What Recovery? 9.4 Million More Americans Below Poverty Line Than Pre-Crisis

Tyler Durden's picture

According to Janet Yellen, we are still on pace to raise rates in 2015. While the rate hike was supposed to happen this month, it got derailed by the August market selloff, volatility in China, lackluster work force numbers, and a variety of other factors.

Despite the Fed continuing to kick this down the road, they continue to claim that we are in the middle of an ongoing recovery. There’s just one problem with that: things are getting worse than pre-crisis levels for millions of the poorest Americans.



It’s true that the wealthiest 10% of Americans have finally seen their household incomes rise above the levels last seen in 2007. It’s also true that median incomes have “recovered” from the worst of the 2008 disaster. Median earners were -8.1% worse off in 2011, and now they are only -6.5% worse off according to most recent data for 2014 released by the U.S. Census Bureau last week.

However, when we look at the lowest 10% of income earners, the situation is much more precarious. In 2011, the bottom 10% of households were -9.0% worse off in terms of income than they were pre-crisis. Since then, it hasn’t gotten any better: they now are making -11.6% less income than they were in 2007.

Possibly even more concerning is the fact that the amount of Americans living below the poverty line has soared since 2007. There are now 9.4 million more people that can claim to be a part of this unfortunate group, and the total contingent living below the poverty line now makes up 14.8% of all Americans. This is also an increase from the 12.5% figure from before the Great Recession.

What’s the difference between 2007 and today? One stark contrast is the fact that the Fed’s balance sheet has exploded by adding $3.5 trillion of phony money to its balance sheet (that’s about the size of Germany’s economy) with its Quantitative Easing (QE) program. As part of the same experiment, it kept rates artificially low at near 0% for a record amount of time to encourage both lending and economic growth.

However, it is seven years later, and we are starting to see the fruits of this experiment especially in terms of wealth inequality. Studies and economists are starting to sound off, noting that QE and ZIRP have been a failure for America’s poorest. We explained the basics in a previous chart, but here’s some other articles worth reading from ForbesWSJ, andSCMP that help show the effect of these policies.

By the way, the St. Louis Fed has essentially admitted QE was a mistake, while the Philadelphia Fed also admitted that these policies likely helped cause income inequality. Even fragilista economist Joseph Stiglitz has said this summer thatZIRP has helped increase income inequality.

Source: Visual Capitalist

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OC Sure's picture

No need to raise rates, no need to lower rates.


Just stop lending currency that does not already exist.

wee-weed up's picture

All hail Obozo's wonderful "trickle-up" poverty!

Ignatius's picture

The recovery is as real as the free fall collapse of the fire-proofed, steel-framed WTC7 primarily due to fires.

LowerSlowerDelaware_LSD's picture
LowerSlowerDelaware_LSD (not verified) Ignatius Sep 27, 2015 9:42 PM

Hope-n-Change, baby!!!!

CheapBastard's picture

" If you want to keep your Poverty, you can keep your Poverty."



buzzardsluck's picture

Its sad anyone downvotes your comment.  You're comment (ignatious) is poorly written I concede but the message still comes through.

Jumbotron's picture

All hail Obozo's wonderful "trickle-up" poverty!


Hope you're around to say the same thing about Jeb Bush's "trickle-up" poverty....or Carly (Dr. Strangelove) Fiorina, or Donald Trump's "trickle up" poverty. 

Trickle Up Poverty has NOTHING to do with the Left-Right, Red-Blue Illusion.

JustObserving's picture

Dimon and Blankfein are working on their second billion.  So all is right with the US economy

OC Sure's picture

hmmm...Slide 4 trillion to the banks or write 320 million individual million dollar checks. 

Oligarchy now.

Tyranny intervenes.

Democracy later.

goldpercent's picture

I appreciate the sentiment, but

4 trillion / 320 million = twelve thousand five hundred

sarc/ So I guess it's not really that bad.  What's a dozen thousand dollars amongst friends? /sarc


wee-weed up's picture

"Dimon and Blankfein are working on their second billion."

Thank Janet for that!

OC Sure's picture


Disdain the teachers that a monopoly on the banking system, like a totem pole in the center of the village, is necessary.


