The banking crisis forced US consumers to deleverage. Between 2008 and 2013 they worked off 12% of their borrowings – having spent the 63 previous years growing them. They have since resumed buying things they don’t need with money they don’t have. Total household indebtedness has hit $12.73trn, up from the peak of late 2008.
This time round there is less mortgage debt, now worth 68% of overall borrowings compared with 73% in 2008. Car and student loans have jumped sharply, however; the latter comprise 10.6% of all debts, more than double the pre-crisis figure.