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Research Symposium—Restoring Household Financial Stability After the Great Recession: Why Household Balance Sheets Matter Event Details

6 p.m. - 8 p.m. | Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013 - Welcome Reception and Dinner
8 a.m. - 8 p.m. | Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013 - Symposium
8 a.m. - 2 p.m. | Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013 - Symposium

America’s economic engine—its household sector—is sputtering. The common underlying vulnerability is widespread household financial instability: the inability of millions of Americans to meet their financial obligations, qualify for new credit, or play their traditional roles as consumers and homebuyers driving economic growth. This household financial instability was affirmed by the recently released Survey of Consumer Finances of the Federal Reserve, which showed that, overall, the median net worth of American households declined nearly 40 percent between 2007 and 2010. Particularly hard hit were younger, non-white and non-college-educated households.

Through commissioned papers, keynote speeches and a competitive call for papers, this symposium will highlight the critical role of household balance sheets in restoring household financial stability and national economic growth. Keynote speakers will include Michael Barr, former assistant secretary for financial institutions at the Treasury Department and current professor at the University of Michigan Law School; Christopher Carroll, professor of economics at Johns Hopkins University; and Federal Reserve Governor Jeremy Stein.

Sessions will explore:

  • current data and research on household balance sheets as well as a framework for understanding the determinants and implications of household financial stability;
  • the links between household balance sheets and attainment of homeownership, economic mobility and educational goals among households; and
  • the connections between household balance sheets and macroeconomic outcomes, including economic growth and the transmission of monetary policy to the economy.

This event is free; however, registration is required by Tuesday, Jan. 29, as space is limited.

Sponsored by the Center for Household Financial Stability and Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, along with the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis.