THE CREDIT FLOOD: Are Americans In Over Their Heads?

MANY people worry about the size of the $272 billion federal debt.

But not so many worry over a far bigger U.S. debt: the money borrowed by individuals and corporations (which, incidentally, supports the greatest peacetime boom in history). For houses alone, Americans have gone $84 billion into debt; to expand and modernize, industry has borrowed $200 billion. Altogether, while the national debt has remained near its wartime peak since World War II, private and corporate debt has more than doubled, to a record $330 billion, or $4,000 for every man, woman and...

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