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William R. Emmons

Despite Aggressive Deleveraging, Generation X Remains "Generation Debt"

By William R. Emmons and Bryan J. Noeth


Hispanic Population's Share of Wealth Likely to Increase by 2025

By William R. Emmons and Bryan J. Noeth


Housing Crash Continues to Overshadow Young Families' Balance Sheets

By William R. Emmons and Bryan J. Noeth


Five Simple Questions That Reveal Your Financial Health and Wealth

By William R. Emmons and Bryan J. Noeth


Wealth Recovery Still Not Complete, Remains Uneven Across Families and Locations

By William R. Emmons and Bryan J. Noeth


Housing Rebound Broadens the Wealth Recovery But Much More is Needed

By William R. Emmons and Bryan J. Noeth


Still Digging Out: Real Net Worth per Household Has Rebounded 63 Percent Since Hitting Bottom in Early 2009

By William R. Emmons and Bryan J. Noeth


The Nation's Wealth Recovery Since 2009 Conceals Vastly Different Balance-Sheet Realities among America's Families

By William R. Emmons and Bryan J. Noeth


Online Extra: Mortgage Borrowing: The Boom and Bust

By William R. Emmons and Bryan J. Noeth

The buildup of mortgage debt before the crisis and the subsequent deleveraging have had profoundly different effects on different age groups. Younger families generally experienced the most volatility, while older families emerged with the largest net increase in mortgage debt.


Household Financial Stability: Who Suffered the Most from the Crisis?

By William R. Emmons and Bryan J. Noeth

The financial crisis and ensuing recession took a toll on just about everybody’s household wealth. Not surprisingly, the pain wasn’t evenly distributed. Those groups that are usually the most vulnerable in our society—young and middle-aged minority households—suffered the most, percentage-wise.


Why Did Young Households Lose so Much Wealth During the Crash?
The Role of Homeownership

By William R. Emmons and Bryan J. Noeth


Unsteady Progress: Income Trends in the Federal Reserve's Survey of Consumer Finances

By William R. Emmons and Bryan J. Noeth


Don't Expect Consumer Spending To Be the Engine of Economic Growth It Once Was

By William R. Emmons

Consumer spending has long been the engine of U.S. and global economic growth. But five trends in 2011 suggest that such spending can no longer be counted on. Finding a replacement is going to be difficult, at best.


Shifting Fortunes: Wealth Trends in the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances

By William R. Emmons and Bryan J. Noeth


In-Depth: Where Housing Markets Lead in 2012, Eighth District Economies Are Likely to Follow

By William R. Emmons

While some measures of Eighth District housing-market activity recently showed signs of life, it’s not clear yet if it is cause for cautious optimism in the economic outlook.


Questions about the Budget Deficit of the U.S. Have No Easy Answers

By William R. Emmons

This Q&A on the federal deficit is a preview of the "Dialogue with the Fed" that the public is invited to Oct. 18 at the St. Louis Fed.


The Foreclosure Crisis in 2008: Predatory Lending or Household Overreaching?

At least early in the financial crisis, the high rate of foreclosures seemed to be due more to households' overreaching than to predatory lending.  A disproportionate number of those being foreclosed on were well-educated, well-off and relatively young people.


Economic Focus: Unlike Prior Decades, House-Price Changes in Largest District Cities Are Following National Trends

By Julia S. Maues Daigo Gubo, and William R. Emmons,

Before the housing boom and bust, changes in local house values appeared to be a local phenomenon. Now, however, the District’s house-price changes are mirroring national patterns. Therefore, downward trends in other parts of the country may continue to negatively affect prices in the District.


Economic Focus: Real Estate Loans Remain a Critical Part of Eighth District Bank Portfolios

By William R. Emmons


Foreclosures in the Eighth District: On the Rise Again?

