• 314 days Will The ECB Continue To Hike Rates?
  • 314 days Forbes: Aramco Remains Largest Company In The Middle East
  • 316 days Caltech Scientists Succesfully Beam Back Solar Power From Space
  • 716 days Could Crypto Overtake Traditional Investment?
  • 721 days Americans Still Quitting Jobs At Record Pace
  • 723 days FinTech Startups Tapping VC Money for ‘Immigrant Banking’
  • 726 days Is The Dollar Too Strong?
  • 726 days Big Tech Disappoints Investors on Earnings Calls
  • 727 days Fear And Celebration On Twitter as Musk Takes The Reins
  • 729 days China Is Quietly Trying To Distance Itself From Russia
  • 729 days Tech and Internet Giants’ Earnings In Focus After Netflix’s Stinker
  • 733 days Crypto Investors Won Big In 2021
  • 733 days The ‘Metaverse’ Economy Could be Worth $13 Trillion By 2030
  • 734 days Food Prices Are Skyrocketing As Putin’s War Persists
  • 736 days Pentagon Resignations Illustrate Our ‘Commercial’ Defense Dilemma
  • 737 days US Banks Shrug off Nearly $15 Billion In Russian Write-Offs
  • 740 days Cannabis Stocks in Holding Pattern Despite Positive Momentum
  • 741 days Is Musk A Bastion Of Free Speech Or Will His Absolutist Stance Backfire?
  • 741 days Two ETFs That Could Hedge Against Extreme Market Volatility
  • 743 days Are NFTs About To Take Over Gaming?
  1. Home
  2. Markets
  3. Other

Economic Reality: Bottom 50% of Americans No Longer Matter

The Fed likes to brag about the "We saved the world" recovery.

However, the unfortunate truth of the matter is a record Half of American Families Live Paycheck to Paycheck.

Does it Matter? Let's investigate.


Unprepared for Nearly Anything

  • 50% are woefully unprepared for a financial emergency.
  • Nearly 1 in 5 (19%) Americans have nothing set aside to cover an unexpected emergency.
  • Nearly 1 in 3 (31%) Americans don't have at least $500 set aside to cover an unexpected emergency expense, according to a survey released Tuesday by HomeServe USA, a home repair service.
  • A separate survey released Monday by insurance company MetLife found that 49% of employees are "concerned, anxious or fearful about their current financial well-being."


Deleveraging? Where?

US Households have Collectively $1 Trillion in Credit Card Debt

A Fed study shows U.S. Households Will Soon Have as Much Debt as They had in 2008.

The Federal Reserve announced Friday that the U.S. has $1 trillion in credit-card debt. Consumers hit that number in the fourth quarter of 2016, but eased on revolving credit during January 2017. The Fed announcement showed revolving consumer credit hit more than $1 trillion once again in February 2017.

"Credit card debt is rising quickly, but delinquencies are still really low," said Matt Schulz, a senior industry analyst at the credit cards site CreditCards.com. "Many Americans are doing a good job of controlling their debts, but eventually with big debts and rising interest rates, it's likely that something will have to give."


Paycheck to Paycheck "Good Job"

Excuse me for asking but if half the nation lives paycheck to paycheck, is that really indicative of doing a good job at managing debt.

And as for "low delinquencies", I remind you of my April 26 article Subprime Credit Card Losses Bite Capital One: Income Down 20%, Charge-Offs Up 30%.

Nonetheless, I remind you of an important perception.


We Saved the World


Two Reasons Not to Worry

  1. The stock market and housing are still going strong. We heard the same thing in 2007 but it's different this time.
  2. The bottom 50% of the economy simply do not matter.

The real crux of the matter is point number two.

The Fed does not give a damn about the bottom half of the economy even though it spouts continual lies about "income inequality.


The Bottom 50% Do Not Matter

As long as the Fed can keep stocks and home prices elevated, there is no concern about the food-stamp, rent-subsidized, Medicaid-supplement, disability-income, Obamacare-subsidized 50% of Americans struggling paycheck-to-paycheck.

That money rolls in guaranteed, month after month!

That 50% cannot afford a house is irrelevant as long as suckers keep paying $500,000 to two-bedroom shacks in LA.

The game is to keep asset prices up so that the top 50% keep spending. The bottom 50% are taken care of by government (taxpayer) subsidies noted above.

Here's the real deal: Fed Expects a Second Quarter Rebound, Higher Equity Prices.


Repeat Performance

The Fed needs to keep asset prices elevated even though it's pretty clear concerns are mounting over bubbles.

Can the Fed save the world again?

Previously, the bottom third did not matter. Then the bottom 40% did not matter. Now the bottom 50% do not matter.

That statement is a bit over the top. By how much I don't know. But the trend is clear, as is the fly in the ointment.

Brexit was the first warning shot. Trump was the second.

As soon as the bottom 65% don't matter, those 65% may vote to take matters into their own hands.

 

Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment