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Expand chart
Note: Not adjusted for inflation; Data: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

The total net worth of the bottom 50% of Americans fell to -$143 billion in the second quarter of 2010 — meaning the lowest 50% of earners had collective liabilities far outpaced their collective assets, largely underwater home and auto loans. Their net worth remained negative until Q1 2013, Federal Reserve data shows.

What it means: "The recovery is just now getting to the bottom of the economy," Kevin Barry, chief investment officer at investment manager CAPTRUST, tells Axios. "At the end of 2015 the overwhelming majority of Americans would say, 'What recovery?'"

By the numbers: The bottom 50% of earners' net worth rose to nearly $1.3 trillion in the first quarter of 2019. However, their share of total U.S. net worth has just this year risen above 1% of the total. The top 1% of earners' share is 31.1% as of the first quarter of 2019, according to the Fed's data.

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
4 hours ago - Health

Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden has picked former FDA chief David Kessler to lead Operation Warp Speed, a day after unveiling a nearly $2 trillion pandemic relief plan that includes $400 billion for directly combatting the virus.

Why it matters: Biden's transition team said Kessler has been advising the president-elect since the beginning of the pandemic, and hopes his involvement will help accelerate vaccination, the New York Times reports. Operation Warp Speed's current director, Moncef Slaoui, will stay on as a consultant.

The case of the missing relief money

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A chunk of stimulus payments is missing in action, thanks to a mix up that put as many as 13 million checks into invalid bank accounts.

Why it matters: The IRS (by law) was supposed to get all payments out by Friday. Now the onus could shift to Americans to claim the money on their tax refund — further delaying relief to struggling, lower-income Americans.

The post-Trump GOP, gutted

McConnell (L), McCarthy (R) and Trump. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Republicans will emerge from the Trump era gutted financially, institutionally and structurally.

The big picture: The losses are stark and substantial.