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Old 10-09-2008
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Default Retirement accounts have lost $2 trillion so far

JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS
Associated Press
October 8, 2008

WASHINGTON - Americans’ retirement plans have lost as much as $2 trillion in the past 15 months — about 20 percent of their value — Congress’ top budget analyst estimated Tuesday as lawmakers began investigating how turmoil in the financial industry is whittling away workers’ nest eggs.

The upheaval that has engulfed financial firms and sent the stock market plummeting is also devastating people’s savings, forcing families to hold off on major purchases and even delay retirement, Peter Orszag, the head of the Congressional Budget Office, told the House Education and Labor Committee.

As Congress investigates the causes and effects of the meltdown, the panel pressed economists and other analysts on how the housing, credit and other financial troubles have battered pensions and other retirement funds, which are among the most common forms of savings in the United States.
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