It's a messed up world when a Nobel Prize winning Princeton economist spouting Econ 101 conventional wisdom in The Old Gray Lady is considered a radical socialist, but that's the world we live in.
See if you can guess which quotation is from a bigwig at Morgan Stanley and which is the NYT columnist Paul Krugman.
Moreover, the debt overhang remains massive. The overall level of household indebtedness stood at 113% of disposable personal income in mid-2012 – down 21 percentage points from its pre-crisis peak of 134% in 2007, but still well above the 1970-1999 norm of around 75%. In other words, Americans have much farther to go on the road to balance-sheet repair – which hardly suggests a temporary, or cyclical, shortfall in consumer demand.
The best explanation, I think, lies in the debt overhang. For the most part, even those who correctly diagnosed a housing bubble failed to notice or at least to acknowledge the importance of the sharp rise in household debt that accompanied the bubble. And I would argue that this debt overhang has held back spending even though financial markets are operating more or less normally again.