WASHINGTON (AP) — The Great Recession showed that a large number of American families are “extraordinarily vulnerable” to financial setbacks because they have few assets to fall back on, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Thursday
Yellen said a Fed survey found that an unexpected expense of just $400 would force the majority of American families to borrow money, sell something or simply not pay.
“The financial crisis and the Great Recession demonstrated, in a dramatic and unmistakable manner, how extraordinarily vulnerable are the large share of American families with few assets to fall back on,” Yellen said in a Washington speech.
She said the bottom fifth of households by income — about 25 million households — had median net worth in 2013 of just $6,400, and many of these families had nothing saved or negative net worth, meaning their debts were…
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