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Economic Research

U.S. Wealth, Debt, Inequality and Implications

The United States remains tremendously wealthy; part of the reason why Treasury yields are and will remain low. The quarterly Fed report on U.S. assets and liabilities showed a $2.4 trillion decline in household net worth, which remains stuck at 2005 levels, but the change is not enough to impact the economy. Even so, the balance sheet recession continues, with private-sector deleveraging and inequality major factors for policy makers to take into account. Aggregate wealth and debt hide the deeper story, which is a staggeringly uneven distribution of prosperity. As RGE Nouriel Roubini has previously argued, this is not a recipe for continued stability or prosperity.

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