U.S. household wealth fell by a record $3.8 trillion, or 3.5%, at the end of 2018, and corporate bond issuance plummeted as a global market rout threatened to weaken a near-decade old recovery, the Federal Reserve announced today.
As Reuters reports, in percentage terms, it was the worst quarterly blow to U.S. household finances since late 2008, when the U.S. was in the midst of a deep global recession and household net worth fell roughly 5.9% in one three-month span.
But in terms of the wealth lost on a dollar basis, at least on paper, it exceeded the $3.6 trillion decline in the fourth quarter of 2008 for the biggest loss on record.
Corporate bond issuance for the year also reflected crisis-era conditions, with the worst full-year performance since 2008 as well. Overall corporate borrowing did rise as credit flowed from other sources. Read the full story.