Spend enough time aimlessly looking at economic data and eventually you'll find something interesting. I had total private non-financial debt on the screen, and suddenly wondered how it compares to consumer debt. Consumer debt is a subset of total private non-financial so it is worth a look.
|Graph #1: Household Debt relative to Total Private Non-Financial Debt|
Second thing: It is jiggy early, till around 1990, and smooth after that.
Third, it's about fifty-fifty. From 1950 to 2000, the curve is pretty well centered on the 0.50 line, and pretty well contained between 0.46 and 0.54. In other words, household debt runs between 45% and 55% of private non-financial debt until just after the year 2000. Then household debt goes high, something I've heard other people say.
If the household portion of private non-financial debt is roughly half the total, that means the rest of private non-financial debt is also roughly half the total. Or again, was roughly half the total, until the year 2000. Something I didn't know.
Fourth, the peak in the mid-1960s and the peak in the mid-1990s both top out at about 54% (0.54 on the graph). That's quite a coincidence. In addition, the upslope in the 1960s is comparable to the upslope in the 1990s. The two downslopes are similar also:
|Graph #2: Similarity in the 1960s and 1990s|
Apparently FRED is down.