We’ve had the good fortune over the last few years here at the blog to bring you occasional nuggets from University of Arizona economist Price Fishback, whose research on the Great Depression often offers powerful insights about our current economic situation.
Price’s latest contribution to the blog, this time joint with Ken Snowden from UNC-Greensboro, discusses the Home Owner’s Loan Corporation, which bought and refinanced 1 million severely delinquent loans between 1933 and 1936. Did things works out well or poorly? You’ll have to read on to find out. And if you like what they’ve written, keep an eye out for their soon to be released book (with Jonathan Rose as a third author).
Learning from the Last Great Mortgage Mess
By Price Fishback and Ken Snowden
For the past four years, the U.S. has faced a housing crisis that shows no signs of ending. The situation was similar in June 1933 when the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation was created to address the nation’s last severe mortgage crisis. Some have suggested that a new HOLC could help resolve the current crisis, but their characterizations of the HOLC have been incomplete. Our goal here is to summarize recent research that provides a fuller picture of the HOLC and its impact on housing markets in the 1930s.