Wee-weed up, you know better right? 


Janet is not the problem, the teaching and belief system is the origination of the problem.

RaceToTheBottom's picture

I, for one, am glad that the Financial industry can take its rightfull place next to the MIC as America's Welfare cheats.


The Duke of New York A No.1's picture

US unemployementonlt only 5.1%! .... rate hike still in the cards for 2015!, cough, cough.

nmewn's picture

But but but...what about the unicorn rider & Pajama Boi? And and and being Faaarrreee! to paint portraits in the backyard while listening to the birdies?

And Fisker?

TeethVillage88s's picture

How do we correctly identified the Problem/Problems?

1. Antisemitism has become an issue
2. Wealth & Income Gap is clearly getting worse
3. Greed in the USA & EU is characterized by the Capitalist total disregard for the lives of the common people, the costs they face, the conditions they live with, the rise in crime, the disregard for activism, free speech, public assembly to protest, and lack of influence on Politicians and Technocrats
4. Money and Self Promotion have taken over govt, banking, law, civil suits, auditing, financial ratings, and politics
5. Free Trade, Open Border, STEM VISAs, Refugees, Wage Suppression of Labor Force, manipulation of markets by those with advantages for personal gain


- US Needs Sweeping Reforms
- Foreigners will not ask for Sweeping Reforms due to influence, dependence on funding, self promotion, greed, and the fact that the US is a Political, Economic, Financial, and Military Superpower

Was thinking about this.

Central Bank, Banking, Finance, Real Estate, Federal Budget Process is not being used by congress, US Courts are influenced by those with the most money and biggest legal teams, Financial Regulators can't fight many big battles in court, Regulators are influenced by the president and congress who support their lobbyists... and those are just some of the many problems that demand reform.

Identify the Problem:

- Greed, Corruption, Cronyism (Networking included), Money in Politics & Government, Money in Elections, Money as Free Speech, War is a Racket, Foreign Policy is a Racket, Party Line of Democracy is a Racket, both political parties are One Political Party.

- Suppression of Free Speech, Free Press, Monopolies in Media/Telecoms, and suppression of wages and jobs through globalism.

- Term Limits for Lawyers, Lobbyist, and DC Politicians... end political appointments, we have plenty of old boy networking without politicians putting in their guys too

- And if you look closely at the Federal Budget Increases, the Budget Deficit Trend, the dismantling of our Banking Regulations and Financial Standardization... and our Financial Ratings Agencies, Non-Standard Accounting, Corporate Overhead and Leverage that steal from small stock investors, ... Capital, Savings, and Jobs going overseas, ... Low Investment in the US in Capital Facilities or Capital Expansion or Infrastructure, ... Trends in Wealth and Income Gap... It is Clear we have a National Security Crisis and Constitutional Crisis.

- Our Dysfunctional Congress not only doesn't correct simple problems, obvious errors in banking, it constantly passes bills in favor of Pharma, Fossil Fuels, and Finance and Banking... against the poor & middle class.

- War is not Free Speech

- War as a Policy is a Violation of International Treaty

RENUNCIATION OF WAR Treaty of 1928/1929
Treaty providing for the renunciation of war as
an instrument of national policy.
Signed at Paris August 27, 1928.
Entered into force July 24, 1929.
46 States Signed. 2343; TS 796; 2 Bevans 732; 94 LNTS 57.

- Too Bad we don't have Honest Brokers in DOJ, FBI, SEC, FINRA, FTC, GAO, CBO, FED, Treasury, OCC, FSOC, BCFP, CFTC, FDIC, FHFA, SIPC

- USA - A Puppet State -

No matter which parties you gratitate too, it appears there is a super majority for Charging:

- Treason
- Sedition
- Racketeering
- Anti-Trust
- Conflict of Interest
- Breach of Duty
- Breach of Trust
- False Representation of Duties of Office
- Embezzlement
- Fraud
- Gross Neglect of National Security Issues
- Breach of Fiduciary Duties

- Perjury to US Citizens, Stakeholders, Investors, Consumers, High Court, Congress

- Failure of Congressional Ethics & Morals Committees to Act

- Failure of the following Agencies to Act: DOJ, FBI, SEC, FINRA, FTC, GAO, CBO, FED, Treasury, OCC, FSOC, BCFP, CFTC, FDIC, FHFA, SIPC

