The Heavy Load of Student Debt

BY Paul Solman  June 4, 2012 at 5:14 PM EST



Making Sense
We first set out to cover the student-debt story last year when we read David Graeber’s book, “Debt: The First 5000 Years” and listened to him speak (online).

Graeber was pushing a proposal for mass repudiation of student debt. He was arguing that the interest rate incorporates the risk of default, so creditors should hardly be surprised when unforeseen circumstances like a jobless job market make repayment difficult to impossible.

Graeber’s online initiative has since been superseded by more practical alternatives — both of which we mention in our first student-loan story — but his reasoning is well worth examining.

This entry is cross-posted on the Making Sen$e page, where correspondent Paul Solman answers your economic and business questions