Jul 17, 2019

America's bottom 50% are slowly recovering from the Great Recession

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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.

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Car loans mean banks don't need high interest rates to rake in cash

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Ally Financial was the latest bank to declare a major profit windfall in its second quarter earnings report, as the U.S. banking industry's largest auto lender reported a profit increase of 67%.

Why it matters: Americans are borrowing record sums to buy new vehicles — and used ones — and they continue to pay relatively high interest rates. Banks are seeing big profits as a result.

Go deeperArrowJul 19, 2019

Hedge funds see all-time high assets despite ongoing outflows

Data: eVestment; Table: Axios Visuals

Hedge funds continue to struggle this year with divergence among large and small funds growing more stark.

What's happening: Inflows and strong performance by large fund managers pushed the total level of assets under management to an all-time high in the first 6 months of 2019, despite an overall decline in assets. The HFR Global Hedge Fund Industry Report shows hedge funds increased assets to $3.245 trillion, edging past the previous record set in the 3rd quarter of 2018.

Go deeperArrowJul 22, 2019

Wealthy investors are less worried about politics than ever

UBS' latest survey of high net worth investors and business owners in the U.S. shows concerns about the political environment are the lowest they've been in the history of the survey.

Go deeperArrowJul 29, 2019