The Average American Had A Bigger Savings Account... In 1997

Authored by Simon Black via,

Quite literally as a I write these words to you, the heads of the world’s largest central banks are packing their bags and heading home after a three-day symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Central bankers aren’t exactly mega-celebrities, so their conferences don’t make international news outside of financial circles.

But if people understood what was at stake, they’d probably pay more attention.

Central bankers wield totalitarian authority over their nations’ interest rates.

Setting interest rates means they have direct influence over the price of money. In other words, they influence the price of EVERYTHING–

How much you pay for your mortgage. The price of your home. How cheap (or expensive) it is for a business to borrow money for expansion… which directly affects how many people they hire.

Their influence over rates helps determine how much interest the government pays each year on its debts, which ultimately impacts tax rates and other spending programs.

It’s extraordinary power.

And whereas nearly every branch of government has some system of checks and balances to ensure no single body has too much authority, central banks aren’t technically part of the government…

… so their power is nearly entirely unchecked.

To be fair, I’m sure they’re all very nice people with good intentions.

Central bankers are not moustache-twirling villains plotting a takeover of the world.

But the decisions they make have serious implications over the lives of hundreds of millions of people.

Just like politics, every action they take has winners and losers.

And it’s easy to see who’s been winning over the last several years as a result of their policies.

Stock markets around the world are at all-time highs. Bond markets are at all-time highs. Real estate is at all-time highs.

If you own assets you’ve done extremely well.

But if you’re in the rapidly deteriorating middle class, especially the lower middle class, you haven’t.

Looking at the United States, for example, it seems quite strange that the stock market is near its ALL-TIME HIGH while the overall economy has been sluggish for years.

Annual GDP growth for the United States in 2016 was a measly 1.6%, a rate that barely keeps up with population.

And global GDP growth has been low for years.

This has had a significant impact on employment and wages.

Central bankers and politicians tout that the unemployment rate in the US is at a 10-year low.

And that sounds great.

But it’s easy to see a different picture when you look deeper at the numbers.

According to data from the US Labor Department, for example, the percentage of Americans in their prime work years (between the ages of 25 and 54) who actually have jobs is still WAY below the level prior to the 2008 Great Recession.

Wage growth has also been stagnant..

On top of that, debt levels are hitting record highs. Student debt. Consumer debt. Auto loans.

And people are once again unable to pay their debts.

Over the last 12 months, for example, Capital One’s net charge-offs increased 40%.

Cash levels are also incredibly low.

We’ve all seen the stories about how little savings the average American has.

Well, I pulled the data myself, using Bank of America as a proxy.

Bank of America’s annual report from 2016 shows that the bank has $592 billion in consumer deposits from 46 million households.

That works out to be an average of $12,870. Per HOUSEHOLD. Not per person.

And that amount includes EVERYTHING: savings, investments, retirement, etc.

What’s amazing is that, 20 years ago, Bank of America’s annual report showed the bank had $392 billion in deposits from 30 million households.

That worked out to be $13,067 per household… in 1997!

So 20 years later, Bank of America’s average customer has LESS MONEY. And that’s before adjusting for inflation.

This is one of the biggest stories of our time: the middle class… especially the lower middle class… is being decimated.

A strong middle class has long been the hallmark of modern western civilization.

In fact, history shows that throughout many dominant empires, from ancient Rome to the British Empire, a robust middle class is essential to maintain a durable society.

Where the middle class is strong and growing, civilization flourishes.

And where the middle class fails, civilization turns over.

Do you have a Plan B?


Honey-Badger (not verified) Tue, 08/29/2017 - 12:04 Permalink

United States of Goldman Sachs and their Bubble Machine™ took care of that.

junction Honey-Badger (not verified) Tue, 08/29/2017 - 12:27 Permalink

The United States is a RICO enterprise that is now only good at looting, jailing citizens and murdering any nuisances like those doctors and naturopaths who raised questions about the toxin nagalase in most American vaccines.  Nagalase, which is a death enzyme that promotes cancer, autism, herpes and a host of other severe illnesses.  This country is headed down a path that will eliminate 90% of the population in 50 years, as planned by the NWO.

