I remember in elementary or perhaps middle school where they blamed the Great Depression the the stock market crash of 1929 and in turn blamed the stock market crash on people buying on margin.
Debt, unless controlled, has more or less been the culprit of every bubble. If not it at least exacerbates the damage when the bubble pops. I've often speculated there must had been some climatic event that prompted Mohammed to ban the use of debt in Islam, much in the way I theorize that STD's and abandoned children wreaked such havoc upon society that marriage and monogamy were engrained in pretty much all religions.
So I was glad to see so much debt being used in the US today. Actually, it's probably a LOT more in that this chart only goes to 2002 and doesn't include all the idiots using ARMS and NegAm's to buy their houses.
And some other good news. Got a lot of charts sent to me for the competition. Actually, none of them were charts. They were links. But just a little bit of advice for all of you participating in Captain Capitalism's Annual Chart Contest;
DON'T SEND ME LINKS TO CHARTS! That means I have to go and get them myself.
ATTACH THE CHARTS!