American Way Of Saving Results In Debt

Saturday, July 18, 2009, 9:09 AM | Leave Comment

Americans have long been willing to get ahead by taking on debt. The country’s consumer debt totals $2.56 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve Board.

American financial landscape was built, and still is maintained and nourished, by credit and debt. When I came to the States in the 1970s, one of the first things I heard about the economy and finance was “America was built on spending.” Very little cash has been involved, even today. has a chart of the consumers’ savings and debt that traces back to the 1920s. The way to go about is that you roll your mouse sideways from the 1920s to the 2000s. It shows at what period in time the consumer’s savings were and how much they owed.

The changes in savings are small compared to the debt that has ballooned to epic proportion. It’s mind boggling how much debt we have accumulated over the years, on the average as individuals.

Click on An average household’s debt and savings, in today’s dollar. On the page, scroll down, click on “Start” and then on “Lifetime of repayment” and then “Launch interactive” to get the chart.

Moral of the story
Increasingly, consumers find themselves buried by debts so large that there appears to be no way out. Many Americans, drowning in debt, now face a lifetime of repayment. But who is to blame?

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