Credit Card Defaults Surge Most Since Financial Crisis, by Tyler Durden

Various credit indicators are flashing yellow, and in some cases red (car loans). Surging credit card defaults are not an indicator of economic vitality. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

In late April, after some disturbing monthly charge-off reports from major credit card vendors, we reported that according to the latest data from the S&P/Experian Bankcard Default Index, as of March 2017, the default rate on US credit cards had jumped to 3.31%, an increase of 13% from a year ago, and the highest default rate since June 2013.

The troubling deterioration prompted Moody’s to pen its own report yesterday titled “Spike in Charge-off Rates Indicates a Slide in Underwriting Standards” and as Moody’s analyst Warren Kornfelf writes, the steep increase in credit card charge-off rates in 1Q’17 and 4Q’16 was the largest since 2009, and indicates that “strong underwriting standards in place since the financial crisis have deteriorated, potentially rapidly.”

According to Moody’s, the “the size of the jump was surprising in light of the ongoing strength of the US employment market” unless of course the BLS is chronically, for political reasons or otherwise, misreporting the real dynamics in the labor market, or else the even more chronic failure of rale wages to rise means increasingly more Americans can not even make their minimum credit card payments.

Capital One especially stood out, as its Q1 charge-offs almost reached their historical average while Discover and First National of Nebraska’s climbed to just over 80% of theirs; Citigroup rose to about 70%.

Another confirmation there is something very wrong with the consumer (or measures of US economic resilience), receivable growth at most issuers has exceeded U.S. nominal GDP, which totaled 3.7% in 2015 and 2.8% in 2016; when credit growth significantly exceeds nominal GDP growth it raises potential red flags such as aggressive underwriting to drive loan growth.

To continue reading: Credit Card Defaults Surge Most Since Financial Crisis

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