11 March 2010

The National Balance Sheet

What do households and the non-profit sector (combined) own, and what does it owe in the United States?

Where is the breakdown as of the fourth quarter of 2009?

Assets $68.2 Trillion
- Real Estate $18.2 Trillion
- Other Non-Financial Property $4.8 Trillion
- Financial Assets $45.1 Trillion
-- Cash and Equivalent $7.7 Trillion
-- Bonds and Loans Payable $4.2 Trillion
-- Corporate Equity $7.7 Trillion
-- Mutual Funds $4.4 Trillion
-- Life Insurance Reserves $1.2 Trillion
-- Pension Reservers $11.8 Trillion
-- Closely Held Businesses $6.5 Trillion
-- Other Financial Assets $1.5 Trillion

Liabilities $14.0 Trillion
- Mortgages $10.3 Trillion
- Consumer Credit $2.5 Trillion
- Other $1.2 Trillion

Net Worth $54.2 Trillion.

For comparison's sake, the richest man in the world according to the issue of Forbes released today, has a net worth of $54 billion (about 1/1000th of the total for the United States).

Of course, there is huge variation in household net worth. Wealth is highly concentrated. We are a long way from equality. For example:

[W]hite women in the prime working years of ages 36-49 have a median wealth of $42,600 (still only 61% of their white male counterparts), the median wealth for women of color is only $5.

Once they get past their childbearing/rearing years, single black women do better. Their net worth rises to nearly $60,000 for the 50 to 65 cohort. But single white women show a greater increase in net worth across the two age groups, of nearly $70,000. . . .

Black women, in general, were more likely to have participated in the subprime loan crisis with upper-income black women being five times more likely to have received a high-cost mortgage than upper-income white men.

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