Fed Flow of Funds

Putting Consumer Debt Into a Bigger Perpsective

Before the Great Recession, U.S. consumer debt had risen fairly steadily for more than a decade. With the downturn, it finally dropped...until December's small rise. However, a longer look at the trend of ever-rising debt shows that America is still extraordinarily overextended.

Why China's 'Nuclear Option' Isn't So Scary

China's holdings of U.S. Treasury bonds are so huge that they'd be a financial "weapon of mass destruction" if Beijing were dump them all quickly. But a closer look at the data and some recent trends suggest that China's power in this regard is overrated.

For American Households, the Recession Lingers

Officially underway since June 2009, the recovery has been tepid at best. The balance sheet of the average household is still straining under considerable debt, while incomes have barely risen, suggesting that the recovery has a shaky foundation.

Underwater Homeowners:
This Could Get Ugly

Negative equity is linked to higher foreclosures. About a quarter of households with mortgages already owe more than their homes are worth. If prices slip further, up to half of homeowners may end up underwater -- a scary prospect for Americans' financial health.