Let’s look at consumer credit card debt. Not everyone believes that consumers have exhausted their ability to spend. They have about $14 trillion in unused borrowing power left on their credit cards, which should be enough to buy a few more Magic Bullets or Little Giant ladders. However, credit card issuers are being more cautious about extending credit and some feel the next financial crisis will be the issue of mounting credit card debt, as reported by BusinessWeek.

It’s important to note that not all the news is bad regarding the economy. The Wall Street Journal reports a surprising and broad-based surge in retail sales for November. The New York Times notes, “…the American economy has a history of unexpected resilience…” and that many experts feel we will only experience a slowdown or mild recession. Some believe that rate cuts by the Fed and a plan to keep adjustable mortgage rates from re-setting higher may cushion the impact on consumers.

No one can predict exactly where the economy is headed, but insights from those who track economic trends provide some possible scenarios for 2008 and beyond.

Peter Koeppel is Founder and President of Koeppel Direct, a leader in DRTV direct response television, online, print and radio media buying, marketing and campaign management. With a Wharton MBA and over 25 years of marketing and advertising experience, Peter has helped Fortune 500 companies, small businesses and entrepreneurs develop direct marketing campaigns to increase profits.

Peter started Koeppel Direct in 1995 and has built it into one of the leading infomercial direct response media buying firms in the U.S.