Can consumers come back after losing $13 billion in wealth? John Gerzema, a …. at a Ted conference says consumers are in a unique position to take greater control of their financial position. It seems we’re embracing our poverty by keeping our cars longer, using library cards instead of buying more books, taking continuing ed courses to boost our skills as we search for new jobs. Gerzema says we have the power to push change companies to treat us better in this DIY moment. He seems to feel that is a more permanent moment.