Sinking US Net Worth, Soaring US Debt

from Daily

Behold a new damage assessment from the credit crisis: The net worth of the median American household plunged 47% from 2007-2010.

So concludes a study by New York University’s Edward Wolff. ‘The debt of the middle class exploded from 1983 to 2007,’ he writes, ‘already creating a very fragile middle class in the United States… [T]heir position deteriorated even more over the “Great Recession”.’

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Remarkably, if you throw out housing, the picture is even worse: Median nonhome net worth dived 59% between 2007-2010 and is indeed substantially lower than it was in 1962 – which is as far back as Wolff dared to look.

In Washington, Wolff’s study is prompting a thorough re-examination of policies that larded down the middle class with so much debt over the decades.

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