Imaginary Money

Is it any surprise that an economy based on imaginary money is failing? The next phase of this recession: credit card debt.

Joe Nocera published a letter from a banking executive describing the credit card industry:

Today, we are bailing out the banks because of their greedy and deceptive lending practices in the mortgage industry. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. More is coming, I’m sorry to say. Layoffs are being announced nationwide in the tens of thousands. As people begin to lose their jobs, they will not be able to pay their credit card bills either.

I never understood why exorbinant amounts of credit were so easy to get and so insanely pervasive, with little-to-no fact-checking. Sure, you sign someone up, give them more credit than they can really afford and rake in the money on interest. But that only works if they have the ability to pay.

[via Daring Fireball]