Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The elimination of the consequences of bad behaviour continues

From today's Wall Street Journal:
Citigroup Inc. announced Tuesday a new program aimed at addressing the latest challenge facing the mortgage industry: unemployed homeowners.

Under the program, Citigroup will temporarily lower mortgage payments to an average of $500 a month for certain borrowers who have recently lost their jobs and are at least 60 days behind on their mortgage payments. Borrowers will be allowed to make the lower payments for three months. Citigroup will waive interest and penalties during this period.

n January, the New York bank bucked the rest of the industry and endorsed legislation that would allow bankruptcy-court judges to modify the terms of troubled mortgages. Citigroup executives have said that move, which could take a toll on the company's bottom line, was designed to win favor in Washington.

...Mr. Das said the federal government "had no role at all" in the company's latest loan-modification effort. The new program "was created by us, developed by us and is now being implemented by us," he said. "There was no pressure at all."

It sometimes appears like we're moving towards a society where the costs associated with taking risks are slowly being eliminated. That means that eventually, so will be benefits.

And somehow I doubt there was "no pressure at all" That could be my inner Conspiracy Theorist (he lives in my head next to the little Game Theorist) talking, but the timing seems (as Artie Johnson would say, "Verrrrrryy Innntereshting"

Ironically, the article was in the "politics" section.