Sunday, July 10, 2011

Economics:  How the Bubble Destroyed the Middle Class

From an article Dave S. contributed ...

... if you wanted to focus on just one number that explains why the economy can't really recover, this is the one: $7.38 trillion.

That's the amount of wealth that's been lost from the bursting of housing bubble, according to the Federal Reserve's comprehensive Flow of Funds report. It's how much homeowners lost when housing prices plunged 30% nationwide. The loss for these homeowners was much greater than 30%, however, because they were heavily leveraged.

... on average, American homeowners lost 55% of the wealth in their home.

Most middle-class families didn't have much wealth to begin with — about $100,000. For the 22 million families right in the middle of the income distribution (those making between $39,000 and $62,000 before taxes), about 90% of their assets was in the house. Now half of their wealth is gone and it will never come back as long as they live.

The amount of debt held by U.S. households is still very high, at 115% of disposable income.

For more, see How the Bubble Destroyed the Middle Class by Rex Nutting, July 8, 2011 at MarketWatch.

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