Yellen says US families need to boost savings
WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen says the Great Recession showed that a large number of American families are "extraordinarily vulnerable" to financial setbacks because they have few assets to fall back on.
She says a Fed survey finds that an unexpected expense of just $400 would force the majority of American families to borrow money, sell something or simply not pay.
She says the bottom fifth of households by income — about 25 million households — had net worth in 2013 of just $6,400 and many of these families had nothing saved or negative net worth.
In a speech delivered by video to a Washington conference, Yellen says there is a critical need to encourage people to take small steps to boost their savings.