Household Net Worth Plunges By Most Since Q4 2008, As Government Borrowing Surges

Tyler Durden's picture

Arguably the most useful report to come out each quarter out of the Federal Reserve is the Z.1, or the Flow of Funds report, which was released minutes ago. And it's a doozy: household net worth (assets less liabilities) in Q2 2010 plunged by $1.5 trillion, almost exclusively due to a plunge in Corporate Equities ($0.9 trillion) and Pension Fund holdings ($0.7 trillion). In other words, the net wealth of the US household continues to track the performance of the stock market tick for tick. And one wonders why the Fed, per Alan Greenspan's admission, is only focused on ramping stocks up to all time highs. Total household financial assets declined by $1.7 trillion to $43.7 trillion, which was the biggest swing factor, as the tangible assets, or housing, was kept flat at $23.7 trillion. Incidentally, to assume that Real Estate value increased in Q2 from $18.7 trillion to $18.8 trillion in Q2, is one of the dumbest things to ever come out of the Fed: we expect that this number will plunge soon after it is realized that the double dip in housing is here, forcing another major contraction in household net worth. On the other side of the balance sheet, liabilities were also flat at $13.9 trillion sequentially. And possibly the most important data point: the change in borrowings, confirmed that everyone is deleveraging except for the government... whose borrowing surged at a 24.4% SAAR, the second highest ever, after the 28.9% surge in Q2 2009. In other words, Keynesianism is alive an well in the US, and any talk of austerity in the US is nothing less than not that funny stand up comedy.

Chart showing total financial asset breakdown: at $43.7 trillion, US consumers are now back to the same net worth levels they had in Q3 of 2009.

The next chart shows the sequential change in key Financial Assets: as expected, equities and pension funds were the primary reason for the change. In fact the total decline in assets of $1.7 trillion was the highest goingback all the way to Q4 2008 when Lehman blew up and resulted in a $4.6 trillion loss in household net worth.

Lastly, the chart that shows changes in borrowings by sector needs no explanation.

We will have much more to say about this report later, as we analyze just how much the shadow banking system has plunged in Q2, following its record $1.3 trillion deleveraging in Q1.

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GoldSilverDoc's picture

Wanna bet the calculation for "household net worth" is complete and utter BS?  And that the real "market value" net worth is, oh, 60% (generous) of the reported number?

subqtaneous's picture

Probably so, but fudged numbers or not, it's one more admission that the great Black Hole of anti-consumption is busily swallowing up every pseudo-dollar created over the past 15 years or so.


Gird your loins, kids.


bigdumbnugly's picture

"And possibly the most important data point: the change in borrowings, confirmed that everyone is deleveraging except for the government..."

the old 'do as i say and not as i do' model, ay?...

NOTW777's picture

LOL - but liesman is explaining "it could be worse"


the results of "hope and change" are in and its not pretty

hedgeless_horseman's picture

Borrowings by Sector ($TN)

The charts were all purple
They were spending money everywhere
Tryin' to run from the destruction
You know I didn't even care

They say two thousand zero, zero,
Party over,
Oops, out of time!
So tonight I'm gonna party like it's 1999!


NotApplicable's picture

Meanwhile they spin the purple into the ever lovable Barney.

I love you
You love me
Lets go spend some free money
Without a care in the USA
Let's go spend it all today!

idea_hamster's picture

Thank you, and good night.

Spitzer's picture

now the deflationists can pour over this data in an attempt to find what is inflating and what is deflating and all that bullshit, even though they dont know where inflation incipient hyperinflation comes from.

MachoMan's picture

Being a deflationist and hyperinflationist is not inconsistent as the terms are not mutually exclusive, they merely represent different points on the same timeline... 

Do hyperinflationists believe it persists in perpetuity?  Why require that of the other side?

ColonelCooper's picture

+1.  Can't one precede the other?

Glaucus's picture

"Another consideration is that sometimes there is a "deflationary 
head-fake" right before the onset of hyperinflation as the private bank credit money disappears...

With these charts [charts would not translate; see original article below] I am not saying it always looks exactly the same. I am only observing that the common deflationary metrics can fall while credit collapses, but then be immediately followed by a confidence collapse in the currency itself. Deflationists don't see this because they are viewing the economy as if it were a machine. And machines don't flip 180 degrees on a dime like this." --
MachoMan's picture

In other words, hyperinflationists rule and deflationists can suck it?  Gotcha...

I'll say it again for good measure.  The two positions are only mutually exclusive at the exact same point in time... 

To put it in question format, exactly what do hyperinflationists believe while they are waiting on being right?  What is the vehicle that gets us to hyperinflation?

ColonelCooper's picture

Bueller????   Bueller???? 

Spitzer's picture

It should have happened in 2008 but, the inflationists over estimated the intelligence of the investment community. People ran toward the blast instead of away from it. Buying the dollar was the dumbest move ever in 2008 but when everyone is equally as dumb, it makes it look like a smart move.

If people where smart, we would not be having this debate, we would have had hyperinflation by May of 09.

MachoMan's picture

By that logic, we should have bailed from the dollar 80 years ago... 

sbenard's picture

Household wealth and government debt! Both metrics moving in the WRONG direction!

carbonmutant's picture

We should send a copy of this to CNBC along with their Nielsen numbers.


FASB 666's picture

Kill Your Television ( Friggin Now !)

