And it looks lovely…
Fair Game – Debt’s Deadly Grip
By GRETCHEN MORGENSON
Published: August 21, 2010
Excerpts from the report:
Last week, this harsh truth was made clear yet again, in a report on consumers’ financial well-being by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The first of a Fed series to be published quarterly on household debt and credit, the 38-page report
shows just how tapped out the consumer remains three years after the borrowing bubble burst.
Halfway through this year, 11.4 percent of outstanding consumer debt was delinquent, up slightly from 11.2 percent a year earlier. An astonishing $1.3 trillion of consumer debt is delinquent, with $986 billion seriously so — 90 days late and counting. While delinquent balances are down by about 3 percent from the same period last year, serious delinquencies are up a bit more — 3.1 percent.
Here are some other troubling statistics from the Fed: a half-million people had a foreclosure added to their credit reports between March 31 and June 30, an increase of 8.7 percent over the first quarter of the year. And the numbers of consumers with new bankruptcies appearing on their credit reports rose 34 percent during the quarter, to 621,000. That increase is significantly bigger than it has been in the last few years, according to the Fed.
Sharply cutting interest rates vastly increases banks’ profits by widening the spread between what they pay to depositors and what they receive from borrowers. As such, the Fed’s zero-interest-rate policy is yet another government bailout for the very industry that drove the economy to the brink.
In short, the Fed’s interest rate policy may be causing more economic problems than it’s solving.
As the midterm elections approach, expect to hear arguments that the recent bailouts have not been that onerous, when all is said and done.
Just what you wanted to hear, right?
Be sure to check out the Fed’s report below…
Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit