Jan. 31, 2012
Poverty is not just the lack of wealth and income; it is the lack of savings and assets. In its new Assets & Opportunities Scorecard, the Corporation for Enterprise Development finds close to half of the country is now living in "liquid asset poverty"—where there is not enough money to cover the basics when being unemployed for more than three months.
In an interview that aired Jan. 31 on New Hampshire Public Radio and was included in NPR's national Marketplace broadcast that same day, St. Louis Fed senior advisor Ray Boshara discussed the importance of focusing on building savings and assets, rather than just income, to create greater financial independence overall.
In his conversation with New Hampshire Public Radio reporter Dan Gorenstein, Boshara described how the impact of building up liquid savings goes far beyond having easy-access cash in financially challenging times.
"You don't have to go to the check casher or the payday lender if you need some cash," Boshara said. "You can open up a mainstream banking account ... you can start a business, you can make a down payment on a home." In addition, building up liquid savings helps determine who stays in poverty, who falls further behind and who moves up, he added.
Listen to the interview » (2:33)