THE PEOPLE: $50 Billion I.O.U.

"Since V-J day, the American public has gone into debt more rapidly than in any period in our history," the Federal Reserve Board Bulletin reported last week.

U.S. consumers owe a record $46 billion. The Federal Reserve Board predicted that the figure would reach $50 billion before the end of the year.

Sunk in Bath Salts. The biggest part of the debt ($32 billion) is in home mortgages. The rest has been run up by U.S. citizens in acquiring the goods and services which they consider essential to their health and happiness—automobiles, clothes, refrigerators, washing machines, television sets. The trend which the...

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