- Congress giving up its War Powers, Budget Powers, and Legislative Powers is enough to make most of these charges stick, IMHO

- USA - A Puppet State -

The Solution:

- Solution to sweeping Reforms must be to purge many high level public and private Officials, Central Bankers, Bankers, Congressmen, Political Appointees, Lobbyist, DC Lawyers, Public Relations Firms, ... The Federal Budget Process will have to be undertaken full time by the new Congress to eliminate perks for congress members and corporate subsidies with an eye to eliminate most of what we previously called National Security as a must fund... Eliminate Advanatages for the Largest Corporation... to reinstate anti-trust laws... And we have to break up TBTF Banks and separate deposits from Investment Banks.

- Ethos, Logos, Pathos

- Middle Class Wealth would have to become National Security

- Corporate Bailouts would have to be crushed if not totally eliminated

- Greedy & Wealthy who ship money off shore to hide or protect it from US Risks, Tax Risk, or whatever would be deemed Expatriots who are ineligible for a long list of Federal & State Subsidies, Federal Contracts, Tax Credits, Tax Loopholes, Employment in government, service in a Prime Lender, Service in a Key Industry or the US Military or in Defense Contractor Employment... Work for US Banking... etc

- We need to begin to talk about the Wealthy, Super Wealthy, Money Protected by the Wealthy, Mitt Romney Type Advantages, Insider Trading by Congress, Off Shore Tax Havens or Shelters, Monopolies, Oligopolies, Oppression of the US Workers, Education Schemes, Employment Schemes to use Background info to control the labor force, debt to Control the Labor Force

- War on the Poor & Middle Class, waged by those with advantages

- What does it mean to be a Patriot if you are Wealthy, What do we expect from our US Wealthy Class, Are there Role Models of Wealthy that do enough to save the USA?? Why don't Lawyers & Bankers Defend Democracy, Simple Laws,... why don't they make it easier to live and understand the Business World?

- If Social Economic Issues are not Dealt with by listening to people and referendums, then Racism Rises, and Mass Social Movements threaten Economic Systems, Political Economies, and Governments... well and it will threaten the very wealthy, very advantaged, and political figures of course

Money Counterfeiter's picture
Money Counterfeiter (not verified) TeethVillage88s Sep 27, 2015 9:38 PM

Are that obtuse?  Stop printing fucking money.  Gold.

TeethVillage88s's picture

Edit: I forgot to add that Small Businesses are the core of the US Economy not big corporations, so... don't bailout the corporations,... support Domestic Policy/Economic Policy that strengthens the Middle Class/Small Business,... don't pass federal legislation to support big corporations, provide them funding, give them loopholes, provide federal loan guarantees just because they have 120 plus employees,... stop the special treatment for monopolies and high priced executives that obviously can cut their own benefits and fancy offices, perks, apartments, houses, car fleets, limos, travel funds and private planes to become profitable.


TeethVillage88s's picture

Bob Brinker, just to call your attention to this post...

- Last time I called attention to the low level of funding of FDIC Insurance to provoke you to look at Corporate Bail-Ins as the new tool when banks need Bail-Outs.

2013 IRS Child Tax Credit = $21.6 Billion, Earned Income Tax Credit = $57.5 Billion

- Big Concern- pay outs for Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (federal Trust Fund), 1999 = $1.23 Billion, 2000 = $1.35 Billion, 2001 =$1.37 Billion. Okay, but today 2010 = $5.59 B, 2011 = $5.89 B, 2012 = $5.86 B, 2013 = $5.89 B. There is a continual need to supplement Pensions. 2010 PBGC's deficit increased 4.5 percent to $23 billion (Liabilities beyond assets)

- Federal direct student loan program 1999 = $52 Billion, INCREASED to 2013 = $675 Billion. (Risky)
- 2013 Total FDIC Trust Fund in Treasuries = $36.9 Billion + $18 billion in the DIF (Risky)
- 2013 Total National Credit Union Trust in Treasuries = $11.2 Billion

- 2008-2009 Bailout were nearly $700 Billion with bonuses and management fees paid to TBTF Banks... wow, nice work if you can get it.

