Interesting contention over at Accrued Interest:
The Japanese are fundamentally savers. Americans are fundamentally spenders.
Is it always and forever true that Americans are spenders? Iâ€™ll concede upfront that the Japanese are savers, and that Americans have for more than fifteen years been crummy savers, but is it true that Americans are fundamentally spenders? Is it not possible that we could see a state change here given what has happened in stock markets and housing, etc.?
Iâ€™m unconvinced that it canâ€™t change. I could cite the recent uptick in spending in the U.S., post stimulus, with BLS showing U.S. savings rates up to 2.8% or so, which is a big increase in a short amount of time. Iâ€™m on record as saying the U.S. personal savings rates hits 7% in short order, and stays there, at least for a while.
Feel free to take the other side.