Corporate America, not banks, could cause the next recession

The next debt crisis: There’s a $6.3 trillion elephant in the room

The last downturn was triggered by Wall Street and Americans accumulating too much debt — particularly in the sizzling housing market. A decade later, it’s Corporate America borrowing with gusto. Egged on by extremely low rates, US companies have piled on a record-setting $6.3 trillion of debt, according to S&P Global Ratings. All that debt is easy to ignore right now. Default rates are minuscule. Companies are sitting on tons of cash, and their coffers are growing thanks to the soaring US economy and corporate tax cuts.
But eventually, both the economy and corporate profits will slow, leaving companies less firepower to pay down debt. And it won’t be as easy to roll over the debt that’s due. Debt-laden companies would be vulnerable to rising borrowing costs caused by the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes. If companies are stuck in a credit crunch, they will have to pull back on hiring and investment. That could be a recipe for a recession.

http://www.cnn.com

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