Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Who manages savings in the U.S. and why should they be managed?

De Koning, Kees (2021): Who manages savings in the U.S. and why should they be managed?


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In a recent paper: “U.S. households’ balance sheet and the link to economic policies” (MPRA Paper 104369), it was illustrated that the Great Recession of 2008 and beyond caused a loss in home equity of $6.1 trillion between Q4 2005 and Q4 2011. It took households until Q2 2016 before the loss had been recovered when the level reached $14.488 trillion again. The $6.1 trillion loss was equal to 90% of the combined 2008, 2009 and 2010 Federal Government tax receipts.

Evidence from the Federal Reserve will be used to show that the bottom 50% of income earners was the group, which suffered most from the Great Recession. Its wealth recovery took from Q1 2007, where the wealth level stood at $1.41 trillion until Q3 2017, to return to wealth level of 2007. Over the same period, the 50-90% of income earners group started of with a savings level of $20.81 trillion and saw their wealth grow over this period to $28.03 trillion. For the top 10% of U.S. households, their wealth grew by 52.8% over this period to reach $67.10 trillion by Q3 2017.

The real cause of this widening gap between the bottom 50% and the top 50% of income earners is linked to savings levels. For the bottom 50% having a job is the single most important element for their economic survival. For them their savings levels are either non-existent or are very low. This group depends on their job’s income to survive. For the other two groups, their savings levels helps them to recover from a recession.

The current corona crisis has caused and will cause the same threats to jobs as the Great Recession did. What has changed is that U.S. government debt to GDP has doubled from 62.3% at Q1 2007 to 127.3% at Q3 2020. Furthermore, since 2008, the Fed has injected $6.5 trillion (Q.E.) into the U.S. economy. Both government debt and Q.E. are based on debt levels.

There is a savings based solution: QEHE, which stands for Quantitative Easing Home Equity. Converting such savings temporarily into cash will encourage a higher consumer spending level at a time when it is most needed. Households themselves have the choice of what to buy with their converted money. They do not depend on the government. Macro economically all households will benefit from the increased spending levels.

An equal opportunity strategy!

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