The economic statistic of the decade

By Felix Salmon
December 31, 2009
Mike Mandel has four nominees for his ā€œEconomic Statistic of the Decadeā€ award, including home prices (obvs), Chinese growth, and global trade. But the most startling one, for me, is US household borrowing:

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Mike Mandel has four nominees for his ā€œEconomic Statistic of the Decadeā€ award, including home prices (obvs), Chinese growth, and global trade. But the most startling one, for me, is US household borrowing:

borrowing.png

I like the time frame that Mike has chosen here, since it shows not only the huge increase in borrowing during the credit boom and the stomach-churning plunge thereafter, but also, for much of the 1990s, what “normal” should look like.

Mike notes that the data for this chart includes domestic hedge funds, so it shouldn’t be taken entirely at face value. But it’s the best visual representation I’ve seen of the credit boom and bust.

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