Here is a frightening graphic from the FT on consumer debt levels:
Graphic courtesy of the Financial Times.
In 1990 consumer debt was at 60% of GDP (60% of a smaller GDP at that), in 2000 the number was around 70% and eight years later we're above 100%.
Not much to say really, other than that something has to change or calamity will ensue; furthermore, retailers used to consumers living above their means could be in for a rude awakening.
The graphic comes from a larger discussion around changing consumer behaviors towards debt (keeping credits and giving up on the house), which you can find here.