Our Huge, Stinking Mountain of Debt: Student Loans

by Charles Hugh Smith
Of Two Minds

Imagine a huge, stinking mountain of debt, which represents all of the debt in the world… now look at this chart of student loan debt.

Notice anything about this chart of student loan debt owed to the Federal government? Direct Federal loans to students have exploded higher, from $93 billion in 2007 to $560 billion in early 2013. This gargantuan sum exceeds the gross domestic product (GDP) of entire nations—for example, Sweden ($538 billion) and Iran ($521 billion). Non-Federal student loans total another $500 billion, bringing the total to over $1 trillion.

Does this look remotely sustainable? Does it look remotely healthy for students, society, taxpayers now on the hook for a half-trillion dollars in potential defaults or the U.S. economy?

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