Gordon Freeman's picture

The Fed will never accurately value the RE component--it would be too catastrophic, and expose the sham of even talking about U.S. "assets"...

HedgeFun's picture

Should the goverment bar color be like red rather than purple.

midtowng's picture

I'd be interested as to the breakdown of household net worth by income group. I bet that the working class is getting poorer at a much faster rate.'s picture

Oh I just had a juvenile blue jay come to my suet feeder.'s picture

maybe, that is ok isn't it rocky. i haven't had one suet eating bird all summer. i had all kinds of birds in my woody creek house. peckers, jay's, flickers oh it was wonderful. so this little guy was adorable, and he has a funny bird song. just been getting seed eaters.

imapopulistnow's picture

So, what happened after the Democrats regain power?

carbonmutant's picture

They squandered it on cheap propaganda and expensive bills...

doolittlegeorge's picture

Johnny Walker Black?  Unfortunately probably not.

Eureka Springs's picture

SO Frank does just what most in these comments want... manages the worst fall in prices yet... and all y'all want is someone who will use a flamethrowing bulldozer to do it faster.

I bet most of you are writing checks to and voting for the Barney's on the ballot at every opportunity. If not, given your expressed hopes (total destruction), you should be.

ColonelCooper's picture

I see it like this.  If I'm going to fall off the roof of a building and die, I'd rather it be 3 stories than 300. 

I do not think that most people here WANT total collapse, they have just accepted it as inevitable.  I myself, like many here express and you seem to misinterpret, believe that we have passed the point of repairing this, and need to rebuild it.  In order to rebuild an engine it has to be shut down.  We act as though an infinite supply of Marvel Mystery Oil and STP Injector Cleaner will keep it running forever.'s picture

excellent analogy, colon. I learned so much about life when I pulled my chevy small block out. learned sooooooo much and I have more to talk about with people. I could even replace my belt on my washing machine. problem with the V8 I didn't know how to put it back in. that is OK though, I realized it and wasn't in denial and needed to ask for help cause that part you want to have precision.

ColonelCooper's picture

Based on your last few posts Kathy, it would seem that the last bag of reindeer dust you picked up hasn't been stepped on too hard.'s picture

colon, every day i think i would be a lot better is cheeky would come back and post again. i know he is still alive and well. why doesn't he come back into my life again. i really miss his wit, mostly and his stories.

ColonelCooper's picture

I miss reading CB as well.  I didn't start posting here till shortly before he kind of catted out, but I was a lurker for a long time and always appreciated his shit. 

I think maybe he got sick of people who didn't have the faintest fucking clue what they were talking about jumping all over his shit.  (The old not suffering fools gladly)  I don't mean a classic keynes/austrian type argument or honest difference of opinion, but just plain ass dumbshits.

You have to admit that this place has changed a LOT in the last year.  Not better or worse, just different.'s picture

well come on, this is fight club, cheeks†

phat tails's picture

It looks like the insidious plan to march America down the path toward collectivism is working. The banking cartel, a.k.a. the Federal Reserve, needs to be abolished ASAP, along with the IMF and Worldbank. Restore mark-to-market and send these profligate bastards to their graves.

MachoMan's picture

Quite the opposite...  we are at the point of reckoning for our collectivist endeavors...  the point where isolationism and individualism attempt to reign supreme.

Incubus's picture

The unwashed masses are droning, "one of of us..." as they hold out their welcoming arms.

It's encouraged all through the educational system and life, peer feedback, group interdependence--anything on the basis of requiring others to form an individual's thoughts.  So, we've ended up as a great population of crippled people, there is no "me," or "I": only what others perceive me as.

That is the new American ethos, the America of ironic narcissism.

When the house of cards collapses, a majority of the population will inevitably perish because they cannot hold the hand of their peers while they suckle one-anothers' teats.



williambanzai7's picture

I don't know who or how this stuff is cooked up, but I suspect its the same people who calculate your taxes.

carbonmutant's picture

 I think they're moonlighting from the BLS.

tahoebumsmith's picture

This whole ponzi reminds me of Enron...Remember the front page of magazine covers?...Ken Lay...Man of the year? Corporate outings on the range in Africa, employees getting paid in stocks that doubled every month? Employees skipping their heels as they entered the tower with pride and joy? New Mc Mansions being bought everywhere by employees whose wealth ticked up by the minute? Then came Oct 2001 and reality set in.... when everybody lost everything.... and they all marched out of the tower crying with nothing but cardboard boxes in their hands! OVERNIGHT!

Caviar Emptor's picture

One of the few times I'll outright recommend watching CNBC: watch "Enron: The smartest guys in the room" if you haven't done so already. Lots of original source materials like incriminating phone recordings between energy traders as they engineered the California energy crisis. 

Bob's picture

Compelling and damning video--widely available on DVD, btw. 

Serenity Now's picture

+1 on the recommendation.  I just watched it a couple of weeks ago, and it was great.  The phone recordings were eye-opening (and sickening).  And it was very interesting that a female journalist (from Fortune magazine, I think) had figured out something major was wrong with Enron, but no-one would pay attention.'s picture

Lay had 3 houses in Aspen right downtown on the roaring fork river. scoudrel and greedy bastard.

papaswamp's picture

Depression biotchez!

Comrade de Chaos's picture

Absent growth in business expenditures - check.

Absent growth in the consumer and business credit outstanding - check.

A recovery that is only in the minds of limited and falling number of beholders & none carbon based life forms - double check.