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The Great Reset

July 18, 2012, credit logos are seen on a downtown storefront as a pedestrian passes in Atlanta. Debt per adult in the top 10 economies fell 1 percent in the four and half years after the crisis. Debt jumped 35 percent in a comparable period before it.

The Great Reset: Five years after the economic collapse

Five years after U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers collapsed,

triggering a global financial crisis and shattering confidence

worldwide, families in major countries around the world are still

hunkered down, too spooked and distrustful to take chances with their


The implications are huge: Shunning debt and spending less can be good for one family's finances. When hundreds of millions do it together, it can starve the global economy.

Some of the retrenchment is not surprising: High unemployment in many countries means fewer people with paychecks to spend. But even people with good jobs and little fear of losing them remain cautious.

Reporting by the Associated Press.