Americans suffered a record decline in wealth between 2007 and 2010 as home values tumbled, according to a Federal Reserve report on Monday that underscored the severity of the recent recession.
The median family's net worth dropped 38.8 percent during the three-year period, the Fed said in its latest report on changes in U.S. Family Finances, derived from a survey of consumer finances. Fed economists told reporters that this was the biggest drop in net worth since the survey started in 1989.
The median net worth, which is the value of assets minus debt, plunged to $77.3 trillion in 2010 from $126.4 trillion in 2007. Net worth in 2010 was at levels last seen in 1992.
"Although declines in the values of financial assets or business were important factors for some families, the decreases in median net worth appear to have been driven most strongly by a broad collapse in house prices," the Fed said. Read more.....