Tyler Durden: Moments ago the Fed’s latest Flow of Funds report confirmed what the Philly Fed noted recently (and what blogger and Citadel trader Ben Bernanke vehemently denies): that the Fed keeps making America’s uber rich ever richer.
When in the first quarter thanks mostly to yet another $1.1 trillion increase in the value of financial assets (read stock market), the asset holdings of US households (or at least a very small subsection of them) rose by $1.6 trillion to a record $99 trillion.
Which net of $14.2 trillion in debt, means US household net worth is also a record $84.9 billion.
This is what a snapshot of the US balance sheet as of Q1 looked like.
Of course, saying US “households” implies all of them.
This is anything but the truth.
As the following simple chart shows, the richest 10% benefit vastly more than everyone else from the relentless “wealth effect” generating melt up in stocks, courtesy of some $22 trillion in “assets” monetized by central banks.
Yes, ordinary middle-class Americans are seeing the value of their 401(k) and other pension-related investments go up, but since these are largely untouchable until retirement, it means that the relentless increase in direct equity holdings has benefited just the richest few Americans.