Public Wealth in the United States

50 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2019

See all articles by Fabien Gonguet

Fabien Gonguet

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Klaus-Peter Hellwig

International Monetary Fund (IMF) - Fiscal Affairs Department

Date Written: July 2019

Abstract

We analyze the US public sector balance sheet and project it forward under the assumption that current policies remain in place. We first document the history of the balance sheet and its components since World War II, with a detailed account of its evolution during and after the global financial crisis. While, based on assets and liabilities alone, public sector net worth is negative, additional challenges arise from commitments to future spending implied by current legislation and demographic trends. To quantify the risks to the balance sheet,we then apply the macroeconomic scenarios from the Federal Reserve's bank stress test to the public sector balance sheet.

Keywords: Balance sheets, Financial statements, Economic recovery, Financial crises, Social security, Fiscal sustainability, Government finance statistics, GSEs, percent of GDP, intertemporal, cross-holding, balance sheet

JEL Classification: H63, E63, N32, E01, E62, G21, Z13, I3

Suggested Citation

Gonguet, Fabien and Hellwig, Klaus-Peter, Public Wealth in the United States (July 2019). IMF Working Paper No. 19/139. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3427676

Fabien Gonguet (Contact Author)

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States

Klaus-Peter Hellwig

International Monetary Fund (IMF) - Fiscal Affairs Department ( email )

700 19th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20431
United States

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