U.S. Business: The American Way of Debt

The average American family is now $4,700 in debt—an amount equal to 60% of its annual income after taxes. Americans plunged much more deeply into debt during April, the latest recorded month, when consumer installment credit grew by $744 million, an alltime monthly high. Such records discomfort many economic experts—notably including William McChesney Martin Jr.—who fear that the credit society may eventually lead to the kind of overbuilding, overbuying and overpricing that could bring on a recession.

While there is a great deal of talk about the national debt, it is a fact that the Federal Government is more prudent than the...

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