This conversation was over heard on the GG Gondola by a friend. Not by me, but by a friend who is reliable and does not exaggerate.
Lady. "I am 53 and thought I was going to retire when I was 60, but I just took out a second mortgage to help my son buy an apartment. That just buries me in debt again".
Friend: " I am even older and thought I would be free of debt by now, but my mortgage hasn't been paid out, and I haven't been able to clear my credit card debt before another holiday comes along".
Male friend: " I recently went into my bank to get an higher limit on my credit card for a month, and the bank employee kept trying to sell me on getting a $25,000 line of credit. "Just sign here and $25,000 will be deposited into your account". I had to fight her off.
They then discussed how the banks almost forced debt on people. "Quite the difference from a few years ago, when you had to prove you could replay them. Now they don't care if you are nearly broke with debt. "Just get more debt to pay off the old debt."
Then another occupant of the gondola spoke up and said he worked for CIBC and that they had quotas of credit cards and personal debt to meet, and if they don't there was pressure from Managers to get there, that's why they kept pushing customers to get into more debt.
That is were we have got to. The banks have become drug pushers. Except the drug is debt. We are supposed to hope the addict will quit using themselves. And if you can't get your drug from the banks, there are dozens of fringe outfits willing to give you money..'If you have equity in your home'. Which just drains whatever equity you have managed to build up in your home.
This can only end badly.
Demographics and gold: Something doesn't add up - This is another in a series of occasional posts on quantitative analysis. I am indebted to Josh Brown for pointing me to an article by Larry Swedroe, which...
5 hours ago