Bzzt! Another phony claim from Joe Biden's happy economy falls apart: Consumers are maxing their credit cards
Earlier this month, Joe Biden told us all that the economy was hunky-dory, other than that little issue with the gas prices. I wrote about that here:
The job market is the strongest it's been since just after World War Two. We've got more evidence of that today. We learned that in May the economy added another 390,000 new jobs, bringing the total since I took office to 8.7 million new jobs — an all-time record.
We learned that more Americans entered the labor force in May. In fact, working-age people have come back into the workforce at a faster rate in this recovery than at any point in the last 40 years. ...
But it isn't only about jobs. Since I took office, families are carrying less debt; their average savings are up.
A recent survey from the Federal Reserve found that more Americans feel financially comfortable than at any time since the survey began in 2013.
Nice try, Joe. The financial markets are seeing something different. Carl Quintanilla, who's a respected financial journalist, reports this from the market watchers at Bank of America:
B of A: “Revolving Credit (outstanding credit on credit cards) is Making New Highs,” .. and Personal Savings as % of Income “is Hitting Multi-Year Lows – so credit up/savings down suggests to me an accelerated Consumer ‘burn’ down of their above normal cash pile ..” pic.twitter.com/lP7Mqh205U— Carl Quintanilla (@carlquintanilla) June 13, 2022
That's sad stuff. Inflation is burning through consumers' savings now, not just through the power of inflation itself, which is a powerful monster capable of turning money into toilet paper money, but because consumers have higher bills now as inflation bites — and are dipping into their nest eggs to pay it. More inflation, less nest egg. Scarier still, they are using credit cards to pay their bills — food, electricity, and necessities, which in good times are easily paid out of pocket. The credit cards will have to be paid back with interest — and some consumers will go under for it, unable to pay. It's what the lefties would call "unsustainable" if they had any idea about economics.
These charts from Richard Todaro, president and CIO of Todaro Capital, tell a lot about how the party's over:
And this pattern of burning down savings to pay bills is about to collide with the Fed.
According to another heavyweight in his field, financial journalist Ron Insana:
The savings rate peaked at 35% in mid-2020. It’s back to 4.4% today. It is just at, or slightly below, the long-term average. Excess demand is falling just as tight credit conditions are rising.— ron insana (@rinsana) June 13, 2022
A pretty reasonable observation about what's coming down the pike here:
After the summer consumption party is finished, look for a wave of job losses starting this fall. If high end consumption falls off then a negative feedback loop likely. 30T in debt/bloated Fed balance sheet puts secular decline in play. Only fix: cutting Fed govt. size/power— Owoodfr77 (@owood77) June 13, 2022
Each and every consumer is like a duck paddling on increasingly heavy seas, inflation taking away all of their spending power, and leaving some in the throes of debt. Does that sound as though Americans are "more comfortable" with their finances than ever, as Biden claims? It sounds as though they are paddling as hard as they can before the deluge takes them under.
Once again, Joe is wrong.
Image: Pixabay, Pixabay License.