PIMCO's Bill Gross: How to ride out an economic paradigm shift


As the financial crisis has unfolded, it has unleashed an endless series of questions about the fundamental nature of the American economy. Pundits and analysts have battled over issues of socialization and stimulus, bailouts and bonuses, until it seems like there is no aspect of the American consumer's relationship to money that is not open to reconsideration, reinterpretation and change.

The biggest shift, in many ways, has been emotional. Having spent much of the last thirty years gorging on cheap consumer goods financed by ever-increasing credit, many Americans are experiencing fiscal heartburn as the bill comes due. With unemployment and foreclosures rising, consumers are scrimping and saving to buy the bare necessities, never mind springing for luxuries. Hopping on a jet and buying bottle service are out, while "staycations" and homemade mai-tais have emerged as the latest hip trends.