Friday, January 9, 2015

Household Debt

The graph shows debt of Households and Nonprofit Organizations (HSTCMDODNS at FRED), annual data, 1950-2013, in blue. The graph also shows the exponential trend of this debt for the early years, 1950-1975.

The graph shows that the growth of household debt remained close to its 1950-1975 trend until the crisis. In other words, household debt grew at pretty much the same rate before 1975 and after.

By way of contrast, the gross Federal debt grew much faster after 1975 than before -- based on the graph we saw in the previous post. Government debt grew slowly until the mid-1970s, when the rapid growth of private debt caused a slowdown of economic growth and something had to be done.

It's fun to say the growth of government debt is the problem. Fun, but it's not right.

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