The Recent Debt Crisis, by Stephen Robert

Stephen Robert

Over the past 25 years, household debt in America has risen significantly. From the 1950s until the 1980s, the ratio of debt to disposable income held steady at between 60 and 65 percent. By 2001, this figure hit 100 percent, and five years later, the amount reached 130 percent. This explosion was due in part to borrowers’ easy access to credit, which added an extra $6 trillion to the collective debt between 2000 and 2008. The collapse of the subprime mortgage industry and resultant epidemic of unemployment made it difficult for people to pay off what they owed. As a result, many defaulted on their loans and other financial obligations.

In addition to personal debt, government debt has also plays a major role in our current economic situation. The country’s percentage of debt to gross domestic product increased from 60 to 100 percent. However, this occurred in less than a decade, and it shows no sign of decreasing. Programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid serve as some of America’s most expensive policies.

Stephen Robert
Stephen Robert and the Source of Hope Foundation continue to research better methods for delivering humanitarian assistance.

About the Author:

The former Chief Executive Officer of the Oppenheimer Fund and of Renaissance Institutional Management, LLC, Stephen Robert understands many facets of the economy. Currently the Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Source of Hope Foundation, Robert has analyzed the recent economic crisis in depth.


Author: stephenrobertny

Stephen Robert co-founded Source of Hope to promote educational, occupational, and health initiatives to those in need of aid. With a global outreach, the organization works directly or in partnership with other charities to foster opportunities in the United States and abroad. With a mission statement of helping those in “desperate need,” Source of Hope provides necessary funds and develops programs such as the construction of aquifers, clinics, and educational facilities. The organization was established by Stephen Robert and his wife Pilar Crespi Robert and focuses on projects that advance the future of the communities it serves. A graduate of Brown University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Stephen Robert continues to work on behalf of the school. In recognition of his history of service, the Corporation of Brown University in 1988 elected him to the position of Chancellor. The position, which he held for nearly a decade, required him to oversee many of the university’s planning and development plans. He remains active in its activities as a member of the Board of Overseers of the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. A former Director of Xerox and the NAC Reinsurance Corporation, Stephen Robert currently serves on the Board of Directors of the NEXAR Capital Group. Prior to his retirement in 2008, he held the position of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Renaissance Institutional Management LLC, an investment firm that advises high net-worth and institutional investment clients. For nearly 30 years, Stephen Robert worked at Oppenheimer and Company. He rose through the firm’s ranks from the position of Portfolio Manager of the Oppenheimer Fund to that of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. In 1986, he participated in a management buyout that made him the principal owner of the 105-year-old Oppenheimer & Company. He stepped down from the post of Chairman and CEO in 1997 after selling the firm to the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.