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Ear to the Ground

Americans’ Wealth Down for 7th Straight Quarter

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Posted on Jun 11, 2009
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The latest Federal Reserve report indicates that U.S. household net worth has dropped for the seventh consecutive quarter, to reach $50.4 trillion, as stock market and house values continue to decline. Since the peak, Americans have seen 22 percent of their wealth disappear.

The Wall Street Journal:

The net worth of U.S. households fell by $1.3 trillion in the first quarter, a seventh straight decline that has seen household wealth drop by nearly $14 trillion, the Federal Reserve reported Thursday.

Household net worth fell at a 9.9% annual rate in the first three months of the year to $50.4 trillion, the lowest in more than four years. Net worth—assets minus liabilities—peaked at $64.4 trillion in the spring of 2007, the Fed said in its quarterly flow of funds report.

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You can read the full report on the Fed’s Web site here.

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By mlb, June 12, 2009 at 3:54 pm Link to this comment

Stock market decline?

In the last 3 months, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 are up about 20% and the Nasdaq about 30%, even as the economy has continued to drop like a boulder.

That stark discrepancy should disabuse the naive of the mistaken notion (purposely planted in their heads by Wall St.) that the stock market honestly and accurately reflects the health of the economy. 

It also explains what the corporate media, government Wall Streeters like Geithner and Summers, and Wall St.‘s chief spokesman, Barack Obama, really mean when they talk about “green shoots” and “recovery just around the corner”.  Theirs is the perverse perspective of the finance elite, who are cognizant of and care about the rest of the world only insofar as it affects their stock portfolios.

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By rage96, June 12, 2009 at 10:28 am Link to this comment
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That’s consistent with the fact that Amerika no longer grows anything or manufactures anything. Some idiocy about protectionism from all the countries to whom we’ve exported our jobs, from whom we import ever freaking thing! We’ve free traded our way clean into 3rd world poverty and ignorance. And, as much as I would love to blame that all on Dumya and Dick Vader, the primary beneficiaries of this ruse for the last 8 years, Big Dog Clinton actually had a hand in it too. As a matter of fact, every single administration since Nixon can accept a little blame for the laisez-faire free-trade debacle of anti-regulation that has subsequently tanked the global economy. Without question, Obama merely inherited this flaming barrel of rancid economic crap. However, Obama’s ability to demonstrate that he inherited the stinky barrel does not at all exonerate him from making a much greater effort to extinguish the blazing mess. He campaigned on promises to grow some jobs through productivity and farming. Now, he’s back-peddling a little more visibly everytime China, India, and every other nation enjoying newfound largesse from our outsourcing and importing cries ‘protectionism’ foul. I say not only let them cry foul, start targeting them for the excise of stiff tariffs on all their imports! Hell, we can make poisonous dog food, toys made from dangerous long chain carbon carcinogens painted with roofies, and killer baby formula just as well as they can.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 11, 2009 at 9:25 pm Link to this comment

Must be Obama’s fault. He was President during the last 2/3 of the 7th quarter.  So….just cuz Botch was Pres for the first 6 1/3 quarters, it STILL must be Obama’s fault.


Just channeling the Rush/Sean/Bill/Newt/McConnell geist…...

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By Folktruther, June 11, 2009 at 8:57 pm Link to this comment

US industrial production is down to the 1998 level and still falling.  I wonder if the Obama neoliberals have anything at all in mknd.  I remind you that Rumsfield invaded Iraq without any plans whatever for occupying it.  He fired Shinshiski when he told Congress the the US would need ‘several’ hundred thousand troops to occupy Iraq.  I wonder if we have Rumsfields doing the economy.

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By Tommy, June 11, 2009 at 6:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

ardee has a point, but this just a part of the great reckoning that was imminent.  Don’t you worry, ardee, the “haves” are going to get theirs soon enough…in a much bigger way, physics being what it is…

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By ardee, June 11, 2009 at 5:12 pm Link to this comment

No comment on the rather incredibly insensitive comment preceding this one..oops.

The wealth is not disappearing , instead it is migrating to fewer and fewer as the battle natural to unregulated capitalism plays itself out. So we migrate closer to third world status.

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By Ed Harges, June 11, 2009 at 2:08 pm Link to this comment

Wow, are we going to see skinny poor people again in America?

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