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It's Not Over - The Collapse in Household Credit Says So

Monday, August 10, 2009, 4:54 PM
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Monday, August 10, 2009

Executive Summary

  • Be wary of early declarations of victory.
  • Household credit/borrowing is way down and likely to stay that way.
  • Getting "back to where we were" will require an improbable return to levels of household borrowing seen at the height of the bubble.
  • Bankruptcies, foreclosures, and credit defaults indicate the consumer is still sliding downwards.
  • Recovery cannot yet be detected within the consumer and household data.

There is much to be thankful for today. The efforts that have been extended to rescue the financial system have bought some time, and I am extremely thankful for that time, because it is the most valuable asset of all.

However, the speed of the putative recovery, which strikes me as "too much, too soon," comes with the risk that the next phase of the crisis will be advanced upon us much faster than I had hoped or expected. 

A rapid return to global GDP growth will assure that the next energy crisis will come sooner, faster, and harder than if we approached the future with greater caution and more planning.

 

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