Archive for the ‘Housing’ Category

Another Symptom of the Housing Bubble

July 26th, 2011

When we think of the damage wrought by the bursting of the housing bubble, we tend to think of the Great Recession and the broad damage to jobs and incomes.  But there’s another dimension that’s less appreciated: wealth destruction, especially for minority households. A new study out today from the Pew Research Center shows some… Read more

Qs and As

July 23rd, 2011

Q: Re the debt ceiling, why can’t we just print the money we need to meet our obligations? A: In the first pieces I wrote on this mess, I noted that when a government’s debts are in that gov’t’s currency, you could theoretically “monetize the debt,” i.e., print your way out of it.  But I… Read more

A Good Housing Idea Has Some Traction

July 22nd, 2011

I still like this idea of avoiding decreasing the overhang of unsold housing stock by putting foreclosed homes on the rental market instead of the housing market.  So glad to see it getting some attention. Note that according to the piece, Fannie and Freddie would sell foreclosed homes to investors who would agree to keep… Read more

A Structural Down-Shift in Spending?

July 18th, 2011

The always-worth-reading David Leonhardt posited that consumer spending was undergoing a large, negative, structural shift.  I said, hmmm, not so sure—you don’t see it in consumption as a share of GDP, though you do see sharply diminished housing investment. David Leonhardt responds to my response by saying that as far as he’s concerned, spending by… Read more

What’s Wrong with This Economy, Part 2

July 17th, 2011

David Leonhardt has an interesting piece in today’s NYT pointing out the much-larger-than-usual decline in consumer spending in this relative to past downturns. In an economy that’s 70% consumption, that’s an important reason why we’re stuck in neutral.  But David L intimates that this decline in consumption is structural not cyclical (“The old consumer economy… Read more