The facts behind the mountain of student debt: 13 percent of students owe more than $50,000 and nearly 4 percent owe more than $100,000. Student debt grew by 284 percent from 2004 to 2013.
Many Americans view a college education as a way to build a better life. College is seen as an avenue for better prosperity and the ability to pull yourself up beyond your current circumstances. In fact, after World War II programs like the G.I. Bill allowed many Americans the opportunity to pursue a college degree. [...]
Feeling rich through debt: Modern banking has replaced real economic prosperity with massive levels of debt. Housing affordability reaches multi-decade highs while household incomes retreat to 1990s levels.
One of the biggest headlines right now is how the housing market is pulling the entire market up. Housing prices are soaring while the stock market is making record highs. Yet a large portion of the housing run-up is being caused by easy money that has been created by the Federal Reserve. Banks are out-bidding [...]
US households are tapped out on debt: While US households are forced to eat austerity measures financial institutions load up on debt and purchase assets at rock bottom prices.
US households are tapped out with debt. Debt matters. Contrary to what is being spouted out over the airwaves having too much debt does cause problems. American households tipped over this point when total household debt reached annual GDP. This is a critical juncture and results in massive deleveraging. There doesn’t seem to be answer [...]
Casino economics: How the S&P 500 endured two 50 percent dips in the 2000s and sent the middle class packing.
It took the S&P 500 about 13 years to get back to where it was in 2000. Of course the power of inflation has taken an even deeper toll on this trend. The stock market is largely a spectacle for most average Americans. It is a dramatic sideshow like going to the track and betting [...]
US Household income continues to fall in midst of recovery: Since the recession started median household income is down 7.3 percent.
US households continue to face a declining standard of living. The first obvious item comes from falling incomes. Some of this is being masked by renewed access to debt as banks are once again lending money to over stretched consumers. Yet real wealth recovery this is not. The next major depressing factor for households is [...]
Too big to fail or ignore: How the US went from over 13,000 banks in 1987 to 6,000 today. $7.4 trillion in deposits backed by $32 billion dollars.
Remember when too big to fail brought our economy to a grinding halt? Of course you do because this is a recent financial event with dramatic ramifications. In the time since the buffet of bailouts was rolled out you might be surprised that the too big to fail banks have only grown even larger and [...]
An economy of peak food stamp usage, peak Dow, and peak Debt: What does it say about our economy that at the same time the Dow Jones hits a peak, we have the highest percentage of Americans on food stamps?
It is a dichotomy that speaks to the current state of our economy. Food stamp usage has peaked at the very same time that the Dow Jones Industrial Average is setting new highs. Of course, the Dow is setting new nominal highs but still has a way to go to catch up to the eroding [...]
The United States of Debt Addiction: Our reliance on debt has created an entire economy fortified in the fires of moral hazard and fiscally dangerous leverage.
16 point 7 trillion dollars. That is our current national debt. 12 point 8 trillion dollars. That is the amount households carry in mortgage and consumer debt. We are now addicted to debt to lubricate the wheels of our financial system. There is nothing wrong with debt per se, but it is safe to say [...]
US median household income trap: Four decades of data and households struggling to keep up with inflation. Younger Americans face bigger income struggles.
Household income growth in the US has largely been absent for well over a decade if we adjust for inflation. This is important because people truly care about what their money can purchase. What use is it getting a $1 raise if healthcare went up $2? What use is it that you are earning $1,000 [...]
Inflation by any other name – Central banks around the world increase balance sheets from $2 trillion in 2008 to $6 trillion in 2013. The slow erosion of purchasing power in the US.
The Federal Reserve has been trying with all its power to stoke inflation. This is not the stated mission and you will not hear this proclaimed over loud speakers but if actions speak louder than words, this is the policy they are following. Yet the Fed is picking winners and losers with their inflation targeting. [...]