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The Amazing Adventures of ‘Savings Man’

In the latest of his series of reports on the financial crisis, Paul Solman speaks to the founder of an organization funding creative public service ads on saving money.

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  • JIM LEHRER:

    And finally tonight, some closing thoughts on the economy from a super saver. Economics correspondent Paul Solman has that story.

  • NARRATOR:

    And now, another adventure with Savings Man!

  • PAUL SOLMAN, NewsHour Economics Correspondent:

    For a decade-plus, this muscle-bound financial adviser has been urging Americans to mend their profligate ways.

  • WOMAN:

    Oh dear, I can't afford that.

  • CREDIT CARD GUY:

    Charge it. You can pay it off later.

  • SAVINGS MAN:

    Not so fast, Credit Card Guy.

  • CREDIT CARD GUY:

    Savings Man!

  • PAUL SOLMAN:

    For most of the time, too few of us listened. Dallas Salisbury runs choosetosave.org, the funder of these TV public service announcements. But if lots of folks saw them…

  • WOMAN:

    Thanks, Savings Man!

  • SAVINGS MAN:

    No, thank you!

  • PAUL SOLMAN:

    … why didn't the supersaver superhero save the day?

  • DALLAS SALISBURY, Choosetosave.org:

    For every dime that we've spent, others were spending millions telling them that the smart thing to do was to borrow, the smart thing to do was to consume, the smart thing to do with your house was to refinance and put part of that money in the stock market, to take out a home equity line of credit so that you'd be ready to spend more.

  • TYPICAL MORTGAGE GUY:

    And with 0 percent down, all you have to pay on this mortgage is the interest.

  • MAN:

    Now, that's affordable.

  • SAVINGS MAN:

    Watch out, you two. This is not your typical mortgage guy. He's really a sub-prime-mate!