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John Stumpf: From spenders to savers
John Stumpf: From spenders to savers
Wells Fargo CEO

At the time we were thinking, how bad can this get? Where is the bottom for the economy? Unlike other crises I've been through in my 35 years in the industry, this one was different in that it was broader, across all financial services, municipalities -- and felt around the world.

Just a year later you have a lot of people talking about what shape will the recovery be? But I don't think we're out of this yet. Today our savings rate is at 7%, much higher from what it was over the last 10 years. In the past year, we have gone from a spending nation to a savings nation. Using the official Wall Street definition of recession, it's likely over because positive GDP growth is expected in third quarter.

But on Main Street, where we do our business, it's really about jobs and the recession is not over. The savings rate today is so high you have to worry about what's going to happen to job growth. Just as overspending is not good, oversaving is also not good. We haven't found that balance yet. The consequence of last year is more about the fact that each month there are more unemployed people than the previous month. Even if the rate of increase goes down, less bad is not good.

NEXT: Masood: Leave Lehman employees alone

Last updated September 14 2009: 3:19 PM ET
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