Household Debt Vs. GDP : Planet Money A Columbia professor sends the chart that rattled him.

Household Debt Vs. GDP

Click to enlarge Courtesy of David Beim hide caption

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Courtesy of David Beim

Click to enlarge

Courtesy of David Beim

This chart tracks the relationship between household debt and gross domestic product. You'll see two years when Americans' debt becomes 100 percent of GDP -- 1929 and 2007. It's the chart that made Columbia professor David Beim say:

"The problem is us. The problem is not the banks, greedy though they may be, overpaid though they may be. The problem is us... We've been living very high on the hog. Our living standard has been rising dramatically in the last 25 years. And we have been borrowing much of the money to make that prosperity happen."