In reply to by Honey-Badger (not verified)

CosmoJoe tmosley Tue, 08/29/2017 - 12:15 Permalink

My personal policy is to keep enough cash in savings to cover a few months of job loss and the occasional emergency bill (car repair, etc).  Beyond that, I agree it makes more sense to invest the money.  I get literally pennies in interest from the bank.. it is laughable to even call it a "savings" account.

In reply to by tmosley

TradingTroll CosmoJoe Tue, 08/29/2017 - 13:15 Permalink

Thats what they want. All that sidelined cash to be in the markets (stocks, real estate). But the result is that when the stock market crashes, noone will have any cash to buy anything. So they might close the markets, and maybe the banks. If you have cash you will be able to buy a lot of assets from people who are fully invested in closed markets.  

In reply to by CosmoJoe

aliens is here Tue, 08/29/2017 - 12:18 Permalink

You know Obama did say people are doing so well under him. If you say anything else you are peddling fiction. So the author must be peddling fiction. POS black messiah said so.

ET (not verified) Tue, 08/29/2017 - 12:24 Permalink

Physical Gold and Silver in private non-bank storage is how one should save.

Negative real interest rates and bogus inflation numbers erode savings if held in banks.

Always save what you can see and touch. Cryptos are non-physical and can suddenly lose their value because of the non-physical nature.

Hume Tue, 08/29/2017 - 12:21 Permalink

I'm all for Doom porn, but can't take the misleading stats.1) Charge offs have gone up, from historically low levels that are still historically low.2) Debt service payments as a % of disposable income are at all-time lows - so no, people aren't having a hard time servicing debt.3) Why are we looking at BoA's balance sheet as a proxy for households?

DuneCreature Tue, 08/29/2017 - 12:28 Permalink

When the banksters have stolen almost everything that can be titled and or carried away, the pirates start selling each other.......out.

Want to watch the pirates push each other overboard and then start using each other for target practice as the scuttled pirate frantically swims around the ship trying to climb back aboard? ... See Below.

Sometimes they use the courtroom as a shooting gallery. ... Sort of like shooting 'out of luck' pirates as they swim around in a big clown barrel at the carnival.

What do the pirates win if they hit one of their unlucky bretheren? ... Usually a 'Get Out of the Jail Free' card and a one-way ticket back to their country of origin with all of the booty they can carry.

~~))).... The US Legal System Has Been Hijacked (By Muslims with Boxcutters) ....(((~~

George has Imran and Debbie backed into a corner.

Mr. Webb is pressing home the investigation into the 'Awan Brothers Spy Ring' sucking intel (allegedly) out of the offices and committee rooms in the US Congress.

Let's be sure everyone understands what 'sucking intel' means.

It means stealing US defense and security secrets. ... Plans, blueprints, communications, classified documents, defense secrets and sensitive details about the US military.

THAT could easily cost US service men and women their lives.

THAT could cause enormous money damages to the US defense establishment and defense contractors. (Avionics for the F-35 fighter, satellite technology, electronic warfare details and counter measure specifications, bio-weapons project details, etc.)

THAT puts US overseas covert operatives in personal danger.

THAT can be utilized to cover for illegal arms trade, drug running, human trafficking and US national resources thefts.

THAT can be used to blackmail members of Congress, judges and law enforcement.

Spying in Congress is no trivial matter. ........ Especially spying that has been on going for 14 years.

Is the court paying attention to this case of espionage and treason?

You bet,.......................and they are using every legal trick they can dream up to pretend the Awan Brothers Spy Ring doesn't exist and that Imran, Headscarf Wifey and Debbie are just pinching a little 'party cash' out of the Congressional Credit Union till.

Live Hard, Awan Nor Debbie Will Spend ONE Night In Jail If The Court System Is Compromised By The Spy Ring (With Boxcutters...Again) It Refuses To Acknowledge. ..... Case Dismissed, Die Free

