Friday, January 2, 2009

Piggy Banks Flying in Frugal U.S.

The banks are not actually flying in the air to the best of my knowledge. However, they are flying off the shelves of stores that sell them. According to an article in Reuters, “(Wed Dec 31, 2008 2:34pm EST) "Recession-wary Americans embraced the virtues of thrift this Christmas, with stores reporting a clear rise in the popularity of piggy banks." Naturally, in New York City, designer piggy banks would be the most desirable. The article goes on to quote a New York City retailer. "We have been selling coin banks really well," said Laura Kellner at Kikkerland Design Inc. in New York City, whose stylish chrome pig is priced at $31.

Savings levels have increased markedly in recent months as households adjust to a yearlong recession and the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. In view of the level of most middle-class family incomes, a piggy bank seems to be an appropriate place to put extra savings in terms of what's left over after paying the monthly bills. Many families are not able to save any money at all. There are rumors that Wal-Mart plans to sell three dollar a piggy banks with billions of dollars of fake money. People shouldn't turn up their nose at fake money at a time when the country has learned that most of the major brokerage houses and major banks have been generating fake profits for some time.

Unfortunately, an increase in the savings rate is not necessarily good for the country. The Reuters article goes on to state, "If shock over the housing and stock market's losses sends the savings rate all the way back to the 11.2 percent notched in 1982, after the United States had endured two painful back-to-back recessions, it will prolong the current downturn." The whole business of what we should save is getting too complicated. For a long time the people of this country have been told we weren't saving enough. Now we are warned that if we save too much it will be bad for the economy. I think I'm going down to Santa Fe to find a monastery to hang out in for the next 10 years.

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