Wolf Richter: Great Debt Unwind: Consumer Bankruptcies Jump, First since 2010; Commercial Bankruptcies Spike


Naked Capitalism has the article Wolf Richter: Great Debt Unwind: Consumer Bankruptcies Jump, First since 2010; Commercial Bankruptcies Spike.

The irony is thick: In all major sentiment surveys, economic confidence has soared since November: consumers, owners of small businesses, and corporate executives are riding high on their own ebullience. But the economic reality is tough for businesses and consumers struggling under the hangover from eight years of ultra-low interest rates.

There is an election irony here too. It is hard to figure out though. On the one hand, voters voted based on their current feelings without knowing what was coming in the near future. On the other hand, the ebullience since November might be caused by the election results, nevertheless, the people don’t know what is coming.

To the question that was asked in one of the comments “Who gets hurt badly by zero interest rates? Retirees, that’s who.” I responded as follows:

I am not so sure retirees get hurt. By the way, I am one. I remember my father reveling in the 13% interest rates he was earning on CDs in the 1970s. I kept telling him that the income was looking great, but inflation was eating up his principle.

Now that I am earning around 3% or so in dividends, the income may be low, but my principle isn’t being eaten up by inflation. I haven’t done a calculation to answer the question exactly, but I think I am doing OK.

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