But ever since the 2001 recession, we haven’t really had growth in incomes. Instead, we’ve had asset-led growth. People who owned stuff already in 2001 saw the value of that stuff go up. Since they were now “richer” they were able to borrow more. And since they were able to borrow more, they were able to get more stuff. That had a similar result as if their incomes had gone up and they’d used the income to buy more stuff. But it was unsustainable. The lending based on higher asset values was based on the idea that the assets would keep going up in value. And the increase in value was driven by a combination of speculation, and buy the fact that consumption was creating economic activity. But now it’s all collapsed.
That's Salmon, via Yglesais, reiterating what everyone needed be hearing circa 2001 to 2006.