By William R. Emmons


Economic Hangover: Recovery Is Likely To Be Prolonged, Painful

By William R. Emmons

It’s time to pay the piper for our freewheeling spending of the past decade.  Although some scenarios for the future economy provide reason to hope, the recovery is likely to be slow and volatile.


Housing's Great Fall: Putting Household Balance Sheets Together Again

By William R. Emmons

The simplest way to avoid another devastating housing crash and foreclosure crisis probably is to reduce household borrowing and, then, to keep it low.


Views: Fair-Value Accounting: Don't Shoot the Messenger!

By William R. Emmons


Reader Exchange

By William R. Emmons


In-Depth: The Credit Crunch Reflects Collapse of a “Shadow Banking System”

By Julie L. Stackhouse and William R. Emmons

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and private-label assets comprised much of this system.


Views: Bank, Thrift and Other Key Financial Institution Failures Set Ignominious Standard in 2008

By William R. Emmons and Andrew P. Meyer


How Will Fannie and Freddie Operate in the Future?

By William R. Emmons


The Mortgage Crisis: Let Markets Work, But Compensate the Truly Needy

By William R. Emmons

As painful as it may be, letting the housing and mortgage markets sort out these problems on their own would be best for the economy in the long run. Large-scale government interventions are not necessarily the best policy responses, although those made truly needy by this crisis need to be helped.


The Past, Present and Future of the U.S. Mortgage Market

By William R. Emmons

Fed officer and economist William Emmons examines the evolution of the mortgage markets—and speculates that U.S. markets may return to models of an earlier era.


Why Do Gasoline Prices React to Things That Have Not Happened?

By Christopher J. Neely and William R. Emmons

Some people complain they are being gouged at the pump, but raising prices now in anticipation of what might happen helps ensure an adequate gas supply.


As Household Asset Values Rise, Should We Still Worry about the Saving Rate?

By William R. Emmons

Although some data show that household wealth is rising, we shouldn’t be complacent about the flip side of the coin—that personal saving is in a nosedive.


Cash-Out Refinancing: Check It Out Carefully

By William R. Emmons

Lower interest rates can make mortgage refinancing a good idea, but borrowers need to pay attention to more than just the monthly payment. Cash-out refinancing is especially tricky because it entails taking on a larger mortgage. This can lead to a greater repayment burden in the future.


Basel II Will Trickle Down to Community Bankers, Consumers

By William R. Emmons Vahe Lskavyan, and Timothy J. Yeager,

Initially, Basel II will affect only the world's largest banking organizations.  Eventually, the impact will trickle down to others.  Some regional and community bankers, for example, might find it more difficult to survive.  Consumers, on the other hand, could wind up with lower rates on home mortgages.


The Housing Giants in Plain View

By William R. Emmons Mark D. Vaughan, and Timothy J. Yeager,

These government-sponsored enterprises continue to make headlines because of their explosive growth and resulting heavyweight status within the nation's financial system.  Critics fear what would happen if one of these giants were to fail—or even stumble.  Supporters say that the risks are overblown and that the benefits to homeowners are underappreciated.


Credit Unions Make Friends—But Not with Bankers

By William R. Emmons and Frank A. Schmid

Unable to slow the growth of credit unions by protesting their tax breaks and sponsor subsidies, banks are citing other reasons to bolster their case that the competition has an unfair edge.


The Futures Market as Forecasting Tool: An Imperfect Crystal Ball

By William R. Emmons and Timothy J. Yeager

The futures market is not a perfect crystal ball. In some cases, it accurately forecasts what spot prices will be in the future. But not always.


A Third Pillar of Bank Supervision Examinations and Capital Requirements Already Seek to Control Risk. Can Markets Support This Effort?

By William R. Emmons R. Alton Gilbert, and Mark D. Vaughan,

Examinations and capital requirements are the current pillars of bank supervision. Some people now want to draw on the markets for further assistance in controlling risk.


Should Regulators Include Credit Unions When They Analyze Bank Competition?

By William R. Emmons

Authors suggest that they should be included.