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Over the past three decades, Germany, France, Austria and Belgium have maintained household saving rates between 10 and 13 percent, and rates in Sweden recently soared to 13 percent. By contrast, saving rates in the United States dropped to nearly zero by 2005; they rose above 5 percent after the 2008 crisis but have recently fallen below 4 percent.
Home equity loans are rare in Germany, and Belgians, Italians and Germans are rarely offered an American-style credit card that allows the user to carry an unpaid balance.
This is why this recession is going to be long and painful. Most of growth and wealth we have accumulated has been done so on the back of a massive credit bubble … that bubble is gone, and it is gone if not for good, it is gone for a loooooong time.
As of 2010 the total amount of consumer debt in the United States stands at nearly $2.4 trillion. Based on the 2010 Census statistics, that works out to be nearly $7,800 in debt for every man, woman and child that lives here in the U.S.
This is the day we bust the big-box door and break the bank and show a side of ourselves as Americans that frankly is not our best. Black Friday.
I hate Black Friday.