POLITICS

As Dow hits record high, record low percentage of Americans benefiting

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll

The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 15,000 for the first time ever Tuesday, but fewer Americans than ever are benefiting from the stock market boom.

According to Gallup, only 52 percent of Americans own any stock. That is down from a high of 65 percent in 2007 and the lowest number ever reported by Gallup. Meanwhile the richest 5 percent of Americans own 82 percent of all the stock.

Speaking at an investors conference in New York on Wednesday, hedge fund manager Paul Singer blamed the Federal Reserve for boosting stocks and impeding economic recovery. Singer said that quantitative easing has caused a “distorted recovery” and created “a poisonous atmosphere in which to rely upon the private sector to generate growth.”

“Most of the people in this room are doing just fine,” Singer said. “The ordinary person is not experiencing the effective equivalent of Dow Jones 15,000. … The average person is paying a lot of money … for the necessities of life, is worried about his or her job or the job of his or her family … is experiencing an economy that has basically recession-level employment.”

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