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The Great Reset

May 29, 2013, a motorist pulls into the driveway in a neighborhood in Henderson, Nev. Americans had $1.3 trillion less mortgage debt in June 2013 than they did at the start of 2008, the first year of the financial crisis. That is a drop of 14 percent.

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.