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It's payback time for debt-laden Americans who shopped the world to prosperity on borrowed money.
Recessions are high-profile times for economists and financial analysts. One popular focus is the shape of the recovery. Optimists think it will be V-shaped; the more cautious predict it will be U-shaped. Those who believe that house prices and the stock market are ahead of the real economy foresee a W shape. Then there's the dreaded L shape. But such speculation misses the bigger question: What will our “after the recovery” world actually look like?
Start by thinking back only 15 mont