American Express Writes Down $275 Million Because You Can't Pay Your Bills

American Express stock fell 7% after saying it would have to write off $275 million, thanks to more and more customers not paying their bills. What is probably happening is that people can’t tap their home equity so they’re going to the next easiest line of credit, credit cards, and failing to pay their bills there as well. In Walden, Thoreau talks about how early New Englanders would make their first homes by digging a cellar in the ground and putting a roof of saplings and bark over the top of it. My, that would make a mighty fine recession shelter.

American Express Warns About Earnings [NYT]