Mea maxima culpa. Sort of.

Last year and into January, I warned that the American economy rested on a debt-eroded precipice, that it would begin to collapse in October of 2018, and that it could fall into full-fledged recession.

Well, extremely weak stock markets together with a fourth-quarter gross domestic product slowdown in growth really made me look for a while like I was on to something. As Christmas approached, all three major market indexes were in or near official bear-market territory, with the Dow Jones industrial Average not just down more than 16% from its high in early September, but more than 9% for the whole year.

I was right about some serious shakiness. I was wrong about eventual collapse. As of the market close on April 23, the Nasdaq composite and the S&P 500 have now reached record closing highs, while the Dow approached its own record. Corporate earnings are looking good again, despite the weak fourth quarter and pathetic February jobs numbers.

Despite deficit and debt numbers that continue to be terrifying, and despite impending doom for Social Security and Medicare, investors and lawmakers seem to be blowing off all concerns. The latter keep spending with abandon, and the former keep putting more borrowed money into both the “real” and the speculative economies.

Part of the rebound has to do with happy talk from the Trump administration that a trade deal with China will bear good fruit. The minute those talks break down, though, the fear in the markets will be palpable and the downstream real-economy effects could be dire.

But part of the rebound is based on actual benefits stemming from reduced regulation and corporate tax reform, both factors owing to work from the Trump administration and the 2017-18 Republican Congress. It’s not just fat cats who are getting fatter — employment and even wages (finally!) are both up this year, the former to an all-time high.

Yes, warning signs still abound, with manufacturing slowing again and an unusually large number of small-cap companies losing money. And, of course, one of these days, we debt worrywarts will be proved right. It will happen when China or big banks react to a near-panic like last fall’s market drop by trying to call in a lot of their debts – just as lenders in 2008 suddenly began calling in debts related to an over-leveraged housing market, causing the financial crisis that seriously marred the end of the last decade.

I thought some of that would start happening last fall, when I correctly foresaw a major market correction. I was wrong. Dead wrong. Panic was averted. Our debt-fueled economy resumed its merry ways.

For now, the economy looks like a wonder to behold. This is, of course, good news. I am happy to have been wrong. It would be nicer still, though, if the economy were doing this well without relying on ever-expanding debt.