The chips are in. Every three years, the Federal Reserve, in its Survey of Consumer Finances, takes a look at how households in the United States are doing and reports on our assets and liabilities. The euphoria of our gambling spree is over. In the harsh glare of morning, the hangover’s tough. And the data are from 2007, so they don’t even capture the worst of the decline.
The net worth of the average American family is less than it was in 2001. We borrowed more for that trip to Vegas than we brought home. Everyone knows this now.
But here’s something that is being talked about much less: The gap between the wealth of white Americans and African Americans has grown. According to the Fed’s data, for every dollar of wealth owned by the typical white family, the African American family has only one thin dime. In 2004, it had 12 cents.
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