As mortgage rates hit new record lows, refinance applications have surged accordingly. That, as always, is leading economists to talk once again about what the effect of all that refinancing might be on the greater economy.
It's even bringing up an old proposal by Columbia University's Christopher Meyer to have the government blanket refinance all loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
I participated in a conversation with him this week on NPR's "On Point," where he argued this idea could pump billions of dollars of spending back into the economy.
I'm not going to debate Meyer's proposal here; it's already been done. I do think we have to take a look at the refinance picture in today's market, since we all know that today's economic reality is not usual.
First, let's look at the value of refis.