Economist: U.S. needs consumers to resume normal spending

11/10/2011 | New York Times (tiered subscription model), The

Americans need mortgage debt relief so they can start spending again, argues Stephen Roach, nonexecutive chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia and a former chief economist of the investment firm. Roach also advocates expansion of 401(k) plans and new retirement-savings incentives for low- and middle-income Americans. He compares the U.S. economic malaise to Japan's two lost decades. "America's zombie congestion can only be tempered by policies that alleviate lingering household balance sheet pressures," Roach writes.

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