By MARK PENN with E. KINNEY ZALESNE
From The Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column
Published December 10, 2008
As the financial crisis swept across the nation these past few months, one of the first microtrend groups to emerge is the New Mattress Stuffers — people who have lost their trust in the financial world, and are preparing for the next meltdown.
Just as 9/11 created a vast industry in building security, so the recession could create a big industry in personal financial security — a new kind of survival kit. New Mattress Stuffers don’t care about the 10% interest rate on GE preferred stock that Warren Buffett snapped up; they care about making it through if hard times get even worse. As a result, firms which can offer ironclad guarantees of safety will appeal to this new group. These are people who have lost their faith in the housing market, the stock market, their bank, their big corporate employer, their auto company, and their last president. What is left but themselves?