Word of the Day: Peak Debt

peak debt:

n. In an economy or household, the point at which the costs to service increasing debts become so high relative to income that no more debt can be taken on, so consumption plummets.

A corollary, peak debt, was coined in 2006 by a former Cisco employee named Jaswant Jain, who calls himself the Prophet of Doom and Gloom, and who first observed the deleterious effects of unrestrained borrowing as an eight-year-old in a village near the city of Jodhpur, where debt-ridden Brahmins appeared worse off than solvent untouchables.

—Ben McGrath, “The Dystopians” (paid registration required), The New Yorker, January 26, 2009

Via Word Spy

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