Chart of the Day: Borrowing Back to Pre-Crisis Levels

The Money ReportConsumer credit has finally passed its pre-bust peak at $1.617 trillion -- equal to more than a tenth of the economy. But credit card balances are down 20% in the last three years, the first time credit card use has slipped since the Federal Reserve Board has tracked revolving loans.

Are Americans eschewing plastic in a new age of austerity? Perhaps. But much of the collapse in credit card balances can be attributed to banks writing off delinquent payments, canceled cards, and lower limits.

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Read the full story in the New York Times


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Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

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