The Federal Reserve reports that households for the first time in a half-century are paring down their debts.
You might call it the fear bug. The word kept popping up in an interview with financial advisor Rodney Walker at Smedley Financial. "Fear. People are just fearful of the economy and the way it is," he said.
He says fear of losing a job is forcing households to shave down debt, spend less and retrench. "A lot of people will go out and spend an average of $3,000 to $4,000 for Christmas. This year it's being cut back quite a bit.
And you can thank the banks; they are loaning less money. Household debt fell eight-tenths of a percent in the third quarter.