Back in 2000, the dot-com bubble burst destroyed $6.2 trillion in household wealth. Then shortly after, the housing crisis hit, and the value of real estate owned by U.S. households fell by nearly the same amount. Per FiveThirtyEight:

Yet the consequences between the two vary widely, with one causing the Great Recession and the other a mild recession.

So why?

"The poorest homeowners had very large mortgages, whereas the richest had very small ones relative to the value of their homes. The chart shows that poor homeowners in the United States primarily owned housing assets, and those assets were highly leveraged."

Authors Amir Sufi and Atif Mian are looking to boost the profile of their book: "House of Debt."

But still, they have a noteworthy thoughts around the distribution of debt in this nation:


The poorest homeowners experienced a dramatic decline in net worth during the Great Recession.They had $30,000 in net worth in 2007, and almost nothing in 2010. When home prices collapsed, they bore the brunt of the shock.The wealthiest homeowners, on the other hand, saw only a minor decline in their net worth. The dollar amount of the loss was large, but they were basically back to their 2005 level of wealth.

That helps explain why in the tech bubble vs. housing bubble fight, housing wins, but not in a good way.