Suze Orman: Recession is "Greatest Thing"

The personal finance expert says young people should be grateful for the financial crisis.

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For an upcoming story, I recently spoke with financial guru Suze Orman. While she's caught her share of criticism lately for everything from her bond portfolio to not having predicted the financial crisis, I've always been a fan of her sound advice, delivered in that staccato tone that Saturday Night Live's Kristin Wiig captures so well. My favorite part of our conversation, though, was when she argued that 20 and 30-somethings should be grateful for the financial crisis. (Recently, Alpha Consumer readers have debated whether or not young adults are worse off than previous generations because of higher unemployment rates and high debt levels.)

Orman says the financial crisis is "the greatest thing that has ever happened to youth. It gave you a wake up call that your parents were living in financial la-la land."

She continues:

If the economy kept running the way it was, you guys would have been broke for the rest of your life. Real estate was going up and up. You would never have qualified for real estate, companies were shipping jobs offshore. So where were you going to get a job? The price of tuition was so high so [graduates] owed $150,000 in student loans. The price of milk and other prices were so off the charts. What were you people going to do? The stock market was at 14,000, so every time you put money into your 401(k), you bought less and less shares.

Plus, she adds, in 30 years, we'll never remember that our fledgling 401(k)s lost 50 percent of their value over the last year.

Do you agree with Suze?