Housing Bust Legacy? Too Much Fear of Debt

Borrowing has its place. The trick is the right balance.

Something else that's scary.

Photographer: Michael S. Williamson/Washington Post/Getty Images

After the great American housing bubble blew up in 2008, taking the financial system and the economy with it, there was an often-bitter debate about the underlying causes. Why had housing prices been driven to unsustainable heights in the first place? Were Americans borrowing to overconsume, or were they just trying to make a quick buck? The answer matters because it will guide future policy.

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