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Does this mean that TMF and Warren Buffett are all wet when they advise to eliminate credit card debt? Are prudent financial management concepts different for individuals than for corporations?

Borrowing money at the usurious rates credit cards charge is a bad idea - you can't necessarily earn 12% reliably in the market over the long term. Borrowing money for short-term needs such as travel and luxury goods is also a bad idea - the debt should be repaid long before the item is gone. Borrowing at 7% to buy a house, on the other hand, can be a good idea - the house will certainly outlast the mortgage. If you gave me $200K and I had to buy a house for $200K, I'd probably put down $40K and take out a mortgage for the rest. After taxes, my mortgage rate would be about 5%. If I can't make 5% in the market over the long term, I'm doing something wrong.

For both individuals and corporations, prudent use of debt is a good thing. It allows payment for a long-term resource to be spread over time. Development of software that'll be obsolete in three years isn't long term. A factory that'll produce razor blades for 20 years is long term.

Basically, it depends on what the debt is for, and how much of it there is. If Gilette goes into debt to buy Energizer (or is it Duracell - I forget), that may not be a good use for the money. On the other hand, if they use the debt to build a new factor to produce razors, that's a good use.
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