me. I am debt free. The house, all cars, and everything else is paid off. We also have food, land and precious metals. But not just that. We have preped for family, friends, and whoever the Lord sends our way. The thing to remember is to have compassion for our fellow man just as Jesus taught us to do. Oh, and I probably know more than you on the subject. I’ve been teaching debt free living, gardening, food preservation, homesteading, and homeschooling for over thirty years.

          • Mr. Cipher

            Your share of the National debt is $20568.64

          • Bill G Wilminton NC

            Wow that is great thanks for sharing that with us…..
            God bless

          • Rebel

            If you are a citizen in the united states you are in debt regardless of your individual financial status due to the debt of the government. Government debt is owed by ‘We the people’.

          • Plextt Plextt

            Both of you: If the nerve is so easily pushed, learn how to react wisely and calm=)

      • Mr. Cipher

        Try not paying your taxes.

  • Rick

    Michael, please stop “peddling fiction”.

    • Bill G Wilminton NC

      Where is the fiction…..the bubble is held up by air and and and and DEBT !.

      • Jacynthia Read

        I’m assuming he’s joking. If not, maybe he’ll come back and explain.

        • Bill G Wilminton NC

          He probably went back to the bar……

          • European American

            He’s probably one of the millions in debt up to his eyeballs and totally in DENIAL. Debt and Denial go hand and hand.

          • Bill G Wilminton NC

            YUP…. thats how he pays his bar tabs….

  • Kent Harris

    The cost of living in America keeps going up but wages are not keeping up. I look at how much my car insurance keeps going up on my vehicle and I am outraged. Shoot the same could be said about my health insurance keeps going up. I could sort of understand health insurance but car insurance is just a complete rip-off.

    • Bill G Wilminton NC

      All designed by the establishment to make you broke broker brokest….

      VOTE TRUMP

  • JJ

    I have almost 0 debt. Love it.

    • Mr. Cipher

      Your share of the National debt is $20568.64

    • jaxon64

      Agreed–there is a certain peace that comes with being debt free. Bought used car outright, paid off home in a little over 12 years by choosing a home of about half the price that the realtor told me I qualified for, have a credit card but only use it for rental cars, airline tickets etc and then pay it off—10 year payment plan for student loan payed off in 2 years—I believe this serenity is called freedom.

      • Bill G Wilminton NC

        God Bless You Brother…..Good job…..now make sure you are right with GOD,

  • European American

    Imagine a world where “credit” didn’t exist. Loans didn’t exist. Even the concept of owing money to, someone or some institution, did not exist. Whatever you saved up, had in your wallet or purse, is what you could purchase. That was it. Imagine what our lives would be like in that scenario. Every transaction, a clean deal. No residue left over. No pressure, other than maybe paying too much for something and feeling less than satisfied about that transaction. But one lives and learns that way.

    Debt is all about control. Being controlled, at the mercy of someone else or being out of control; one’s own inability to control ones impulse for buying just one more thing. This need to have “more” is a reflection of one’s inability to be satisfied in the moment. It’s a disorder, this credit card debt. It’s an obsessive disorder. And it has infected the vast majority of Americans and the addiction is only getting worse.

    The good thing in all of this is that eventually one will realize there is more to life than accumulating stuff…junk. It’s a vicious cycle that will force-fed the participant to look within to find true happiness.

    • Bill G Wilminton NC

      That was good……thanks

  • william mony

    This is part of the plan to takedown America.
    Start disturbances like chicago, blame lack of opportunity or cuts in welfare programs, or trump, the economy of the world heads into a never seen before depression, goods stop shipping, cities burn, food runs out, and the same people wonder why things are so bad ?
    The UNITED nations will help,! The broke over extending in credit to live in debt middle class and the unrest brings america down, and our enemies pounce at that point. We lose dollar reserve status, goods be one even more expensive, opportunities vanish and we are in a police state run by our new lanlords, China and russia, who come to collect on the debt we owe them. You can imagine they really don’t want their new assets they own destroyed so they use very very harsh methods to control the population – food, jobs, etc.
    It’s over folks, there won’t be an election in the fall, just martial law.

