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Showing posts from August, 2011

Bubbles, Bubbles, Bubbles

This graph from The Atlantic's Daniel Indiviglio is pretty astounding (click to enlarge).

A good deal has already been written about it. Particularly the fact that the growth in student debt exceeded the growth in other debt during what is now know to have been a massive housing bubble. I don't want to double up on too much of what others have written, but I had some thoughts.
The graph (and the article) (and current students) make a compelling case that we are in a student loan bubble. So, it might be sensible given the obviously high cost of the previous bubble to begin to at least draw down the growth in student debt. This likely means some combination of (a) reducing government support for student loans (removing guarantees, tightening lending standards, etc.), (b) providing grants to students, (c) instituting some sort of price controls on universities (tuition caps). All three of these measures are politically difficult:
Reducing Loan Support: Much of the increase in the co…

Rebuilding Haiti?

After some weeks of teaching a summer course at Peking University, I'm back at the blog. (For the curious, virtually all Google-hosted sites are blocked in China, including this one.)
I had intended to start off the new series of posts with something on European bank guarantees, perhaps inspired by this FT editorial. However, before getting to that I just wanted to point your attention to Janet Reitman's Rolling Stone article on reconstruction, or the lack thereof in Haiti.

(Coincidentally, this is the second Rolling Stone article this week suggested by longform.org that I've liked. The other was Matt Taibbi's piece on how the SEC disposes evidence from preliminary investigations. I would blog about that article too but I think I need to just sit down and write the "credibly committing to bad information" paper that I've already mentioned.)

I actually don't have too much to add to the discussion, especially considering Felix Salmon's nice post on …