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A $5 Trillion ‘Wealth Shock’ Is Cracking Americans’ Nest Eggs

  • Outsized wealth gains that worsened inequality now in reverse
  • Housing downturn seen having broader impact as rates surge
California Cities Top The List Of America's Richest Zip Codes
Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

The world’s richest nation is waking up to an unpleasant and unfamiliar sensation: It’s getting poorer.

Americans’ collective net worth had been climbing at a dizzying rate for the past two years, even as families and businesses contended with the ravages of Covid-19. Households piled up an extra $38.5 trillion from early 2020 to the end of last year, bringing their collective net worth to a record $142 trillion, the Federal Reserve estimates.