While reading Canoe today, I found this quote from CIBC economist Benjamin Tal (full article) that’s a nice counterpoint to people who want to blame everything on executives at big companies:

“We were shifting from a society of passive savers to a society of active savers,” CIBC World Markets economist Benjamin Tal said

“People didn’t bother with old fashioned saving because if you doubled the value of your real estate during the course of breakfast – that was your savings.”

This is sadly amusing in light of what’s happening now – at first I thought that being an “active saver” sounded like a good thing, but relying on speculation and unrealistic price bubbles (in an illiquid market that you can’t participate in without moving into a cardboard box) is less than passive saving.

Real passive saving implies something like an automatic transfer to a savings account – the old-fashioned kind where you actually end up with something that has real value.