Both CBS' Anthony Mason and ABC's Betsy Stark (subscription required) took economic data about the negative savings rate as bad news. Mason noted that the last two years of overspending were the first such years since the depths of the Great Depression. Stark predicted that the savings rate would suddenly accelerate as people nearing retirement age "get serious about putting money aside." That would slow economic growth by taking "a lot of spending power off the table."
NBC had CNBC's Erin Burnett (at the tail of the ExxonMobil videostream) contradict the conventional wisdom. The savings data do not count assets accumulated in real estate or in 401(k) retirement plans. "Include all of those things and the wealth of Americans is at an all-time high."
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