What's Going Right in the Economy

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There's a lot of negativity in the news these days. We all know what's going wrong in the world.

But what's going right?                                                                             

I asked that question to former Federal Reserve policy wonk and current Brookings Institution scholar Karen Dynan in a recent interview. She opened up on a topic I think is the most overlooked bit of good news these days: the amount of debt built up during the boom that households are now getting rid of.

Since 2008, mortgage debt has declined by about $1 trillion. Credit card debt has dropped by $180 billion. Household debt payments as a percentage of income are now at the lowest level in 18 years. Even when government debt is taken into account, the economy's total debt-to-GDP ratio has been declining for four years, and faster than nearly any other developed nation on Earth.

Here's what Dynan had to say:

At the time this article was published Fool contributorMorgan Houseldoesn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article. Follow him on Twitter @TMFHousel.Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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