Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.
Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012
After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.
We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.
Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.
I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.
Thank you very much.
Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Reducing debt overhang
It is the debt overhang!
The trial balloon to have Freddie and Fannie offer a wave of massive mortgage refinancing deals to people who have fixed rate mortgages. The plan would help people move from 6% mortgages to 4% mortgages. On a $125,000 6% mortgage, that moves to 4%, that would save the average home-owner $150 a month. That $150 a month can either be used to further deleverage family debt or to support current consumption. Either situation is a win.
This is not a new idea. Bill Gross of PIMCO proposed something very similar last August. Ian Welsh proposed a more radical, general refinancing of all high interest debt to lower interest rates in January 2009. Both of these proposals recognize that there is a debt overhang that is inflicting losses but those losses can be minimized if borrowers are able to pay off what they can instead of what is demanded of them. Several hundred extra dollars per month per household due to interest rate reductions will quickly allow American households to rebuild their balance sheets which means they'll be able and willing to spend again at some, closer point in the future than under the current trajectory.
It is all about the debt overhang, and policies that recognize that and work to accelerate balance sheet clean-up will work. However we live in a world where the elite have access to cheap money, and everyone else is paying through the nose for credit, so I don't actually expect these types of proposals to pass in a form or scale that could be sufficient.