The loud squawking noises emanating from certain quarters are that of a whole henhouse of economic chickens coming home to roost.
Decades of ludicrously easy credit, combined more recently with historically low interest rates, have now resulted in a personal debt nightmare that could easily derail the UK economy.
Even the buttoned-down Governor of the Bank of England, not a man to rush to the media with scare stories, is now worried.
Personal debt is now "a potentially large social problem" Mervyn King said in an interview on Friday.
Household debt passed the £1 trillion mark some time ago and was last seen haring off in the direction of £1.2 trillion.
Although there are signs that spendthrift consumers are reining in their credit card spending, mortgage deficits are growing.
That really is worrying.
As long as those who fall behind on their plastic repayments can keep a roof over their - and their families' - heads, debt repayment remains a domestic problem.
When the building society bailiffs come round to repossess the house and change the locks it becomes a problem for the whole community.
Recent Government figures show that that is just what is happening.
Home repossession actions handled by the courts in England and Wales surged by 29 per cent to more than 33,000 in the first three months of this year.
Not all of them resulted in people being unceremoniously turfed out of their homes but the rise, nevertheless, is worrying. Especially now that we live in an increasingly fragmented society in which familial and community ties are breaking down and individuals' "support systems" are no longer there to tide them over when times are hard.
Add to that a thoroughly 21st century "cool" attitude to debt, and the social omens look grim.
Under the new liberal regime, personal bankruptcies are soaring and commentators such as Louise Brittan, head of insolvency at Baker Tilly, are deeply worried.
Becoming bankrupt has become "a bit of a joke", she was reported as saying.
"People think its OK not to pay off their debts. This is only going to get worse. What we have here is a cultural change."
Charles Dickens, himself no stranger to the consequences of debt, would have to turn the concept on its head were he alive and writing today. Instead of putting characters like Wilkins Micawber and William Dorrit in the Marshalsea sponging house, he could portray a society of feckless fools running up astonomical levels of debt and walking away grinning and free of stigma.
If today's adults think it's all right to spend money they don't have, or never will have, without fearing the consequences, what will their children be like?
The really sick irony is that the Government is doing well out of this disaster in the making. The Official Receiver's profits are becoming a handy addition to the Chancellor's coffers.
Not even Gordon Brown could have dreamed that one up. Or could he?