History sometimes repeats itself in the world of finance. Soaring asset prices have lifted the market capitalization of the household balance sheet to a record high, exceeding the lofty valuations of the end of the housing and tech-equity bubbles. A recent report by the Federal Reserve showed the market value of household real and financial assets totaled a record $114.4 trillion at the end of 2017, up almost $50 trillion since 2009. That market cap was 5.9 times the level of nominal gross domestic product in 2017, exceeding the housing-bubble peak of 5.8 times in 2006 and the tech-bubble peak of 5.1 in 2000. The surge raises several questions: Have policy makers pushed the monetary experiment of zero interest rates and asset purchases so far such that a reversal in the policy could tip the scale in asset values that threaten the economic expansion? Or has the vision of an endless cycle of growth, with falling unemployment and low inflation and interest rates, led to excessive inves...

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