Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. The Trump Stock Market Trap May Be Triggered - Barry_M_Ferguson
2.Why are Central Banks Buying Gold and Dumping Dollars? - Richard_Mills
3.US China War - Thucydides Trap and gold - Richard_Mills
4.Gold Price Trend Forcast to End September 2019 - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Money Saving Kids Gardening Growing Giant Sunflowers Summer Fun - Anika_Walayat
6.US Dollar Breakdown Begins, Gold Price to Bolt Higher - Jim_Willie_CB
7.INTEL (INTC) Stock Investing to Profit From AI Machine Learning Boom - Nadeem_Walayat
8.Will Google AI Kill Us? Man vs Machine Intelligence - N_Walayat
9.US Prepares for Currency War with China - Richard_Mills
10.Gold Price Epochal Breakout Will Not Be Negated by a Correction - Clive Maund
Last 7 days
Gold & Silver Stand Strong amid Stock Volatility & Falling Rates - 16th Aug 19
Gold Mining Stocks Q2’19 Fundamentals - 16th Aug 19
Silver, Transports, and Dow Jones Index At Targets – What Direct Next? - 16th Aug 19
When the US Bond Market Bubble Blows Up! - 16th Aug 19
Dark days are closing in on Apple - 16th Aug 19
Precious Metals Gone Wild! Reaching Initial Targets – Now What’s Next - 16th Aug 19
US Government Is Beholden To The Fed; And Vice-Versa - 15th Aug 19
GBP vs USD Forex Pair Swings Into Focus Amid Brexit Chaos - 15th Aug 19
US Negative Interest Rates Go Mainstream - With Some Glaring Omissions - 15th Aug 19
GOLD BULL RUN TREND ANALYSIS - 15th Aug 19
US Stock Market Could Fall 12% to 25% - 15th Aug 19
A Level Exam Results School Live Reaction Shock 2019! - 15th Aug 19
It's Time to Get Serious about Silver - 15th Aug 19
The EagleFX Beginners Guide – Financial Markets - 15th Aug 19
Central Banks Move To Keep The Global Markets Party Rolling – Part III - 14th Aug 19
You Have to Buy Bonds Even When Interest Rates Are Low - 14th Aug 19
Gold Near Term Risk is Increasing - 14th Aug 19
Installment Loans vs Personal Bank Loans - 14th Aug 19
ROCHE - RHHBY Life Extension Pharma Stocks Investing - 14th Aug 19
Gold Bulls Must Love the Hong Kong Protests - 14th Aug 19
Gold, Markets and Invasive Species - 14th Aug 19
Cannabis Stocks With Millennial Appeal - 14th Aug 19
August 19 (Crazy Ivan) Stock Market Event Only A Few Days Away - 13th Aug 19
This is the real move in gold and silver… it’s going to be multiyear - 13th Aug 19
Global Central Banks Kick Can Down The Road Again - 13th Aug 19
US Dollar Finally the Achillles Heel - 13th Aug 19
Financial Success Formula Failure - 13th Aug 19
How to Test Your Car Alternator with a Multimeter - 13th Aug 19
London Under Attack! Victoria Embankment Gardens Statues and Monuments - 13th Aug 19
More Stock Market Weakness Ahead - 12th Aug 19
Global Central Banks Move To Keep The Party Rolling Onward - 12th Aug 19
All Eyes On Copper - 12th Aug 19
History of Yield Curve Inversions and Gold - 12th Aug 19
Precious Metals Soar on Falling Yields, Currency Turmoil - 12th Aug 19
Why GraphQL? The Benefits Explained - 12th Aug 19
Is the Stock Market Making a V-shaped Recovery? - 11th Aug 19
Precious Metals and Stocks VIX Are About To Pull A “Crazy Ivan” - 11th Aug 19
Social Media Civil War - 11th Aug 19
Gold and the Bond Yield Continuum - 11th Aug 19
Traders: Which Markets Should You Trade? - 11th Aug 19
US Corporate Debt Is at Risk of a Flash Crash - 10th Aug 19
EURODOLLAR futures above 2016 highs: FED to cut over 100 bps quickly - 10th Aug 19
Market’s flight-to-safety: Should You Buy Stocks Now? - 10th Aug 19
The Cold, Hard Math Tells Netflix Stock Could Crash 70% - 10th Aug 19
Our Custom Index Charts Suggest Stock Markets Are In For A Wild Ride - 9th Aug 19
Bitcoin Price Triggers Ahead - 9th Aug 19
Walmart Is Coming for Amazon - 9th Aug 19

