Credit card withdrawal – Banks pull the plug on consumer revolving debt. Credit card debt outstanding contracts from nearly $1 trillion to $800 billion. Bankruptcies on the rise even with tougher bankruptcy laws.
When people talk about the credit bubble they typically refer to the housing bubble and the trillions of dollars of debt secured by real estate. Yet the credit bubble also applies to student loans, government debt, and those pesky wallet hugging credit cards. The American economy has embraced credit cards as quickly as apple pie [...]
Retirement account fantasy and middle class erosion – 1 out of 3 Americans has zero dollars in a retirement account. From 1950 to 1989 top 1 percent earned roughly 7 to 8 percent of nationwide income. Today it is inching closer to 20 percent resembling pre-Great Depression levels.
Many Americans live precariously close to the edge of financial insolvency flirting with economic disaster daily. If you casually browse mainstream articles and watch any amount of television you would think that the US still had a vibrant and strong middle class. When we pull back the covers on the current financial situation we realize [...]
Las Vegas is to the real estate bubble what Detroit was to the US automobile industry – Empty condo projects, apartments poorly built to face the desert sun, and the collapse of commercial real estate.
If Wall Street is the hub of American finance then Las Vegas was the manifestation of credit dreams going viral. Las Vegas, the beating heart of Nevada had a tremendous boom with the real estate bubble because it played into the narrative of making it big. Where else can unknowns strike it big and have [...]
Federal Reserve is the primary tool of the new financial oligarchy – The ultimate banking clearing house with zero oversight from the people still holds over $2 trillion on its balance sheet.
The Federal Reserve system (the Fed for short) is the US central banking system. The Fed was created in 1913 with the enactment of the Federal Reserve Act. In the beginning the Fed had limited powers and its mission was limited. According to the Fed its mission today is to conduct monetary policy, supervise and [...]
The red queen race of debt – US public debt set to pass US annual GDP. The 100 percent GDP to public debt threshold is quickly approaching.
People may not even realize that during the Great Depression, US Federal debt as a percent of GDP did not even reach 40 percent. Part of this was because the size of government was much smaller in military, public services, and entitlements. The only time in history that the US as a whole spent more [...]
The growing chasm between rich and poor in America – Latest data shows that 500,000 people were added to the food assistance program in one month. 6 million Americans added over the last year. Those that buy diamonds versus those that barely have enough to buy soup.
The shrinking of the American middle class is painful to watch. Shopping at the grocery store I’ve noticed more and more people with unique debit cards that don’t look like your typical debit or credit card. These are actually the modern day food stamps and help to take away the stigma of pulling out a [...]
How much does the average American make in 2010? Examining new data on U.S. household income numbers and high income earners. 100 million Americans make less than $39,999 per year.
Examining the average income for Americans sheds a very troubling light on what has happened to income over a very financially destructive decade. If we look at the median household income in the U.S. this actually underplays the falling behind of wages because we are looking at households with multiple people working. Without a doubt [...]
The era of mega banks – The growth of too big to fail. American banking system still backing over $13 trillion in assets with a negative deposit insurance fund. 7,760 banks but 19 banks make up 50 percent of the asset base.
The growth of the too big to fail bank is something that is modern to this era. In the 1990s there were fewer than 40 institutions that had total assets above $20 billion. In the late part of the 1980s and 1990s this number was below 20. The peak was reached in 2005 with 55 [...]
Catch 22 economics – The U.S. economy has 7,400,000 less workers than the peak in late 2007 yet nominal GDP is at a record. What does that mean for those without jobs?
The Friday jobs report was significant for a variety of reasons but one key theme is that it shows the true fragility of the state of the economy. Even though it was a net add of 39,000 jobs we need to remember that the nation needs to add roughly 150,000 jobs per month just to [...]
The con of the century – Federal Reserve made $9 trillion in short-term loans to only 18 financial institutions. Since 2000 the US dollar has fallen by 33 percent. The hidden cost of the bailouts.
The Federal Reserve released a stunning report showing the details of bailouts that occurred during the peak of the credit crisis. They won’t call it “bailouts” but giving money when others won’t is exactly that. What the report shows is that the Fed operated as a global pawnshop taking in practically anything the banks had [...]