Credit Cards Curtailed

This is from Reuters:

Reuters – The U.S. credit-card industry may pull back well over $2 trillion of lines over the next 18 months due to risk aversion and regulatory changes, leading to sharp declines in consumer spending, prominent banking analyst Meredith Whitney said.

The credit card is the second key source of consumer liquidity, the first being jobs, the Oppenheimer & Co analyst noted.

“In other words, we expect available consumer liquidity in the form or credit-card lines to decline by 45 percent.”

Bank of America Corp, Citigroup Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co represent over half of the estimated U.S. card outstandings as of Sept. 30, and each company has discussed reducing card exposure or slowing growth, Whitney said.

Closing millions of accounts, cutting credit lines and raising interest rates are just some of the moves credit card issuers are using to try to inoculate themselves from a tsunami of expected consumer defaults.

In other words, the age of credit driven consumer consumption is over. Most Americans will lose their credit cards or will not be able to get a credit card. Frugality will no longer be an option as people will have to learn to live within their means.

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