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Top AI Stocks Investing to Profit from the Machine Intelligence Mega-trend

Credit Crunch Time for American Consumers

Economics / Credit Crunch Dec 28, 2007 - 12:12 AM GMT

By: Peter_Schiff

Economics Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleThe subprime mortgage crisis is merely the tip of a very large iceberg. Beneath the surface lies not only a sea of tenuous loans to prime borrowers, but also an assortment of other liabilities backed by auto loans and credit card debit. Now that home equity extractions, "zero percent auto financing" and "zero interest" credit card rollovers are much harder to come by, Americans must do without the credit lifelines that have previously kept them afloat.


Similar to the home buying market, lax lending standards in the automobile marketplace have led to gross distortions that must be painfully corrected. For years standard practice allowed millions of car buyers to trade in old cars (that were worth less then outstanding loans), and roll the balances into new low interest rate loans for new cars. Although these "E-Z" financing terms allowed many over-stretched buyers to stay current on their debts, and vendors to move bloated inventories, they immediately saddled lenders with loans that far exceeded the value of the collateral. Such a situation encourages defaults and is toxic to lenders. Vendor financing (especially with publicly traded companies focused on short-term results) compounded the problem as conflicts of interest encouraged lenders to sweep these problems under the rug.

The same phenomena also occurred with credit cards. For years, low short-term interest rates and low defaults encouraged banks to aggressively seek new customers. The competition became so intense that balance transfer wars enabled debtors to constantly stay one step ahead of default by transferring their balances to new issuers who often permitted low, or zero, interest for up to six months. When the teaser periods expired there was always another card company willing to accept a balance transfer on similarly friendly terms.

For a while at least, this high wire lending act in the auto and credit card sectors was kept aloft by repeated waves of mortgage refis in which extracted home equity was used to consolidate other consumer debts. By turning higher interest rate, non-tax-deductible consumer debt into lower rate, tax deductible mortgage debt, consumers were able to temporarily manage their debts. In addition, since home equity extractions often exceeded the amounts of other debts, the extra cash in homeowner's pockets temporarily made higher mortgage payments more affordable. Plus with their credit cards paid off, card holders were not only free to run their balances back up again, but their improved credit scores resulted in even more credit card offers.

Because defaults were low, bonds backed by auto loans and credit card debt were rated AAA, allowing Wall Street to easily package the debt for investors.  However this is all coming to an end. Lenders, burned by subprime losses are cutting back. The home equity ATM has been shutdown and credit card and auto loan delinquencies are already at record highs. In fact, to make up for losses, credit card companies have been raising their rates, thus compounding the problems for those struggling to pay. Auto lenders will no longer allow potential buyers to roll their negative auto equity into new loans.

It was inevitable that all of this debt would eventually catch up to us. Americans are now so upside down on their auto loans that new car sales will collapse; and when many loans go sour lien holders will be stuck with substantial losses on repossessed vehicles. As the music finally stops for serial credit card balance transferors, the inability to renew low teaser rates means that fewer borrowers will be able to afford their payments.

As delinquencies continue to rise rating agencies will downgrade bonds backed by auto loans and credit card debt, inflicting subprime type losses on a much wider scale. As defaults increase and losses mount, credit will tighten like a noose around the neck of America 's consumer based economy. Just as subprime homebuyers are being shut out of the housing market, soon Americans will find that their credit is no longer good at car dealerships or department stores. American consumers that want to buy will need to be prepared to pay cash.

The bottom line is that a host of factors that temporarily allowed default risks to be underestimated and credit to be miss-priced have disappeared. As a result, Americans have simply borrowed more money then they can possibly repay. Ratings agencies once again missed the boat by feeding garbage data into computer models and blindly accepting what came out.

By Peter Schiff
Euro Pacific Capital
http://www.europac.net/

More importantly make sure to protect your wealth and preserve your purchasing power before it's too late. Discover the best way to buy gold at www.goldyoucanfold.com , download my free research report on the powerful case for investing in foreign equities available at www.researchreportone.com , and subscribe to my free, on-line investment newsletter at http://www.europac.net/newsletter/newsletter.asp

Peter Schiff Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Comments

Charles York
31 Dec 07, 16:11
The Falling USA

No wonder Peter Schiff supports the policies of Presidential hopeful Ron Paul. The days of the USA living off credit and bonds sold to communist China must surely end in the near future. Hopefully the realization that the US is broke will

resonate among the electorate.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules