Amateur economists, what if the credit card industry suddenly disappeared in America?

This is certainly not something that is about to happen. It may never happen, but I wonder what this would reveal about our economic stability; so what if a study were conducted about the effect of Americans finding themselves suddenly no longer having access to any credit cards whatsoever? What effect would this have on the American economy? What would it reveal about our way of life? Would it be like another October of 1929, when the stock market crashed? Would it trigger another Great Depression?

Answer:
Everything and everybody would STOP!
It will not trigger a depression ... instead a total collapse; and it is going to happen within your life time if not tomorrow!
Nothing bad would happen. It would force people to live within their means, which would be a good thing.
I doubt that the U.S. government would make the kind of disastrous mistakes that Herbert Hoover made during the Great Depression. However, there would be a definite economic slowdown. Credit is the oil that greases the wheels of capitalism. To suddenly remove credit, even if only in the form of credit cards, would put a lot of goods beyond the means of many consumers.
Don't know for sure, but it could cause a greaT DEPRESSION
People who buy alot with their credit cards, and spend money before they earn it, would have to spend less money., for awhile. there would be alot of people who stopped spending all at the same time. This would be similar to 1929 when all those people stopped spending because they lost money in the stock market. Lisa is wrong
It might not do much-unless all sources of non-secured credit dried up simultaneously. It would be just another stimulus of a credit crunch, which can be caused by any number of things. Look what is happening in real estate-tighter lending standards at the same time risk is being factored in with a higher premium=less liquidity/credit.

Consumer spending would slow, retailers would suffer as would manufacturers-here and abroad. There would likely be a period of deflation, as demand would decrease. While hyper-inflation is not good, neither is deflation for long at all.

Looking at your grandparents' home and lifestyle would probably reveal the same thing as what you propose. Upper class or upper-middle class luxuries to them (a second car, air conditioning, long distance vacations) are now necessities to almost any American. Things we take for granted (I'm sitting here with two computers, two cell phones, more TVs/VCRs/DVD players than I want to count) didn't even exist. These technologies would still exist-but would there have been the demand to make them affordable and widespread if we had to pay cash upfront? Most were bought on credit cards-even if paid off in full each month. When was the last time you or anyone you know put something on "lay-away"? Also, transactions would slow back down as people handed over cash or verified checks. Armored transport would make a comeback-lots of interesting ripples.
The real question is what would happen if you took the governments credit card away. The answer is the country is effectively bankrupt. The trade deficit has been so enormous for so many years that there is no turning back. This is why the government is pushing the global economy. We are holding the work hostage if we go bankrupt so do they because they have invested so heavily in the U.S. When it does unravel 1929 will be like dropping a penny down the sewer. But don't worry we are about 20-60 years from the Mad Max days. But it is too late to go back.
There would be a slow down in consumer spending because of the lack of available source of money meaning the purchasing power of a person is lesser.

It will not however, cause depression. if and when credit cards are gone, banks will offer personal loan. so net effect is the same.

It helps a middle to low income earner to spend wisely and forego unnecessary things.

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