The leap in wealth that Americans thought they were enjoying over the past several years has already turned out to be a mirage, according to new estimates by the Federal Reserve. In its triennial survey of consumer finances, the Fed found that the median net worth of American households increased by a seemingly healthy 17 percent between the end of 2004 and the end of 2007. But those gains were entirely wiped out by the collapse in both housing and stock prices last year.
By Edmund L. Andrews, Feb 13, 2009, NYT

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