Ray Boshara, a senior adviser at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, just showed this alarming slide to a group at the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) Assets Learning Conference here in Washington, where a big group of folks has gathered to talk about policies to help people save money.


Boshara called people with incomes in the second quintile the “working poor.” He explained to me that this group has become poorer—while people in the bottom quintile and wealthier people did not—in part because this group was particularly overleveraged in owning homes.

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Max Ehrenfreund is a former Monthly intern and a reporter at The Washington Post. Find him on Twitter: @MaxEhrenfreund