See everything that's wrong with the economy in 1 power point slide. For more on inflation and spending, see how consumers are fighting back from price increases. To better understand the Federal Reserve's outlook, see what Ben Bernanke didn't say in his recent economic report and why fund flows show bonds are still king.
For investors like David Tepper of Appaloosa Management that's meant an almost risk free way to bolster their coffers by billions.
Meanwhile, low interest rates that are now expected through 2014, spawned a different lexicon of "extend and pretend" in private equity circles.
Funds that made disastrous pre-crisis buyout bets averted the almost assured bankruptcy of those companies as their debts came due in 2010 and 2010. With low interest rates, bond investors bought of billions in high-yielding debt in recent years, helping their companies push out debts another five years, resetting the countdown to their demise. Moody's noted that the "maturity wall" has been pushed to 2016, keeping the music playing for many private equity investments in a February report. If only investors weren't asking for their money back the refinancing kabuki dance could go on for years longer.
The bottom line is that as markets rise to new post crisis highs, don't be surprised if that market momentum does little to undo the harm imparted on the majority of Americans during the recession.
For more on what the smart money is doing to grow their portfolio's, see 10 stocks owned by the best fund managers, 10 dividend stocks paying outsized yields and 9 dividend stocks that will let you retire.
-- Written by Antoine Gara in New York