Bill Galston Discovers The Balance Sheet Recession: I have genuinely no idea why William Galston thinks the point that the mortgage-debt overhang is playing a huge role in the recession constitutes a “new” theory of the recession. But I’m not peevish, so I’ll just say he’s correct.... I believe that the best resolution would be to set a higher Nominal GDP growth target and clarify that the Fed is willing to accommodate Reagan-era levels of inflation if that’s what’s necessary to achieve it. Most mortgage debt, and a decent share of other debt, is denominated in nominal terms, so inflation accommodation would speed the process of getting people out from under debt overhangs. But unlike targeted mortgage relief, it would also help people (like, say, me) who have mortgages but aren’t underwater. Last, such a commitment from the Federal Reserve would also encourage high net wealth individuals and cash-rich firms to reduce their holdings of safe low-yield assets and increase their purchases of real goods and services or riskier private business investments.