Sign of the Times

By Megan McArdle

Commenter Creech writes:

There's the rub. My company's bank loan officer has called frequently asking if we need to borrow. They are begging to lend money. For what? We could buy a nice new machine tool at a good price, but why do that when sales are falling? Put an extension on our building? Buy some failing competitor and strap oneself with debt? Unless you absolutely need a new car or a new television or a new roof, the big ticket discretionary purchases paid for by loans aren't going to be made. The loans the banks are making now are companies rolling over existing debt, not new debt. Given the "stuff" out there that is discretionary purchases, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see unemployment hit 20% before a bottom is reached.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2009/02/sign-of-the-times/4730/