- But after all the FED special Programs TAF, TALF, or whatever 6 years of Stimulus and Bailout for TBTF ... LIRP/ZIRP, QE forever, no Interest on Savings, Generations hurt by lack of Interest Rate on Savings, Propaganda or Cultural Nuke on idea of savings and interest paid on safe money earned,... elderly and retired and even disabled fixed income people left in the communist or fascist cold?

- the Wealthy & Greedy rule Pax-America
- the Wealthy & Greedy rule Pax-America
- the Wealthy & Greedy rule Pax-America

- Banks no longer need our Deposits, no longer encourage deposits really, focus is on fees to pay overhead & executive compensation, nice huh?

- US Business have huge overhead to pay American Style Perks/Benies... Offices, Office Buildings, Retirement, highest compensation, differed wages for 20 years in Trust Accounts, cars, houses, apartments, limos, travel funds, conference rooms... waste American Style

USA must Shrink Executive and Sports compensation.

Total Savings Deposits at all Depository Institutions
2015-09-14: 8,215.0 Billions of Dollars (+ see more)
Weekly, Ending Monday, Not Seasonally Adjusted, WSAVNS,

Bob Brinker... if FDIC is safe? How does it cover $8.2 Trillion with $55 Billion in Insurance??

- Looks like Bail-In is BIS, WB, IMF, FED Policy,... Right???

- It is your Radio show and Reputation

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

teeth, keep it up. those who bother to read your posts might learn a thing or two. the haze of MSM bs might part a bit. good on you.

TeethVillage88s's picture

Are that obtuse?

- Money Creation takes place in several different ways

- Rehypothication, fractional reserve banking, hypothication, creates much more than the US Federal Reserve
- But yeah FISCAL Policy has been exponential Spending by the Federal Govt
- Monetary Policy has been expanding the Extraction of Wealth from Household to the TBTF Banks and their wealthy owners... and the wealthy in general

FISCAL Policy Expansion:

$T Debt Added
J. Carter, ,$0.37 T (4 yrs)
R. Reagan, $1.69 T
G. H Bush, $1.4 T (4 yrs)
W. Clinton, $1.627 T
G. W. Bush, $4.357 T
B. Obama, $6.365 T (4 yrs)
B. Obama, $8 T (6 yrs est.)

Drinking tonight, huh??

How do you like investment in the USA & Foreign Investment??

Federal Debt Held by Foreign & International Investors as Percent of Gross Domestic Product
2015:Q1: 34.90530 Percent of GDP (+ see more)
Quarterly, Seasonally Adjusted, HBFIGDQ188S,

Wow, isn't that Dangerous. Look at the Slope of the Curve!! Wow.

http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/international/intinv/iip_glance.htm (wow huge trend, $31 Trillion in Foreign owned Property in USA vs $24 Trillion in US owned property in foreign countries)

Rest of the world; foreign direct investment in U.S.; asset, Level, 2014:Q4: 3,298,931.7 Millions of Dollars (+ see more), Quarterly, Not Seasonally Adjusted, ROWFDNQ027S, Updated: 2015-03-12

https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/GPDIA (Gross Private Domestic Investment, $2,851.6 Billions of Dollars)

https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/GPDICA (Real Gross Private Domestic Investment, $2,704.7 Billions of Chained 2009 Dollars)

Federal Debt Held by Foreign & International Investors as Percent of Gross Domestic Product, 2014:Q4: 34.75940 Percent of GDP, HBFIGDQ188S,

Current Account Balance: Total Trade of Goods for the United States©, 2013: -703,911,000,000 US Dollars,
Sum Over Component Sub-periods (2013 was last data),

Sorry I didn't update those numbers above...

Monetary Policy is represented to some degree by this chart:

Liabilities - Total Liabilities (Less Eliminations from Consolidation)
2015-09-23: 4,438,933 Millions of Dollars (+ see more)
Weekly, As of Wednesday, Not Seasonally Adjusted, WLTLECL,

So,... how do we chart the advantages of being a Federal Reserve Prime Dealer?

How do we Chart the Advantage of being a FED/Federal Contractor in the Financial Industry?

