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Category: Other Guys

Economic and and financial news and analysis from respected observers. Because I publish it, doesn’t mean I agree with it.

The Student Loan Bubble is the Next Subprime

Don’t look now but there’s another giant bubble out there. It’s so big it rivals subprime.

I’m talking about the student loan bubble.

Recently, the outstanding volume of student loans passed $1 trillion. What’s more bothersome is that the average individual amount owed by new college graduates has passed $25,000.

With college costs zooming upwards faster than inflation, this is rapidly becoming another subprime mortgage-like sinkhole.

Just like subprime, the problem is that people of modest means are being suckered by high-pressure salesmen into taking on too much debt.

The difference is that since student loans are government guaranteed and can’t be released in bankruptcy, the burdens will be paid by the unfortunate ex-students and the U.S. taxpayer.

The standard justification for soaring higher education costs is a simple one.

The United States needs to maintain an educational lead in order for its wage levels to remain above those of its competitors.

I’m talking largely about emerging markets, which have been helped enormously by modern communications, making global sourcing much easier than it was.

There are two problems with this view.

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Unthinkable

In the drunken, drug-crazed twilight of its run as Leader of the Free World, America’s collective imagination swerves from one breakdown lane to the other while the highway patrol throws a donuts-and-porn party down at headquarters and the news media searches the gutter on hands-and-knees looking for the spot where it dropped its brains.

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