Student loan debt has grown to over $1.5 trillion. And that just accounts for loans held by Federal Student Aid. It doesn’t include private loans. Meanwhile, the Department of Education says 43% of those government-backed loans are considered “in distress.”
In a speech last month, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos put the current level of student debt in perspective.
One-point-five trillion dollars is almost impossible to fathom. So, let me put it this way: $1.5 trillion is more than $10,000 of someone else’s student loan debt for each and every American taxpayer—145 million of them.”
Between Christmas 2017 and Christmas 2018, the US government added a staggering $1,370,760,684,441.54 to the national debt, according to Treasury Department figures.
If you split that up between all American, your share of Uncle Sam’s 2018 spending spree comes to about $4,178.10.
There was no Santa Clause rally on Christmas Eve. Instead, US stock markets continued to tank. The Dow Jones dropped 653 points. The S&P 500 fell another 2.7% and officially entered into bear territory. It was the worst Christmas Eve’s on Wall Street in history. The Washington Post put it in stark terms.
By the end of Monday’s shortened holiday trading session, the great bull market that began in the lows of March 2009 lay lifeless, capping a three-week, 16 percent sell-off of the S&P 500.”
As Peter Schiff put it, “The Grinch stole the Santa Clause rally.”
As WolfStreet put it, the $1.3 billion leveraged loan market has come unglued.
“Leveraged loans” are made to firms already deeply in debt. Think subprime loans for corporations. As with any risky loan, they could be difficult to either collect or resell in a downturn, putting both the borrower and lender at risk.
What the Federal Reserve doesn’t understand about the market is that the market is going to continue to keep falling until they cut rates again and do another round of quantitative easing. The market is acting like a drug addict in withdrawal thanks to the drugs (easy, cheap money) the Fed gave everyone during the Obama presidency, but have had it taken away during the Trump presidency (Fed rate hikes – quantitative tightening). Now the drug addict (stock market) wants its drugs back.
Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer is my favorite Christmas special. And Yukon Cornelious is one of my favorite characters in the show. I mean what’s not to like, right? He’s a man’s man. He openly carries a gun. He travels with cornmeal and gunpowder and ham hocks and guitar strings. And he’s always on the lookout for silver and gold.
The Nasdaq officially dipped into bear territory on Thursday.
The tech-heavy index rallied off its interday lows to close just a rounding error away from official bear status — for now. The Nasdaq has lost nearly 20% of its value in just four months. Reuters called it “the latest sign that the bull market that began in the depths of the financial crisis a decade ago could be coming to an end.”
As expected, the Federal Reserve nudged interest rates up another 25 basis points to 2.5% during its December meeting this week. It also scaled back its projected hikes in 2019 from three to two.
Peter Schiff said Jerome Powell and company just stuck a fork in the stock market.
China and Japan dumped more US Treasuries in October, even as the federal government continued to run up its debt.
Chinese holdings of US Treasuries dropped for the fifth straight month, sinking to the lowest level since May 2017, according to data recently released by the Treasury Department. The total amount of US debt held by China fell from $1.15 trillion to 1.14 trillion. Over the past year, the Chinese have shed $50 billion in US debt.