How much money has been created in London or on Wall Street through Fractional Reserve Lending?

Well... look at the Liabilities, Assets to understand where the problems would occur.

Financial Business; Credit Market Instruments; Liability, Level
2015:Q1: 14,104.57 Billions of Dollars (+ see more)
Quarterly, End of Period, Not Seasonally Adjusted, TCMDODFS,

Holding Companies; Credit Market Instruments; Liability, Level
2015:Q1: 1,380.52 Billions of Dollars (+ see more)
Quarterly, End of Period, Not Seasonally Adjusted, CBBHCTCMDODFS,

U.S.-Chartered Depository Institutions; Credit Market Instruments; Liability, Level
2015:Q1: 669.90 Billions of Dollars (+ see more)
Quarterly, End of Period, Not Seasonally Adjusted, CBTCMDODFS,


USA has like $100 Trillion in Financial Worth, financial assets, financial liabilities... how much of that is create by the FED???

- M2 Money Stock?

M2 Money Stock
2015-09-14: 12,223.4 Billions of Dollars (+ see more)
Weekly, Ending Monday, Seasonally Adjusted, M2, Updated: 2015-09-24

$12 Trillion with $4 Trillion on Fed Balance Sheet is a drop if we have $1.7 Quadrillion in Derivatives Create by DTCC, Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation.

Check DTCC website for Employment. I think it is 1.7 Quadrillion.

wizteknet's picture

Term limits & no pensions or free health care would improve their getting off their lazy asses to create something that actually helps "we the people".

PoasterToaster's picture
PoasterToaster (not verified) Sep 27, 2015 9:10 PM

At the same time they have been shit talking college, one of the former paths to decent work and the middle class, they have been paring back the programs for sending poor people.  People have been told that college is some kind of gravy train for the student, when the school gets the lion's share of the money.  These programs are now arranged so that the schools get their money, and the student gets left high and dry near the end of their degree program.

Also, there is a the widespread belief among the still-employed that poor people have some kind of program that gives them 60k a year for nothing.  Go find that money if you can.  It's bullshit.  There is no safety net to speak of.

It's time to stop the divide and conquer propaganda.  The assholes who own all the "capital" believe they have no use for the rest of us.  So they are closing doors and pulling up ladders.

Fuck them.

Arthur Schopenhauer's picture

I am shocked an appalled to recently find that according to government statistics I'm actually in the top 7%. The reason I'm so shocked and appalled is because I'm sitting here barefoot eating cheetos, and I don't even have enough money to fix my damn lawnmower.

CheapBastard's picture

Stop bragging that you own a lawnmower. Makes some of us feel even poorer.

Arthur Schopenhauer's picture

"I had no shoes and complained, until I met a man who's feet were cut off by his lawmmower."

Gatos Locos's picture
Gatos Locos (not verified) Arthur Schopenhauer Sep 28, 2015 5:18 AM

Pedro doesn't cost much to fix.  A few tacos, some tequilla and he wll be ready to mow.

ucde's picture

These people aren't in poverty because the TBTF companies were bailed out. Nor are they in poverty because of ZIRP. Private bank money creation has not caused this situation to occur, gentlemen.

These people are poor because the companies for which they could potentially work don't have a need for their labor commensurate with paying them a living wage. World wide labor + automation has wrought this change. 

I don't understand why these people's lives should be made to depend on corporations like Target, Walmart, and McDonalds. They will generally not be well taken care of if thats the case. And so government will step in to feed them -- albeit grudgingly, and always giving as little as possible to keep them 'incentivized'. 

Its time to recognize that the corporation can't feed and house our populations anymore; and the natural institution to step in and fill this role is government. Otherwise, we have a humanitarian disaster on our hands. Capitalism no longer requires the labor nor pays the wages that it once did. We need another model. 

People aren't going to willingly choose to enter a devastated 3rd world existence in order to fulfill Hayek's notion of fiscal responsibility. Its capitalism which is to blame here, and lusting greedily for another market downturn and the subsequent squeeze --- in the name of 'health' and 'ending malinvestment' -- is straight-up nuts IMO. Following that line of thinking you would say the Greek economy is getting stronger by the day, being exposed to austerity. It is actually returning to a third world, families-farming-on-rooftops economy, which will not of itself find any natural pathway back into industrial production. Yet you long to experience the same thing here, which is insane, in my opinion.

r00t61's picture

Government is a disease, masquerading as its own cure.

