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Friday, July 25, 2008

NYT: "The Debt Trap"

More NYT links about finance and the economy...

The NYT had a prominent article front and center of last Sunday's paper, headlined "Given a Shovel, Americans Dig Deeper Into Debt." I didn't find the article itself particularly impressive. It written by one of the Times' business columnists, Gretchen Morgenson, who I'm becoming increasingly unimpressed with..I also saved the column she wrote for Sunday's Business section ("Borrowers and Bankers: A Great Divide"), with the idea of posting and commenting on how unsubstantive it was--it's only redeeming quality being that she turned it over to John Bogle at the end.

But the impressive part of the "Debt" article was the full page graphic that accompanied it. Going onto just now to find the graphic, it turns out the article is just one piece within a pretty fancy interactive feature called "The Debt Trap".

Check it out--esp the interactive graphic I'm talking about, which is a timeline of American average household savings vs. average household debt, decade by decade since the 1920s, with debt broken down by type (mortgage, credit card, home equity, vehicle & tuition). An excellent interactive depiction of some fascinating data.

The easiest way to get to the graphic: From "The Debt Trap", click on "Series Index" (bottom right), then on "The American Way of Debt", and finally on "Launch Interactive"

(Why bury this under 4 clicks w/o a direct URL I can copy and paste..that seems like poor UI design--esp if traffic is driven to these sites by other sites, in particular blogs.)

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