To bail out or not to bail out...

U.S. Capitol Building


Scott Jagow: Today, Congress starts debating how to clean up the mortgage mess. John Dimsdale looks at some of the options.

John Dimsdale: Congress will consider requiring mortgage lenders to better disclose the terms and fees of their loans.

Some presidential candidates want Washington to step in with taxpayer money to keep homebuyers from foreclosing.

That idea is strongly opposed by some in Congress who consider it a bailout of unscrupulous lenders, but former Comptroller of the Currency Eugene Ludwig thinks the government will have to spend some money to fix this problem.

Eugene Ludwig: Bailout's a colored term. It's not a term I would use. But here we have a situation that may be unprecedented in our whole financial history of the United States. Both Congress and the administration have to take strong action.

The White House is asking Congress to reduce down payment requirements on homeowner insurance and provide tax relief for beleaguered borrowers.

But the House Financial Services Committee today will hear calls for a much more aggressive government response.

In Washington, I'm John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

About the author

As head of Marketplace’s Washington, D.C. bureau, John Dimsdale provides insightful commentary on the intersection of government and money for the entire Marketplace portfolio.


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