How fingers burned today will forge tomorrow’s savers

Late last year I sat with members of my extended family and we talked about which banks might be safe havens for savings, and which might be about to collapse.

“Remember this conversation,” I instructed my young nephews. “The last time people talked like this was before your granddad was born.”

It made me think how the great crash of 1929, or the Great Depression, must have shaped the attitudes of those who lived through them. I used to think, in the arrogance of youth, that elderly people were just crazy if they stored their savings under the mattress because they didn’t trust the banks. Now I realise that painful memories, rather than senility, might explain the choice.

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Tim Harford’s blog

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Tim, also known as the Undercover Economist, writes about the economics of everyday life.