You, sir, are apparently not smart enough to see that.


stacking12321's picture

are you blind, man?

do you not understand that when the government extracts $trillions of from the economy and hands it out to crony-connected financial institutions, that impoverishes everyone else, and leaves less capital for real businesses that employ people?

do you not understand that ZIRP robs the elderly, retirees, pensioners, and those on a fixed income who formerly depended on bonds and other fixed-income securities, and makes it impossible for them to get by? and to get any yield they have to chase after risky assets like junk bonds and volatile stocks?

q99x2's picture

Life is not worth living in a global community where there is no way out.

SSRI Junkie's picture

"9.4 Million More Americans Below Poverty Line Than Pre-Crisis"


considering we've imported more poverty than 9.4 million pre-crisis, it's a win! we just need to move the line a bitTM

TBT or not TBT's picture

How dare you mock demagogues' and SJW's most sacred statistical definitions?!

SSRI Junkie's picture

social justice warriors, lol....i have more respect for lampreys

Pontius's picture

If my tax free municipal bonds weren't income, I would be below the poverty line.

NoWayJose's picture

Poverty line in 2007 for a family of 4 was $20,650.

Poverty line in 2015 for a family of 4 is $24,250.

This in an era of no inflation (per the Fed), stagnant wages for all, workers switching to two part time jobs after losing their full time job --

Is anyone else making 17% MOAR than 2007????

So jack up the imaginary poverty line to any level you want -- and you can get any percentage of the population you want, under that level!

ThorAss's picture

lt me clear this up one more time. When "they" talk about "recovery" they mean "recovery of stock prices".

wizteknet's picture

When it all comes falling down like humpty dumpty crashing, they will have wished they made a change, but by then it will be to late even for them. GREED & CORRUPTION to the core, enjoy watch them burning & gnashing at the teeth.

White Mountains's picture

They are NOT below the poverty line - I know because I am supporting them.  Work harder, millions depend on you!

Sudden Debt's picture

All those broke immigrants that crossed the border willing to work for food surely have nothing to do with that poverty number...

kaboomnomic's picture

wellcome to 3-rd WORLD, BUBBA!! Where food would become non-existent. Freedom of speech is delusion, And you're govern by dicators that would send LEA to makes you "dissapears" forever!!

Long time no see you, Bro' !!

CitizenPete's picture

FSB Promises Too-Big-to-Fail Fix for G-20 Summit in November



All is well, problem solved,... Go back to your football game.

22winmag's picture

Snipes: We're safe around here.


Connery: You call this safe?


Snipes: Rough neighborhoods may be America's last advantage.

graspAU's picture

Since 2000, in the West, lots of outsourcing to Asia. Now that the economy looks to be about to take another big dump, there is a surge right now to send even more "middle-class" jobs to Asia. US based companies (on NYSE, etc) that had maybe 20-40% of their workforce in Asia are looking to get to 50-75%. They still want to be considered Western companies even though a majority of their workers will not be Western. Anything not nailed down that is a professinal services job is leaving (Not just IT), so folks in Asia (that are very happy to have the work and income) can do the work of 1/3rd the cost of the West. I think this "middle-class" was just an illusion created by borrowing/debt since the end of World War II. We are about to be back at just extremely rich or extremely poor with no one in the middle. We are all going to be fighting over jobs in the range from minimum wage to $20 per hour. I guess the key to survival is low overhead?

youngman's picture

I think they are adding in all of the illegals.....they make cash under the table...and take the freebies if they can get them....and they can get them....but for them ..our poor is an upgrade...go third world..

gimme soma dat's picture

Every day on my way to work I drive past a couple of government housing communities.  They had millions of dollars in renovations a few years ago.  They are almost fully occupied with Somalians.  They have townhomes with washer/dryers, EBT, and all kinds of assistance I can't even or don't want to imagine.  They openly despise white people and place bumper stickers on their cars that say "Jesus is alive, and he's a muslim!"  

It's a slap in the face.  They live better than I do.