Opinion

Felix Salmon

Wealth Destruction Datapoint of the Day

By Reuters Staff
March 12, 2009

For further proof that the world has not lost 40% to 45% of its wealth in "little less than a year and a half", as Steve Schwarzman would have it, one need turn only to today’s news that US household wealth has declined by 20% peak-to-trough.

Interestingly, of the $5.1 trillion in US wealth lost in the final quarter of 2008, "only" $937 billion was in real estate, compared to a fall of $1.46 trillion in pension and life insurance reserves. The loss of home equity is certainly causing a lot of pain, but it’s not obviously greater, on an absolute basis, than the more generalized loss of wealth.

Reprinted from Portfolio.com

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