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Germans are not the only ones who save a lot and have current account surplus. But they are the most visible part of the West doing so. Though their savings cannot save them from potential financial crash. So be careful how you save.
Maria von Medici, really?
After reading the first paragraph, I thought maybe the Economist had picked up a editorial style similar to The Onion.
(@TE: Replying to comments doesn't work.)
@US-Berlin ("Geiz" is not greed): That! (Or "parsimony is awesome".)
The tag line is widely scorned in Germany for promoting paying too little for quality nor for paying workers a living wage. "Geiz-ist-geil-Mentalität."
The financial assets of German citizens—a whopping €5.6trn in 2016... ...Germans have socked away €2trn in low-yielding saving and current accounts, and €2.1trn in insurance and retirement funds. Only €373bn is invested in shares.
This is how the financial system works.
One man's savings is another man's debt,
due to banks lending the savings.
That doesn't mean German households do not go into debt.
The German Household Debt as a pct. of GDP has fallen from
70% in 2005 to 53% in 2017.
US Household Debt as pct. of GPD rose to 99% in 2008 and has
fallen to 80% in 2016.
Blaming the Germans for saving is akin to blaming
Mexico for the US drug problem.
Demand always seeks a supply, and if people want to
go into debt or do drugs, a Supply will develop as long
as the supplier can make a profit for the risks they take.
.... And if Mr and Mrs Jones think you are not "rich" enough to be their friends, lose them. They never were in the first place.
Again, this is neither a "Conservative" nor "Liberal", "Republican" nor "Democrat" view of life. It is Friendshiop 101.
I know this paper concerns itself with Economy and Economics, and call itself The Economist. But sometimes you seem to think backward on the larger issues in life, such as: What is Real.
.... If you have a job, even at minimum wage, you can feed and clothe yourself. Your lifestyle won't be fancy. But you will not starve. If you are a couple, and you both work, you can support both of yourselves. Society does not owe you a lifestyle your means cannot support, let alone maintain and sustain. This is neither Democrat nor Republican, Liberal nor Conservative. It is simple Arithmetic.
I don't understand the premise of this article.
Do you mean to say being frugal, spending only money you have, not money you haven't, is "evil"??
Are you saying buying things you don't need and, most fundamentally, can't afford by incurring credit card debts at 19.99% is a "virtue"?? Hallelujah!
No wonder! Kids now have to take out huge college loans because their parents are already debt-ridden. I suppose the notion of setting up a savings account for their college money when they were born is too quaint a notion, eh? And then when reality hits you, you blame everyone else but yourself for your "poverty". Great!
I don't understand the translation of "Geiz" you are suggesting , "stinginess is cool" would fit much better. BTW, aggregate savings are high in Germany, but according to data by the ECB (HFCS survey), the lower 40% of households saves almost nothing, certainly much less than in other European countries such as Spain.
It really is the same old truism of the people who are selfish and irresponsible who dislike the responsible because after all the "flash in the pan" the irresponsible have nothing and forget their fleeting enjoyment ...
Being frugal and thrift is good, is virtuous, is NOT a problem.
"Geiz is geil" should be translated as "Stingyness is great". The German word for "Greed" is "Gier". I couldn't imagine any German company using "Gier ist geil" in their advertisement.
My daughter did the Ancestry.com DNA test, and it came back with very little German background. Perhaps I should ask for her money back.
Germans live in small apartments and have quality mass transit, thanks to investment. Americans, or some of them, got McMansions and SUVs, borrowing and shifting the bill to their poorer kids.
But the Germans have a problem -- low birth rate. They should try to attract tightwad Americans as residents -- "move away from Generation Greed's debts before it's too late!"