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South Koreans - Preety Quick On Spending

Over the course of two decades, South Korea quickly morphed from a country of savers to a nation of spenders and borrowers. The country now hold the most credit cards per capita in the world, according to statistics from the Bank of Korea, with five times as many credit cards as people.

Young-Sik Jeong, a research fellow at the Samsung Economic Research Institute in Seoul, tracks household debt in South Korea. In 1990, he found, Koreans saved on average 22.2 percent of their net household incomes. By 2012, that figure had dropped to 3.4 percent. And the ratio of household debt to disposable income in 2012 was 160—higher than the U.S. in 2007 before the housing bubble burst.