A few weeks back, someone (and I don't remember who) stated that "credit is the lifeblood of the US economy". I seem to remember many, many years ago something to the effect that "manufacturing is the lifeblood of the US economy" was the mantra. Now that we make very little in the way of products in this country, I guess people can't save up to buy anything anymore. Their low paying service jobs preclude this. So if they want anything that isn't considered a necessity, they have to borrow money to purchase it. Actually, even some of these installment purchases are necessities. To think that if everyone stopped borrowing money to purchase items, it would bring this economy to its' knees is unbelievable. But evidently that is the case. Did our parents and their parents borrow money to purchase things? Sure they did. But it was for items such as a house or maybe a vehicle. They didn't charge food purchases or a night out on the town. If they couldn't afford to pay for it, they didn't get (or do) it. Is it any wonder that these lending institutions are in trouble? Their whole existence is based on extending credit. And when the majority of people have hit the wall in being able to make those monthly payments, these institutions had to get creative (and a lot reckless) in extending credit to keep their "lifeblood" flowing. An economy who's foundation is predicated on credit is no more than a "house of cards". Unless we get back to manufacturing our own products to fill the needs of this country, we will continue this down slide. The "profit margin" may be a little slimmer, but at least there will be somebody (who is gainfully employed) to purchase the product. Just my thoughts.