Saving our way deeper into a hole

A recent article in The Economist predicts a deep
recession
next year if we Americans abandon our spendthrift ways and swing back to a savings lifestyle. What other nation,
the magazine wonders, would buy enough things to keep the worldâ??s factories humming?

By now, the rap is well documented. Americans save virtually nothing after having stashed away nearly one in every 10 dollars
earned as recently as the 1980s. These figures sometimes exclude 401(k) programs, which amount to savings, but the overall
point remains.

A saving culture appears to be making a tepid comeback as Americans are increasingly sobered by debt overhangs on everything
from housing to cars to vacations. But savings levels still are nowhere near anything that would impress a Depression survivor.

Where is this headed? Is the savings resurgence of the past few months a trend, or is it little more than a fad destined to
vanish as soon as good times return?

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