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Feeling Better About This?

It’s not clear in this Fiscal Times story why, in a recent survey, millennials were found to be more upbeat about their finances, but the graphic below is surely not one of the reasons.

This chart has made the rounds since surging student loan debt started making headlines a few years ago, but I’ve never seen it with a timeline going back to the early-2000s.

Obviously, the student loan curve looks much worse than when depicted from the financial crisis onward, particularly when observing the fairly neat hand-off that occurred about six years ago from credit card debt and home equity loans, the latter continuing to decline.

The Student Loan Hockey Sticks

Via this Bloomberg story on Friday by Noah Smith come the two charts below that help to explain why the nation’s student loan mess (that continues to slowly spiral out of control despite pleas from indebted students) will not likely see any substantive reform efforts.

Granted, the lower chart is a bit misleading because it doesn’t include Federal Reserve assets (another even more impressive hockey stick) or land owned by the federal government. Nonetheless, this is the sort of thing where it is sure to end very badly and whoever touches it between now and then is likely to be blamed for that outcome.

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From Bloomberg comes word that credit managers for American companies are getting a little worried about debts going unpaid somewhere down the line, that is, when things might not be so hunky dory in the U.S. and global economy and the Fed is raising rates.

A few more dates on the x-axis would have been helpful for the main graphic, as would a little clarification about the end data point on the far right (given how the chart appears on the left, the composite index appears to still be above 50, but that’s in conflict with the two smaller graphics). In any case, it’s not good.

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Best Job at the ECB

Who says monetary policy is boring?

Greece may be careening toward default amid growing concern that the global financial system is again ripe for a crisis, but spirits were lifted yesterday when activist Josephine Witt paid a visit to the European Central Bank policy committee as they gathered in Frankfurt.

See here, here, and here for more on this important development, highlighted by some amusing photos of an understandably alarmed ECB chief Mario Draghi after Ms. Witt (with her low rise jeans and thong underwear) jumped up on top of the conference table where Draghi was sitting, about to explain the policy committee’s latest thinking.

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