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Federal Reserve

The U.S. Economy After The Great Recession

  • By
  • Sherle R. Schwenninger,
  • Samuel Sherraden,
  • New America Foundation
March 4, 2014
The bursting of the housing bubble in 2008 plunged the U.S. economy into a serious crisis, leaving American households with a huge debt overhang and the economy with a large gap in output and employment. This report reviews the economy’s deleveraging and recovery experience more than five years after the crash. It explores the following questions:  
  • How far has the economy come in the deleveraging process? Is private sector debt now at a sustainable level or do households and the financial sector continue to need to pay down debt?  
  • To what extent has the U.S.

Growth Must Deliver Or Policy Must Change

February 21, 2014
by Jay Pelosky

Stock and bond market volatility combined with data disappointments have brought the 2014 global growth recovery story to a fork in the road. Either growth delivers or policy reversals will be required. For investors and policy makers alike the bar has been raised.

Read the whole op-ed at The Financial Times.

Forget The Wealth Effect: It’s Time to Focus on The Income Effect to Understand the Sluggish Economy

October 1, 2013

by Peter W. Atwater

The “wealth effect” concept is remarkably simple: spending increases (decreases) as perceived wealth increases (decreases). When people perceive themselves to be richer, they spend more.

With the prices of stocks and bonds near all-time highs and home prices on the rebound, consumer spending should be on a tear. But it’s not -- much to the consternation of many economists, particularly those at the Federal Reserve. As a result, many believe the wealth effect is somehow broken.

America Can Help Fix the World by Fixing Itself

May 29, 2013

By Jay Pelosky

This op-ed originally appeared in Reuters and is based on the recent World Economic Roundtable Paper, "Building a Bridge to a Tri-Polar World Economy: An American Growth Strategy."

Event Tuesday: Saving (at) the Post Office

June 25, 2012
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New data from the Federal Reserve confirms what many have long known: that vast numbers of Americans continue to lack the necessary savings to support a financially stable life. Household savings are much more robust in many other countries, thanks to long-standing efforts to make small-dollar savings institutions available to every citizen. In other leading nations (notably Germany, France, and Japan), basic banking is often performed at a surprising institution--the Post Office!

Asset Building News Week, June 17 - June 22

June 22, 2012
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The Asset Building News Week is a weekly Friday feature on The Ladder, the Asset Building Program blog, designed to help readers keep up with news and developments in the asset building field. This week's topics include the monetary policy, economic inequality, and financial services.


Monetary Policy

Surveying Household Wealth: Part 1 – Precautionary Savings

June 18, 2012
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This blog post is part one in a series analyzing the recently released Survey of Consumer Finances from the Federal Reserve. The SCF is a triennial survey of American families that offers insights into income, wealth, debt, and savings over time. Today’s post explores the importance of building precautionary savings and policy approaches to support families’ savings goals.

Americans identified the need to “save for a rainy day” as the top reason for saving their money in 2010. This is a departure from past surveys: the last three Surveys of Consumer Finances (in 2001, 2004, and 2007) showed that Americans’ top reason for saving was retirement. This historic shift makes a lot of sense in the context of other data presented by the SCF.

Asset Building News Week, June 11 – June 15

June 15, 2012
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The Asset Building News Week is a weekly Friday feature on The Ladder, the Asset Building Program blog, designed to help readers keep up with news and developments in the asset building field. This week's topics include the Fed’s Survey of Consumer Finances for 2010, homeownership, and income inequality.

Federal Reserve Highlights Widespread Declines in Families' Wealth

June 12, 2012
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The Federal Reserve has released the most recent Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) [pdf here] which covers 2007 through 2010 and presents additional evidence of the decline in both income and wealth during the recent recession. The report shows that American families’ median net worth fell from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010, representing a 40% drop.

SCF data support and are consistent with one of the key findings of our Assets Report Infographic. Data we relied on from Pew shows that between 2005 and 2009 black and Latino households saw disproportionate declines in their wealth, due in large part to the decline of their home values in the face of the housing crisis. This recent blogpost of ours looked at the role housing wealth plays in exacerbating the racial wealth gap.

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