Deflationary Depression: Ultimate Status Symbol
The Biggest House? No. The Most Expensive Car? Try Again.
By Robert Jay
Ostentatious display defined the “Gilded Age” in the latter part of the 19th century. Most of the upper class in that period believed that if you had a big bank account, you should make sure everyone knew it. A century later — during the bull market of the 1980s-1990s — “McMansions” with BMWs in the garage became more common. Pulling out the plastic and enjoying instant gratification became pervasive.
In most decades of the past century, families had to save for big ticket items, perhaps even save all year to ensure holiday presents under the tree. To take the whole family out to eat was a special treat. “We are at a point where we have to have fiscal discipline and maybe go back to the days where you saved up to buy a washing machine, you saved up three to four years to buy a car. We will probably move in that direction as a nation.” Vanguard founder John Bogle (June 22, TheStreet.com interview) What kind of financial era are we heading into now? Will it be similar to what followed this?