UK consumers are even more indebted than those in the US according to this New York Times report. The story in the UK: In the past there has been plenty of debt available, rising house prices and an obsession with home ownership. Economic prosperity has meant caution has been thrown to the wind - spend now! Now growth is slowing, property prices are falling sharply and debt is scarce and increasingly expensive.
Sounds very much like the current situation in Australia - the only thing we lack as yet is the serious decline in house prices - we are certainly experiencing the same credit crunch.