The Atlantic: The story of the post-crash economy has been one of people borrowing to go to school instead of to buy houses. Student loans are up $317 billion. Mortgages are down $1.3 trillion.
Our long, national deleveraging nightmare might soon be over. After peaking at over $13.6 trillion in late 2008, outstanding household debt has fallen by $833 billion the past four years, albeit for the not-so-good reason that so many people have been foreclosed on. It's the most painful, and perhaps least efficient way, of getting out from under our collective pile of debt, but it's also, ahem, the default way of doing so. It's politically easier not to fight for more writedowns and refis.