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Author: MLD38 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 19483  
Subject: USA Lowest Savings Rate?: (OT) Date: 1/16/2000 6:38 PM
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USA Lowest Savings Rate?: (OT)

This is an article that lists items that are not included in the Federal Reserves calculation of USA savings rate.

"USA: Lowest Savings Rate? Or Hidden Assets? What's Ahead, 2000-2010 by John Kamin, Editor in The Forecaster

It starts off:
"Dr. Alan Greenspan, head of the Federal Reserve Board, complained about low savings rates in the USA, as do other government officials. It is true that Americans do not put as much percent of income in the bank as citizens in a number of other countries, raw statistics show. But it is also true that Americans have other ways of saving that are of limited availability to savers in other nations; savings that simply do not show up in the stats.

Parts of the low savings rate is caused by those who push down interest rates for various political and economic reasons. Simply put: if banks paid more interest, savers, retirees, wage-earners would save more! Right now, savers subsidize borrowers with low rates. Buy why should savers put their money in a bank to earn 3% or so, while credit card companies are charging them 23% per month interest on unpaid balances?

Hidden American Savings Secrets There are a lot of U.S. savings that do not show up in the statistics. Here are just a few."...

The list includes the following with descriptions, etc:
(1) Currency in circulation.
(2) Investments in the stock market.
(3) Home ownership.
(4) Hard money assets (gold, silver, etc.).
(5) Risk money used for small businesses and start-up companies.
(6) Social Security savings.
(7) Private retirement plans (IRAs, 401Ks, Keogh Plans, Pension Plans, etc.).

To read the article and the description of the seven items listed above go to:
http://www.thebullandbear.com/articles/0699-savings.html
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Author: Chipsboss Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1604 of 19483
Subject: Re: USA Lowest Savings Rate?: (OT) Date: 1/16/2000 7:18 PM
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for Mld38

Thanks for the citation. Here's another article on the savings rate from 1996 -- http://www.ncpa.org/pd/economy/ecoddb.html --
that makes an important point (or claim):

"The clear implication is that the growth of taxes has impeded the rate of personal savings. According to tax researchers, the federal tax system is almost designed to keep people from saving."

It seems reasonable to me that, if Americans feel that there is too little savings, they should penalize it less in the tax code.

The article also looks at the results if one "uses a broader gauge to define savings -- including net investment in owner-occupied housing, increases in financial assets such as stocks, purchases of consumer durables and net reduction in household debt." Those results look pretty good despite the tax code.

Regards,

Chips



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