Thursday, January 3

“I want to enjoy everything and not worry about cutting back,” says the Average American. Unsecured consumer debt is at an all-time (and dangerous) high, and credit card companies show no signs of cutting back the availability of credit. Case in point: Captial One Financial Corp. is the nation's single largest generator of mail. “People are under the impression that something is wrong with them if they aren’t getting preapproved credit-card applications,” says one credit counselor.

The Internet bubble burst, and this one will too. The scary part is that the fallout from this will be much more far-reaching then the collapse of the high-tech sector, since so many Americans have credit cards.