NEW YORK -- Thrift is the new black. Cheap is chic. Well, it is for now at least.
Much has been made about how consumers and investors have finally learned a hard lesson as a result of this severe economic downturn. Too much debt is bad. So is conspicuous consumption.
Forget about buying a new car just because your neighbor bought a new SUV. Stick with the one you have for a couple more years. Why shop at a fancy department store when you can go to Wal-Mart (WMT, Fortune 500) or Costco (COST, Fortune 500)? And why eat out when you can stay at home and cook a nice meal that costs a lot less?
According to CNN.Money, General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt has dubbed what's going on in the economy as a "permanent reset."
But have people really learned that they have to change their ways? According to a survey released Tuesday by HSBC Direct, the online bank operated by British banking giant HSBC (HBC), an overwhelming majority of those polled said that they didn't expect people's newfound sense of stinginess to last.
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