The Federal Reserve is starting work on a new nationwide financial snapshot of Americans — what they own, how much they borrow and how they bank.
The Survey of Consumer Finances — the most comprehensive look at Americans' finances — comes out every three years. The new snapshot will be published in 2012 and also will include information on small businesses.
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is urging Americans to participate in this year's survey. A letter was mailed to 13,000 randomly selected households.
Bernanke says in the letter the survey is "one of the nation's primary sources of information on the financial condition of different types of households."
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