How The Fed's Inflation Policies Benefitted The Top 1% In Pictures - Part 1

The results of Fed interest rate policy are both clear and damning.

Percent Net Worth of the Top 1%

Of the total USA net worth (assets minus liabilities) the percentage net worth of the top 1% rose from 23.5% to 31.4% between 1989 and 2021. 

Data for this series was downloaded from the Fed report Distribution of Household Wealth in the U.S. since 1989

The charts all show end-of-year figures with the Fed chair at that time in colors.

Percentage Net Worth of the Next 9% 

Percent Net Worth of the Next 9%

Of the total USA net worth (assets minus liabilities) the percentage net worth of the next 9% rose from 37.2% to 38.2% between 1989 and 2021. 

The total net worth of the top 10% rose from 60.7% to 69.6% between 1989 and 2021.

Percentage Net Worth of the Next 40% 

Percent Net Worth of the Next 40%

The Fed made consistent "progress" here in its goal to shift assets to the top 10%. 

Of the total USA net worth (assets minus liabilities) the percentage wealth of the next 40% fell from 35.7% to 28.3% between 1989 and 2021. 

Percentage Net Worth of the Bottom 50%

Percent Net Worth of the Bottom 50%

The bottom 50% of the nation never owned anything and never will. 

Nonetheless, special merit goes to Fed Chair Ben Bernanke on whose watch the percentage net worth of the bottom 50% nearly fell to 0.0%.

Let's now discuss percentage ownership of equities which includes mutual funds and bonds.

Percentage of Equities Owned by the Top 1% 

Percentage Equities of the Top 1%

On the equities front, the top 1% owned 42.2% of total equity position in 1989. That rose to 53.1% at the end of 2020. 

Percentage of Equities Owned by the Next 9% 

Percentage Equities of the Next 9%

On the equities front, the next 9% owned 39.5% of equities in 1989. That fell to 35.4% in 2020. 

This is a choppy series but clearly headed in the right direction. The Fed's unstated goal, of course, is for inflation to benefit the top 1% and no one else. 

Meanwhile, the Fed can take heart in the fact the share of the top 10% share of equities rose from 81.7% in 1989 to 88.5% in 2001. 99% is in sight.

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