Americans Are Taking On Debt As If Tomorrow Will Never Come

If you make a conscious choice to ignore all long-term consequences, managing your personal finances can be a lot of fun. For example, instead of rationally evaluating what sort of mortgage payment you can actually afford, why not take a plunge and buy a $600,000 house? You only live once, right?  And instead of making your current dumpy vehicle last another year or two, why not take out a huge loan on a brand new $60,000 SUV? You know you deserve it. While you are at it, why don’t you go on another huge spending spree and max out all of your credit cards again. Paying off those credit cards will be very painful in the long run, but nobody thinks much about long-term consequences these days.

Just look at the federal government. They are 28 trillion dollars in debt and yet our politicians continue to throw money around like a bunch of drunken sailors.

Of course, the federal government is far from alone. State and local governments have never been so deep in debt, we are in the midst of the greatest corporate debt binge of all time, and U.S. consumers are certainly doing their part. In fact, last quarter we witnessed the largest increase in consumer debt since just before the last financial crisis

Americans have more debt than ever before.

A surge in credit card spending and home purchases caused US household debt to increase by $313 billion, or 2.1%, in the second quarter, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
That’s the largest nominal jump since 2007 and the biggest percentage increase in seven and a half years.

Overall, U.S. consumers are now $14,960,000,000,000 in debt.

We will shortly hit the 15 trillion dollar mark, and I think that we should commemorate the crossing of that threshold with some sort of celebration.

Of course, any celebration should involve going into even more debt because there are few things that Americans enjoy more than getting even deeper into debt.

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