~ DC v7.4

Golden Showers Tue, 08/29/2017 - 12:33 Permalink

Yeah, no shit. I was working at a fucking convenience store in 97... that's right, a fucking convenence store making $10 an hour with 5 hours mandatory overtime, and then I'd work another 20 hours overtime at other stores in the district. I'd pull in minimum $550 a week after taxes and yeah, it sucks, it isn't glamour. But I was killing it. I worked at a grocery store ten years ago making 12 bucks an hour. Here, now, minimum wage and half the staff if you want to know. And that doesn't even compare to my grandfather who worked the sole job in the family, raised six kids, paid off the house and sent all six through college free of charge.What the fuck if a hard working person can't be pulling $550 a week now that 10 years of inflation has turned that into, what? $350 a week? And motherfuckers are barely making that. Everything is sliding backwards. I don't make the best job choices. I have a hangup about making an honest living via my labor power which does not include answering the phone or dialing the phone. My choice. I'm doing great, but Jusus, kids in the 70's worked part time in the summer to buy college credits for the next year.Trump was right in his address that we have got to bring jobs back. A whole nation of rotten ass young wimps is what we have got and these people need their asses kicked, hard. Even if we get the jobs, even if unemployment is "LOW" and "Wages" will "Rise" who the fuck is going to be able to bust it out? The only thing I really know is that I will. I don't give a fuck about anyone else when it comes to employment because most people I see can't read, can't write, can't think, can't reason, choose to shirk, lie, and screw about on the clock. And that's what seniority gets you. God forbid if you work for a union.

Dr. Mantis Toboggan Tue, 08/29/2017 - 12:51 Permalink

Having come of age during the crisis, I have never known a savings account that yields higher than 1%. Currently my best store of value seems to be distressed stocks with higher dividends and using my credit card with 2-5% cash back to pay for anything and everything without ever carrying a balance. I cannot even imagine how simple life would have been with a savings account that paid 5% to store and grow excess cash.

Rebelrebel7 (not verified) Tue, 08/29/2017 - 12:52 Permalink

However well people, including myself, may or may not be doing, I am completely convinced that anyone not employed by a Federal Reserve member bank, would be doing far better if the Federal Reserve had ceased to exist!Time and peace of mind are invaluable and cannot be monetized.  The Central Bank policies have destroyed both of those for the majority of Americans. Those who are employed are working longer hours, in addition to remaining connected to their employers and customers at home. Those who are unemployed have no peace of mind and are panic-stricken as to how they will make up for lost time.Should everyone worship the central bank on bended knees that the  value of their 401ks went up drastically when there is relatively little in it or when their property taxes are raised because the value of their homes have risen?!I'm sure that things are absolutely astounding in Warren Buffet' s world, he practically owns it, but it basically sucks for the rest of us!New business creation is at unprecedented lows and business failures are at unprecedented highs!The entire principal of a debt issued monetary system by a private entity is nothing more than a bank tax on citizens to which they have no right to claim!If Congress were to resume its responsibility as stipulated in Article 1 Section 8 Clause 5 of the constitution and coin money and regulate its value debt free:1,) the budget would automatically balance 2.) There would be no need for income taxes, estate taxes, capital gains taxes, and corporate taxes3.) There would be no need to reduce spendingIf we continue down the yellow brick road of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913:1.) If we reduce the national debt,  we destroy the money supply and the economy2.) When the banks issue loans, they create money in the equivalent of the principal of the loan, but do not create the money required to pay the interest on the loan, leaving a shortfall in the money supply of the interest payments required.3.) The only central bank solution to the shortfall in the money supply created by the interest owed is to issue more debt.We should not revert back to the gold standard.  It has always ended in failure. The majority of the wealth has ended in the hands of a select few every single time that it has ever been implemented.The rise of cryptocurrencies has proven how simple it would be to eliminate the central banks. All accounting of a Congress issued currency  must be open to the public at all times. 

Stormtrooper Rebelrebel7 (not verified) Tue, 08/29/2017 - 13:20 Permalink

Yeah, read Hugh Smiths earlier post about using central banks to take over the world by counterfeiting money.  He was spot on for once.  It will take more than ending the Fed to get the bottom 99% their fair share of the pie.  There will have to be a system reset and redistribution after the bodies of the 1% have finished rotting on the lampposts.

In reply to by Rebelrebel7 (not verified)

aloha_snakbar Tue, 08/29/2017 - 13:10 Permalink

Not to sound all preachy, but there are other ways to be rich. Like instead of obsessing about money that may not be there anyway, but put that energy to helping people in Houston, somehow, before they get royally screwed by Uncle Scam and the insurance companies...