30 August 2006

Measured wealth, real wealth and the illusion of saving

Keynote speech at the Irving Fisher Committee Conference on “Measuring the financial position of the household sector”, Basel, 30-31 August 2006.

Aggregate household saving rates have been declining in many industrial countries. In part, this has been a by-product of rising house prices which have, not only given house owners the illusion of increased wealth (saving the easy way), but have also been a source of increased collateral to allow higher levels of borrowing to support consumption.

30Aug2006_Measured wealth.pdf