However, I still think we're in pretty dire straits:
> The report finds, in 2018, that 61% of adults would cover a $400 unexpected expense using cash (or its equivalent). Politicians and many in the media seem to be subtracting 61 from 100, and concluding that 39% of people, to use Warren’s phrase, “can’t come up with” the money they’d need to handle this situation.
> Instead, as the Fed report makes clear, though “the remaining 4 in 10 adults” “would have more difficulty covering such an expense,” many of them would be able to make it work by carrying a credit card balance or borrowing from friends and family."
That's still really bad. 39% of people can't cover an unexpected $400 expense without borrowing money from someone else, or effectively taking out a loan at 20%+ interest.
And the 12-14% figure for people who actually would be unable to come up with that $400 via any means is also troubling.
I guess the key question is, does the other 39% not have liquid assets to cover it and thus have to take on debt, or would they choose to cover it for other reasons? I have $400 in the bank but would likely put it on a credit card because I don't like carrying that much cash nor using my debit card (to reduce risk of it being leaked). So would I be in the 39% or the 61%?