Businessweek Archives

More on debt and net worth


By request, here are two charts.

The first chart is the ratio of household debt to GDP, starting with the end of 1959. You can see that the post-2000 jump has no historic parallel in the past 45 years, at least. Between 59IV and 99IV, the debt/GDP ratio rose from .39 to .67. From 99IV to 07IV, the debt/GDP rose from .67 to .98.

To put it another way, the rise over the past eight years is as big as the previous 40. I’m really not sure why I didn’t see this before. Partly it’s because there were some upward revisions in the debt numbers, but boy, this is a big jump

Now for the second chart, real adjusted net worth per capita.

This is calculated as household net worth minus state and federal debt, divided by population size, and adjusted for inflation using the gdp deflator.

This chart doesn't really tell me anything yet. We still seem to be on the long run growth path, but the Fed's numbers don't account for a big decline in home values yet.


Reviving Keynes
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