Savers Left to Foot the Bill for the Financial Crisis
The heads of some of the biggest US banks gather for a press conference outside the White House after a 2009 meeting with President Barack Obama. John Stumpf, center, CEO of Wells Fargo, is at the microphone. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
March 1, 2013
| Economics
| Europe, The Americas
Special Economic Analysis
by Peter Warburton, PhD

In America and Europe, there is a silent transfer of wealth taking place, day by day. Cash-strapped and heavily indebted governments are desperate to hold down the interest rate at which they borrow. Unfortunately, this also means perennially low interest rates for savers: rates so low that they do not match the rate of inflation. Negative real interest rates imply that retirees must consume their wealth in order to pay the bills.

This financial repression goes largely without comment or objection, as though it was obvious that savers should foot the bill for the global credit and financial crisis, rather than having the burden shared between borrowers and savers. This looting of savers is likely to continue for many years, as governments the world over struggle with burgeoning deficits and ballooning debts.
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