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.