    • Jacynthia Read

      Funny you should say that about the election. I’ve had the same strange feeling for years now.

    • Bill G Wilminton NC

      This is NOT Unreal…..all of this is possible……maybe the China Russia part unlikely….but this is by DESIGN of the GLOBALIST ESTABLISHMENT…..

      Look what just happened at CHICAGO TRUMP RALLY got disrupted. Demonstrations outside OK but not disruptions INSIDE as that inhibits FREE SPEECH.

      The country is spiraling down hill but TRUMP is so tough…..he can handle it.

      Were gonna BUILD THE WALL YOU’ALL
      GO TRUMP GO

  • Ben

    I think we see that our markets can survive, despite these shocking numbers.
    There will be no economic collapse. Shemitah must be the economic version of Mary Baker Eddy’s predictions.

    • Bill G Wilminton NC

      We are in a slow motion financial avalanche…..by design…..

  • J B

    Like the Government debt, it will never be repaid, instead it’s paid off by borrowing even more money to pay it off

    • Bill G Wilminton NC

      Your logo is pathetic.

      DEBT is a tool to bring the USA down…by design.

      • J B

        I like the “Avatar”, I don’t approve of Satanism, Devil Worship.
        The symbol represents 666. If they want people to have a better opinion of them, perhaps they should change the flag, because you can’t change what the symbol represents.

        • Bill G Wilminton NC

          The symbol is questionable….been researching as another post of yours got me on this…..thanks

          So far I have uncovered the history and connection to Jewish Kabala (hope spell correct) …..much more research neede but from the Jewish perspective not Satanic.
          God Bless,
          Shalom

          • J B

            It has been the symbol for satanism for thousands of years, which is bit more than the Rothschild’s and Israel have used it.

            It’s like the whole world knows the Apple fruit as an Apple, but Israel call it a Loopie

          • Bill G Wilminton NC

            I am still researching……

  • Mark

    Food prices are going up big time. Just at the grocery store and bought fruit. An average bag of grapes $8.50. 1 tomato is $3.00. Went to dinner with my wife for some Italian food at reasonably priced restaurant. Spaghetti and meatballs normally 10.95 only a year ago has creeped up to $14.95. This is scary.

  • Bill G Wilminton NC

    SURFING TO SERFDOM…. the big big wave is coming, this wave is not the surfers dream but a wave of Total Destruction. A wave that cannot be ridden but will send The USA and its citizens to the Surfers Graveyard.

    The American Citizens are surfing and are being CONVINCED to accept SERFDOM……there are only two choices Acceptance or Resistance !

    VOTE TRUMP…..he is resisting !

  • Holger Jahndel

    There are successfull economic systems and modern tax systems in Scandinavia with Sweden and Finnland and in Iceland!

    Even the Japanese want to introduce the Scandinavian Swedish tax modell in their country as the national taxt system of National Economy and the Benefit of the middle class producing the most jobs! And also CANADA is doing better than the neoliberal Neocon USA with the neoliberal Globalists!

    Neoliberalism has spread from the city of London and mass media like the failed fraud Monetarism of MIlton Friedman of the University of Chicago! The USA are deindustrialized by neoliberal free trade and destructive financial speculations and are loosing their whole industrial basis and the middle class is melting away now!

  • Mondobeyondo

    I can tell you, they taste like chicken.

  • tacoma

    A) Federal Reserve core interest rate is 0.5%. The banks can borrow from the Fed at around 1.5%. Trillions of dollars have been borrowed this way.
    B) Consumers borrow from the banks using credit card at 18% – 25% interest rates. A trillion dollar have now been borrowed by consumers.

    The banks’ CC earning is therefore (B – A) times $1 trillion. They are laughing all the way to the, well, banks. What financial investment in the world can yield 20% return for just sitting around and let computers do some credit card paperwork? So the banks got their multi-trillion dollar bailout after 2008, and now reap (but I should call it rape) insane amount of profit from the same consumers it screwed during the housing and mortgage ripoff.

