America is back. You can tell because Americans are maxing out their credit cards again.
Household debt grew at an annualized rate of 0.25% in the last quarter of 2011, according to the Federal Reserve’s flow-of-funds report released last week. That’s not a big jump, but until now there hadn’t been any uptick at all in household debt since the 2008 crash.
“Consumers have been more willing to use credit cards for shopping, signaling renewed confidence in their financial and job prospects,” explained Paul Edelstein, director of financial economics at IHS Global Insight, in a recentAssociated Press report.
Banks are lending, consumers are borrowing and China is busy making us more stuff.
Who knew getting out of an unprecedented debt crisis was this easy? Print trillions of dollars for the banks, give Wall Street speculators zero-interest loans, and run up the national debt clock to $15 trillion.
Whip out your credit card, if you’ve still got one, and enjoy it while it lasts.
“We all know it’s going to happen,” says Louis Hyman. “Interest rates have to go up, and when they do—Kablooey!”