Americans’ wealth drops for 1st time since early ‘09

By Associated Press
Posted Sep. 17, 2010 at 11:41 a.m.

Americans’ wealth shrank in the spring for the first time since early 2009 as financial turmoil eroded stock portfolios.

The Federal Reserve says household net worth fell 2.7 percent — or $1.5 trillion — in the April-to-June quarter. The decline left Americans’ net worth at $53.5 trillion.

Shriveled stock portfolios were the biggest force dragging down wealth. Wall Street was shaken by fears over Europe’s debt crisis. Since then, stocks have risen.

Net worth is the value of assets such as homes, checking accounts and investments, minus debts like mortgages and credit cards.

Before last quarter’s decline, net worth had been growing slowly for four straight quarters. Americans’ net worth would have to rise an additional 23 percent to revisit its re-recession peak of $65.8 trillion.

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  1. tom0942 Sep. 17, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    “The Federal Reserve says household net worth fell 2.7 percent — or $1.5 trillion — in the April-to-June quarter.”

    Is this the hope and change you voted for?

  2. I_heart_schadenfreude Sep. 17, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Gee. I did really well this year. I have gained back a substantial portion of the money I lost under the Bush economy.

    That is some refreshing change for me!

  3. BDD Sep. 17, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    A lot less wealth for obonehead to tax and spread around. I guess the welfare class just might be forced to work for what they get.

  4. TV-Guy Sep. 17, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    For an explanation of why this happened see ‘Trading our lifestyle for theirs” under the definition of outsourcing.

  5. Greg Sep. 17, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    America’s wealth didn’t decrease. It’s right there in Washington where our benevolent government is watching it for us.

  6. mham Sep. 17, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    economics 101 when your mfg base leaves so does your standard of living.
    Blame Washington, from Reagan through now. Sad Washington does not wake up

  7. Patrick Sep. 17, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Actually, the wealth has all been siphoned up to the top 1% who are doing everything they can to avoid having to pay taxes including working hard to gut social security for all of us working stiffs who have paid into it all our working lives, while the government replaced the funds with treasury bonds, which must be paid back and that could mean a tax increase for the fat cats, who would rather see us starve than hold up their end of the bargain. The working people were robbed so the robber barons could “keep their money” or as some might put it, avoid paying their fair share. Nobody gets rich in a vacuum.

  8. Troll Sep. 17, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    [[“The Federal Reserve says household net worth fell 2.7 percent — or $1.5 trillion — in the April-to-June quarter.”

    Is this the hope and change you voted for?]]

    Aaaahhhhh! I see this is the new slogan trolls are trotting out.

    Well, if you are going to make hay out of a five paragraph Associated Press brief, knock yourself out.

    But here in the fact based world, we realize that the President made good on his pledge of reforming how credit card companies do business…ending the tricks and traps that ensnare consumers in debt. So with regard to the portion of American wealth over which the President has influence, yes, I got the “hope and change” I voted for.

  9. chigirl1 Sep. 17, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    Patrick is totally correct. The wealth of the middle class is being sucked up to the top. No more trickle down for us. The gap between the richest and the rest of us is wider than ever.

    The conservatives are using religion and tea party nutters to hide the fact that the richest amongst us are the only ones that really matter. Eliminate soc. sec. so that you have to invest your money in Wall Street. No minimum wage because that hurts business. No health care reform because that hurts the insurance industry. No financial reforms because that hurts banking. It is for our American freedom, it is what God wants, they say. Meanwhile, Wall Street and the bankers are raking it in, the insurance companies are raking it in, jobs are few and far between, and everyone is hurting except that top 1-2%. And the uneducated right are buying this garbage.

    If you think your wealth is disappearing now, wait until the Rep. win those seats in November. Big business is licking their chops. No safety nets anywhere. No help unless you are too big to fail. Congratualtions America. Perhaps we will dominate the third world countries when we join them, which will be very soon.

  10. Jeeper Sep. 17, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    Let me be the first to apologize (again):

    I’m sorry for voting for O’Bama.

  11. Scottm1207 Sep. 20, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Well, when idiots think they’re going to “re-distribute’ wealth, the logical conclusion is the destruction of wealth. The recession that started with the elevation of the democrats to the majority in congress in January of 2007, and the on-going quest by the neo-commies in power since that time, is destroying wealth.

    The neo-commies are so envious of achievers that they need to extract payback for the Jerry Springer fans who made life’s choices that result in lower achievement than average. The “if it feels good, do it” attitude of the liberals since the 60’s resulted in single parent families which are the single most contributing factor to poverty, and illegal immigrants who import their poverty, help create the poverty class that the statists hold up as examples of those who must be helped by sacrificing societal wealth and freedom by the rest of us.

    Good job by the right-brained liberals who don’t want to understand the net negative their policies frequently cause.

  12. Scottm1207 Sep. 20, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    When the unions, OSHA, EPA, IRS, and all the other acronyms of government bureaucracy gang up on business, watch them either go out of business or outsource their manufacturing to countries that don’t come down ******* manufacturers.

    The left in this country has been using the power of government to deindustrialize this country to save the environment and extract wages higher than would be necessary in a free market.

    Have rational regulation, labor laws, tort laws, health care legislation and tax codes and you will stem the transfer of our industry to other countries. Limiting free trade through tarrifs on products from other countries will only drive up prices here.

    Just think if unions actually added value to the ventures with which they now have antagonistic relationships. Companies would seek union labor, not avoid it. If taxes were rational and the code wasn’t so arcane that companies needed teams of lawyers just to be compliant. and if tort law wasn’t so ******* our companies, that would stop them from failing or moving overseas.

    This was all predicted and predictable with each piece of legislation aimed at creating an adversarial climate with business in this country. Our politicians were warned what would happen when you increase the prices of inputs for our manufacturers, yet they went ahead and did it. You reap what you sow.