    Can the consumers repay this loan? A large portion of this cannot be repaid because they don’t have the income, they borrow more from another CC to pay a due CC. May will go bankrupt.

    I have told the American Consumer is the greatest bunch of people on Earth: they can spend far beyond their earning powers, and they buy everything of the best in the world. Every few month when the ‘next generation’ toys appear in the market, you can count on millions to be sold. Consumers lining up in Apple Store, fighting in Walmart stores for their consumption drugs.

    How much longer can this go on? It can go on as long as it can. And not a single day longer. When that day arrives, you can enjoy watching all the fireworks from CNN.

  • none

    This has been said before.
    If they would have used the bailout money for taxpayers debt.
    Then the citizens would have been freed from debt.
    The banks would then have gone under.
    Then six months later, everyone would be back in the same position again.

  • Bob332

    The American people have learned what the gummit does Every day….SPEND beyond your means and stay in debt, knowing your NEVER going to pay it off.

  • Leigh

    I find articles like this to be so confusing (and before the accusations fly…no, I am not a troll). In so many articles, Micheal (correctly) identifies that the middle class is disappearing, the good jobs are gone, and basically the system is set up for the regular hard working American to fail. And then when I read something like this, calling people with credit card debit ‘foolish’ and saying that they haven’t learned anything from the last recession – It is like he is blaming the victims of this systemic breakdown. Which seems contradictory to his over all goal of spreading awareness and encouraging people to get prepared. If a family is struggling to pay their bills because they have mouths to feed and health care to pay for…yet there are no good jobs and basic social support, what alternative is there but to use credit cards bridge the gap? While I am sure there are people who use them unwisely, for luxury items such as tvs or iphones, I suspect there are an equal number of people who use them to buy food, pay the hydro and pay for health care.

  • Patriot Alice

    Termites
    are coming out of the woodwork. Those lying politicians, Media, Sanders
    supporters wearing arm bands, asked why are they here, they won’t say,
    etc. Twist Trump words, lying all over the place. My fellow Ohions,
    Fracking is why your economy is doing well, otherwise it would be awful,
    those Trade Deal have to be reversed and the Establishment won’t do it
    only Mr Trump will renegotiate those deals, build the wall keeping
    unvetted illegals out, drugs out, human trafficking out, Trump is our
    last chance to make things right.

  • Rebel

    Government is the problem not the solution. Minimum wage in 1964 was $1.25. One silver dollar and one silver quarter. Easily equal to $15.00 dollars today. Why could they afford to pay it then but not now? Cause of government. License this, tax that on and on. Get rid of the governments blood sucking and watch business turn around.

  • Rebel

    Don’t forget lawyers, they are just as juicy as a politician.

  • Philosopher

    This article makes me sad. I can’t believe people are still using credit cards. If I can’t pay cash for something I don’t buy it.

  • Jill

    Canada is doing better than America? Buchanan is either woefully naive or purposely obtuse. We are in bad shape, but they are in far worse.

  • geoffandmarie418@aol.com

    credit cards are to a lot of folks what drugs are to other folks a “quick rush”. Since a lot of good people even if they are working, maybe even 2jobs it is hard to make ends meet, thanks in part to low pay/high cost of living!! The middle class is fading fast, in large part due to loss of good paying jobs, rising prices, and in part a lot of apathy among the people themselves for allowing it to happen. Sure everyone is aware of ” outsourcing now, but guess what!!! To late!!

  • geoffandmarie418@aol.com

    The average American needs to put their differences aside and work together against the forces that are arrayed against us!!

  • se7ensnakes

    Commercial Banks are offering counterfeit money in the form of credit cards. They are so powerful that no one can do anything about it because they control information and thus people are handicapped by this lack of knowledge. Fractional Reserve lending is a lie as well as the multiplier effect. Banks simply create money out of thin air and without consideration.

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